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Published in the 1-15 June 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Dawah work among non-Muslims

Islam means total submission to the will of Allah and its adherents are called Muslims (those who submit to Allah). It provides a complete system of life chosen and prescribed by Allah for the humankind so that they can lead their individual as well as social lives in accordance with it, resulting in their success (falah) in both the worlds. The holy Qur'an announces that no religion (system of life) other than Islam will be acceptable at the time of judgement in the next world" (3:85). In fact, nothing can be the true and best religion in the world other than the submission to the will of the Creator and Islam is only the religion that purely teaches us this.

Muslims owe responsibility to both Muslims and non-Muslims for introducing Islam before them. Unfortunately our Dawah (preaching) work is confined now to only Muslims, and we have not so far reached out to our non-Muslim brethren with the message of Islam. Asserting the need for propagation of Islam, the Holy Qur'an tells us: "Call (the people) unto the way of thy Lord (Allah) with wisdom and fair exhortation and reason with them in the better way” (16:125); “And who is better in speech than him who invites (the people) unto his Lord and does right?" (41:33).

When I was a student of Guwahati University, I found a Naga student who was Christian by birth and faith. One day in the course of conversation in the university canteen, I told him that we, Muslims, also believe in Jesus Christ (pbuh) as the Prophet of God. So much so that a Muslim ceases to be Muslim if he rejects Jesus as a Prophet of God like other prophets of Allah. Jesus is called Prophet of Allah in the holy Qur'an. According to Islam, prophethood is the most honourable position granted to a man by Allah for guiding the people of his age. Apart from this, his mother Mary is called a virgin and chaste and she is chosen by Allah above all women of of all nations (Qur'an - 3:42).

The Naga student was listening to me with rapt attention. When I finished my speech, he told me that so long he had assumed that Islam is anti-Christ. Now you had dispelled this misconception from me. Lastly he requested me that you, Muslims, should kindly make an effort so as to spread these messages in our areas which might help in bridging the gulf existing between two faiths. In fact, we have done nothing to disseminate the message of Islam among the people living in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim and other such places. If these people are left devoid of Islamic knowledge, we shall be accountable to Allah for it in the Day of Judgement.

Muhammad Abbus Samad

PB College, Gauripur (Assam)

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