[Here is a plain statement to men, a guidance and instruction to those who fear Allah! So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith.] (Aal `Imran 3:138-139)
[It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religions, even though the Pagans may detest (it).] (At-Tawbah 9:33; also see Al-Fath 48:28 and As-Saff 61:9)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “This message will reach to wherever the night and day have reached. Allah shall not leave any home built by clay or stones or by animal skin (tent) except Allah will make this religion to enter it, to give honor to those who are honorable and to disgrace those who are disgraceful. The honor Allah shall give to Islam and dishonor Allah shall give to unbelief” (Ahmad).
It is our belief and conviction that the truth will prevail. Justice and righteousness shall be established on this earth. Islam gives us confidence that Allah’s purpose cannot be defeated by anyone.
Allah has decreed
[It is I and My Messengers who must prevail: for Allah is One full of strength, able to enforce His Will.] (Al-Mujadalah 58:21)
[The honor belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the Believers; but the Hypocrites know not.] (Al-Munafiqun 63:8)
We as Muslims should keep a few important things in our mind:
1- Ours is not a materialistic work. Ours is a spiritual and moral struggle. Our purpose is to reform individuals and societies, increase divine awareness, and bring goodness, piety, truth, honesty, justice, and peace in the world.
2- Ours is not a nationalistic or ethnic work. We are not working to promote the interests of Arabs, Pakistanis, Asians, Africans, blacks, whites, a particular nation, color, or race. Ours is a universal mission for all people, for the good of the whole of humanity.
3- Ours is not an irrational, anti-modern, archaic, and old-fashioned work. We are not anti-science, anti-education, and anti-learning. We believe in reason and human progress. Reason is Allah’s gift to humankind. Reason is not infallible. Reason makes mistakes, but rational mistakes can also be corrected by better reason. We believe that revelation is infallible, but revelation requires reason to understand and follow. We believe in dialogue and discussion, freedom of expression, and open discourse. We want to understand and be understood. We want healthy and wholesome progress in this world.
4- Ours is not an intolerant work. We want to live and let live. We are peaceful and do not accept coercion or aggression. We abhor violence. War for us is not the rule, but the exception. We fight against only those who fight us. We believe in good relations with all people of all races, colors, and creeds.
We as Muslims must pay attention to a few very important things:
1- Live Islam. We must learn Islam in all its details and must put to practice the true and authentic teachings of Islam. We must pay attention to our behavior and example. We must pay attention to our families and our young generation. We must work together and do our best for Muslim unity and solidarity. We must build strong Islamic institutions and should support them financially and with more volunteer work.
2- Give the message of Islam. All of us should consider ourselves the ambassadors of Islam. We must give the message of Islam with wisdom and good preaching to all people with whom we come into contact. We should not hide our Islamic identity. We should try to explain to all people, without any coercion or antagonism, the true message of Islam.
3- Remove the misunderstandings. We must do our best to remove misconceptions and misunderstandings about our faith, our way of life. We must remove the propaganda against us. We are not against intellectual criticism. We should be open to those who have some genuine problems and grievances against us. But we should not take lightly any stereotypes and bad images that some people want to create against us.
Cooperate with fair and like-minded people of other faiths and races. We must promote good dialogue and good relations with our neighbors. We must help in the building of a just, peaceful, and moral society for all humankind.
By Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi