7. Tabligh (Conveying, proclaiming) Method of Hazrat Muhammad


ما على الرسول إلا البلاغ
The Messenger's duty is but to proclaim (al-Maeda, 5/ 99).






Tabligh is the proclaiming of the prophets the orders that they receive from Allah to men truly, without changing them.

Allah states the following in the Glorious Quran:





يَاأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ
"O Messenger! proclaim the (Message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His Mission (al-Maeda, 5/67).


In another verse, Allah orders Hazrat Prophet as follows:





ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة وجادلهم بالتي هي أحسن
Invite (all) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows, best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.


It is stated in that verse that tabligh should be done with wisdom and beautiful preaching and that they should be struggled against in the best way.







Wisdom is the divine purpose in the universe and creation; it is a short saying beneficial for ethics and reality. Wisdom is also defined as a valuable attribute arising from the merger of science and gentleness. In other words, it is the coherence in the mind, word and action. Therefore, it is essential that the words to be uttered in tabligh should be reasonable and done by the speaker.

In a verse in the Glorious Quran, the following is stated, He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing "(al-Baqara, 269 ).

What is meant here is this : O Prophet, convey the truth that is sent down to you by Allah to men in the way Allah orders you.

Doubtlessly, it is Allah who chooses and educates prophet. Allah informed them about how to do tabligh. One of those methods is to do tabligh and to call with wisdom.







We see that in the tabligh of Hazrat Prophet (PBUH), beautiful preaching and sweet talk are prevalent. There are many examples of it in his life.

One day, Hazrat Prophet (PBUH) was with his companions. Suddenly, a young man appeared and said the following immodestly:

-O the Messenger of Allah! I want to be friends with such and such woman and to have sexual intercourse with her." The companions of the Prophet got very angry. Some of them wanted to beat and to drive away that young person out of fury. Some of them started to shout because the young man had spoken immodestly. Our Prophet said;

- Leave that young man and called him to come near to him. He made the young man to sit down in such a way that the young mans knees touched his knee:

He asked: O young man, would you like someone to commit adultery with your mother? Do you think you will like it?" The young man answered:

No. O Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah said:

Then, the children of that woman would not like it, either. Then, the Messenger of Allah asked:

If somebody wanted to commit adultery with your sister, would you agree to it?" The young man said:

No, never!

Then, nobody would like it, the Prophet said. Then Hazrat Prophet put his hand on the bosom of that young man and prayed as follows:

O Allah! Make the heart of this young man pure. Maintain his virtue and honor; forgive his sins.(Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 256.)

There are a lot of examples like that in the life of the Prophet.







Allah stated the best way of striving as follows:




" And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender." (al-Ankaboot, 29/46).



Our Prophet (PBUH) had borrowed 30 dinars from a Jew for a fixed term.
One day before the term, the Jew came over to the Prophet (PBUH) and said:

- "O Muhammad, pay your debt! You, the sons of Abdulmuttalib, always delay your debt and extend the term!" Hazrat Umar said to him:

- "O Jew! I swear by Allah, if you were not in the house of the Messenger of Allah, I would blow your eye out!" Our Prophet (PBUH) said to Hazrat Umar:

- May Allah forgive you, O Umar! We expected a different behavior from you. You should have told me to pay my debt in a nice way and you should have helped him to collect his money by advising him to behave more gently when demanding his money. That gentle behavior of our Prophet (PBUH) confirmed the information that the Jew had learned about the Prophet (PBUH) in the Torah. Our Prophet (PBUH) told the Jew:

- "O Jew! My debt will be due tomorrow morning!". Then, he turned to Hazrat Umar and said:

- "O Umar! Go to the date orchard with him! If he likes, give him dates as much as I owe him and give some extra dates. When you give him, say Im giving you that amount as extra! If he does not like it, give him more from the orchard! The Jew went to the orchard and liked it. Hazrat Umar gave him the amount of the dates that our Prophet (PBUH) told him to give. He also gave him the extra amount. When the Jew took the dates, he said:

- "I witness that; there is no god but Allah! And Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!". Then he added that he saw that the Prophet had all the attributes, especially the attribute of gentleness and that he behaved like that only to understand it. Then, he said to Hazrat Umar:

- "Be a witness that I am giving away all of those dates and also some of my properties to some of the poor Muslims He and all of the people in his family except one became Muslims.

In a hadith, Hazrat Prophet said; I only proclaim the message, it is Allah who guides people to the true path.(Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, IV, 101.)









فَاصْدَعْ بِمَا تُؤْمَرُ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
So proclaim that which you are commanded, and withdraw from the idolaters " (al-Hijr, 15/ 94).


