Deliver the Message

Importance of the Propagation of Islam

by Sheikh Sharif Ahmad, Imam of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam Lahore (UK)

The Muslim Thinker, April/May/June 1990 Issue (Issue 3, pp. 5–9)

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الرَّسُوۡلُ بَلِّغۡ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡکَ مِنۡ رَّبِّکَ ؕ وَ اِنۡ لَّمۡ تَفۡعَلۡ فَمَا بَلَّغۡتَ رِسَالَتَہٗ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡصِمُکَ مِنَ النَّاسِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۶۷﴾

“O messenger, deliver that which has been revealed to thee from thy Lord; and if thou do it not, then thou hast not delivered His message. And Allah will protect thee from men. Surely Allah guides not the disbelieving people.” (The Holy Quran, 5:67)

This verse is a part of the chapter revealed to the Holy Prophet [Muhammad (pbuh)] in Madina between 5th to 7th year of Hijra [Islamic Era]. The Holy Prophet had been enjoined to convey to others what had been revealed to him. To lay emphasis on this issue, it had been clearly termed as non-performance of his messengership if he failed to deliver the message. It is to be borne in mind that a messenger is sent to a people when they are in utter darkness. Morally, the Arabs were sunk deep in the mud of indecency; socially they were worse them beasts; and intellectually they were stranded in the cobwebs of superstitions and uncertainties. What was worst in fact was considered by them to be the best. The task of a messenger of Allah is to lift them out of the abyss and take them to the pinnacles of a highly civilised, decent and virtuous life, and to reshape the style of their lives in the spiritual mould of his teachings and example.

Holy Prophet Muhammad protected by God:

The Holy Prophet’s clarion call sounded strange to them. Taking his opposition to be an affront to their centuries-old notions and beliefs, they rose up against him, and opposed him tooth and nail. Finding him undaunted, they felt no hesitation in removing him from their midst. Confrontation with a whole people needs a prowess of very high degree. The Holy Prophet was soon surrounded by a small but courageous band of men, women and children, prepared to lay down their lives for the cause of Islam.

A very heavy responsibility was placed on the Holy Prophet by saying: deliver that which has been revealed to you by your Lord, failing which you will be considered to have not performed your duty. The Holy Prophet was not a self-appointed prophet. He was chosen by God for this purpose and deputed to be His messenger. He was promised full protection:

وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡصِمُکَ مِنَ النَّاسِ ؕ

“And Allah will protect thee from men.” [The Holy Quran, 5:67]

It not only encouraged the Messenger of Allah, it also deepened in the hearts of his Companions the truth of the message received by him. The Holy Prophet was to deliver the message to mankind. His safety ensured the success of his mission. This promise and prophecy, though made in the 6th or 7th year of Hijra, was virtually operating from the day the Holy Prophet was charged with the heavy and onerous duty of the reformation of mankind. In spite of ruthless and stormy opposition in Makka, ever changing tactics of the opponents, their concerted efforts to eliminate the Holy Prophet immediately before his migration to Madina, the Makkans could not harm his person. After Hijra [the migration], the wars imposed on him was the final and apparently very effective plan to eliminate the Muslims and their Master. Every attempt proved futile, producing only adverse effect. From every trial the Holy Prophet and his Companions emerged victorious. Finally, the Holy Prophet’s triumphant entry into Makka was the last nail in the coffin of his opponents.

In the last words of the verse, there is yet another promise:

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۶۷﴾

“Surely Allah guides not the disbelieving people.” [The Holy Quran, 5:67]

It is also a prophecy, and its fulfilment is as obvious as the Holy Prophet’s immunity from the hands of his opponents. They always looked misguided. Their plans, schemes, machinations and tactics ended in complete failure, as if all of their schemes were engineered by misguided and perverted brains.

Muslims’ Duty of delivering Message:

Admittedly the Holy Prophet was the most successful of all the religious personalities. He not only delivered the Divine Message, but also ensured that to whomever the message was delivered fully, they understood it and were acting upon it. Not only the Holy Prophet but also his Companions were very clearly directed in the following words:

فَاسۡتَقِمۡ کَمَاۤ اُمِرۡتَ وَ مَنۡ تَابَ مَعَکَ وَ لَا تَطۡغَوۡا ؕ اِنَّہٗ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۱۲﴾

“Continue then in the right way as thou art commanded, as also (should) those who turn (to Allah) with thee. And be not inordinate (O man). Surely He is Seer of what you do.” (The Holy Quran, 11:112)

It is thus incumbent on all of the followers of Islam that they should continue to deliver the message received by them through the Holy Prophet to their contemporaries. They should consider the warning extended to them equally, that if they fail to deliver the message, they will be guilty of not performing their duties properly. If they tread the right path, make it obligatory for themselves to take the Quran to all the four corners of the earth, they will also be the recipients of the blessings and the favours promised by Allah to their Master.

Propagation of Islam in England:

We see today millions of Muslims in China. We hear the call of Allahu-Akbar [Allah is the Greatest; opening words of the call to prayer] from the minarets of hundreds of mosques in that country. The seed of Islam in China was sown by only one Companion of the Holy Prophet. Islam was a hated name in Europe. It was considered to be the creed of barbarous bedouins, backward and ignorant people. Today Islam occupies an honoured position in the hearts of those who happen to know something of this religion. Much credit for this change must go to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, the pioneer Muslim missionary to England. The love of Islam was imbued in his heart by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The Khwaja was alone in a country where the voice of Allahu-Akbar had hardly been heard. The call first looked strange. Then it became familiar, and at last a time came when men like Lord Headley, Sir Abdullah Archibald Hamilton, Sir Umar Hubert Rankin and Habibullah Lovegrove embraced Islam. Today the Muslim fraternity mentions the names of those distinguished personalities with pride and love. They also know that it was Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din who brought them in the fold of Islam. They are required to be told that Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was a disciple of Hazrat Mirza and had drunk deep at the fountain made to flow by that great Reformer [Mujaddid] of the fourteenth century Hijra. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din diverted the flow of that stream to Europe and England. His name stands imprinted in the pages of history and that of the Reformer of the century who infused in the Khwaja the love of Islam.

When Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din set foot on the soil of this country, he carried Islam in his head. There was very little literature available at that time. The Holy Quran, with English translation and commentary, was published in 1917 by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Hazrat Maulana’s second greatest work, The Religion of Islam, was published in 1936. A few pamphlets and booklets were all the Khwaja brought with him. Today we have, by the grace of Allah, literature which has virtually overwhelmed the religious world. All that is needed today is to take that literature to those of our non-Muslim friends who really stand in need of it.

The Divine order

بَلِّغۡ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ

“deliver that which has been revealed” [The Holy Quran, 5:67]

stares us in the face. To obey it, will lead to success; its disobedience is an unpardonable sin. We also know that this world will not end until the sun of Islam rises from the West. Rise it will, but ensure that its rays fall on us while we are still alive. Whoever carries the message of Islam to his fellow beings will find the hand of Allah working for him.

سَنُرِیۡہِمۡ اٰیٰتِنَا فِی الۡاٰفَاقِ

“We will soon show them Our signs in the farthest regions.” (The Holy Quran, 41:53)

It is Allah’s promise:

وَ مَنۡ اَصۡدَقُ مِنَ اللّٰہِ حَدِیۡثًا ﴿٪۸۷﴾

“And who is more true in word than Allah.” (The Holy Quran, 4:87)