Narratives and lives of the Prophet and Sahabah in the fields of Da'wah effective utilization by Tablighi Jamaat

Article 3
The status of the narratives and lives of the Prophet S.A.W. and Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu in the fields of Da'wah and reforming the religious consciousness of people and its effective utilization by Tablighi Jamaat Effort.

Sheikh ABUL HASAN ALI NADVI Rahimullah

(Source: Translation of Foreword to Hayatus Sahaba Arabic Edition)

All praises belong to Allaah Subhanahu Taala the Rabb of the universe. May the special mercies of Allaah Subhanahu Taala and peace be on our master Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam who is the seal of all Ambiyaa (prophets). May Allah Subhanahu Taala have mercy and peace be on his family, all his companions Raziallahu An and all those coming until the Day of Qiyaamah who follow him dutifully.
Life of Prophet (S.A.W.) & his Companion is source for Strenth of Imaan and love for deen……..
Without a doubt, the lifestyle and history of Rasulullaah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and his companions Raziallahu Anhu are among the most powerful sources providing strength of Imaan and love for the Deen. The Ummah and the call towards Deen has always been drawing sparks of Imaan from these sources and it is by this that the embers of their hearts have been kept burning. However, these embers are being quickly extinguished in the gale force winds of worldly love. Once they are extinguished, this Ummah will lose its might, its identity and its influence over others. It will .then become a mere corpse which life will carry along on its shoulders.
The Companion the accepter and testifier of truth………….
The biographies of the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu contain the history of men who accepted the invitation of Islaam when it was presented to them. Their hearts testified to its truth and all they said when they were called towards Allaah Subhanahu Taala and His Rasool Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was, "Our Rabb, we have certainly heard the caller (Rasulullaah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) calling to Imaan (saying), 'Believe in your Rabbi' so we believed" They placed their hands in the hands of Rasulullaah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and it became easy for them to sacrifice their lives, their wealth and their families. They then began to find pleasure in the difficulties and hardships that afflicted them in the course of calling others towards Allaah. In this manner, conviction permeated their hearts and gained mastery over their bodies and their minds. They displayed the wonderful belief in the unseen, undying love for Allaah Subhanahu Taala and Rasulullaah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam compassion for the Mu'mineen and sternness towards the Kuffaar. They preferred the Aakhirah to this world, credit (the rewards of the Aakhirah) to cash (the rewards of this world), the unseen to the seen and guidance to ignorance.
Their eagerness sacrifice and courage for inviting to Allah message the Islam…
They were eager to invite people towards Islaam, thus removing the creation from their slavery to the creation and taking them towards the servitude of Allaah Subhanahu Taala alone. They removed people from the injustice of other religions, transporting them to the justice of Islaam. They displayed no concern for the attractions and vanities of this world and aspired to meet Allaah Subhanahu Taala and enter Jannah. They also exhibited outstanding courage and farsightedness in spreading the gift of Islaam and delivering it to the world without any cost. For this purpose, they spread themselves throughout the far corners of the world, sparing no efforts to reach as far as they could. In doing this, they forgot their personal pleasures, forsook their luxuries, left their homes and selflessly spent their lives and wealth.
The foundation of deen established………….
They continued in this manner until the foundations of Deen were established, hearts turned to Allaah Subhanahu Taala and the blessed and pleasant winds of Imaan blew strongly. An empire of Towheed, Imaan, Ibaadah and Taqwa was established. Jannah found a ready attraction in people, guidance spread throughout the world and people entered the fold of Islaam in droves. The books of history are full of their stories and the chronicles of Islaam record their accounts. This has always remained a source of revival and rejuvenation in the lives of Muslims. It is because of these accounts that the concern of callers to Islaam and reformers have intensified. These narratives have always assisted in reviving the courage of Muslims and in rekindling the embers of Imaan in their hearts and their allegiance to the Deen.
However There came a timeWhen Muslims ……………….
However, there came a time when the Muslims grew unmindful of this history and forgot all about it. Muslims writers, lecturers and preachers then turned to narratives depicting latter-day ascetics and saints. Books and compendiums overflowed with stories about them and their miracles. People became obsessed with these narratives and they occupied pride of place in lectures, academic lessons and books.
Coming back to basics in Our Time………………..
As far as we know, the first person in our times who grew conscious of the status of the narratives and lives of the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu in the fields of Da'wah and reforming the religious consciousness of people was the famous preacher and great reformer Hadhrat Sheikh Muhammad Ilyaas Kandhelwi Rahimullah (passed away in 1363 A.H/1944 A.D). He recognised the value of this treasure of reformation that lay buried between the pages of books and realised the value of its effect on the hearts of people. He busily engaged himself in studying these accounts, teaching them, narrating them and discussing them. I have personally seen him display tremendous interest in the biographies of Rasulullaah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu by discussing them with his students and friends. These used to be recited to him every night and he would listen to them with great attention and insatiability. He desired that they be relived, circulated and discussed. His nephew the great Muhaddith Hadhrat Sheikh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi Rahimullah (author of "Awjazul Masaalik ilaa Mu'aata Imaam Maalik') has written a book in Urdu about the stories of the Sahabah ' (titled "Hikaayaatus Sahabah). Hadhrat Sheikh Muhammad Ilyaas was overjoyed with this book and instructed those engaged in Da'wah and travelling in the path of Allaah Subhanahu Taala to study and teach this book. Consequently, this book became one of the most important prescribed books for preachers and others and enjoyed wide acceptance.