The Messenger of Allah, who was appointed as a prophet, carried out the duty of calling to Islam secretly for a while; three years later, he started to call people to Islam openly when Allah ordered him to do so.





7.5.1- Secret Tabligh


Hazrat Prophet called his wife Khadija to believe first. Our Prophet was very glad when Hazrat Khadija became a Muslim without any hesitation.

One day, Hazrat Ali saw Hazrat Prophet and his wife Khadija praying. He watched them in admiration and asked them, what is it?, when the prayer ended.

Hazrat Prophet said: "O Ali, this is the religion that Allah chose and liked. I call you to believe in Allah, who is unique, and advise you to avoid worshipping Lat and Uzza, who can neither do good to nor harm people.

In response to that offer, Hazrat Ali said:

It is something I have never seen or heard before. I cannot say anything before asking my father, Abu Talib.

However, Hazrat Prophet had not received the order of openly proclaiming his cause yet. Therefore, he warned Hazrat Ali:

O Ali! he said. If you want, do what I have told you. If not, keep what you have seen and heard a secret. Do not tell anyone anything!

Ali b. Abu Talib promised that he would keep it as a secret upon the warning. He spent that night thinking. He went before the Messenger of Allah and said, Allah did not ask Abu Talib when He created me, so why should I ask him to pray Him and he became a Muslim.

Hazrat Ali, who received the honor of becoming the first child to embrace Islam, was ten years old then.

Then Zaid b. Haritha and Hazrat Abu Bakr embraced Islam.

Hz Prophet proclaimed Islam secretly for three years after he was chosen as a prophet. In the house of Hazrat Arqam in the foot of Safa Hill, he read the Quran, performed prayers and conveyed Islam to people who came there.





7.5.2- Open Tabligh


At the end of the third year, the verse; And admonish your nearest kinsmen[ash-Shuara, 214> ordered Hazrat Prophet to do tabligh openly and start from his relatives. Upon receiving that verse, Hazrat Prophet (PBUH) told Ali; Prepare a meal with meat for one person and fill a vessel with milk. Then summon sons of Abdulmuttalib; I will talk to them.

The next morning, forty-five of his relatives including two women gathered in the house of Abu Talib. After they had a meal, Hazrat Prophet wanted to talk but due to the harsh reaction and insult of Abu Lahab, people left the house before Hazrat Prophet could convey his message.

After that abortive feast, Hazrat Prophet held a second feast and gathered his relatives through Hazrat Ali. After the meal, he stood up and started to speak as follows:

Praise is only for Allah. I praise Him. I ask only His help. I believe in Him and I trust Him. I know doubtlessly that and I inform you that there is no god but Allah. He is unique, he has no partners.

Then, he explained his purpose as follows:

A person who was sent to look for a meadow would not tell lies to his family. I swear by Allah that even if told lies to all people, I wouldnt lie to you. Even if I deceived all people, I wouldnt deceive you.
I call you to believe in Allah, who is the only god. I am His prophet sent to you and all human beings.
He added;

I swear by Allah that you will die as you fall asleep. You will be revived as you wake up from sleep and will be reckoned for your deeds. You will be rewarded for your good deeds and punished for your bad deeds. . It is either staying in Paradise or Hell continuously. You are the first people that I warn about the torture of Hell.

Later, the Prophet started to inform everybody about his religion upon the arrival of this verse; "Therefore expound openly what you are commanded, and turn away from those who join false gods with Allah." (al-Hijr, 15/94).
One day, he stepped on a high stone in Safa Hill and called out to Makkans; O Quraishis, come here and gather together, I have some important news for you!

They wondered and asked, O Muhammad! Why did you gather us here? What are you going to tell us? Hazrat Prophet said;

O Quraishis! If I told you that there were horsemen of enemies behind that mountain or in that valley and that they would attack you, would you believe in me?

They all said, Yes, we would believe in you. We have always heard the truth from you so far. You were not even accused of telling lies.

Then, Hazrat Prophet called the names of each Quraish tribe and said; Then, I inform you about a great torture to come. Allah ordered me to admonish my nearest kinsmen. I call you to say, Allah is unique; there is no god but Him. I am his slave and messenger. If you accept what I say, I will guarantee and assure you to go to Paradise. You should know very well that I cannot do you any good either in this world or in the hereafter unless you say Allah is unique; there is no god but Him.

Thus, Hazrat Prophet started to do open tabligh.





Calling Nations and Tribes to Islam


In the seventh year of hijrah, a ten-year peace treaty was signed with Quraishis. Meanwhile, Hazrat Prophet called rulers and tribe chiefs to Islam by writing them letters.

The letter sent to Abyssinian Ruler, Najashi (Negus) is as follows:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Negus Al-Ashama, the king of Abyssinia

Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Salutations, I entertain Allahs praise, there is no god but He, the Sovereign, the Holy, the Source of peace, the Giver of peace, the Guardian of faith, the Preserver of safety.

