The Courageous Believer
Mufti Muhammad Qasim Attari
وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡۤ اٰمَنَ یٰقَوۡمِ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ مِّثۡلَ یَوۡمِ الۡاَحۡزَابِ (ۙ۳۰) مِثۡلَ دَاۡبِ قَوۡمِ نُوۡحٍ وَّ عَادٍ وَّ ثَمُوۡدَ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ ؕ وَ مَا اللّٰہُ یُرِیۡدُ ظُلۡمًا لِّلۡعِبَادِ (۳۱)
“The believer said, 'My people! I fear for you a Day ˹of punishment˺, similar to that of the earlier groups. Like the tradition of ˹the punishment which befell˺ the People of Nūḥ, ʿĀd, Thamūd, and others after them; and Allah does not desire injustice for ˹His˺ servants.'” 
When the believing man observed the people unwilling to give up their plan to kill Prophet Mūsā عَلَيْهِ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام despite being advised with wisdom, gentleness, and logic, he courageously adopted a more direct and bold approach. He began using admonitory examples from the past and mentioning potential terrors of the future. The order in which the believing man warns in the Quran is as follows:
The believing man warning against worldly punishment
Administering fear into his people regarding divine punishment, the believing man said:
My nation! Due to your rejection of Prophet Mūsā عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام and your intention to kill him, I fear that a terrifying day will come upon you just as it came upon previous nations who rejected their messengers عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام, just as Allah dealt with the nations of Nūḥ, ʿĀd, and Thamūd. Eventually, divine punishment destroyed the rejectors and objectors. This destruction was not injustice, for Allah is not unjust to His servants.
He only punishes creation after He has explained everything by means of His prophets, but people still do not reform. As everything has already been explained to you, if you still carry out actions that invite punishment, then you will certainly be punished.
The believing man warning against punishment in the Hereafter
After warning them against punishment in this world, the believing man warned his nation against punishment in the Hereafter:
My nation! By killing a prophet of Allah عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, you will not only suffer in this world, but I fear that punishment for you on the day when cries will ring out from every direction, and there will be none to save you from divine punishment. Reassess your intentions and believe in Prophet Mūsā عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام. My role is to simply advise, for only Allah grants guidance.
The reason for referring to the Day of Judgement as the “Day of Calling”
Judgement Day is also called the Day of Announcements (yawm al-tanād) because countless announcements will be made on that day. Those announcements will include every person being called to their leader, guide and imam, whether truthful or false. Also, announcements of fortune and misery; for example, “So-and-so was fortunate and will never be unfortunate,” and, “So-and-so has become cursed.” Besides this, the people of Paradise will call out to the people of Hell, and vice versa.
The believing man reminding his nation of the past
After warning them of punishment in this world and the Hereafter, the believing man draws their attention to the past:
Your customary doubt and rejection of Allah’s prophets is not something new. It has occurred since the time of your ancestors, and this rejection always proved to be mistaken. People of Egypt! Before Prophet Mūsā عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, Prophet Yūsuf عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام came to your forefathers with clear signs, but they remained sceptical about the true faith he brought, and they persisted like this until he left this world.
Then your forefathers said, “Allah will never send another messenger.” This baseless proof was purported by those before you so that they could deny the Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام that came after Prophet Yūsuf عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام. Like this, they remained obstinate upon disbelief, and a seal is cast on the hearts of those who adopt their way.
The trickery of Pharaoh in response to the believing man
Hearing the powerful statements of this believing man which pulled people to him, Pharaoh immediately changed the topic. Seeking to trick people, he gave the following instruction to his minister Hāmān, “Build for me a palace that reaches the sky so I can climb to its height and perhaps see the God of Mūsā (عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام). According to me, Musa (عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام) is false in claiming that there is another God besides me.” In reality, this was all an act by Pharaoh and Satan had fooled him.
The believing man’s invitation to obedience
Observing Pharaoh’s inability to respond rationally, the believing man declared, “My people! Listen to me instead of Pharaoh. I will show you the path of goodness and salvation, for guidance is only in obeying the noble Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام. Following the saints رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهم is another name for this obedience.” The Arabic word for “guide” (murshid) is derived from the word سَبیل الرَّشاد in verse 38.
Recounting the temporary nature of the world
Advising his people, the believing man said:
My nation! Worldly life is but a small, temporary possession. It will not last forever but will certainly perish. The Hereafter is eternal and greater than this fleeting world. He who does evil in the world, will attain return in accordance to said evil in the Hereafter.
A man or woman in this world who work to please Allah Almighty and have faith in Him, for the acceptance of works is subject to having faith, will be admitted to Paradise. Therein, they will find endless sustenance. Granting greater reward than a good deed usually earns, is the grace of Allah.
The believing man expressing his heartfelt sentiments
Whilst counselling his people, the believing man sensed people were surprised at his words, and instead of accepting what he was saying, they wished to invite him towards their false religion. He then declared:
You are strange people, for I call you towards salvation and Paradise by inviting you towards belief, yet, you call me towards punishment and Hell by inviting me to disbelief and polytheism. I call you towards belief, and you call me towards polytheism. I am calling you towards Allah, who is eternally exalted and most forgiving, but you call me towards serving a false god whose worship will not benefit me in this world or the Hereafter.
The concluding words of the believer’s speech, and his complete trust in Allah
Bringing his faith-inspiring, thought-provoking, and compassionate speech to an end, the believing man announced, “My words are not currently having an effect on you, but when punishment soon descends, you will remember my advice. Remembering them at that time will not benefit you.”
Hearing this, they threatened the believing man: “If you oppose our religion, we will treat you in a severe manner.” Replying to this, he said, “I entrust my affair to Allah. Indeed, He sees His slaves and is aware of their deeds and states, so I do not fear you at all.”
Special divine help for the believing man
The believing man paid no heed to the threat of Pharaoh’s people, entrusting his affair to Allah. Thus, Allah granted special aid to this trusting slave of His, such that when the people of Pharaoh intended to punish the believing man, Allah saved this brave and true man from their evil. Those who threatened him were surrounded by the worst punishment. They ultimately drowned in a river along with Pharaoh and will enter Hellfire on the Day of Judgement.
Some lessons regarding the call towards righteousness
1. A sincere preacher is acquainted with the needs of his time and the capacity of people. This knowledge underpins his approach to preaching and drives him to speak according to the context and audience.
2. Even if you are alone in voicing the truth, trust in and rely on Allah, for this fosters courage and determination, allowing you to face thousands of opponents.
3. You will not give up or lose courage if you are truthful. Even the Pharaoh of the age will be unable to diminish your commitment and boldness.
4. When preaching Islam, mentioning the accounts of the noble prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام and instilling fear of the grave and Hereafter is an effective tool. You cannot improve communities through mere philosophical musings.
5. Study history because drawing on historical facts and events is a great tool for preaching.
 al-Quran, 40:30-31