Praise be to God! There is no other god except God. Many times when people get stuck into a dilemma, they try to find the answer about it, not realizing that there is no correct decision in that situation. Let’s take one imaginary example to show you what I mean. Let’s say that your work manager invites you at a party, and you don’t want them to think that you do not go along with them, and you do not wish to risk your job, so you go there. Once there you don’t want to leave the party early, because then your manager will notice it. You stay a little bit later and then there is no bus home. Your female coworker tells you that they can go home with the manager’s car all together, but only if you go along with her, because she does not feel comfortable to go alone with him. So, all three of you get in the car, and after your manager starts driving, only then does he tell you that he has to make a couple of quick stops along the way. He stops to buy a beer, and offers you one. Of course, you tell them that you don’t drink beer. He drinks his own beer, and is about to open the second one. Now, you are in a dilemma. What should you do? You tell him to stop drinking, but he insists that he is totally under control, and that he has done this before. If you tell him to stop the car and just leave you outside in the highway, you promised your female friend that you would go along with her all the way. Now what should you do? Well, every choice you make in this example is a bad choice. And this happens only because you have made an earlier bad choice? You probably made a bad choice when you decided to go to the party, and you were invited to the party, because your social circle at work insisted, and they insisted because they did not know who you really are and what you really believe, and they did not know, because you did not tell them. So, the bad decision was made months ago when you decided not to preach. So, now you have been trapped into dilemma, because days ago, or months ago, or years ago, you decided to hide the truth when a clear opportunity to preach the truth arose. Now, had you preached during that first lunch break you had at work, when your coworkers asked you what you believe, then the people who drink beer would probably not like you as much, and then they would not offer to give you a ride, and so on, and you would prevent yourself from being trapped into a dilemma.
Now, let’s take a slightly more extreme, but more clear-cut example. Let’s say that one of the people you know comes and tells you, perhaps braggingly that they had slept with someone with whom they are not married. And then 3 of their friends say that it’s true. Now, according to the Quran there is no such thing as police which enforce justice. Everyone is responsible for enforcing justice when they see it. They can consult smarter people, but ultimately, if you are dealing with a crime, and the state does not enforce justice for that type of crime, you have to enforce the justice yourself. So, now you are in a dilemma. You just heard four people claiming that someone has committed adultery, which means that you must beat him with 100 lashes. But if you do that, chances are that they will beat you back, or most likely they would report you to the police. So, now you are in a dilemma, should you do the right thing and go to prison, or should you not do the right thing. This is a big dilemma. Well, had you preached on time, you would never end up in this dilemma. Trust me, it would never come up. When the person started bragging about how handsome he is and how females like him, and so on, you should have immediately said that you would like to talk about something else, and start your own preaching, so that he does not get a chance to reveal his personal crime. Or actually, had you told them months ago that you believe that an adulterer should be punished, then they would not feel comfortable to brag about their crime in front of you. Even if a discussion comes up about someone else who is not there, you should try to stop the conversation by preaching what you believe first, and not let them share someone else’s crime with you. As you can see, if you preach beforehand, on time, this prevents you from being trapped into a dilemma, because once you get trapped, there is no right choice. Every choice is the wrong choice, for one reason or another. So to prevent ourselves from being trapped into dilemmas, we should preach. There is no alternative to that.
Here is another example from an article in Daily Mail, which is a British newspaper. Here is the title of the article, “Property millionaire who denied his wife a Jewish religious divorce faces jail after engaging in ‘coercive or controlling behaviour’ after SHE prosecutes him in landmark court case” I did not read the rest of the article, but the title is enough to get an idea what is going on. Her is a Jewish guy who does not believe that a woman has the right to divorce without a man’s permission, which is a Jewish belief, but he never preached that. He wanted to be a millionaire first, so he never preached what he believes about these things. Now, he is trapped. Had he preached those things from the beginning, he would not end up married with that exact wife. We are not talking about who is right here, the husband or the wife. That is another issue. We are talking about the fact that had this property millionaire preached during his life, he would not end up in that situation. The best way to prevent being married to the wrong person is not to investigate them, as most people do. The best way is to tell them who you are, and that will drive wrong people away, or bring them closer to you, if they are the right person. So, preaching the truth and not hiding it is the only solution to untrap you from all these situations.
Now, here is the most extreme but clear-cut example from the Quran: The case of Jonah. God ordered him to preach to his city, to the people closest to him. What did Jonah do? He was afraid of how they will respond, so he decided to escape to another city on a ship. And what happened? He Got trapped inside a whale? So, because Jonah did not preach, he Got trapped, literary trapped. Had he preached when he had a chance, he would not get trapped. If you don’t preach, there is no escape from being trapped.
