by Omer Mukthar-
Unlike in the past, today many Muslim medical doctors have come forward to work in dawa field all over the world. This trend has increased in recent time in Sri Lanka. We should appreciate their dedication and sacrifice in daw works. It is their freedom of choice and own decision to work in dawa field. It shows their strong commitment to this religion. Their effort and keenness in dawa work should be commended and admired but this some with some conditions. It is great to see some of highly trained professional doctors are engaging in dawa works. Away from materialistic motives to accumulate wealth and money, some Muslim doctors have shown great interest in Islamic dawa works. Today, in this modern machinery world doctors are counting each minute to make money, of course, each minute is priced with different payment scale according to the qualifications and experience of doctors. Yet, some Muslim doctors are willing to sacrifice this materialistic gains for their faith. This trend is unprecedented in Sri Lanka.
In some western countries each hour of a medical consultant is priced with lucrative salary or each consultation hour is priced with huge amount of money. Yet, al-Hamdu Lillah, today many Muslim doctors sacrifice their valuable time for Islam. In Sri Lanka too we have seen many doctors who sacrifice their time and life for Islam. They dedicate their time for Muslim community works. This trend was unthinkable in the past in Sri Lanka. We have heard about some Muslim doctors in Sri Lanka who work day and night like machines to make money. yet, to see some dramatic change in the attitudes of Muslim doctors to Islamic works and community welfare projects is encouraging.
Did Dr Zakir trigger this new trend among Muslim doctors? I think many young doctors have greatly influenced by him and yet, can each and every Muslim doctor emulate Dr Zakir in dawa work Is it what Islam demands from them? To sacrifice their medical profession to work in dawa. This is a contentious issue. Of course, contributions of Muslim doctors to dawa works is imperative today than ever before. Today, to understand Islam and explain Islam to modern world we need people with high level of IQ and rationality. Dr Zakir with his IQ and rational approach attracted millions of people and with his deep insight into comparative religious studies he greatly contributed to Islamic dawa. Can each medical doctors become like Zakir Naik? Is it what Islam demand from doctors
No doubt that to speak for Islam today we need to have highly qualified people such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, economists and other professionals. Today traditional Muslim clerics cannot meet the challenges of modern world with rapid developments in all aspect of human life. To speak for Islam, we need experts in medicine, economy, politics and many other fields. In this respect, it can be said that Muslim doctors could do a lot for dawa works and Muslim community works and yet, they do not need leave their medical profession to serve Islam?
They have social status and community acceptance. They have some influence in our community and people will listen to them. I think they could guide our community as many of Muslim clerics do. They have skills and knowledge to understand community problems and challenges. So their involvement in dawa work should be highly appreciated and admired by Muslim community.
Yet, I do not like to see any doctor goes far extreme in dawa works. I understand that some Muslim doctors resigned from their government posts to work in the field of dawa. of course, it is entirely for them to decide what they want to do in their life and yet, I see that their priority should be that they work in their field of medicine. Thorough their professions they could do a lot for our community and for our country as well. They are paid by this country to become medical doctors to serve people of this country and it is not morally right to resign their jobs in order to work in dawa. Moreover, with their works in government hospitals they could inspire and influence many Non-Muslim patients. They could be role model dawa workers through their professions with their good examples in hospitals. Once a student with his devotion to religion asked sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali if he could quit his science field and devote his life for the study of Islam. He advised him that there are many people to do dawa works and to study Islam and yet, there are only a few people to study science in our community and he advised him to continue his studies in science field. We know well Muslim community in Sri Lanka live a minority community and government hospitals are full with Non-Muslim medical professionals. If we do not have enough Muslim doctors in government hospitals Muslim patients will face some uncomfortable situations.
I’m little bit concerned that this new trend of Muslim doctors’ enthusiasm to work in dawa field may lead them to quit their professions to do dawa. Is it acceptable. It is contentious issue to argue.
I have seen some of them did it and quitted their job to works in dawa. They could do more dawa in their profession in our country than what they do outside of their profession. Moreover, we are living as minority and professionals in medical fields are comparatively less in our community than other communities. Therefore, medical doctors should become experts in medical fields rather than dawa field experts. Otherwise they should never have been in medical fields from beginning. They should have gone to dawa works with A/Ls. Of course, they should engage in dawa works but should not go far extreme to that extent to quit their jobs from government hospitals. In Saudi, Muslim doctors could do it but our community context in Sri Lanka it is different from that of any Muslim country.