‘ Convey what you have received from me, even if it is one verse’. [Bukharee]. Conveying a message therefore does not require a high level of scholarship, it is in fact a responsibility of each and every Muslim, according to his or her ability.
‘ Whoever hides knowledge, Allah will brand him with the branding iron from the hellfire’. [Ahmed]
‘ If one of u sees a wrong, let him change it with his hand, and if he is unable then with his tongue, and if he is unable then with his heart. And that is the weakest of faith’.
‘ Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it’ [Saheeh Muslim]
We are practicing Muslims but, Da’wah is not our responsibility.
“ Allah commanded Jibrael to destroy a city because of the evildoers therein. Jibrael said, “O Allah, there is a person in the city who has never disobeyed you. Allah said, destroy him as well, because he was not offended by their evildoing”
If there were people committing sins and people who had the power to stop them, but did not do so, then Allah would punish both parties before their death.
First, we should improve our own community, and then tell others.
Prophet Muhammad [saw] couldn't convince his only uncle, Abu Talib. But it did not stop him from doing Da'wah to others !
It is much easier to tell Muslims, as they don’t retaliate much [e.g., when we tell them about hijab, salah, beard etc]. But we are afraid that if we tell Non-Muslims, they will retaliate, ask questions, argue ! We don’t want to do our homework, make effort etc, and make excuses to escape the obligation and still hope for Jannah?
“ Lakum deenukum, wali ya deen”. ‘To u is your way, to me is mine ‘ [Surah Al Kafirun]
This is quoted out of context to again escape from our obligation. This Surah is referring to those who reject faith. The question of rejecting faith arises only when we have delivered the message in the first place
“ La ikraha fi deen”. “There is no compulsion In Religion”.
[Al Baqarah -256]
Of course No Compulsion. But only after first delivering the message. On the day of judgment, the Mushrik will say – these were our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends who were Muslims - they did not inform us, so how are we to blame? So, we too will have to follow them to hell.
Now, if we are convinced of the obligation of Da’wah, lets move to some Qualities we need to have as a Daa'ie
Knowledge : to call the people to the way of Allah with Knowledge, and not with ignorance. Lets beware of giving Da’wah while being in a state of ignorance. Some pious people have said, “Give knowledge [of Deen] everything you have, it will give you some of what it has”. Lets ask ourselves, how much will it give us, if we only give it our spare / leisure time?
Sincerity : it is waajib upon the Daa’ie to have Ikhlaas for the sake of Allah [swt]. He / She should not be desiring to show the people, or to have a good image, nor should he desire the praises and rewards of the people
The beautiful style of speech : the Daa'ie is responsible for acquiring a respectable level of language proficiency, to effectively convey the message. It is worthy to note that all evil channels of communication convey its mischief, deceit, delusion, and falsehood through adorned speech. The Daa’ie is more entitled to use this, to call for the truth.
Brevity and eloquence in conveying the Message.
Use parables and similitude to make it more interesting.
Akhlaaq : Be gentle and patient, and moderate in Da’wah, while dealing with people. Beware of harshness , as it will make them distant, not close, and causes separation, not unity. Our words need to have an affect on their hearts.
The best believers are those with the best character.
Perseverance : Dawah will test us in many situations [ afflictions, temptations, and obstacles] that try to lure us off from our mission. A Daa’ie should have a praiseworthy personality and an excellent behaviour, calling to patience. A Daa’ie should be sincere in Da’wah, and strive in spreading truth amongst the people, and keep them away from falsehood. And with that, we should supplicate for guidance for them . [May Allah guide u, grant u the ability to accept the truth. May he help u with acceptance of the truth. [hidaak allah wa faqak allah li qubool al haqq aanak allah alaa qubool al haqq] The Daa’ie should not despair, or have hopelessness, or say anything except that which is good. He should not say a statement which might cause aversion to the truth.
Deliver the Message, and leave the rest to Allah . We must remain firm in our expectation, and hope for the good. We should not despair in the effect of our call, nor about the guidance of people we call to. We should not despair about the aid and the help of Allah, even if a long time passes.
We need to use wisdom and tact, especially when informing someone not to continue in a prohibited act. This is not easy today, as people have come to regard some prohibited acts as simply ordinary, and cannot understand the objection to it. Hikma is required to make people see the error of their ways.
People learn in different ways. Researchers confirm that some people learn from what they see, some learn from what they hear, while some prefer to read. People’s acceptance of a concept also depends on their scope of intellect, cultural background, or their field of operation. All these diverse factors call for various methods of Da’wah dissemination - that appeals and stimulates peoples interests, senses and needs.
Guidance is from Allah. Our job is only to convey the message in a clear way. We should not worry if people do not agree or listen to us. Shaytaan will use this fact to establish resignation and hopelessness in our hearts, and make it appear that we could funnel our efforts elsewhere. Beware !
Da'wah should start with fundamental issues, before proceeding with those that are less central. The oneness of Allah [Tawheed] is the beginning and the end. Each deed should be connected with it. Muslims argue over subsidiary matters, and give more attention to some voluntary forms of worship, neglecting those that are obligatory. This neglect with regards to priorities has resulted in muslims losing their faith, the source of their strength. The present weakness is used by the enemies of Islam to further prolong the current state of affairs. The only form of Islam encouraged by the enemies of Islam, and the secularists to practice is the one which only celebrates occasions, involves in bidah, etc. So Prioritize.
Keep the situation in mind : While there is a need to warn people against the deviations of the nation of Islam in North America, that is really of little importance in Bosnia, or Pakistan. Similarly, there are different shirk-Practices in different places that need to be corrected.
Da’wah also depends upon whether the people being addressed are Atheists, Polytheists or the People of the Book.
Previously, people had to be called towards Monotheism, away from idolatry, now a days, there is more need to invite people to the existence of Allah, as Atheism and Agnosticism is common.
The prophet saw said, “No servant will be let go on the day of judgment until he is asked about the 4 matters: his lifetime, and how he spent it, his knowledge and what did he use it for, his money, where did he gain it from and where did he spend it. And his body, in what way did he wear it away. [at tirmidhee].
Have we used our bodies for fasting, praying, enjoining good and forbidding evil, or have we used them up by succumbing to our desires?
The prophet [saw] said, “By Allah, if Allah guides a man [to Islam] thru you, it is much better for you than being blessed with the best pleasures of this world”.
The means of any mission must serve its objectives. There are muslims who stoop to unimaginable levels to promote their projects and ideas. It is the norm to see the funding of schools, books, etc, coming from interest money.
Some allow mixed gathering to encourage participation.
The result will be identical. Anything that does not operate within the framework of Islam will inevitable fail.
And finally to close from a Dua – “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from a Science which gives no benefit, a Heart that does not fear You, a Soul which is not satisfied, and a Call which is not heard or answered by You.
May Allah Show us the straight path, and guide us all through the way