اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ
Allah is the Guardian of those who believe; He brings them out of the darkness into the light. (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:257)
Blessed are those who diligently search for the truth and find it. They distinguish light from darkness and right from wrong, and once they see the reality they hold fast to it. They do not go clinging to falsehood merely because that was the way of the preceding generations.
When their intention is pure and their search is sincere Allah helps them and "brings them out of the darkness into the light:' Obviously their coming to the right path demands deeper research, stronger will-power and intense love of truth.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had said to 'Ali (a.s.): "O 'Ali! If Allah guides someone through you to the right path, it is better for you than all the world and its riches:'
The best means of guidance is sublime morality: good character, honest dealings and polite behaviour. That is why Allah praises "the Truthful, the Trustworthy" Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in these words:
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
And most surely you are on sublime morality. (Surah Al-Qalam, 68:4)
فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ
This is due to mercy from Allah that you are lenient to them; and had you been rough, hard-hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you. (Surah 'Al 'lmran, 3:159)
There are methods of education and reasoning: convincing arguments which help remove cobwebs of doubts and frustrations.
It was the sublime morality and polite behaviour of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) which attracted hundreds of people and scores of Arab tribes to Islam. It was that high character of 'Ali (a.s.) which brought Yemenites into the fold of Islam in a very short time. It was honest dealings of Muslim traders which was the sole cause of the conversion of the people of Indonesia and Malaysia. It was the brotherly love of Idris which persuaded the Berbers to enter into Islam.
A reality which unfortunately is now almost forgotten is that in Islam every Muslim is supposed to be a missionary. Be he a trader or physician, a teacher or laborer, a peasant or judge, he has to be a perfect example of Islamic character and manners. People of other faiths usually do not know what the Islamic books teach. They only see how the Muslims behave; and through that observation they form their views about Islam.
Long ago we had published in our magazine, The Light, personal experiences of some brothers who had achieved salvation through Divine Mercy. It was felt that their narratives might prove helpful to other seekers of truth. That reason is as valid today as it was a few decades ago. Therefore, it was decided to collect some of those articles and bring them out in this small booklet.
I have written short notes describing the present situation of the writers.
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
Our Lord! Accept from us; Surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing. (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:127)
Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi
2lst Shaban, 1419
11th December, 1998