On the Nature of Islamic Da’wah
Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, has commanded the Muslim: “Call men unto the path of your Lord by wisdom and goodly counsel. Present the cause to them through argument yet more sound” (Qur’an 16: 125). Da’wah is the fulfilment of this commandment “to call men unto the path of Allah.” Besides, it is the effort by the Muslim to enable other men to share and benefit from the supreme vision, the religious truth, which he has appropriated. In this respect it is rationally necessary, for truth wants to be known. It exerts pressure on the knower to share his vision of it with his peers. Since religious truth is not only theoretical, but also axiological and practical, the man of religion is doubly urged to take his discovery to other men. His piety, his virtue and charity impose upon him the obligation to make common the good which has befallen him.
Appendix: Dialogue On The Nature of Islamic Da’wah
Khurshid Ahmad opened the discussion of Dr. al-Faruqi’s paper with the following prepared response. Some parts of a background paper he circulated at the consultation have also been incorporated in this final version.
Islam and the Problem of Israel: Zionism, The European Jew’s Counsel of Despair
The Jews of Europe found themselves in the second half of the nineteenth century tossed on the horns of a terrible dilemma. If they pursued the gains of emancipation, they must assimilate; and the more they did so, the more their Judaism would have to be reformed, the more dilute it would become, the less Jewish they would finally turn out to be. If, on the other hand, they restricted their pursuit of the gains of emancipation and hence, the less they assimilated and lost thereby their Jewishness, the more they would stand out as strangers in a society bent on not granting them its identity. On either count, they stood to lose. But which loss was greater? Jewishness, or freedom, and often, life?
The Ismail Faruqi Award Presentation Ceremony
This bi-annual award to IIU scholars who produce outstanding, excellent and exemplary academic work was established in honour of the memory of al-marhum Professor Ismail Raji al-Faruqi who, during his lifetime, had made profound and invaluable contributions not only to Islamic scholarship but to learning as a whole. Indeed, I was most privileged to have been given the opportunity of knowing him personally, as a leading scholar of his generation and as a friend. To be sure, he exacted uncompromising intellectual standards and lived by a strict regiment of academic discipline. But, at the same time, he was never lost in mere philosophical abstractions. He was acutely conscious of the realities of the time and the condition of the contemporary ummah. In this regard, he exemplified the conjunction between theoretical learning, ilm, and the righteous deeds, amal salih. He devoted the best years of his life, before his death under tragic circumstances, to the upliftment of the ummah, in inspiring and guiding its youth especially.
Islam on Its Own Terms: The Contribution of Isma’il al-Faruqi
In his teaching of Islam the late Dr. Isma’il al-Faruqi had little patience with the anthropomorphic approach with which most comparative religion is taught. He believed there must be faith, belief, and commitment if the inner essence of Islam—and indeed of any religion—is to be appreciated. He deplored the fact that Islam in the West is taught predominately by non-Muslims, whereas Christianity and Judaism are taught by adherents to those faiths.