WHO SHOULD ONE LISTEN TO? – Maulana Maseeullah Khan Sahib رحمه الله

Who is the person speaking, and what should he be like? Also, what should be the
condition of those who are listening?

To listen to all and sundry [i.e. every Tom, Dick an Harry], and for such persons to
deliver lectures, is contrary to the rules and principles in the Quran shareef. The
principle in the Quran shareef is as follows: That person who has in him two
qualities, can be listened to without putting forward any whys? and wherefores?,
any ifs and buts. Proof of this is in the Quran shareef. In Surah Yaseen, in the
second ruku, Allah Taala has related a qissah, which, briefly, is as follows:

Zate Bari Taala sent two Rasuls to Antioch for the hidayet (guidance) of the people.
As on previous occasions in the past, the habit of the people was to oppose any Rasul
sent to them, and to harass such a Rasul, to such an extent that a Rasul would be
killed as well. The people were not prepared to listen to the haq (truth). When batil
(falsehood) becomes so forcefully ingrained, then the ears and the heart cease to
place any importance to the words of Haq Taala.

So, this community also opposed these two Rasuls, and were on the point of killing
them. At this point Zate Bari Taala sent to them a third Rasul, in order to support
and assist these two. However, the community behaved in the same manner to this
third Rasul as well. A youth, Habeeb Najar, a carpenter, had brought iman on the
guidance of these Rasuls. He lived some distance from the town. When he came to
hear that this is the manner in which his community was behaving towards these
Rasuls, the poor fellow, overcome with dread, came running to their aid and
protection. He said,

He said, 0 my people! Follow those who have been sent! Follow those who ask of
you no fee, and who are rightly guided.” S.36 A.20-21

As if to say, 0 my people! What has happened to you that you are opposing these
Rasuls? There is absolutely no reason for opposing them, but, on the contrary, the
opposite should be the case. That is to say, looking at it from the worldly point of
view, there are two qualities, hubbe mal (love of wealth) and hubbe jah (love of
fame/ prestige), where a representative may do a certain piece of work for these
objectives. Both these qualities are based on selfish and personal motives. And
these Rasuls do not have these selfish motives. Their shaan (dignified and noble
status) is this that they desire no remuneration. They are not asking for any
compensation. They desire no material return for their service. They are inviting
you purely for the cause of Lillahiyet, for your own welfare. They are calling you
to what is a protection and safeguard against danger, and is a means of attaining
benefit. And they do not ask for any material reward or compensation, which
would be obstacles to listening to such individuals.

Individuals expecting material benefits may be suspected of doing so for personal
gain. As we see these days that there is a flood of fund-raisers. If the villagers
come to know that this person has primarily come to raise funds, and the waz
(lecture), etc. are merely incidental events, then they may even sit and listen to the
talk as an act of politeness, but nobody is prepared to listen with the heart. Some,
who are free in their speech, will finally even voice this thought, Maulana! When
this was your purpose, then why did you make us sit so long, and vex us
unnecessarily? You should have said that you have come to collect funds for such-
and-such a madrasah, and we would have given you whatever. So you see! Where
did they listen? Everything gone to waste! The monetary motive was detected!

The youth argued further, That is the first point. The second point is that they are
muhtada. These are such that they are on the correct Path. They are sahebe-
siratam-mustaqeem and sahebe-ihtida. So, they do not possess one quality (i.e.
ulterior motives) and they do possess the noble quality of ihtidayet (i.e. being
rightly guided), and when the obstacles do not exist, then what prevents you from
listening to their message?

We can see that what this youth is saying is absolutely correct, because this is
being related by Zate Bari Taala, in that He is saying that one should look at the
person to see if he has selfish or ulterior motives or not, whether he is desirous of
maal (wealth) or jah (name and prestige). These are two qualities which are
obstacles in listening to, and accepting, what a person has to say. When these two
qualities have been negated, and they are on correct hidayet (guidance) themselves,
then there are no reasons for not listening to them.

Also, for greater reassurance,  look at their characters and conduct, their dealings, their social lifestyles, etc.

In other words, look at them from the aspects of ibadat, muamalat, muasharat, and
akhlaq. These are the criteria on which to assess and judge people. And, after being
scrutinised, if these qualities are present in the manner they should be, then there is
no reason for not listening to them. The presence of these qualities within them
will a proof of their taqwa, that they have an extreme level of taqwa. And a muttaqi
is one who has solicitude for others in this world and also in the hereafter.

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