Dawah - An Obligation
An important matter for Muslims to realize is that da`wah is an obligation upon them. Allah(God) the Almighty says in the Qur'aan:
"Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided." [al-Qur'aan, an-Nisaa'(16):125]
"Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining al-ma`roof [i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do] and forbidding al-Munkar [polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden]. And it is they who are successful." [al-Qur'aan, Aal `Imraan (3):104]
The second verse may seem to be restricting the general obligation given in the first verse, but a close look at the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) reveals that calling to Allah is an individual obligation, rather than a collective one. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) has said: "Convey from me, even one verse." [al-Bukhaaree] Conveying the message therefore does not require a high level of scholarship, it is in fact a responsibility of each and every Muslim, according to his or her ability.
The obligation is further emphasized by the following verse which explains that not conveying the message - hiding knowledge - is disobedience to Allah that causes Allah's curse to descend upon such people, which shows that such a sin leads to the Hellfire.
"Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers." [al-Qur'aan, al-Baqara(2):159]
In the same connection, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) has stated, "Whoever hides knowledge, Allah will brand him with the branding iron from the hellfire." [Ahmad]
Calling people to Allah also means completing our own worship, the reason for which we are created. It is one of the noblest acts that entails a high reward.
"And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah and does righteous deeds, and says: 'I am one of the Muslims.'" [al-Qur'aan, Fussilat(41):33]
With regards to the reward, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) has said: "Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." [Saheeh Muslim] Also,
"If God guides a person through you,
it is better for you than all that is on the earth." - Bukhari
“An Example of Redemption”
Review of the Movie From Dunya to Deen
By Umm Zakiyyah
“Growing up in America, Eddie lived the American dream. He achieved it all before the age of thirty—money, cars, women.”
These are the narrator’s opening words to the ground-breaking documentary film about how Eddie Redzovic, founder and host of the worldly-renowned The Deen Show, came to Islam.
However, the narrator’s next words are those that truly open this film: “But beneath the surface…”
And “beneath the surface” is the story of one man—a troubled and broken soul—who makes the streets his battleground and the nightclub his place of refuge. Yet, as he repeatedly throws himself into throes of violence and death, he discovers that his most dangerous battleground lies within…
The story of troubled Eddie—who was born in Buffalo, New York, to Yugoslavian immigrants—begins while Eddie is in Chicago, where his parents moved while he was still a child.
With two working parents and lots of time on his hands, young Eddie fills his days with what could only be described as every parent’s nightmare: bad friends, complete disregard for school, and, ultimately, gang membership.
“Children are like a garden,” Eddie’s uncle reflects regretfully on what happened to his nephew during those years. “If you miss [even] one week of watering, it’s overcome with weeds.”
Like so many troubled souls before him, it is within the somber solitude of a jail cell years later that Eddie realizes that his life is in disarray. Ironically, it is the absence of his closest companions—his fellow gang members, his “family”—that inspires this realization.
“I’m in a jail cell thinking…These people don’t care about me.”
Then comes the ultimate question that every soul must surely ask itself at least once upon this earth, “What am I doing with my life?”
Yet, even after his release, the light still doesn’t come on for Eddie…
It isn’t until he sinks deep into the insobriety of self-indulgence that the fault lines begin to make way to redemption…
But even after he embraces spirituality to feed his ailing soul, Eddie finds that his battle of the self is not yet over…
“You have three types of brothers…” Eddie tells the attendants to a lecture at a school he visits after accepting Islam and founding The Deen Show, “blood brothers…brothers in humanity…and brothers in [faith].”
And this film offers a moving story for each and every one of them—the members of our families, our brothers and sisters in humanity, and all people of faith.
In a world of Islamophobia, media-hyped “Islamic extremism,” and spiritual depravation, this documentary is a “must-see” for every journalist, every writer, every intellectual…And every soul.
This film will touch each differently. But each will be touched.
This movie truly is, as the commentator said of Eddie himself, “an example of redemption.”
To have the movie screened in your area, write to firstname.lastname@example.org