I am, at present, in the last stages of a Bayyinah course on the Qur'an (103). I of course think it's a wonderful course... but then I've never met a course on the Qur'an I didn't like. The course covers so much that is pertinent to Muslims on an individual and social level (all from the Qur'an), I wish more people were able to take it. But for now I'd only like to share a few reflections.
First, some background: we started with four passages in the Qur'an (Surat al-`Asr, Ayat al-Birr, Surah Luqman 12-19, and Surah Fussilat 31-36) to describe mankind's salvation as depending upon four points. In short, the points are belief, (in Allah, messengers, and the Hereafter) manifested by intentional righteous deeds, amounting to encouraging the right, while staying steadfast on patience.
When it comes to tawaasaw bil haqq or enjoining the good, we spent time talking about jihad and da'wah. And using three passages in the Qur'an, we examined the characteristics of three types of Muslims. The passages are first, Surah 61, called As-Saff, which describes a true and well-developed believer; the second is Surah 62, called Al-Jumu'ah, about the average, everyday believer; and the third is Surah 63, called Al-Munafiqoon, which is obviously about the hypocrites.
I know if you look back over my 3-part series on Da'wah, you'll see that hypocrites are listed with the non-Muslims among people to receive da'wah. And now they are listed among the Muslims. It's an interesting difference but the classification seems to me to be correct in both cases. Because you can't call a person a munafiq, and for sure the munafiq would seem to be among the Muslims in the first place. So when you're enjoining the good, encouraging the Muslims (i.e., instead of calling non-Muslims), you will then be talking to the hypocrites as well, even though you might not immediately know them as such.
If you read Surat al-Munafiqoon, you notice that the hypocrites make excuses and try to divert people from the way of Allah. Then we see that the hypocrites have a pleasing appearance--they might make the first row of fajr every morning, for instance, keep a nicely trimmed beard or wear a jilbab. At the same time, they always feel under attack. This surah describes the hypocrites as being arrogant and evasive when reminded of Allah--when called to seek forgiveness from Allah is what it mentions, but couldn't that also mean, evasive when asked to come listen to lectures, or halaqas, or salaat? Just some thoughts.
If we look to the previous chapter, we see the characteristics of the average, everyday believing Muslim, whom we might be trying to remind of Allah. First we see a comparison to the Children of Israel who were given knowledge--but without acting on it, it becomes the example of a donkey carrying volumes of books on its back. Muslims I think should really look at this example--because it's talking about Muslims, and it's a good example for all those debates about fiqh issues, for instance. But in this surah we read about Jumu'ah prayer, which is a time to remind the people about Allah--and isn't that ultimately the point, to remind people of their obligations to Allah? And that remembrance is through salaat, through the Qur'an--and what is the purpose of the khutbah anyway, if not remembrance of Allah? So we should be developing khateebs who can deliver sermons that will wake up the people and encourage them in the religion. Oh yeah... tawaasaw bil haqq!
And the other surah, the first one I mentioned, is number 61, Surat As-Saff, which describes the believers standing in rows, and there are basically two times believers would be standing in rows, right? Firstly in the salaat, and secondly in battle. In rows as a collective body is how the Muslims should be, even when it comes to jihad (i.e., no "sneak attacks," right?) We see in this surah an example from the Jews and from the Christians who refused the proofs of their messengers (Musa and Isa respectively). And then Allah promises to the believers a double reward--a reward if they are killed, and that is the Garden, and a reward if they live, which is victory!
May Allah make us among the believers who love Him, love His Messenger, and striving in His Cause.