Last Saturday (24th of June), we had the opportunity to listen to a lecture from a da’i from Indonesia. Ustad Dwi Condro gave a short lecture as a warming up for Ramadhan (the month of fasting for Muslims) at Kyoto Muslim Association’s As-salam prayer hall. Around 30 brothers and 20 sisters from all over Kansai attended the lecture. Some came from Osaka, Nara, and of course from Kyoto.
The lecture began right after lunch (around 13.00), where ustad Dwi Condro opened with a slide showing a question that many Muslims need to think upon, “with our limited life span, how do we get good deeds as much as possible, which will not be cut off even when we die?”
He said that the answer could be seen in surah Yasin ayah number 12. God tells us:
“Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them), and their traces and all other good and evil they did, and that which they leave behind, and all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book.”
The key in the ayah is the word “traces”. Other people can continue the traces of goodness that we do, and we receive the rewards of those good deeds. For example, if we teach beneficial knowledge to people, and the people use that knowledge, even after we die, we will receive the rewards as long as the people continue to benefit from the knowledge that we taught them. It goes the same with sins.
The Prophet PBUH said, “Whosoever calls (others) to guidance will have a reward like the rewards of those who follow him, without that detracting from their rewards in the slightest. And whosoever calls (others) to misguidance will bear a burden of sin like the sins of those who follow him, without that detracting from their sins in the slightest.”
Calling guidance doesn’t have to be by giving lectures on Islam. Simple things that are taught by the Prophet PBUH can also be a form of guidance for other people. So imagine the rewards that our predecessors have, the ones that taught Islam and guidance to us. Take a look at the great companions, the great Imams of Islamic law, and finally the Prophet PBUH. They all get our rewards when we follow them.
However, no matter how great those people were, they were human beings like us. And thus, we also have the opportunity to become great like them. We can also teach and call people towards guidance. But how can we do this? In the Quran, Allah SWT tells us that the companions were the best generation that was raised. Their key characteristic was that they called towards good and forbid the bad (amar ma'ruf nahi munkar), while having firm belief in God. So in order to reach their status, we should also do the same.
The greatest act of “amar ma'ruf nahi munkar” is to conduct it to corrupt leaders. The leader’s actions will affect the people below him. If the leader upholds rules that are contradictory towards the religion, the people will also be in sin. This is especially true in many countries in which the majority of the populations are Muslims.
One simple example is usury / interest (riba). It is clearly mentioned in the Quran and hadith that it is forbidden at any cost, that the ones who commit it will receive severe punishment. The Prophet said that one of signs of the final day is when most of his followers will be involved in usury, those who do not get involved will be affected by its dust. One dirham taken from usury is equal to the sin of committing adultery 36 times. In usury there are 99 doors of sins. The proof is already shown, where we have a global economy collapse.
In Indonesia, the key to forbid usury is in the policy makers / leaders. If the leaders can be firm to make regulations to ban usury, then the people, whether willingly or not will have to follow. So if we can do amar ma'ruf nahi munkar to the leaders successfully, we might help all of the people. The Prophet PBUH said that the best shuhada (martyr) is his uncle, Hamza RA, and the people who come to an unjust ruler to give advice to him, and is killed because of it.
There are only two choices: Do amar ma'ruf nahi munkar, or get punishment from God and get our prayers rejected by Him. So we should at least make firm intention to do it, because even only by intention we get rewards.
Finally, Ustad Dwi Condro concluded that if the rulers have agreed to conduct shariah law, we should all come to an agreement that the country formed shall be called a Khilafah.