Deep intrest in Biography of Rasulullah and Sahaba
Hadhrat Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf Rahimullah succeeded his esteemed father (Hadhrat Sheikh Muhammad Ilyaas in assuming leadership of those engaged in the effort of Da'wah. He also followed his father's footsteps in his deep interest in the biographies of Rasulullaah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu it was he who used to read these narratives to his father. Even after his father passed away, he continued studying biographies of Rasulullaah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam ,books of Islaamic history and the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu despite his demanding commitments to the effort of Da'wah. I do not know of anyone with a wider scope of knowledge about the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu and the finer details of their lives. I do not know of anyone who could quote so many of their narratives could cite them more eloquently and string them together as beautifully as pearls of a necklace. These reports and stories inspired his discourses and caused magical affects on the hearts of large groups of people who then found it easy to give great sacrifices in Allaah Subhanahu Taala path. They were thus motivated to persevere the greatest of hardships and difficulties in Allaah Subhanahu Taala's path.
Life of Rasulullah and Sahaba as Nourishment of Heart and mind of Daee……..
During the period of his leadership, the effort of Da'wah spread throughout the Arabian peninsula and even to places such as America, Europe, Japan and the islands of the Indian Ocean. The necessity was then felt to produce a book for those taking up the effort of Da'wah and travelling to foreign countries could study and read to each other. This was needed to provide nourishment for their hearts and minds, to motivate their spirituality and to encourage them to emulate Rasulullaah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu in spending their lives and wealth for the sake of Islaam. It was needed to encourage them to travel and migrate for Deen, to assist others doing the same and to teach them the virtues of good deeds and noble character. A book was needed of such reports which when read, would cause the reader to fade into the background just as rivers lose themselves in the ocean and just as even a tall man would seem tiny in front of a towering mountain. In this way, they would begin to doubt the status of their conviction, they would regard their religious efforts to be inadequate (when compared to Sahbah Raziallahu Anhu and then would give no importance to their lives in this world. The result would be that they would develop the courage to make greater efforts and resolutions.
By Allah will ………Combining the a writer and a preacher
Allaah had willed that the credit of writing such a valuable book should go to Hadhrat Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf. In addition to the credit he received for his tremendous contribution to the effort of Da'wah. Therefore, despite his exhaustive commitments and a schedule filled with travels, lectures and meetings with delegations and guests - the furthest one could get from the life of a write he drew great courage and resolved to involve himself in writing with the guidance and help of Allaah Subhanahu Taala As difficult as it were to combine the life of a writer with that of a preacher, he succeeded in completing a commentary of the famous book "Sharhu Ma'aanil Aathaar" written by the eminent Imaam Tahaawi StSi&lcSy. This commentary, titled "Amaanil Ahbaar", was completed in several volumes.
The Encyclpedic book on Life of Rasulullah and Sahaba
With the assistance of Allaah Subhanahu Taala, he also compiled the book "Hayaatus Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu " in three large volumes, collecting in it many reports that were scattered in the various books of biography and history. The distinguished author has commenced every section with reports from the life of Rasulullaah Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam and then added accounts from the lives of the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu, devoting special attention to Da'wah and spiritual reformation for the benefit of those involved in these fields. Therefore, this book offers advice to preachers, is a great provision for those engaged in the effort of Da'wah and a valuable teacher of imaan and conviction to the Muslim public. He has collected in these volumes such reports that cannot be found in any other book because they all have their sources in a myriad of historical and biographical books. He has prepared an encyclopaedia that depicts the lives, behaviour and attributes of those living during the time of Rasulullaah Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam The painstaking details mentioned in this book gives it an inspirational effect not felt in books that suffice with brief accounts. As a result, the reader is always basking in an environment of Imaan, Da'wah, courage, virtue, sincerity and asceticism,
If a book is reflection of its author
It is generally believed that a book is a reflection- of the author, that it represents the love of his life and that it will express the fervour and spirit with which it is written. If this be true, I can vouch that this book is truly inspiring, powerful and a success because the author wrote it with great passion and love foF the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu. Love for the Sahabah Raziallahu Anhu had truly penetrated his very flesh and blood to the extent that it had dominated his personality and psychology. He has lived in the mould, of their lives for a long period of time and continues to do so, always drinking from the refreshing fountains of these reports.
My Foreword……..
This book does not require a foreword from someone like myself because the author is an extremely eminent and sincere personality. I am convinced that he is nothing short of a divine gift and a gem from the gems of time with regard to the strength of his Imaan, the power of his Da'wah, his devotion to Da'wah and his self-sacrificial behaviour in the path of Allaah Subhanahu Taala. The likes of him are not found in the annals of history except after longs period of time. He leads an islaamic movement that is one of the most powerful, most judicious and most inspiring. However, he wanted to honour me with writing this foreword and I have every intention to be a part of this marvellous work. I have therefore written these few words hoping to achieve proximity to Allaah Subhanahu Taala. May Allaah Subhanahu Taala accept this book and make it a means of benefit to mankind.
Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
Sahaaranpur (India)

2 Rajab 1378 (12 January 1959)