My Watch 2
In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
To imitate is to suspend the use of the intellect, whereas the intellect was created for thinking and reasoning.
Islam is the culture of the Muslims, it is their civilization, it is their pride, it is their reference point. The precious gift of Islam is polished by the perfection and the protection of Tauheed coupled with consistency with the Sunnah of the Prophet (Pbuh).
In recent times, there has been a new trend among Muslim organizations across the globe, this trend triggers a disturbing alarm in the consciousness of some Muslims while it is overlooked by some perhaps because they have not really taking their time to ponder over it.
It is the trend of having the pictures of our great scholars or even students of knowledge printed on banners that are meant to serve as invitations for Islamic programs and events.
Before delving into the issue, it is pertinent that we go back to history in order to understand the present and to shape a better future. Abu Ja'afar ibn Jarir At-Tabari recorded from Muhammad bin Qays that he said concerning Yaghuth, Ya'uq and Nasr, "They were righteous people between the time of Adam and Nuh, and they had followers who used to adhere to their guidance. Then when they died, their companions who used to follow them said, 'if we make images of them, it will increase our desire to perform worship when we remember them." So they made images of them. Then when those people died and other people came after them, Iblis approached them and said, 'They (your predecessors) used to worship these statues and they were granted rain by their worship of them.' Thus, they (the latter people) worshipped them."
Today in almost every society there is a big banner of a lecture or an Islamic event with the faces of scholars on it like church invitations. What is happening to this Ummah that it is gradually allowing this to creep into the fabric of its Iman?
Aren't the Ummah afraid that just like the people mentioned above that put up images claiming that it will increase their desire to perform worship, the Muslims too put up faces of scholars on banners thinking that it will encourage people to honor the invitation?
Aren't the Ummah afraid that their intention might be good just as the intention of those of earlier generation but Satan schemed against them afterwards and that same fate might await its next generation?
These people innocently put up the image of pious men and it led to shirk. Now scholars on lecture banners like pastors do?
The face of a scholar on a banner is of no relevance if the audience is being invited for a discussion about Allaah and His Rasul (Pbuh). It is the message not the face.
A million dollar question is: if an invite is put up with the lecture title, date, time and venue, would people attend? If yes, then the face of a scholar forcefully inserted on it is of no relevance but a devil's deception of innocent minds.
But if the people come to these lectures only as a result of these faces inscribed on the banners then it can be said that the Muslim Ummah is in big trouble. The Ummah has to check its Ikhlas (sincerity) and fix it before the situation gets more dire and out of order.
We as Muslims must inculcate the habit of promoting the message and not the face. Allaah knows who works for Him even if he hides in his room. Allaah amplifies the voice of truth and beautifies the face of those that champion the cause of spreading the truth about Islam.
A candid advice to the Muslim organizations is for them to have a rethink over the issue.
May Allaah set right our affairs and protect our Iman.
"And you will remember what I am telling you, and my affair I leave it to Allaah. Verily, Allaah is the All-Seer of (His) slaves." Q40:44
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