The task that today confronts a member of Majlis Ansar Sultanul Qalam (MASQ) is a great one. It is, therefore, imperative that each member understands the impetus placed upon them to accurately describe to the world the immaculate beauty of Islam.
During the early period of Islam, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his blessed Companions (ra) were forced to take up arms, as an act of self-defense, against oppressors who sought to diminish the light of Islam.
In 2013, Muslims are faced with a similar group of antagonists, seeking to do away with Islam. Rather than to strike Muslims down with their swords, they have successfully utilised a vast myriad of communication apparatus to shape the growing and prevalent negative perception of Islam.
Once limited to the publication of books, newspapers and magazines, the hate-filled opponents of Islam now make astute and effective use of social media networks, online publications, mobile applications, virals, podcasts and a whole host of other technology-based mediums.
As these apparatus form the favoured arsenal of today’s antagonists, the following wisdom and guidance of the Imam Mahdi, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), is well worth pondering over:
You should know it well that this is not the time to go the battlefield for religious purposes. The battles that were fought during the life time of the Holy Prophet, sallallaho alaihi wa sallam, were not meant to convert the non-believers to Islam by force; these battles were fought by the Muslims to defend themselves. When the Muslims were inhumanly tortured and turned out of Mecca and many Muslims had become martyrs, it was then that God commanded them to fight back; this definitely was a defensive measure. Now the times have changed. There is peace everywhere; it is with the pen that Islam is being attacked. That is why it is necessary that the pen should be used to rebut the attacks. God the Almighty says in the Holy Quran that you should make preparation to defend yourselves with the same kind of weapons as the opponents happen to use.
Think of the preparations that the opponents of Islam are now making. They are not lining up the armies. They are publishing magazines and books. We also should, therefore, pick up our pen and answer their attacks with magazines and books. It is not expedient that the prescription (treatment) and the sickness should be at variance. If the treatment does not conform with the sickness, the consequence is bound to be unprofitable and harmful. (Malfoozat Vol. 8, pg. 20)
And so, if the dignity of Islam is to be fortified, and its sweet fragrance spread to the corners of the world, the members of MASQ must continuously sharpen and proliferate the literary arsenal at their disposal. This can be done in various ways; some of which will be presented below for your convenience.
True success and achievement is only ever attainable with the blessing and support of Almighty God. Never underestimate this absolute certainty, and never permit your ego to lull you into believing that success or progress is your own. Click here to find a whole host of beneficial supplications to get your started.
– Practice writing as much as you can and do not limit yourself to a single subject or style. Today, write as a journalist and tomorrow as a storyteller; next week become an academic and the week after a poet.
– Choose subjects of interest and relate them to Islam. If, for example, you love exercise then write about the physical benefits of Salat or the sporting activities of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Should your passion be economics, then describe how the financial crisis could benefit from the mechanisms which underpin Islamic finance. The only caveat here is that you should refrain from forcing a subject (i.e., don’t try too hard to make it relevant to Islam. Only connect subjects where the connection is natural and warranted).
– Submit articles to this website. With each submission, you will receive constructive feedback and then organically grow as a Helper (Nasir / Nasira) of MASQ.
Read & Listen
– Never tire of reading; it will not only build your vocabulary and written skills, but also develop your understanding of different, and sometimes complex subjects. The benefit of being able to connect different ideas and subjects, traditionally quite far apart from one another, should not be underestimated.
– In addition to the Holy Qur’an and literature detailing the life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), make sure that you set aside ample time each week to read the books of the Promised Messiah (as) and to listen to the Friday sermon of our beloved Hudhur (aba). This is essential for any member of MASQ.
– Do not allow your insecurities to become an obstacle between you and progress. No one is born a laureate and so we each need to evolve and maintain a healthy sense of humility in our ability. Most important, is that we are each driven by a passion for learning and knowledge.
– Both reading and writing regularly will assist you in growing as a writer.
– Get into the habit of keeping a small notebook with you and jotting down new words and interesting usages of languages that you encounter during your daily routine.
– Use technology. When you write an article for this site, keep thesaurus, dictionary, antonym and synonym pages open in your internet browser (word and other software have these built-in). If you are repeating the same word or phrase in an article, use these tools to assist you in finding a new way to state the same thing.
– Avoid technology. Do not be afraid to carry a pen with you and write. Ensure that you also refrain from using spell-check, as much as possible, by taking the time to learn how to spell words correctly.
– Twitter can also be a great tool as it limits what you can write to 140 characters; this gives you an opportunity to practice making succinct points (Avoid mobile phone messaging language).
– There are also some great vocabulary and language Applications available for download onto your mobile phones. They often come in the form of interactive or social games which make them more interesting for you and your children.
– Do not forget that your children will form the next body of MASQ members. Improving your language skills will enable you to take a greater interest in their development. This will further empower both you and your children.
The MASQ team is here to assist you with all of the above. Keep in contact with us, share your interests and development and, most importantly, allow us to assist you however we can. You can contact us by leaving a comment on this site or sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC Skillswise – Great step-by-step and interactive guide to writing [Click Here]
Cambridge Dictionaries (includes thesaurus) [Click Here]
Mobile Applications – series of Android/iPhone Apps [Click Here]
Books of the Promised Messiah translated into English [Click Here]