The trapping is less extreme these days, because everything else is less extreme, but you can be sure that you will be trapped if you do not preach. You can be trapped in the wrong relationship, or in the wrong location, or in the wrong job, or without a mosque, or without friends, or with the wrong abusive friends or whatever, or in wrong small daily situations, and you will know that you have been trapped when you don’t know what to do. It’s not your knowledge now which is lacking, it’s the courage to preach years ago which was lacking
Now, here is another example: Let’s say that you don’t know whether some people in a masjid are believers or not. Well, who said that you should know? Who said that you should decide about who they are? God has made our hearts hidden inside our chest because it is not something we should know. Instead, you should preach to them, without hiding what you believe, and they will exclude you, if they are disbelievers, or keep you included if they are believers. You can not know otherwise. You say what you believe, and depending on how they treat you afterwards, you will know whether they believe. You should not make any decision about anyone belief. You preach what you believe, and let the problem solve itself without you ever making a decision about anything. Preaching the truth always untraps you from having to make any decision about anything. If you are afraid to preach, then you trap yourself into thinking that you have to make a decision whether some people are believers or not, whether you should do this or that. Don’t focus on that, just think what is it that I want these people to know about my beliefs, and then the situation will flow from there, and it actually gets easier and easier the more you do it. Don’t think about consequences or solutions. Just focus on preaching. Now, of course, that preaching will lead to the wrong results, if you do it incorrectly. Let’s take an example of bad preaching:
Alban Fejza knew an Albanian guy who came all the way from Greece to ask him how to count the Quranic initials. After Alban Fejza told him, he went into some popular blogs and youtube pages and started preaching there. But here is his mistake. He did it under a fake name, anonymously. Alban Fejza asked him, “why do you do it anonymously?’ He said, “I work as a butcher in a market, and if my Christian Greek manager finds out about this, he might fire me.” Alban asked him, “Do your children and wife know about what you are preaching.”, and his response was that he did not tell them because he is afraid that they will not believe him. This is how the situation seemed to him, but had we done a deep psychological analysis the situation would turn out to be different, as it was exposed several years later. Here is what happened with him. When he accepted the truth, he accepted it only with his mind but not with his heart. So, deep in his heart he did not believe it, and he could not decide in his heart whether it was true. So, he decided to preach to the others anonymously, to see whether the others will believe also, and then he would make a definite decision, if he saw that others also believe. So, he was desperately seeking other people’s approval about his own belief which in fact is his disbelief. If you need the approval of other people about your own belief, that is not true belief. So, what happened with him is that thousands of people read his anonymous blogs, and none of them believed him, and so he changed his mind. He “vanished”. All this because he never got the courage to do it properly.
Here is how it should be done properly. Preaching is an obligation, and it should never be done anonymously. Verse 4:108 says that the disbelievers care to hide from the people and do not care to hide from God. And the preaching should be done in order. You should not preach to your friends without preaching to your children first, for example. It will backfire, if you skip the closest people to you and go to strangers first. It will eventually turn into disbelief in your heart. Instead, what you should do is preach the truth to your children, then to your parents, then to your wife or husband, then to your siblings, then to your grandparents, then to your uncles and aunts, then to your friends, then to your colleagues, then to the people on internet. If people you know in real life don’t know about what you believe, don’t bother preaching on the internet. That is the last step, and if you do it anonymously, that is the wrong step. See, if you find these rules as extremely risky, or unacceptable, maybe you should start questioning whether you truly believe or not. If you truly believe what is true, you would want all your loved ones to know the truth, which can potentially save them. So, verse 26:214 tells us to preach from those who are closest to us to those who are further away, and the word closeness has many meanings in this verse. The first meaning is “closeness in relationships”. The second meaning is “closeness in faith”. So, you start preaching from those who are closest to your faith, and your strength of faith, to those who are farther away. So, first you preach to those who share most of the beliefs with you, then to others who share less beliefs with you, and so on.
The other meaning of “closeness” is “closeness in location”, simply preaching to people because they are close to you. Or closeness on internet. These days very often people on internet are closer to us than our own cousins for example. So how many of the articles from this website have you shared for example? Were you afraid of what others might think? If you don’t use social media, that’s ok. You don’t have to. But if you use them for other purposes, and don’t use it for sharing the truth, then you are hiding the truth, and when you hide the truth you get trapped, and when you get trapped, you have dilemmas, and when you have dilemmas, you have questions, and when you have questions it will slow you down, or you will slow the other submitters down with questions. So, preaching is the solution to our dilemmas. It takes courage, but it’s not as risky as it seems. We have preached for more than 14 years now, and no one has hit us, no one has fired us. The most they did was insult us, mostly behind our back.
And you know what? When you preach, it also removes your own doubts, and here is the best part, you lose your bad friends, and as a result God supports you with inspiration. So basically, if you had bad friends, you can not feel God’s inspiration. This is in verse 58:22. So, the condition to feel inspired, and to feel the truth, is to preach, which leads to losing all your bad friends, or some of your bad friends if you do it partially. If you are not a good preacher, if you are not very skillful with words, then support those who are good at it. You can share what others prepared. A combination of both is even better. It’s even better is if you know the Quran very well and tell the people what the Quran says directly. Verse 6:51 says, “preach with the Quran to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord. And some people will try to discourage you from preaching by pointing out at the results. According to verse 26:136, they might say, “It is the same whether you preach, or not preach” we will not believe you. Well, that should not stop you from preaching. Preach to the next person and then to the next one, and so on. And you might very likely preach to 100 people and only one of them will probably be converted. The reason for this is because some of them have already been partly saved through the preaching from other religious groups, but that is another issue. In the past, when people preached, every tenth person would believe, and in those circumstances where families would have about 20 members, the message would spread very quickly. So, when people would preach to their family, about two of them would believe, and then they would have marriage relationships with other families and then two others would believe them there, and this would spread very fast. These days, it spreads slower, because families only have about 5 members, and you need to preach to about 100 people to convince one. And you can see how this slows down everything, but for good reasons. The good news is that because of the gradual growth, we will always be the correct group until the end of the world. So, basically, people who followed other messengers of the past, the message spread quickly, reached its peak, and once it reaches the peak, it turns into a disbelieving group, since then after reaching the peak, it also suits the disbelievers to join, but our group will reach the peak when the end of the world comes, which makes us the correct group until the end.