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Calling others to Allah's path with wise and good methods and without applying coercion

Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided. (Surat an-Nahl; 125)

Islam is acceptable to Allah only when a person lives by it sincerely, willingly and happily, and only when the person himself consents to it. Allah has revealed this quality of religion in many verses of the Qur'an. For example, a person who prays five times a day must do it willingly and lovingly for Allah. Or if someone gives gifts from his possessions, he must do it willingly and lovingly, if his act of worship is to be approved in Allah's Sight.

Someone becomes a Muslim when he is able to acknowledge Allah through his intellect and in his heart. Moreover, he must be conscious of the purpose of his religious duties. And he must be aware of why he performs these acts of service. This comes from his attachment to the Muslim religion and his absolute belief in Allah's existence. For this reason, he performs the requirements of religious moral values willingly and lovingly. Therefore, Islam is a religion whose true practice depends on the voluntary choice of the individual.

Hence, there is no compulsion to accept Islam. Allah does not expect Muslims to pressurize those who do not incline towards Islam, since religion adopted under oppression is not acceptable in His Sight. Adopting religion without sincerity and only because of pressure from others will have no validity before Allah. Therefore it will make no difference for anyone to practice religion with this kind of morality.

Communicating the religion of Islam to others should be an invitation made with gracious words, as a summons to a relationship with Allah. In the Qur'an Allah reveals that there is no coercion in religion:

There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false gods and believes in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara; 256)

In compliance with the morals of the Qur'an, when explaining the religion of Allah, Muslims employ the best style that will kindle love in the hearts of people towards Islam. They must be kind and patient. When people can love and respect Muslims, they will be receptive to the system of beliefs that give them moral excellence. Therefore, the right word will be important to soften their hearts to Islam.

Remembering Allah when one forgets something

Man is a being of imperfection, while Allah alone is self-sufficient. This is because Allah created man with weaknesses. One of man's weaknesses is forgetfulness; no one is free of it, no matter how intelligent he may be.

Admitting this weakness makes one acknowledge his dependence upon Allah. In a way, that is because a person can claim to exist only through his memory. All the information related to his identity, beliefs, deeds, pleasures, habits and way of life are held in memory. However, Allah may allow one to forget the end of the sentence he is speaking, and, if He wills, can make him forget his entire life in an instant. In order to be aware of himself, man is in need of Allah, Who permits him to keep information in his memory at every moment. If Allah should take a piece of information from a person's mind, he will have no power whatsoever to retrieve it. In such a state of helplessness, everyone should take refuge in Allah and seek His help:

... Remember your Lord when you forget, and say, 'Hopefully my Lord will guide me to something closer to right guidance than this.' (Surat al-Kahf; 24)

Remembering something that one has forgotten and succeeding in any particular objective is possible only by Allah's will. Therefore, the only recourse is to pray for guidance.

Not losing hope in Allah's mercy

Say [from Me]: 'My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.'" (Surat az-Zumar; 53)

In many verses of the Qur'an, Allah mentions that Muslims -even those with the most fear of Allah- may make mistakes. In this verse surely Allah brings relief to their hearts, for a Muslim who errs may feel great regret, sorrow and guilt. Allah knows that Muslims are very careful about improving their shortcomings. In the Qur'an, He gives the examples of prophets who have won His approval to show that every person may make mistakes.So these encouraging and refreshing consolations prevent Muslims from falling into despair after they have made a mistake. Allah has promised to forgive a person's errors without exception, if that person is sorry and repents of what he has done.

But despite the many consolations in the Qur'an that refresh the spirit and give hope, many human beings still do not admit that they make mistakes, in an ignorant manner. In spite of the glad tidings announced in the Qur'an, after making a mistake they become wrapped in despair and become anxious and downhearted which is totally wrong behavior. An individual who refuses to acknowledge errors he has committed out of pride and arrogance is greatly unhappy by what he has done. He has trouble accepting that he is a creature prone to making mistakes and faulty decisions, and whose actions and words may be wrong. He does not consider that perfection and freedom from error belong only to Allah. He wants to be perfect himself. But he cannot, and the fact that some of his attitudes are wrong, draws him into despair. A Muslim experiences deep peace by accepting his imperfections and helplessness in relation to Allah and never claims to be free from error.

