All the sayings in this chapter have a direct bearing on the effort of the da'wah movement in which Maulana Ilyas rah. was completely absorbed. The workers of this movement should study these statements keenly and carefully.
24 - On one occasion he said:
The actual object of this movement is to teach the Muslims everything which our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) brought (i.e. to make the whole Ummah acquainted with all the Islamic teachings and its practical system of implementation). This is our real object; as for our gusht (going out to meet brothers) and movement of jamaats (groups), these are the initial means, the encouragement and the teaching of the kalima and salaat which are the a,b,c's of this effort.
It is also obvious that the jamaats cannot do all the work. All that can be done is that they reach all places and through their efforts awaken the people and make the negligent aware so that they may benefit from the learned people in their locality. An effort should be made to connect the public with the ulama and pious so that they could be reformed. In every place only the local workers can fulfil this task. The public will benefit more and more from the learned people of their locality.
However, the correct method and procedure could only be learnt from those who are long in this work and have been involved in its learning and teaching so much so that they have reached a high degree of efficiency and have mastered its method reasonably.
25 - In one meeting he remarked:
Our workers must remember well that if their da'wah (invitation) is not accepted and instead they are insulted, they should not become despondent and frustrated. On such an occasion they should remember that this was the sunnat (established way) and heritage of the Ambiya (alayhis salaam), especially that of our Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Where does everyone get the good fortune of being belittled and degraded in the path of Allah?
And wherever they are welcomed and honoured, they should appreciate this and when people listen with enthusiasm to their talks it must be considered a favour from Allah and at no time should they be indifferent to these favours. It should be considered a great favour to serve and teach these people even if they may be considered to be of the lower classes. In the Quran we are reminded of this in the ayat: "He frowned and turned away, when the blind approached him for guidance"
At the same time one must keep a check on the deception of one's own nafs. The nafs should not consider this acceptance as its own perfection. This may lead to the fitnah (corruption) of hero worship. Therefore one should always be on one's guard.
26 - In one gathering he said:
All workers must be made to understand that in this path, we should not ask for calamities and hardships. The devotee should at all times request from Allah aafiyah (safety, ease and comfort). If they meet any difficulty, they should consider it to be a mercy, a compensation for their sins and a means of raising their spiritual stages. This was the special food of the Ambiyaa and the Siddiqeen (Truthful) and those near to Allah.
27 - In one meeting he said:
At the time of giving the da'wah (invitation to Allah) one's attention should be towards Allah and not the audience. On this occasion we should bear in mind that we have not come out for our own work or by our own will but by the order (decree) of Allah and for His work. The acceptance of our message is in the Controlling Power of Allah. If we bear this in mind, we shall neither get angry at the negative reaction of our audience nor shall our courage and enthusiasm diminish, nor shall we become frustrated.
28 - It is indeed a wrong concept that when others accept our invitation, we take it to be our success and if they do not, we consider it to be our failure. To have this idea is absolutely wrong in this path. The acceptance or rejection of the audience is their act. How can we be successful or unsuccessful by the responses of our audience. Our success is in fulfilling our task. If the audience do not accept our message, it is their failure. Why should their rejection be regarded as our failure? People have erred by regarding hidayat (guidance) as their responsibility whereas this is really the work of Allah. Our duty is only to make effort to the best of our ability. To give guidance was not even the responsibility of the Ambiya (Alayhimus salaam).
Of course we should take a lesson from the failure of people when they refuse to respond; that there is something lacking in our efforts and we should try to improve in the future and the same time increase our du'aas in quantity and quality.
29 - Our workers in general, wherever they go, should make efforts to visit the righteous Ulama and pious persons. The intention should only be to benefit from them and not to invite them to this work. These people are well versed and have experienced the advantages of the Deeni work they are busy with, hence you will not be able to convince them in a wholesome way that this work is of greater benefit than their other Deeni engrossments.The outcome will be that they will not accept your explanation. Once they say "NO" it will be difficult to change this "NO" to "YES". Your talk will not be heard and it is possible that you yourself will become uncertain.
