[MEDIA: PREACHING OR PROPAGANDA?]

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Islam is a religion which professes that there is only one and incomparable God (Allah) and that Muhammad PBUH is the last messenger of God. All the teachings in Islam have been fully conveyed by Prophet Muhammad PBUH in the most perfect form as Allah SWT ordinance. Thus the teachings of Islam are in perfect and complete condition suitable for every mankind at any place and age.

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”

[al-Ma’idah: 3]

In the early stages of Islam, the Prophet PBUH along with his companions have been earnestly struggling to spread Islam to the world. After the death of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, the task of developing Islam and preaching fi sabilillah has become the responsibility of ulama’ and every Muslims in general.

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كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ

“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.”

[Ali Imran: 110]

In regards to the verse from the Holy Quran above, clearly shows that Islam as a universal din that is always enjoining right and prohibiting wrong among people. However, to ensure that the agenda has attracted many targets from both Muslims themselves and non-Muslims, appropriate approaches and systematic preaching need to be arranged and organized in a planned manner. Therefore, we could come up with a solution of Islamic preaching through media correspondence with advanced technologies nowadays.

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُمْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.”

[an-Nahl: 125]

Of course when it comes to Islamic preaching, there should be guidance in what we convey through the media and the most  important thing is to determine the validity of the sources. In other words, some ethics are to be made as a measurement of preserving good perception of others toward Islam. Ethics according to Islamic teachings include many aspects; keeping the promise is an original Islamic value, and honesty in speech and telling the truth are also Islamic values. All those ethical values were exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and his companions in their true sense.

The Publication & Information Bureau of  PERUBATAN al-Azhar Chapter also has a guideline of ethics according to Islamic teachings regarding every information that will be published. Whether it is in aspect of photos, videos, writings, reports or even in designing posters, ethics are to be followed to preserve the image of Islam. Thus we know, Islamic approaches through media take a huge role and it is important in differentiating between preaching and propaganda.

The late Maulana Abul A’la Maududi state in his book, al-Jihad fil Islam:

‘The Messenger of Allah invited the Arabs to accept Islam for 13 years. He used every possible means of persuasion, gave them incontrovertible arguments and proofs, showed them miracles and put before them his life as an example of piety and morality. In short, he used every possible means of communication.’

Nevertheless, Prophet Muhammad PBUH is the best qudwah for every Muslim, by any means, we should follow him in his passion for preaching.

In conclusion, the practice of preaching can be performed in many ways in this modern and cyber era. In addition to da’e-mad’u, da’wah materials and methods, media is regarded as an important element in determining the success of Islamic preaching. Digital technology demands a high awareness among youth to benefit them in religious knowledge seeking and sharing via any media social available in this era.

The Messenger of Allah PBUH said:

“May Allah cause his face to shine, the man who hears what I say and conveys it (to others). There are those who have knowledge but no understanding, and there may be those who convey knowledge to those who have more understanding of it than they do.”  (Sunan Ibn Majah).

Thus, we should convey good to others by any possible means especially by taking advantage of advanced technology and benefiting social media as a preaching medium, not propaganda!

 

Nurul Afiqah binti Safarudin

Deputy Head of Publication & Information Bureau,

PERUBATAN al-Azhar Chapter 2017/2018.

 

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