Questioner: How can we rectify the people of innovation?
Dr Sharof: You should teach them. Condemnation won’t rectify their affairs. All the people that the Prophet met in his residence were disbelievers. He wasn’t condemning them. He was patiently teaching them. When they accepted Islaam, they became the companions of the Prophet. Most of the people who condemn others today are not free from evil acts, yet they condemn others.
Most people today want to quickly disparage others without striving to rectify them. That is the problem we are facing now (in the present world). Many people excessively condemn others; is condemnation regarded as knowledge? Many of these people who condemn others are ignoramuses yet they rise up to the occasion to condemn others. That is why it is said that the more you become knowledgeable, the more you become elegant. The more you become ignorant, the more you become extreme. That is why there are people who are bold to say statements like, ‘why haven’t you condemned them to hell?’ and the likes. The more you become ignorant, the more you become extreme, but the more you become knowledgeable, the more you become elegant and (the more you) recognize the effects of your past actions. When you become knowledgeable you will discover that you have passed erroneous verdicts and (hasten to) quickly correct them. It is not self-effacing to make people know that you had formerly misled them. That is why there is need to be calm (when treading the path of knowledge).
The Prophet said, ‘Calmness does not get into anything except that it beautifies it and it is not removed from anything except that the thing becomes destroyed.’ The Jews came to meet the Prophet saying, ‘As-saamu ‘alaykum’ (Death to you), the Prophet responded with, ‘’Alaykum’ (And to you). ‘Aa’ishah said, ‘And to you, May Allaah’s anger and curse meet you’. She said angrily, ‘Didn’t you hear what they said?’ The Prophet replied, ‘Yes, and I answered them.’
There are some of the students learning western education who haughtily greet themselves saying, ‘Saamu ‘alaykum’. What does that mean? The correct greeting is, ‘Assalaamu ‘alaykum’. ‘Saamu ‘alaykum’ is a curse. Therefore, calmness does not get into anything except that it beautifies it and it is not removed from anything except that the thing becomes destroyed. As such, we have a lot to learn from the Prophet (sollaLloohu ‘alayhi wa sallam). People will undoubtedly make mistakes, but we have to talk to them with calmness. In the end, they will agree.
There is a companion known as An-Nu’maan bn Basheer. As for the story regarding how his father Basheer who was a disbeliever accepted Islaam; the Prophet asked him about the number of gods he worships. He said the gods are seven, but six of them exist in the world while the remaining one is in the heavens. The Prophet asked him to mention the one he calls from his gods if he encounters difficulty in his affairs. He replied that he would call the one in heaven. The Prophet placed his hands on Basheer’s chest and convinced him that he should discredit his gods in this world since they can’t take him out of difficulties. This man did not know when he said, ‘I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and I testify that Muhammad is His Messenger’. If the Prophet had condemned him directly to hell with people like Fir’aun and the likes, will he accept Islaam? Of course, he wouldn’t have accepted Islaam! For this reason, it is upon us to learn Da’awah methodology. It (Da’awah methodology) should not be on the basis of how you wish so that you do not be the means by which people detest Islaam.
A non Muslim came to meet the Prophet (sollaLloohu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he would accept Islaam if the Prophet gives him all the sheep in his custody. The Prophet asked him to take them. He went with all the sheep and accepted Islaam. When he got to his people with the sheep, he said, ‘Accept Islaam because Muhammad gives alms extensively’. Allaah is great! This is from the reasons why many people accept Islaam.
There is a person who came to meet the Prophet that he would accept anything Islaam brings but he won’t leave Zinaa. If the Prophet condemned him immediately, he wouldn’t think of accepting Islaam. When he turned back, the Prophet asked him if he would be pleased seeing his daughter engaging in Zinaa. He said, ‘No’. The Prophet asked him if he would be pleased seeing his mother engaging in Zinaa. He said, ‘No’. The Prophet asked regarding his sisters and aunts. His response was ‘No’. Then the Prophet told him that his partners in Zinaa are some other people’s daughters, mothers, sisters and aunts. He (the person) then declared that he how detests Zinaa. Whatever we fail to achieve with serenity cannot be achieved with violence. For this reason, we have to learn how we can be the means to spreading the message of Islaam. That is it. But this cannot be achieved without knowledge. If you are the type who only knows about violence, you can’t help to achieve tranquility. Annihilation does not require knowledge, but conciliation requires knowledge. It is easy for people to utter nonsensical statements because it requires no research. However, rational discussion requires research so that you do not mislead others.
[SOURCE: “QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION DURING THE EXPLANATION OF MA’AARIJUL QABUUL”; VENUE: “IBADAN”; TIME: “36 minutes 27 seconds to 43 minutes 09 seconds”]
Translated by Aboo Aaishah Al Odeomeey