After a bit of a flight diversion due to the weather, the ICCI was delighted to welcome Br Mostahfiz Gani back to Dublin on the 10th of December whereby he presented workshops to some of the youth leaders and youth on Saturday morning, as well as giving a public talk in the main masjid after Duhr prayer.
The focus of the morning workshop was the Prophetic Dawah - Calling to Allah (swt) with insight. Br Mostahfiz took us on a beautiful journey through parts of the Qur'an, looking at the verses in various surahs that show how the Prophets gave dawah to their people. How the Prophets with the exception of one, were from their people. How they addressed their nations with 'Oh My People : Ya Qawmy'. How they worried about their people and what would happen to them if they did not accept the message.
We were asked to look and reflect on our approach to dawah, as in many cases the dawah of the modern age can be mixed with harshness and this is not the way of the Prophets.
Mostahfiz shared the story with us of Thumama Ibn Uthal a staunch enemy of the Prophet (pbuh) which showed the prime example of just how the actions of people can be viewed and touch the heart, thus softening it and bringing them to Islam, by the Grace of Allah (swt). He also shared the story of Ikrimah Ibn Abu Jahl and the advice that the Prophet gave to his companions on his conversion: Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl shall come to you as a believer and a Muhajir (a refugee). Do not insult his father. Insulting the dead causes grief to the living and does not reach the dead.”
Another story that was relayed to us, showing how the prophet (pbuh) treated children and the compassion he had in his dawah with them! This story had also been shared with us at in a Friday khutbah during Rabi al Awwal, and it was the beautiful story of Abu Mahdhura. Refresh your memories about this story and ask the question, if Abu Mahdhura did such a thing in our community in this day and age. How would he be treated? Would we implement the prophetic dawah or resort to harshness, thus pushing him away from the masjid? He went on to become the Muadhan of Makkah!
Abu Mahdhura continued calling adhan in Makkah until he died in 59 H (678-79 AD). After his death, his sons and grandsons called adhan in Makkah for centuries. (Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, 5/450; Dhahabi, Siyaru A'lamin-Nubala, 3/78)
We looked at the hadith of Aa'ishah (rAa):
Yusuf ibn Mahak reported: Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Verily, the first verses to be revealed were from the shorter chapters at the end of the Quran. In them is mentioned Paradise and Hellfire, until people were firmly established upon Islam and verses of lawful and unlawful were revealed. If the first verse to be revealed was ‘do not drink wine,’ they would have said, ‘we will never stop drinking wine.’ And if the first verse to be revealed was ‘do not commit adultery,’ they would have said, ‘we will never stop committing adultery.'”
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4993
The lesson from this being that each person will require stages when they enter into Islam and therefore to be patient and assist them with their journey.
The talk that Br Mostahfiz gave in the main masjid was deep and emotional. He took us through the tests that Rasulullah endured all through his life. Showing us times when our blessed Prophet was overcome with grief, and the beautiful revelation of Surah Ad-Duha (chapter 93) whereby Allah (swt) tells him (translation of which is):
By the morning sunlight,
and the night when it falls still!
Your Lord ˹O Prophet˺ has not abandoned you, nor has He become hateful ˹of you˺.
And the next life is certainly far better for you than this one.
And ˹surely˺ your Lord will give so much to you that you will be pleased.
Did He not find you as an orphan then sheltered you?
Did He not find you unguided then guided you?
And did He not find you needy then satisfied your needs?
So do not oppress the orphan,
nor repulse the beggar.
And proclaim the blessings of your Lord.
There will be times in our own lives when things are going well and not so well. Important to remember Allah, trust in Allah and have the Akhira, which is the lasting life, in our focus. To keep looking forward and remember that that is the end goal. That will be our safety net.
How did our blessed Prophet find solace from his grief? By standing in prayer to his Lord.
Indeed standing in prayer in the depth of the night, is most potent for the soul. Always remember that the Lord is there for you.
Allah is Al-Hay, The Ever Living. Allah is Al-Haqq, The Truth.
"Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured."