Dawah reflections from Surah As-Saff


 All Praises are due to the One who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the way of truth such that it will prevail over every other way of life, and enough is He as a Witness. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon all His Prophets and Messengers, their families, companions, and those who follow them until the Last Day

The idea of this article came up last Saturday, as I was preparing for tajweed class at Islamic Online University. The assignment was Surah Saff. With the little Arabic that we are learning, and by stuttering my way through the makhaarij and the sifat of the letters, I found some gems which I thought I would share. This though is only a reflection from a dawah point of view, as a brother told me a few days back “The best book on dawah is available in the market, and it is called the Quran. We should learn it, and live it and learn how to preach from it.”


1. Everything in the Heavens and the Earth glorifies Allah and He is the Almighty the Wise

Allah, starts off this surah as he does many others by His Glorification, reminding us that He is far from any sort of imperfection. As daees for Allah, knowing that we have a Lord free of defects and whose tasbih everything in the Heavens and the Earth is doing is the first motivation to invite to Allah. If we were to find something that is amazing, would we not want others to have it? If we know that nothing is perfect except Allah, would you not want people to know about Allah? And Allah finishes the ayah saying “He is the Almighty the Wise.” He knows we have fear, so He reminds us that He is the Almighty, and that none can do anything to us if He were to prevent it. Then He mentions that He is the Wise, so that we know that whatever does befall us in our path to His pleasure, it is in His Infinite Wisdom and for our own benefit

2. O you who believe, why do you say things and then do not do them. 3. Most hateful to Allah is that you say things and do not do them

Allah starts with a stern warning, that we should not say things we do not do. Mufti Muhammad Shafii commenting on it says that if someone makes a claim that they will do something and not do it, then it is a MAJOR sin upon them. We say everyday in our prayers that only Allah we worship, how much do we live our lives in worshipping Allah? Among the greatest acts of worship is dawah, the only act of worship which the Messenger of Allah did from the first day of Prophethood to the last without stop, and we neglect it thinking there’s “more important” stuff to do?

4. Allah loves those fight in solid lines for His cause, like a well compacted building

Allah mentions the most beloved of acts of worship to Him, which is jihad for His sake. However, to deter us from shouting around too much about it, He mentions the ayah before it, so that we don’t just keep talking about it and lose focus

5. Musa said to his people, “O my people why do you hurt me when you know I am sent to you by Allah? When they went astray, Allah left their hearts astray. And Allah does not guide the rebellious.

Ibn Kathir mentions that Allah mentions this story of Musa alayhi salam as a consolation to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. We must also take consolation from this story. Complain as we may that people hurt us, we must look at one of the greatest Prophets of Allah, who was also hurt by his very people. And Allah also takes the blame off us if they do not take our word for it and go astray. For if they are rebelling, then Allah will not guide them. So, do not give up dawah just because people may not take it from you today or hurt you, that is the Sunnah of all the Prophets of Allah. Do you not want to do the job of a Prophet and get the rewards as well?

6. And when Isa, the son of Mary said, “Children of Israel, I am sent to you by Allah, confirming the Torah before me and bringing good news of a Messeger after me named Ahmad. Yet when he came to them with clear signs they said “This is clear magic.” 7. Who could be more wrong than one who invents lies against Allah, when called to submit to Him? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoers

Allah gives yes another example, this time of Isa alayhi salam. What is interesting between this and us who try to give dawah to our families who are already Muslim is this- Isa alayhi salam did not bring a new law. He was simply confirming the Torah before him,  to people who already believed in it. Those in dawah to Muslims are actually bringing nothing but the Quran to the people, confirming it, and giving them the good news of paradise if they follow it. Yet we see that people turn away from us and we get frustrated. Ponder over the life of Isa. Can we show to our people the miracles shown by Isa? He brought the dead back to life, created bird out of clay, made the blind see and so on. Yet his people called him a magician, and they invented lies against this noble Messenger of God when invited to submit even though they were “believers”. The ending of the passage shows that it is because they love wrongdoing that they invent lies, they give the callers to Islam bad names, and ridicule them when asked to submit to Allah. And Allah consoles us saying this pure message is not for wrongdoers. Allah then gives us, what to me is the ultimate promise of victory. He mentions,

8. They wish to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah wills to complete His Light even though the disbelievers hate it. 9. He it is who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the way of truth such that it may prevail over every other way of life even though the idolators hate it.

While Allah gives us examples as to what they will do and how they will use their mouths to put out the light of Allah, Allah guarantees  that His light will be perfected and His deen will prevail. As mentioned in the beginning, He is far from imperfection, and His words are therefore perfect and true, and He is Almighty so He can do it in a flash, and He is the Wise and will do it when He wills to. The question is though, are we up for it? Do we want to be the ones who complete the light of Allah and establish His deen? Allah has mentioned the names of Prophets in the surah, do we not want to follow in their footsteps? Would we not , love to come and say on the Day of Judgement, “O Allah I gave dawah as the Prophet Musa did, as the Prophet Isa did, and I faced difficulties as they did but I followed them in patience as well.” How do we do it, Allah answers it as well.

