Empowering tabligh: Nurturing confidence, overcoming barriers, and living Islam as Ahmadi Muslims

Mohammed Sbahuddin Rafiuddin, UK
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Overcoming barriers and spreading the message of Islam

Being followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, we consider ourselves fortunate to have such a blessed role model before us. Furthermore, as Ahmadi Muslims who have accepted the Imam Mahdi, prophesied to come in the Latter Days by the Holy Prophetsa, it is imperative, not only to express gratitude to Allah for enabling us to accept him, but to also spread the message that the Imam of the Latter Days has come.  

It is of the utmost importance that we, in all spheres of our lives, find time to do tabligh and spread the beautiful message of Islam. In my experience, there are two main reasons why some may be reluctant to engage in tabligh:

1) Limited understanding

2) Reduced self-assurance

These two reasons are not limited to tabligh alone but to other subjects too. We may, at times, find ourselves not being able to engage in a conversation due to these two reasons. 

Thus, in this article, I will deal with each of these points and provide ways, albeit briefly, to combat them so that readers can start engaging in tabligh without any fear, inferiority complex or worries associated with tabligh.

Diverse avenues of tabligh: Beyond high street stalls

When we think about tabligh, erecting stalls on the high street may come to mind. Here, I must emphasise that this is just one form of tabligh. Helping someone cross the road can also be a form of tabligh, donating blood to save other people’s lives is a form of tabligh, helping an elderly person with their luggage and shopping bags is a form of tabligh – actual tabligh is implementing the teachings of Islam as taught by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa in our daily lives and using our character to exemplify to others the beautiful teachings of Islam. As the famous hadith goes:

إِنَّمَا‭ ‬الْأَعْمَالُ‭ ‬بِالنِّيَّاتِ

 “Deeds and judges by motives.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab bad’i al-wahy, Hadith 1)

The first step one can take is to go out and speak to your neighbours about Islam and Ahmadiyyat, and speak to your friends, colleagues, and fellow students in your daily lives. Start the conversation about God by asking them: “Do you believe in God?” and then use this opportunity you have created for yourself to tell them your own beliefs and why you believe in God – share stories about how your prayers have been accepted and how Ahmadiyyat has benefited your life. Use real-life examples to prove the existence of God and the truthfulness of Islam, Ahmadiyyat.

Limited understanding and overcoming reluctance through knowledge and conviction

Nowadays, whether it be at school, college, university or work, many people are reluctant to talk about religion or their faith for fear of being judged. This stems from a deep-rooted inferiority complex and a lack of conviction in one’s belief. As Muslims, we must continue to increase our knowledge of the Holy Quran, and Hadith, study all of the books of the Promised Messiahas and pray to Allah for guidance and certainty in our faith. Only when we have absolute certainty in our faith are we able to carry out the task of tabligh to the high standards expected of us, and can we be satisfied with our efforts in spreading Islam. 

We must never be afraid to ask questions about faith and beliefs, as asking questions and learning our faith leads to certainty and conviction in our beliefs.

My personal story includes being fed up with being called a “kafir” (a disbeliever) and “dajjal” [a deceptive liar] by people in my school and university. This fueled me to spend time researching every single claim of the Promised Messiahas, studying all of his books and making notes on his writings. 

I once asked myself that if I am an Ahmadi, then I must understand why I am an Ahmadi and make an effort to understand everything about Ahmadiyyat. I spent my days, and continue to do so, in intense study of the teachings of Ahmadiyyat and also prayed to Allah.

Only when we reach a stage of absolute certainty can we effectively deliver the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat to others. 

Remember, our aim is not to convert people. Our aim is just to deliver the message and pray to Allah that He guides the person to accept Islam Ahmadiyyat.

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un-perfekt | Pixabay

Building confidence in Tabligh: Overcoming doubts through faith and practice

The second reason one may not feel comfortable doing tabligh is, as mentioned earlier, reduced self-assurance. This is also linked to the first point mentioned above. If you develop certainty in your beliefs and your faith, then you automatically have confidence in your beliefs and can preach without fear or worry. It is well known that confidence comes from practice, which ultimately leads to “perfection”. Think about it, your favourite athletes didn’t just become skilled in their professional careers overnight; they made an effort and continuous practice helped them get to where they are now. 

You must go out and do tabligh in order to gain confidence. I remember, in the beginning, when I started going out to hand out leaflets, I was called names by Muslims and non-Muslims, alike. However, I did not let it get to me. Whenever I am faced with such situations, I think about what the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa experienced in Taif. He did not retaliate; instead, he prayed for them. This humility, kindness, compassion and resilience on the path of tabligh were also demonstrated by his most devoted servant, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah. 

We must follow in the noble footsteps of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and the Promised Messiahas and spread the beautiful teachings of Islam and Ahmadiyyat in every village, town, city, and country of this earth so that when we are asked by Allah, on the Day of Judgement, about our efforts, we can answer in the affirmative and be granted His pleasure.

It is crucial to remember that one must not be disheartened by abuse or by a lack of response from others when preaching. The world we live in is a materialistic and consumerism world obsessed with money, and people have forgotten about God and religion altogether. It is our duty as followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and the Promised Messiahas to bring the world back to recognise their Creator and fulfil the rights owed to the Creator and His Creation. We can only do this effectively if we, ourselves, are practising what we preach. 

Living Islam: Becoming exemplars of Ahmadiyyat worldwide

Therefore, every one of us must be an embodiment of the true teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat and become a living role model to our wider societies. Whether you live in Africa, Asia, Europe or the Americas, you must be the change that you want to create and see in the world. 

This task is enormous, but we are a great community spread all over the world. We must ask ourselves, “Are we fulfilling our duty owed to Allah or are we just Ahmadi Muslims by name?” I will leave this question for you to ask yourselves and reflect on.

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