TARBIYAH & TAZKIYAH – NEED, SCOPE & PROCESS
I. INTRODUCTION: TARBIYAH is a means not an end. TARBIYAH and TAZKIYAH, in fact, are the needs of Dawah Ilallah. The person who undertakes the responsibility to introduce the Deen of Allah to the people of the land and for its ultimate dominance in the body-politics of the country, is the Da’ee Ilallah. The Da’ee, while working for Dawah Ilallah in the field, develops an understanding about the type of leadership and feels for the qualities that he/she must possess. The Da’ee, then, determines the kind of leadership and the team of workers that are needed in the field. The condition of the country, the state of the people of the land, the issues and the burning problems that they are facing and the socio-economic-political condition of the time spell out the qualities and the standard of Da'ees that are needed in the field to call the people to the fold of their Creator and Sustainer effectively and efficiently.
When Rasulullah (S) undertook the mission of “La Ilaha Ilallah” as the first “Da’ee”, his (S) foremost objective was to prepare a team which is well-versed with the Kalimah – the Aqeedah and what it demands, learns the Islam and its teachings in depth, organizes those who respond to his (S) call into a Jama'ah and inculcates a dependable and trustworthy character in each of them through the process of Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah at individual level from person to person. This was the prime need of the Islamic Movement that Rasulullah (S) launched upon with the first Wahi [revelation] he received. He went on building his team of Da'ees on that pattern through Dawah, Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah in an organized manner. Rasulullah (S) was himself the Da’ee, the Murabbi, the Muzakki and doing evaluation of his team, both at individual and collective levels, every now and then on a regular basis and the overall review was done by Allah (SWT} by Himself at each and every occasion.That was the best possible Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah of the followers of Islam. He (S) was free and available for all the time for that onerous task. The Needs of Dawah Ilallah were before him and he (S) was preparing his (S) Team of Da'ees as per the needs of time and the situation around him. He (S) sent young, Musa’b bin Umair ® to Madinah for Dawah while many senior most Sahabah were present in Makkah. He (S) knew the needs of Dawah at Madinah and, therefore, sent Musa’b as he was the most befitting Da’ee for this mission.
II. THE OBJECTIVE: We are
struggling for Iqamatuddeen in
“Kiya Sufi wu Mullah ku khabar merey Junu ki – Unka sirey daman bhi abhi chalk naheen hai" [Translation: What Sufi and Mullah know about my "craze" (for the Deen of Allah. Their Sameez [shirt] is still sold (and not yet torn apart in the rush of craze]
III. THE SCOPE: What Includes Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah?
i. Education – knowledge and understanding of Islam, this country and the contemporary world;
ii. Developing individual qualities of heart and mind and attaining proficiency in presenting Islam in table talks and mastering speaking power at public platforms at the least;
iv. Preparing consciousness to work collectively in a Jama'ah of his/her own or with the existing Jama'ah
IV. WHAT TO PRODUCE: The ICNA, as it claims, is the Islamic Movement of North America in process. In the light of the aforesaid scope of Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah, we have to produce and build a Team of Da'ees, inculcating in each of them the following requisites.
A. Educational advancement and intellectual skill:
1. Acquiring a working knowledge of Islam: Aqeedah, its importance and cohesiveness in life; Fundamentals of Deen: Concept of Ebadah; Mua'mlat [affairs]; Islam as a way of life in comparison to socialism, capitalism and liberal democracy; study of the selected Chapters of the Qur'an and its CORRECT RECITATION; Prophet Muhammad’s (S) life with special emphasis on his mission, how he accomplished it and how we are going to achieve it in American perspective; Studying the life of at least 50 prominent Sahabah; History of Islam/Muslims of at least the first 150 years of Hijrah; Islamic Fiqh: regarding Wadu, Ghusl, Salah, Sawm, Zakah, Hajj, Jihad, human rights, Riba, marriage and divorce etc.
