(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed
Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on June 19, 1998)
Many of us wonder today: What is our role as Muslims in
this non-Islamic society? Asking this question is a good thing in itself because it indicates the beginning of the awareness
in the mind of the Muslims, after a long absence.
This is an important and a dangerous question because it
searches for an answer for a fundamental and a vital issue in our lives; if the correct answer is not found, then we will
end up with the wrong one which may threaten our future and the future of Islam in America.
There is a good chance that the wrong answer will be found
because of many factors:
- The ignorance of many Muslims in the reality of Islam and
its role in saving humanity.
- The lack of awareness of the reality of this age,
the status of the Muslim Ummah, the events that occur on the world level, the conspiracies of the enemies to put down
and destroy Islam and end its role in the world or give it a marginal role by redefining Islam with a new fake definition.
- The defeated mentality is dominant among many Muslims today.
This came as a result of defeat and the absolute astonishment at what the non-Muslims have as civilization, technologies,
and even culture.
- The vain desires, the love of this worldly life and the
hatred of death, by undervaluing the hereafter, influenced the minds and personality of many Muslims.
- The many misguiding and forced solutions presented to Muslims
by their enemies who work very hard in a deceiving manner to tell us what is our role today in this society. These enemies
forced the wrong and false answers onto us deceivingly in many ways. They also removed the correct original answers and attacked
it by describing it and the people who believe and carry this answer with the worst descriptions. This is so that the Muslim
will get away from them and hate the correct answer instead of adopting it and working to establish it. Allah (S.W.T.) says
in Surat Al-Anfal, (Verse 30), what can be translated as, "They were plotting and Allah too was planning, and Allah
is the Best of the planners."
- What makes things more complicated and the vision more erroneous
is that some loyal sincere Muslims fell into the trap that the enemies of Islam have set up and skillfully designed. These
sincere Muslims with their followers and those whom they influence took the wrong way that was defined for them. These Muslims
became the fuel and the workers in a conspiracy that they did not plan and will not benefit from either in the short term
or the long term. Furthermore, if someone pointed out their mistakes, that they are adopting, they would find justification
for the errors in the religious texts that justifies their position. This is done without deep investigation and verification
until we become like the prophet (S.A.W.) said in a trial that makes the intellectuals confused.
What is our role in this age and in this society as Muslims?
To answer this question, first of all, we do not need to
devise a new role. This is because our role had already been defined to us by Allah (S.W.T.) a long time ago. Many great messengers
played that role, and achieved many reforms and saved the humanity throughout the course of history.
All we need today is to rediscover and explore this role
and know its characteristics by removing the ruins and debris away from it until we can clear its beautiful picture, and then
to adopt it and behave according to it. If we do that, then we will save ourselves and the entire humanity with the help of
Allah (S.W.T.) like the messengers do.
All of us know and believe that Allah (S.W.T.) the One who
created the creations did not leave people without guidance; on the contrary, he devised to all humanity a complete and comprehensive
system of life. Which was carried by the messengers from one generation to the next. This
role of the messengers had never changed or altered with
the differences of age or place that they were sent in from Noah until the prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.); the seal of all prophets
Today, Muslims are in fact the followers and true inheritors
of those messengers and are the extension of truthfulness. Allah (S.W.T.) has sealed the messages and the messengers with
the prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) and made their role to be played by the messengers' heirs who are the Muslims till the Day of
This role has not changed with time nor has it changed
with place; its phases, goals and ends have remained unchanged. What have changed are its means and tools that may differ
according to time and place.
Now, I will present the role of the messengers and their
tasks so that we know our role in this life.
First, is conveying the message in the clearest
The messengers are the ambassadors of Allah (S.W.T.)
to his servants and the carriers of his revelations. Their first task is to deliver and convey this trust, which they carried
to the servants of Allah. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Al-Ma’idah, (Verse 67), what can be translated as, "O’
Messenger (Mohammed)! Proclaim (the message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have
not conveyed His Message."
Conveying the message needs courage and not to fear the people.
This is needed because the person will deliver to them what is completely different and conflicts with their Aqeedah,
their status, and desires that they have lived with for a long time. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Al-Ahzab, (Verse
39), what can be translated as, "Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none except Allah…"
Conveying the message should be done by reciting the
verses that Allah (S.W.T.) has revealed no more or less. Allah (S.W.T.) says, commanding the Prophet Mohammed, in Surat
Al-Ankabut, (Verse 45), what can be translated as, "Recite (O Mohammed) what has been revealed
to you of the Book (the Qur’an)…" Allah
also says in another verse, (151),
Surat Al-Baqarah, what can be translated
as, "Similarly We have sent among you a Messenger (Mohammed) of your own, reciting to you Our
Verses the (Qur’an)…" So, if the revelation
is not a divine text that is to be recited meaning the Prophet’s tradition (Sunnah), then conveying the message
is by clarifying the commands and the prohibitions and the meanings and the knowledge that Allah (S.W.T.) had revealed no
more no less.
From conveying the message the messenger should clarify and
explain clearly the meaning and goals of the revelation that Allah had sent down to his servants. This is because he, the
messenger, knows better than anyone else about what Allah (S.W.T.) means from his revelation.
In this context, Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat An-Nahil,
(Verse 44), what can be translated as, "… And We have also sent down unto you (O’ Mohammed) the reminder and the
advice (the Qur’an) that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them…" The prophet (S.A.W.) may clarify
the meaning of the revelation by his saying, doing, or consent. From here came the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.)
to clarify many Qur'anic verses.
If it happens that the people turned away from the
messengers' call, the messengers can not do anything except to convey the message. Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-‘Imran,
(Verse 20), what can be translated as, "…But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message…" Allah
also says to the people in surat Al-ma’idah, (Verse 92), what can be translated as "...Then if you (people) turn
away, you should know that it is Our Messenger’s duty to convey (the message) in the clearest way.", and in another
verse, He (S.W.T.) also says to his Prophet Mohammed in Surat As-Shura, (Verse 48), what can be translated as, "But
if they turn away (O Mohammed)…We have not sent you as a hafiz (protector) over them. Your duty is to convey
So the first task and role of the great messengers is conveying
the message in the clearest way to the people. And this is our first task in our role today and it should not be changed or
Next week with the help of Allah we will learn more about
our tasks so that we will better know our true role as Muslims today.