Hope you are spending this beautiful Sunday morning with your family and your loved ones. Alhamdulillah, today is already the 8th day of Ramadhan. Congratulations to everyone for making it pass the week. We pray that Allah [s.w.t.] gives us strength to continue making the best of the remaining month, Amin.
In the book written by Jalal ad-din al-Suyuti, "Tarikh al-Khulafa'" (The History of the Caliphs), it was recorded that Qadi Shurayh narrated: "When Ali was setting out for Siffin, he found that he was missing his coat of armour. When the war was over and he returned to Kufah, he saw the coat in the hands of a Jew. He said to the Jew "This armour is mine. I have not sold it or given it away" but the Jew replied "It is my armour and it is in my hands. Let us go to the Judge!"
In court, Caliph Sayyidina 'Ali [k.w.] sat with the other common litigants and gave his case "This armour which this Jew has, is my armour and I did not sell it nor give it away." Qadi Shurayh asked the Jew and he insisted "This is my armour and it is in my possession." Shurayh asked: "Do you have any evidence Amir-ul-Mu'mineen?" and Ali replied "Yes, Qanbar and my son, Hasan, will witness that the armour is mine" but the Qadi ruled that a son's evidence is not admissible in court for fear of possible bias and gave judgement in favor of the Jewish man. When the Jew saw the unparalelled equality in Islam, he declared: "The Amir-ul-Mu'mineen brought me before his Qadi and the Qadi judged against him. I witness that this is the truth, and I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger." SubhanAllah!
Allah [s.w.t.] says in the Qur'an: "Let there be a group among you who will invite others to do good deeds, command them to obey the Law, and prohibit them from committing sins. These people will have eternal happiness." ['ali-'Imran 3:104]. That is the da'wah of Sayyidina 'Ali [k.w.]: through a deep sense of equal justice and humility of his character, he managed to convince others of the beauty of Islam.
At times, our concept of da'wah is dubious, at best. Mostly, I observed, young Muslims tend to debate about the Faith with others and argue about who is right or wrong. Personally, I suspect that our community loves instant gratification, an inferiority sense of entitlement and does not engage in strategic long-term planning. You can see through campaigns such as the Hijab Movement or the Wear White Movement last week - both of which fell short of their desired outcomes. I am not discussing the merits/demerits of these campaigns, but clearly, the methodology and execution failed miserably. Either way, the campaign only made wearing hijabs more challenging and caused an increased awareness and record number attendees to the Pink Dot event.
Winning a debate about God will not move someone's heart into accepting God. Enjoining good and forbidding evil does not mean you demand from others what you want for yourself, while at the same time denounce, adjudge or castigate someone else's life choices.
Inviting others to the path is, first and foremost, a state of being: we need to be the person whom we invite others to be. We need to exemplify and manifest our Faith through how we act, how we speak, how we think and how we feel because at every moment, we represent Allah [s.w.t.] as His khalifah on His earth.
That was the way as shown by Sayyidina Ali [k.w.]. That is how I hoped you will be inspired, insyaAllah.