2. Knowledge of the land, the people and the contemporary world: Fundamentals of American social, cultural, economic and political life and their problems in their historical perspective and their solution in the light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah; critical, analytical and comparative study of the Torah, the Bible and the Qur'an, clearly understanding: “who are our addressees and how to address them”; securing knowledge of ethnic background of different people; Genesis of the modern world in historical perspective and Contemporary Movements within and outside the country.
3. Developing a dependable and trustworthy character in each MGA/worker [both brother and sister] through the process of personal evaluation on day to day basis and periodically through Murabbis or the In-charge of Tarbiyah Department. This is the most important assignment of Tarbiyah Department
This process of self-evaluation relates to the development of his or her character and presenting a practical model of what Islam expects from his/her actions, deeds, dealings, behavior, conversation, attitude and manners in life. The character of “Ebadur Rahman”, as laid down in Surah Luqma'n, Al-Furqa'n, Bani Israel, Al-Muminun, al-Ankabut, al-Maa'rij, al-Hujrat and as demonstrated by Rasulullah (S) and his beloved companions in their life-pattern, is to be inculcated in each MGA/active Member to the extent possible. It cannot be developed without an intensive course of Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah on person to person basis in the form of interviews and question/answer sessions with individual MGA’s/Members, providing suggestions and advices towards self-improvement. This personal interview, at frequent intervals, will cover all the aspects of a worker’s/Da'ee’s individual life, both private and public, while he or she is at “home” and go a long way in remodeling his or her character, as desired.
V. HOW TO PRODUCE THE TEAM – THE PROCESS?
1. The Ideal Situation of Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah - On Person to person basis by the Amir: It would have been an ideal if our Amir could go out and meet the individual MGA’s and active Members of ICNA personally at their respective places [homes], maintain a constant contact for evaluation and re-evaluation of their personal targets, active involvement in regular Dawah Program - both at individual and collective levels, set before them targets of personal study of the Qur'an, Seerah (S) and Islamic literature, inspire them to work attentively for their respective self-development program to be worked out by him with full cooperation and consent of the brother/sister concern and attend their personal Dawah, individual and family problems. The Amir would, then, have developed a follow up program on each count and meticulously observe the progress of each brother and sister in the matter of their involvement in Dawah activities, the quantum of their efforts and sacrifice in promoting the cause of the Movement and its Programs, and his or her development towards "Ta'lluq Billah", humbleness in behavior and approach and in building the personality which is loved by all whom he/she meets and comes in contact as Da’ee. This entire process “on person to person basis” would have helped the Amir to produce and build the requisite Team of Da’ee Ilallah in American perspective within a couple of years or so.
This is the real Training Program and the true process of Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah. It covers the training Program both at workers and leadership levels. The Amir will deal with each of them separately, keeping in mind their respective capacity, level of understanding and the responsibility he/she is holding or is likely to hold in future. The Amir should go for it and expect his reward only from Allah (SWT) immensely. This is the process through which Rasulullah (S) got his dedicated, devoted and committed team of Da'ees [Sahabah ®] and the same way we can build our team, Insha Allah, in order to get the Deen of Allah (SWT) introduced, spread and established in this country, provided we have the will and the Azimah to get it through, both at individual and collective levels. It is a challenge to our wisdom and ingenuity. Let our Amir, the Shurah and our MGA’s accept it! History will then repeat.
In case the Amir is not available or is not prepared to undertake this onerous responsibility, the In-charge of Tarbiyah and Murabbis have to fulfill this gap and meet the same obligation to the extent possible on their part. The In-Charge of Tarbiyah Department can do this job too provided he puts all his talents and energies on this project and works round the clock for it. SIMILARLY senior Murabbis can be assigned to do this job in confidence. [I took this job on my own accord in 1998 when I was the Chairman of Dawah Department and a Member of Tarbiyah and had long interviews with 210 MGA'S through out the USA and Canada in about six month's time but later on a lot of impediments were put through "Group-politics" pressure in my way and, as such, it could not be carried out to its desired end as planned. This is just for your information only and to tell you that this job is possible and can be attained any time.]