It should be remembered that the tendency to err and sin -even though one may be a firm believer- makes him more aware of Allah's perfection. One can conceive of perfection only when he has experienced imperfection. Consciousness of his own failures and weaknesses lets him better appreciate the absolute perfection of Allah. He will have a clear conception that He is exalted above all else while measuring Allah with His true measure and glorifying Him with praise.

Honesty

Lying is frequently employed by some of those who foolishly eschew the morals of the Qur'an to mislead others. Various reasons prompt a man to lie: to avoid others' criticisms, to lay the grounds for a dishonest argument or to attain superiority. However, no matter what the reason, this is an act forbidden by Allah. In the Qur'an, He praises those who are truthful and curses liars:

If anyone argues with you about him after the knowledge that has come to you, say, 'Come then! Let us summon our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves. Then let us make earnest supplication and call down the curse of Allah upon the liars.' (Surah Al 'Imran; 61)

Every inaccurate word uttered with the intent to mislead someone is a lie. But a person may say something incorrect unintentionally or simply out of forgetfulness. A person who does not seek to mislead another loses no time in correcting his words. However, a deliberate lie is based on evil intention: the liar has a purpose. Therefore, Allah holds him liable for his intentions. As commanded in the verse below, Muslims must always speak the truth:

You who believe! Have taqwa of Allah and speak the right word. (Surat al-Ahzab; 70)

Even if an unintentional word escapes from his mouth in an unguarded moment, a Muslim will immediately make up for it. He will never deliberately try to mislead someone, knowing that he will have give an account of his actions in the Hereafter; for this is a thing to be condemned both in the Hereafter and in this world.

Our holy Prophet (saas) tells us this in the hadiths about avoiding telling lies:

"The least lovable creatures in the Sight of Allah on the Day of Reckoning are the liars, the proud and those who harbor ruthless hatred for their brothers in their breasts..." (Imam Gazali, İhya'u Ulum'id-din, Vol. 3, p. 355)

The Prophet said, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 116; Sahih Muslim)

Not to trust persons whose words are not to be trusted

In searching for the truth, the Qur'an advises us to consult others in situations where one's own experience or knowledge is insufficient. Often, when Muslims fear they may have made a mistake, they seek advice about how to find the right thing to do and avoid wrong actions. That is, the aim of seeking advice is to find out what is right and proper.

However, not everyone has the wisdom and honesty to make the right decisions or to lay his own interests aside. There are people, too, whose words cannot be trusted. Anyone who gives advice must possess particular qualities, the foremost of which is faith in Allah. Only by acting according to his conscience can a person make a right evaluation of a situation and explain it to someone else, even if such an explanation is not in his own best interests. His love and fear of Allah make him conscientious and trustworthy.

Any person who fails to employ his conscience and displays moral failings has neither the ability to see the right choice nor the ability to lead another to the truth. Consequently, a Muslim must be meticulous in choosing his advisors. In the Qur'an, Allah forbids obedience to wicked people and makes clear the type of person whose words and admonitions are not to be trusted - someone who easily transgresses Allah's limits:

But do not obey any vile swearer of oaths, Any backbiter, slandermonger, Impeder of good, evil aggressor, Gross, coarse and furthermore, despicable, Simply because he possesses wealth and sons. When Our Signs are recited to him, he says, 'Just myths of previous peoples!' (Surat al-Qalam; 10-15)

And in another verse, Allah reveals that there are two types of individuals who should not be listened to:

"Therefore wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord. Do not obey any evildoer or thankless man among them." (Surat al-Insan; 24)

In the Qur'an, Allah reveals clearly whose word is to be trusted; that is, whose guidance and advice should be relied upon. According to this distinction, when it is a matter of his material and emotional welfare, a Muslim should never act on the advice of liars, gossipmongers, or aggressive, argumentative individuals, who easily disregard the limits set by Allah or people who are deceitful or sarcastic.

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