The Da’wah Way of Prophet Moses
Narrated in the story, there was a great preacher. His voice was loud. His oration amazed the congregation. Thus, if there is an official persons present, their ears will be red of feeling offended. That was the result of this preacher sharp criticism that was made with scathing words in each of his preachings.
Once, after he finished preaching, an official approached him. There was a dialogue between them.
“O preacher, do you know anything about Prophet Moses?”
“Of course. He was one of the apostles nicknamed the Kalimullah. ”
“Who is more noble between Moses and yourself?”
“Clearly, the Prophet Moses is more noble. Not only the prophet, but he was also an apostle. Not only the apostles, he was included in ulul azmi. ”
“Do you know the enemy of Prophet Moses, Mr. preacher?”
“Yes, I know. Pharaoh.”
“Which one is worse, me or Pharaoh, Mr. preacher?
“You are indeed a very depraved official, but Pharaoh must be more depraved. He was cruel and arrogant, he even claimed to be the God. ”
“If the Prophet Moses was more noble than you and Pharaoh is worse than me, why would Moses deliver criticism with qawlan layyinan — soft words?”
Now it’s the turn of the preacher who blushes his face. He remembered God’s message to the Prophet Moses and Harun in the Qur’an saying:
Go, both of you, unto Pharaoh. Lo! he hath transgressed (the bounds). And speak unto him a gentle word, that peradventure he may heed or fear.” (Thaha : 43–44).
God advised Moses and Harun to use gentle words to Pharaoh who were violent. Persuasive effort is needed so that the core of communication is reached: so that he receives the call of both.
Even though Pharaoh was unmoved of his position that led him sink with his followers in the Red Sea, but the ethical teachings behind the event were eternal: convey the truth with the qaulan layyinan..
Now, let’s look at the meanings of qaulan layyinan in classical and modern commentaries. Qaulan layyinan is an expression that avoids harsh words (Isamail Haqqi and Al-Maraghi); words that are soft, smooth, easy, and full of intimacy (Ibn Kathir), and bring calm to the soul of the listener (Alusi).
Those are words that contain suggestions, invitations, giving examples — right and rational without degrading the opinions or views of the person they are talking to. Not a show of force or coercion (Ministry of Religion, 2012), but a smooth, polite, gentle but convincing way (Madjid, 1994). In other verses in a wise way, a good consultation and superior argument (an-Nahl : 125).
It is not the same as good and evil. Fight the evil with something better, then the one between you and anyone you have problems with will be as close as a very good friend (Fushshilat : 34).
All of these are characteristics of educated as mentioned in Quran. It says, the consequences of true faith are the ability to speak properly, politely, and well: And they (the believers and good deeds) have been guided towards good speech, and have also been guided towards the path of Allah’s Most Praised (al-Hajj : 24).
Although someone’s intention is right to remind the listener, a rude attitude will only give birth to antipathy. Emotional attitudes only cause hatred. The end is social aridity. If it is socially arid, then human values will be difficult to grow.
What grows is the culture and character of violence. That is the culture of ignorance; the character of uneducated circles. Jahiliyyah (epoch of ignorance) – comes from j-h-l – although the root word jahl connotes ignorance, the main meaning is “angry attitude”. In the early texts of Islam, jahiliyyah showed aggression, arrogance, chauvinism, and chronic tendencies in violence and revenge (Izutsu, 2002).
The Prophet reminded, “Man yuhramu al-rifqu yuhramu al-khair. He who is far from being gentle is far from good.” (Narrated by Muslim). Not only reminded, he showed how to deal with a rude attitude and change it to be gentle and loving.
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