Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
01 November 2016
Q: What is the difference between Dawah work and social work? Did the
prophets engage in social work along with Dawah work?
A: In terms of serving humanity, social work is a good thing. But
social work is not the real mission of the Muslim Ummah. Social work seeks to
save people from worldly problems, while the aim of the prophets was to save
people from the difficulties of the Hereafter.
In this regard,
reflect on this verse of the Quran (40:15):
and throned on high, He lets the Spirit descend at His behest upon whichever of
His servants He will, so that he may warn of the Day of Meeting,
numerous other verses in the Quran on this same subject. After taking them into
account, no doubt remains that the real aim of the Muslim Ummah is Dawah, to
call people to God, or to convey that guidance to people that God has revealed
for them (5:67).
difference between the two kinds of work—Dawah work and social work—is that in
Dawah work, the Dai develops a close relationship with God. While
engaged in his work, he remembers God often. He prays to God. He seeks guidance
from God. In contrast to this, in social work, the enthusiasm is for bonding
with people. The entire focus is directed on people.
If Dawah leads to
God-oriented thinking, social work leads to human-oriented or people-oriented
thinking. If in Dawah work one is blessed with the company of angels, in social
work human beings become the sole focus. Those who are engaged in Dawah work
talk about Heaven and Hell, while those who are engaged in social work talk
constantly about issues related to people. If quality is of importance in Dawah
work, quantity is of importance in social work.
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