Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) from amongst themselves (being human, people can easily benefit from his distinguished qualities), reciting unto them His verses (by means of these Qur'anic verses, inviting them and advising them) and purifying them (of sins and correcting their conduct) and teaches them the Book (Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah (his Sunnah), before which they were in manifest error. [Ale-'Imran 3:164]
In the context of the above verse, Sheikh Sayyad Sulaiman Nadavi Rahmatullahi 'alaihi writes (in the preface of a book about Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas Rahmatullahi 'alaihi and his religious movement) that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam was given the following Divine obligations of prophethood: Invite towards Allah by reciting the verses of the Qur'an, to purify /people's undesirable traits, and to teach them the Book and Wisdom (Sunnah).
It has been substantiated by the Qur'an and Ahadith-e-Sahiha (confirmed traditions) that the Ummah (followers) of the Last of the Prophets, Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam, was Divinely deputed for the guidance of all peoples (nations) of the world. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says: ...
(O Muslims) You are the best of the peoples, you have been sent towards mankind, to enjoin good and forbid evil. [Ale-'Imran 3:110]
This verse clearly implies that the Muslim Ummah is the deputy to the Prophet, in his ordained obligations of inviting towards righteousness, enjoining good, and forbidding evil. Hence, the obligations entrusted to Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam - invitation through recitation of the Qur'an, purifying people of undesirable qualities, and teaching the Book and Wisdom - became the prime responsibilities of Muslim Ummah as well.
Therefore, Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam taught his Ummah to spend their life and wealth in inviting towards Allah, learning and teaching Divine knowledge, Remembering and Worshipping Allah. The Sahabah gave preference to the above deeds over all worldly preoccupations. They were trained to practice these A'mal (actions) under all circumstances with complete dedication, patience, and forbearance withstanding all forms of difficulties and hardships. And they were taught to benefit others by sacrificing physically and materially.
In compliance with the command: ...
And strive hard in Allah's cause, as you ought to strive [Al-Hajj 22:78]
The Sahabah strove in the manner of prophets with piety, austerity, discipline, self-sacrifice, and giving preference to others. Thus, an environment was created in which emerged models of excellence, who became the elite of the Ummah. The era in which the deeds of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam were collectively practiced by the Ummah was declared to be the Khair-ul-Qurun, (the best of all the times, or the best period of the Ummah).
Then in successive periods, the religious elite of the Ummah spent their full effort and energy in fulfilling these Prophetic obligations. The luminance of these self-sacrificing efforts is still illuminating the world of Islam.
In these times, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala placed in the heart of Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas Rahmatullahi 'alaihi a restlessness and anxiety over the erosion in Islam and a burning desire to correct this state of Ummah. In the view of the religious elite of his times he was unique in this respect. He used to remain restless and concerned for the revival of all what was revealed to Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala in the whole world. He advocated, with resolute determination, that any effort for the revival of Deen can only be effective and acceptable when it's done in the manner of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam.
Therefore, such Da'i (one who invites towards Islam) need to be developed, whose desires should be consistent in knowledge, action, thought, perception, passion, compassion, and the manner of invitation to Islam - with the aspirations of prophets, particularly Muhammad Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam. Not only should they posses a strong
Iman and virtuous deeds, but their inner inspirations should be like those of prophets. They should cherish a fervent love of Allah and His fear, and a state of intimacy with Him.
In character and habits, they should adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam. Their love or hatred should be for the: sake of Allah. The motivating factor behind their inviting to Islam should be a deep compassion and mercy for Muslims, and kindness for all the creation of Allah. The oft-repeated Devine principle for prophets. "Our reward is solely with Allah," should be their hallmark. They should have no other objective except the pleasure of Allah.
They should have such a passionate desire for the revival of Deen in the world that it keeps driving them, away of their routines, in the path of Allah; while their lives and wealth becoming mere instruments in attaining this objective. There should be no notion of personal authority, status, wealth, property, honour and fame; not even a desire for personal rest and comfort. Whether sitting, standing, speaking, or walking; every act or move should be geared in this direction. To revive the ways of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam in this effort and bring all facets of life according to the commandments of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala and the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam, and to equip those struggling in this path with the above, mentioned qualities the Six Points (of Tabligh) were prescribed. All the contemporary scholars and religious elite supported and commended these six qualities.
Sheikh Yusuf Rahmatullahi 'alaihi, son of Sheikh Ilyas Rahmatullahi 'alaihi, dedicated his whole life striving relentlessly with a directed zeal to promote the work in this direction and raise a group of workers equipped with these qualities. These qualities have been derived from reputable books of Ahadith, biography, and history, he compiled a three- volume book, Hayat-us-Sahabah (The Lives of the companions of the Prophet), which gives a representative glimpse of the life of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam and his companions. By the grace of Allah, this book was published during his lifetime.................................
By Maulana Saad Kandhalvi Madarsa Kadhiful Uloom Nizamuddin Delhi as introduction of Muntakhab Ahadith