By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
14 February, 2015
According to a Hadith, recorded in Musnad Ahmad, Abdullah ibn Masood relates that one day when they were with him, the Prophet drew a straight line. Then, he said, “This is the Path of God.” The Prophet then drew lines to the right and to left of the straight line. Then, he said, “These are diverse paths, and there is a Satan at every other path beckoning towards himself.” Then, the Prophet read this verse from the Quran: “[He has enjoined], ‘This is My straight path; so follow it, and do not follow other ways: that will lead you away from His path.’ That is what He enjoins upon you, so that you may guard yourselves.” (6:153)
This Hadith of the Prophet is further explained through this Quranic verse which says: “Say, ‘This is my way; on the basis of sure knowledge, I call on you to have faith in God, I and those who follow me…’” (12:108)
From these references it is clear that the real focus of the efforts of the believers is to invite people to God. They must continue to walk, for the whole of their lives, on this straight path. Just as the prophets made inviting people to God the sole objective of their lives and spent all their energies on this task, so, too, the believers, after the Prophet of Islam, must make this the central goal of their lives. From one generation to the next, they must remain firm on this goal.
Our lives in this world are full of problems. Repeatedly, we are faced with situations that we find unpleasant. In the face of such situations, we may react by becoming angry. This may cause us to lose our focus on our actual goal and turn us in some other direction. It is this sort of situation that repeatedly gives Satan the opportunity to provoke believers and to shift their attention to deviant aims and purposes. And so, instead of inviting people to God, they get embroiled in all sorts of man-made problems.
Believers must constantly take account of themselves in this regard. Whenever they see that a particular situation is leading them to deviate from the path of inviting people to God, they must consider it as the deception of Satan. And then, asking God’s protection from Satan, they must once again get established in the path of inviting people to God.
In present times, deviation from the path of inviting people to God has occurred on a massive scale. Today, Muslims have some complaints, of an economic and political nature, against other communities. As a reaction, Muslims have been provoked into fighting against them. Almost every Muslim today is a victim of this deviation. Some of them speak ill about other communities, while others are engaged in actual physical war against them. They have abandoned the task of inviting people to God. And then they have branded those whom they should have invited to God as their ‘opponents’ and ‘enemies’. In this way, their deviation has escalated to the maximum possible extreme.
This phenomenon of present-day Muslims is, undoubtedly, a case of open deviation from the path of God. It is not at all in accordance with what God wants, as is evident from the fact that the many sacrifices of Muslim leaders across the world have produced no positive results whatsoever. On the contrary, their efforts they have only resulted in exacerbating Muslims’ humiliation and failure.
Almost all present-day Muslim writers and spokesmen hold other communities responsible for this defeat of Muslims, and so are engaged in a negative propaganda campaign against them. This is a wholly fruitless exercise. The only thing that Muslims need to do is to brand all their movements that are directed against other communities as ‘deviant movements’ and abandon them. They should, once again, establish themselves on the established path of inviting people to God.
Present-day Muslims need to reform themselves, rather than declaring others as ‘conspirators’ and launching campaigns against them.