I bear witness that Jesus, the son of Mary, is the spirit of Allah and His Word which He cast into Mary, the virgin, the good, the pure, so that she conceived Jesus. Allah created him from His spirit.

I call you to Allah Alone with no associate and to His obedience and to follow me and to believe in that which came to me, for I am the Messenger of Allah.

I invite you and your men to Allah, the Glorious, the All-Mighty.

I hereby bear witness that I have communicated my message and advice. I invite you to listen and accept my advice. Peace be upon him who follows true.

The letter of Hazrat Prophet (PBUH) was read in the presence of Negus. Negus stood up from his throne and sat down on the floor with modesty and said:

- If I had the opportunity to go to him, I would definitely go. I witness by Allah that he is the Prophet that the People of the Book have been waiting for. Seeing him through eyes is not more satisfactory than this glad tiding. However, I have very few helpers from the Abyssinians. I am waiting for my helpers to increase and for their hearts warm towards Islam.

Negus wrote a letter replying the letter of the Prophet and sent it to him with many presents.





7.5.3- Gradualism in Tabligh


One of the methods that we see in the tabligh of Hazrat Prophet is gradualism. It is the most appropriate behavior for the human psychology.

The Glorious Quran was sent down in accordance with that principle too. It is one of the wisdoms that the Quran was sent down in twenty-three years. That principle is valid in the sending down the verse of alcohol; that principle is also valid in terms of the difference between the verses sent down in Madinah and those sent down in Makkah. Allah states that he will not lay on human beings a burden greater than they have strength to bear. The religion that started with Hazrat Adam evolved gradually and reached its peak with Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).

It is very difficult to change the customs and traditions of a society. One of the ways to overcome that difficulty is acting gradually. All prophets used that method.

Now, let us have a look at the samples of gradual education.

Hazrat Prophet gave Muaz the following advice when he sent Muaz to Yemen. "You are going to a tribe from the People of the Book. Call them to witness that there is no god but Allah and that I am his messenger. If they agree to it, tell them Allah orders to perform five prayers a day. If they agree to it too, tell them Allah prescribed the rich to pay zakat to the poor. If they agree to it too, do not take the best of their possessions. Beware the curse of the oppressed because there is no veil between the curse of the oppressed and Allah."(Bukhari, Zakat, Ibn Majah, Zakat.)

Here Hazrat Prophet advised Muaz b. Jabal to follow gradualism while conveying the orders of the religion.





7.5.4- Appealing to the Addressed People in Tabligh


It is one of the tabligh methods of Hazrat Prophet to treat men in accordance with their minds and levels. He forgave the crudeness of the Bedouins; he treated people in accordance with their positions. He joked with children and treated them in accordance with their levels.(Abu Dawood, Adab 23.)

Hazrat Prophet (PBUH) sometimes gave different answers to the questions asked. It was because he took into consideration the state of the person he addressed. For instance when someone asked what is the most virtuous form of worship?, he said the prayer performed in time whereas he answered another person as obeying ones parents.





7.5.5- Displaying a Gentle Attitude


One of the most important properties of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) in his tabligh was that he never assumed a harsh attitude. He never treated anybody harshly. He always treated people sweetly, softly, politely and gently. He even said that Allah did not like the people who treated their family and people around them harshly.

Regarding the issue, this message is given to our Prophet when the story of Hazrat Musa is told through the Quran: But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah) (Taha, 20/44).

The fact that Hazrat Prophet (PBUH) is reminded that people would break away from about him if he were harsh-hearted shows how delicate the duty of tabligh is (Aal-e Imran, 3/159).

Our mother, Hazrat Aisha, said that Hazrat Prophet had sent her an ill-tempered camel that was not used as a riding camel and said:

"O Aisha, treat the camel gently. If gentleness is present in something, it makes that thing ornamented. If it is absent, it makes that thing ugly."(Abu Dawood, Jihad, 1.)





7.5.6- Sending Teachers and Instructors


Hazrat Prophet (PBUH) were interested in the tribes that came to Makkah for hajj, met them and conveyed them Islam. In one of those visits, in a place called Aqabah, he met some people who had come from Madinah. When he told them about Islam, they became very interested and asked for some more information.
When those people came for hajj again the next year, they asked for a teacher who would tell them about Islam in Madinah. Upon that request, our Prophet sent Hazrat Mus'ab to Madinah.

Our Prophet also sent Muaz b. Jabal to Yemen in the ninth year of hijrah in order to teach people the Glorious Quran. Before the journey, Hazrat Prophet gave him some advice about how to do tabligh.



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