Consider the person who lives his entire life avoiding responsibility. One who thinks only of feeding himself, of only his own future, house, car and other property… That which unfolds around him, the tragedies and injustices that take place all over the world, the bloodshed, anguish and hunger suffered by others, does not concern him at all. He is indifferent to plight of those who have been unjustly attacked, or the child who can find not even a crumb to eat. He is of the corrupt mentality that suggests, "Let the snake which does not bite me live a thousand years." He thinks only of himself.
Such persons are quite common, however. There are many who think that if they can avoid thinking of these concerns, they themselves can be at peace. Though he finds himself in a cruel world, this does not trouble him or affect his conscience.
However, during such times, there are great responsibilities upon everyone. All can achieve the state of mind to dispose them to come to the rescue of those who are suffering, who have been unjustly exiled from their homes, or endured massacre. Working to save the world from these afflictions is a duty which falls on everybody with mind to think and a conscience.
Now, you may be thinking, "Yes, but what can I do?" But, think how the world would be if everyone thought that way… There would not be a single person to battle for good against the evils of the world. In fact, in every period of history, there have been those who fulfilled this duty. They came out fearlessly, trying to promote good in the world and keep it alive. The basic characteristics to be found among them were a fear of Allah, listening to their conscience, courage, outspokenness, and a willingness to accept responsibility.
In order to replace the cruelty and injustice which have become pervasive throughout the world with good, prosperity and justice, the first strategy is to step courageously along the path of righteousness. Perhaps, you will be wondering why it would require courage to recommend people to do good? The truth is that, courage is one of the foremost qualities necessary for those who wish to banish evil from the face of the Earth.
In order to understand how important are courage and sense of determination in instructing people to do good, and discouraging them from doing harm, we should consider the prophets, the example of their lives, and how they battled against evil in the cause of Allah.
Considering this subject will help us to recognize that throughout the centuries, everymovement for the promotion of good has been opposed by some other people.
Of course, in every period of history, as well as those who struggled for virtue, beauty, morality, peace and tranquility to prevail, there have been a large numbers of those who killed others unjustly, expelled them from their homes, worked to spread moral degeneracy, oppressed the weak, all the while seeking by these means also to exalt themselves.
In the same way that the aim of Muslims is to spread moral excellence, the aim of these others is to spread their evil throughout the world. This is demonstrated by events throughout history. Attempts have been made in every period to place under pressure the prophets and the faithful who followed them in preaching superior morality and to stop them with ugly and baseless slanders and various methods of oppression.
However, there is a special secret that those who oppose good to become established in the world can neither know, or even understand. As is pointed out in the verse, "It is Our army which will be victorious." (Surat as-Saffat, 173), Muslims are always victorious over the unbelievers. This is the promise of Allah. In this world, Allah definitely brings victory over their enemies to those who follow His path with courage, and rewards them in the Hereafter for their devoted efforts by placing them in Paradise.
All who trust in Allah, and show determination in adhering to and promoting superior morality sanctioned by Him, can hope to be rewarded with His boundless blessings. Whoever shows courage and determination similar to that of the prophets and the sincere faithful, and strives forth without deviating from the right path, may hope to become among the dwellers of Paradise. In a verse, Allah promises the following:
Those who believe and migrate and strive in the Way of Allah can expect Allah's mercy. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Baqara, 218)
In this book, we will explore the subject of courage, an important part of sublime morality of Islam. We will explain the true meaning of courage, as defined in the Qur'an, and, at the same time, examine how it is often misunderstood. We will compare the type of courage outlined in the Qur'an with this misinterpreted conception. Later, we will look at examples of the evil type of courage to which Satan incites people. Finally, we will offer examples of the courage of the prophets, and of pious believers, as recounted in the Qur'an.