By Sheikh Ibrahim Ar Ruhaylee
Firstly: From the established principles in the religion of Islam is that the Muslim should greatly emphasize the reformation and emendation of his own self, work diligently towards securing the success of his own soul and distance himself from those things which would bring about his destruction, before he concerns himself with others as Allah says in the Qur’an:
“By al Asr, Verily man is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous actions and exhort one another to the truth and exhort one another to patience.”
Second point: It is imperative to know that Ahlus Sunnah is the first one to thoroughly exemplify the religion of Islam, whether in the issues of Aqeedah or Sulook. It is from a restricted understanding and outlook to believe that the Sunni or the Salafi is one who only exemplifies the creed of Islam without emphasizing the appropriate Islamic manners and etiquettes, and discharging the rights that are due to every Muslim from amongst them. Sheikh Islam Ibn Taymiyah said towards the end of his book Al Aqeedah wasiteeyah after mentioning the principles of Ahlus Sunnah in relation to Aqeedah:
“… and they along with these principals; enjoin the good and forbid evil, based upon the legislative guidelines. They see the obligation of performing Hajj, jihad, Jumu’ah and the E’id prayers alongside the Muslim ruler, whether they are righteous or rebellious and disobedient. They work diligently to preserve the Muslim community, they deem it part of the religion to give Naseehah to the Ummah and believe wholeheartedly in the statement of the Messenger of Allah:
“The believer to another believer is like one solid structure, one part strengthening the other then he interlocked his fingers to demonstrate.”
Third point: From the most important objectives, which Islam encourages the Muslim to emphasize and be diligent in, is the guidance of humanity to the religion of Islam, as the Prophet Muhammad sallahu alaihi wa salam said when he sent Ali Ibn Abi Talib to Khaybar:
“If Allah was to guide one person by your hands, it is better for you than red camels.”
It is binding upon the one whom Allah has favored and guided to the Sunnah to be diligent and exert every effort possible in calling those who have deviated from the Sunnah or have shortcomings regarding it, back to its implementation. It should be done with gentleness and leniency in order to bring their hearts closer to accepting the Haqq.
Fourth point: It is very important, especially for those students of knowledge who are involved in giving da’wah, distinguishing between Mudaarat and Mudaahanah. As for Mudaarat, is pertaining to leniency and gentleness in your dealings with people, then it is highly recommend.
Fifth point: The Da’ee who is involved in calling people to this deen has two legislated paths that he can follow in doing such, which are supported by evidences ( from the Qur’an and the Sunnah):
- Maslak ut Ta’leef wal Targheeb: The path of leniency and encouragement. Certainly, this is encouraged.
- Maslak ul hajar wat Tariheeb: The path of boycotting and chasing people away.
The truth of the matter is that he is mistaken if he treads either path absolutely with everybody, rather it is appropriate for him to take the path, with everyone who opposes the Haqq, which is more likely to bring about his acceptance of the truth and his return to what is correct. So if Ta’leef is more beneficial for the one who is disobedient, and more likely to bring about his rectification and reformation then this what is legislated. But if boycotting is better and more effective then this is what is legislated.