The Secret of Success

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Islam Today

Eighty per cent of the information received by a human being from the outside world comes to him through his eyes – provided he keeps his eyes open. There is an abundance of oxygen in the air, but if it is to do him any good, he must assiduously breathe it in. If, however we are to benefit from our environment, it means rather more than just depending upon our own spontaneous biological functioning. It means that we must have the will and ability to seize the opportu­nities given to us by God and to learn to grapple with whatever their built-in conditions may be. We cannot expect the world – of its own – to lay its gifts at our feet.

This concept is of the greatest importance in the sphere of Dawah work. The spreading of the Islamic message is not something which is going to happen automatically, and, if it is to come about, it will depend upon our grasping whatever opportunities come our way. In modern times the greatest opportunity that has presented itself is the widespread freedom of belief enjoyed all over the world. (Only in a few communist countries are curbs placed upon religious activities). This freedom, however, carries with it a tacit proviso, i.e. that propagation of the faith must not take place by coercion, but by gentle persuasion. One reason for this is that so long as one does not use force, there will be no serious opposition to such activity. Perhaps a more important reason is that everyone should enjoy the same freedom of belief; the forcing of beliefs upon others is tant­amount to encroaching upon that freedom, nay, destroying it. Failure to respect this condition means misusing the opportunity which presents itself. Dawah activity carried on in this way would eventually prove counterproductive. After such an abuse of another’s privilege, there would be nothing to stand between us and God’s punishment, for it is He who has provided us with this unique opportunity to bring other people within the fold. It is an opportunity to be seized, not wasted.

Missed opportunities spell ruin. That is the way of the world and that is the will of God.