Dr Ghazala Hassan Qadri addressed an audience of 37 executive members of Minhaj Sisters UK during a national weekend away at Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, on Saturday 6th May 2023.
The session commenced with a beautiful recitation from the Holy Qur’an of Surah Teen followed by an uplifting nasheed recited by Zeerik Ansar. Dr Ghazala requested a roll call of the executive members present and welcomed the team. She commended the team for coming together for the weekend to dedicate their precious time to the organisational development and future planning of Minhaj Sisters UK.
Dr Ghazala emphasised that the event was pivotal to team building; and an excellent way to build intra-zonal connections. She specifically encouraged the team to focus on their own personal and spiritual development. She opined that emotional and spiritual resilience is essential to implementing effective da’wah work in the community and therefore, should be a priority for Minhaj Sisters UK going forward.
Dr Ghazala commenced her session with a famous hadith reported by Ibn Abbas RA:
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Take advantage of five before five: your
youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your
poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”
Dr Ghazala encouraged sisters to use their time wisely as at this age, their mental and physical faculties are at their prime. Furthermore, she advised that this is the optimal time to engage in Allah Almighty’s worship and da’wah.
Dr Ghazala’s main message from the session consisted of the importance of joining an organisation for the purposes of da’wah.
She quoted ayah 104 of Surah Al-e-Imran:
‘And from amongst you there must be a community comprising the people who invite mankind towards piety, enjoin righteousness and forbid evil. And they are the successful people.’
She explained that this verse emphasises that the best of the believers are those who partake in the commandment of amr bi 'l-ma'rûf, which means to bid the good or to promote the good and nahi 'ani 'l-munkar, which means to forbid the evil.
She also imparted that this is not a part-time commandment and nor does its importance diminish as one ages; rather it is one of the most important directives throughout ones’ life.
Dr Ghazala further asserted that we get demotivated as we are unaware of the importance of this commandment. She quoted the following hadith from Sahih Bukhari:
‘None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.’
She averred that if we want Allah Almighty and His beloved Prophet SAW to be close to us then we must also want this for our brothers and sisters and the only way we can do that, is through da’wah; selflessness is key!
She also described that in Deen there are rules and regulations for every commandment, for example, for prayers we have a set time, method and recitation for it, likewise, for Hajj and fasting there are specific rules. Da’wah is no different, and in the aforementioned verse of Surah Al-e-Imran, it explains how da’wah must be carried out:
- There must be a community (jama’ah) - the commandment is of collectivity.
- Invite people to piety - this is a passive form of da’wah through being a role model.
- Enjoin righteousness & forbid evil - these are active roles of da’wah.
Dr Ghazala gave further examples of the benefits of collectivity and the importance of it in Deen. She acknowledged that Minhaj Sisters UK provides a broad platform for sisters to fulfil this commandment through various activities, events and spiritual retreats.
She concluded her address by reminding the sisters that personal and spiritual self-development are crucial in preparing for da’wah. She highlighted that: ‘Our aim is not just da’wah of others, but also da’wah of the (inner) self.’ The session ended with President Ansa Hussain, thanking Dr Ghazala for providing invaluable time out of her demanding schedule to join us for this session.