Allah has promised victory for his way of life over every other way, and He has promised to make His light flourish even though there will be ardent effort to bring it down. However, Allah then gives those who believe, an offer. The Master of the Universe has left an open contract for His slaves, and whoever wants can sign it. Allah mentions,

10. “You who believe, shall I show you a bargain that will save you from a painful punishment?”

Imagine the tandoori kabab over that some stores keep out in the oven. The chicken going round and round and getting fried up. Would you ever want to be in that? The painful punishment of the hereafter is such that it is over 70 times that of the tandoori kabab (a type of chicken) and is everlasting. Will you not rush to fulfill this trade? Surely any contract to be saved from this is a bargain is it not? What is it?

11. “Have faith in Allah, and His Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and struggle for His cause with your wealth and your own selves- that is better for you if you only knew.”

Firstly, believe in Allah and His Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) Believe that yes what He is saying is true, the victory of Islam is true, the painful punishment of the hereafter is true, and that whatever Allah says hereforth is truth, and whatever comes on the tongue of His Messenger is truth. And what is belief in Allah and His Messenger, “struggle for His cause with your wealth and your own selves.” If you truly believe that this deen of Allah will prevail, if you believe in the Prophets mentioned, Musa, Isa and Muhammad alayhimus salatu wassalam, then what is stopping you from struggling in his cause? Do whatever you can for the sake of Allah. Allah mentions wealth first, as maybe for everyone it is not possible to do bodily dawah or jihad. How much do we spend on ourselves and how much do we help others in dawah? We might complain of a lack of dawah organizations and what not? Can’t we all decide to make up the money to print 500 leaflets about Islam and then distribute it among the people? Do you not believe in Allah and His Messenger? Indeed the amount of struggle we make for the sake of Allah is what shows us truly how much faith we really have in our heart. If a husband loves his wife and never shows affection to her, what love is this? If we truly believe in Allah and never help the cause of Allah what belief is this? Is it not time we stop complaining and start working? Is it not time we do at least the little. If Musa and Isa could take the ridicule and mockery of the people who on earth are we to say “amar public image noshto hoye jabe” (my public image will be ruined), who are we to say “I don’t want to be mocked at”, “no one listens to me” and so on. Indeed most of us do not know, and that Is why Allah has to tell us that this is better for us “if you only knew.”

12. and He will forgive you your sins, admit you into gardens filled will flowing streams, with pleasant dwellings in the Gardens of Eternity. That is the supreme success

Allah gives us further encouragement. How many are the sins we commit by the day and by the night? How many are our misdeeds which we are answerable to Allah? We often ask how do we get them forgiven, don’t we? Allah says that if you struggle in His cause, your sins will be forgiven. That in and of itself would have been enough, and yet Allah mentions more, He gives the glad tidings of those who struggle in His path gardens in the Garden of Eternity. Why do we stay away from struggling in the way of Allah? So that we are not “bothered” and our “lives will be better” is it not? It’s probably “too hard” or “too much of an ask”. Subhan Allah, yet how much do we really get peace out of? The dunya is meant to hurt, and hence Allah asks us to struggle in His way so that we may reach the gardens of eternity. That is indeed what Allah calls “supreme success”. It all links back to “Have faith in Allah and His Messenger.” If we are not struggling for Him, e! ven after “supreme success” is mentioned, then do we actually “have faith” in the supreme success? Ponder over this brothers and sisters. Ponder

13.And He will give you other things that will please you, His help and an imminent breakthrough. Give the faithful the good news

Look at the mercy of Allah, ya ikhwan! Not only aakhirah, but even in the dunya Allah is promising us things we love, His help! How many of us want Allah to help us here, there and everywhere? Help is near, and an imminent breakthrough as well, have faith and struggle for it. And hence Allah gives good news to “the faithful”. Depending on the level of our faith will be the level of our struggle and the level of our struggle will bring our the level of help and breakthrough from Allah, we just need to believe and work for it!

14. You who believe, be the Helpers of Allah, as Jesus son of Mary said to the disciples, “Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah?” The disciples said “We will be the helpers of Allah.” Some of the children of Israel believed and some disbelieved. We supported the believers against their enemy and they came out on top

Another sublime example from Rabb ul Aalameen. We all know that the disciples of Isa alayhi salam were few, and yet when the call was made to be helpers of Allah, they readily obeyed. To us, no human is calling, it is not Musa or Isa, not even our Beloved Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam, but Allah Himself calling us to be His Helpers, will we still not respond? Do we not “have faith” in Allah, that He will help us? He therefore gives the example that the believers will come out on top. He doesn’t make us have blind faith, He gives us the perfect example, of a very few people who obeyed the Messenger in their times and Allah made them successful. Will we not stand up? Not everyone will take our message, but how much more promises does Allah have to make to make us work? How much more do we need to stand up for Allah, start with the dawah in sha Allah, the rest will follow. Run to the door, Allah will open it for you.

Article submitted by Raiiq Ridwan


One response to “Dawah reflections from Surah As-Saff”

  1. Thank you so much your explanation helped because I am facing this too I lived in a joint family have no room of my own and I have been recently graduated but have no job I looked with envy to those who are getting proposal and very off in a well settled family I look young than my age may be but thank you so much for explaining it did help I was on verge of suicide