Therefore meet them only to gain benefit from their auspicious company. In their locality every effort should be made to stick closely to the principles of the work. In this way it is hoped that the reports of the progress of your work will reach them and draw their attention. Thereafter, if they do pay attention, you should request them to patronise and supervise you and with due reverence and respect explain the work to them.
30 - If anywhere, we find that the learned and pious are not sympathetic to this work, then we should not entertain negative thoughts about them nor should we give a place for such thoughts in our hearts. We should think that the benefits and reality of this work have not yet filly opened upon them. We should realise that since he is a special servant of Deen, the shaytaan is a greater enemy to him than us. (Thieves only make appearances where there are treasures to be found). We should also remember when we can't give preference to Deen over our own worldly professions, then how do we expect people of Deen to give preference to this work over their own departments.
Wise men have remarked: "The veils of noor (light) are more severe than the veils of zulumaat (darkness)".
31 - One of the principles of tabligh is to be very stem in the general address and to be soft when speaking to a particular individual. In fact, as far as possible, even when re'forming a particular person, the address should be general. Our Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallarn) did the same when he came to know the wrong of a particular person. He used to address and reprimand him in general terms saying: "What has become of the people who do such and such things."
32 - It has become our habit to be pleased with talk only. We consider discussing good work as the actual performance of those deeds. Discard this habit and put words into action.
A poet says: "Do some concrete work and leave all vain talk. In this path, it is action that makes a man worthy of his salt".
33 - Time is a moving railway engine. Hours, minutes and seconds are its coaches and our occupations are the passengers sitting in them. Our inferior materialistic occupations have gained such control of the railway engines and coaches of our lives that: they are preventing the nobler occupations of the hereafter from approaching. The object of our work is, with a firm determination, to practise nobler and sublime occupations which please Allah and make our aakhirah, instead of practising inferior worldly tasks.
34 - At the end of every good act that Allah gives us the opportunity to do, we should always seek forgiveness. It is necessary that all our work should terminate with Istighfaar (seeking Allah's forgiveness). We should understand that short-comings in the execution of our work are certain. For these shortcomings, we should seek Allah's pardon. Rasullulah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallarn) used to seek forgiveness after every salaah.
Therefore, in our work of Tabligh too, we should always seek forgiveness at the end. The servant of Allah can never fully and completely fulfil his duty towards Allah. Moreover, being busy in one kind of work contributes towards the suspension of other activities. For the compensation of such shortcomings we should terminate all our good actions with Istighfaar.
35 - One day after fajr, those taking part in this work had gathered in great numbers at the Masjid in Nizaamuddin. Maulana was so weak that even while lying on his bed, he found it difficult to utter even a few words aloud. With great concern, he called for one of his special attendants to convey this advice to the gathering:
All your moving to and fro (for da'wah) and struggle will become useless if you people do not continue learning and making zikr with constancy. It is as though ilm (knowledge) and zikr (remembering Allah) are two wings without which one cannot soar through the atmosphere.
On the other hand there is this great danger and dread that if we are going to be neglectful of these two things, then all this effort will cause a new door of misguidance and mischief to open. If there is no knowledge of Deen, then Imaan and Islam will exist ritually and in name only. Knowledge without zikr is darkness (an evil) and zikr without knowledge is also dangerous. Through zikr, noor (divine light) is created in knowledge and without knowledge the real fruit (benefit) and blessing of zikr cannot be achieved.
At times the ignorant soofi (spiritual mentor or disciple) becomes an instrument of shaytaan. Therefore the importance of ilm and zikr should not be forgotten in this movement but should be given special attention otherwise this Tabligh movement will become a vagabondage in image and Allah forbid, you will be at a great loss.
(Hazrat Maulana's object in this advice was that those striving in this path of da'wat and tabligh should not consider the struggles. Travels, sacrifices and services as the real object and purpose as has become the general trend nowadays, but the acquisition of sound knowledge and the habit of constant zikr should be regarded as a most important issue of a compulsory nature. In other words the workers should not only become merely soldiers of Deen and propagation but also become students of Deen and such servants who remember Allah constantly).