2. THE ALTERNATIVE: Considering the lack of ideal situation in ICNA and keeping the needs and requirements of Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah upper most in mind, Training Program can, otherwise, be arranged at two levels as follows
A. At Al-Markaz: A week long workshop for intensive training be held at Al Markaz and to be participated/attended by the following groups, one after the other, in the same order as listed below:
i. First Group - The Amir, the SG & The Shurah Members;
ii. Second Group- Regional/Zonal/Local Presidents, Departmental Heads and other office bearers;
iii. Third Group – Two or three Selected MGA’s from each Region, Zone and local Units who are considered fit to shoulder the responsibility of ICNA leadership in future.
Notes: 1. This program will be repeated after every six months till each targeted brother/sister becomes an efficient Da’ee in American perspective within the course of 15 to 18 months;
2. The Team of Murabbis will not be changed and the participants too for the entire period;
3. The Amir, the Shurah and the Chairman of Dawah and Tarbiyah Departments will select the Team of Murabbis [Moderators/Conductors] in consultation with each other or in a joint meeting;
4. The team of Murabbis will prepare the course, syllabus and reading material on the topics or themes suggested/proposed earlier in this paper. They will then divide the syllabus in three stages, covering the entire program into three weeklong workshops for each group;
5. These workshops will be arranged and controlled jointly by Dawah -Tarbiyah Departments
6. The Team of Murabbis will constitute 4 brothers from ICNA and 2 from outside, provided they are movement-oriented and have the expertise of the subject to be assigned to them.
B. AT REGIONAL/ZONAL/LOCAL LEVELS: The same team of Murabbis will prepare a condensed course for holding a week-end Dawah-Tarbiyah Training Camps and when, out of Session at Al-Markaz, will visit each Region, Zone and Local Units and conduct these Programs. It is to be arranged by Tarbiyah Department. It will be attended by the MGA’s who are not participating the Program at Al-Markaz + active Members. Imams and the Muslim Leadership of the area will be especially invited to attend these Camps.
VI. THE BEST MEANS OF TARBIYAH:
For the benefit of all concerned I would like to add that the best course of Tarbiyah is through an organized regular Dawah work in the field, both at individual and collective levels. It would be supplementary to all that I have discussed above. A person in the field of Dawah is under constant observation of his friends and adversaries. Wherever he/she goes and whatever he/she says or presents, he/she is judged and measured in terms of his/her own action, deeds and appearance. He is subject to criticism every now and then. This critical evaluation by others is very valuable. A Da’ee should take easy and try to remove his shortcomings, if the criticism is genuine or remove the misgivings with wisdom, if the case is otherwise. This will go on polishing his character, behavior and temperament, which he/she cannot do so only through weekend training programs. This will also inclined him/her to know more and more about Islam, the country and the people when he will meet situations where he/she may cut a sorry figure due to his/her ignorance or lack of knowledge. This is the best Practical Training Workshop for a Da’ee. It prepares him/her for the true leadership of the people of the land through their criticism by others, the source of constant evaluation. That is why I have always been emphasizing that the Training Camps at Regional/Unit Levels must be conducted jointly by both D & T Departments as “Dawah-Tarbiyah Training Camps” with “Dawah in the field” as its integral part.
VII. CONCLUSION: I have discussed the ideal situation of Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah for our Amir to undertake and its alternative too along with the practical workshop through Dawah in the field for the training of our Da'ees. Under the condition, ICNA is passing through or till the time we are able to create the desired situation, all the three methods of Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah can be resorted to. In other words, while we all will try to create the ideal situation within ICNA for our Amir to do our Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah as desired, all the three methods can be applied to train ourselves, our MGA’s and our active Members to the extent possible. May Allah give us Tawfeeq to raise ourselves and our Movement to be the true Islamic Movement of North America. Amen!
Shamim A Siddiqi
May 23, 2007