THE OBLIGATION OFDA’WAHPresented ByKhalid I. Al-Dossarywww.dawahmemo.com
Allah [swt] says in the Qur‟an,“Invite all to the way of your lord [i.e. Islam] with wisdomand beautiful preaching, and argue with them in a waythat is better”. [Surah Nahl -125]“And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allahand does righteous deeds, and says: „I am one of theMuslims.” [Surah Ha-Mim-33]Calling people towards Allah also means completing our ownworship, the reason for which we are created. It is one ofthe noblest acts that entails a high reward.
Do we really believe that Da‟wah is our obligation?Reflect over this Surah which we recite everyday? [Al Asr]By the time,Verily, man is in loss,Except those who believe [in Islamic monotheism]and do righteous deeds,and recommend one another to the truth [to perform all kindof good deeds; Al Maroof which Allah has ordained, andabstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds AlMunkar, which Allah has forbidden]and recommend one another towards patience [for thesufferings, harms and injuries which one may encounter inAllahs cause during preaching this way of life of Islamicmonotheism or jihad].
Did you reflect?Did you notice Why the word “And” has been repeated so many timesin the Surah?If fulfilling just one of the criteria was enough for us, the repeatedword would have been “Or”.This implies that fulfilling each criteria is a must to hope for Jannah.[or we will be one of the losers]So, apart from believing, and doing righteous deeds, we should alsocall one another to the truth, and towards patience, i.e., do Dawah.Do we hope for Jannah, without fulfilling our obligations?
There are also many related Ahadeeth:„Convey what you have received from me, even if it is oneverse‟. [Bukharee]. Conveying a message therefore does not require ahigh level of scholarship, it is in fact a responsibility of each and everyMuslim, according to his or her ability.„Whoever hides knowledge, Allah will brand him with thebranding iron from the hellfire‟. [Ahmed]„If one of u sees a wrong, let him change it with his hand, andif he is unable then with his tongue, and if he is unable thenwith his heart. And that is the weakest of faith‟.„Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a rewardsimilar to the one who performs it‟ [Saheeh Muslim]
Some Muslims say:We arepracticingMuslimsbut, Da‟wah is notourresponsibility.“Allah commanded Jibrael to destroy a city becauseof the evildoers therein. Jibrael said, “OAllah, there is a person in the city who has neverdisobeyed you. Allah said, destroy him aswell, because he was not offended by theirevildoing”If there were people committing sins and peoplewho had the power to stop them, but did not doso, then Allah would punish both parties beforetheir death.
Some Muslims say: [contd.]First, we shouldimprove our owncommunity, and thentell others.Prophet Muhammad [saw]couldnt convince hisonly uncle, Abu Talib.But it did not stop himfrom doing Dawah toothers !It is much easier to tell Muslims, as they don‟t retaliate much [e.g., whenwe tell them about hijab, salah, beard etc]. But we are afraid that if wetell Non-Muslims, they will retaliate, ask questions, argue ! We don‟twant to do our homework, make effort etc, and make excuses to escapethe obligation and still hope for Jannah?
Some muslims say: [contd.]“Lakumdeenukum, waliya deen”. „To u isyour way, to meis mine „ [SurahAl Kafirun]This is quoted out of context toagain escape from our obligation.This Surah is referring to those whoreject faith. The question ofrejecting faith arises only when wehave delivered the message in thefirst placeSo, whom are we deceiving?
Some muslims say: [contd.]“La ikrahafi deen”.“There is nocompulsionIn Religion”.[Al Baqarah -256]Of course No Compulsion. But only afterfirst delivering the message. On the dayof judgment, the Mushrik will say –these were our neighbors, ourcolleagues, our friends who wereMuslims - they did not inform us, so howare we to blame? So, we too will have tofollow them to hell.
Now, if we are convinced of theobligation of Da’wah, lets moveto some Qualities we need tohave as a Daaie
Knowledge:to call the people to the way of Allah with Knowledge, andnot with ignorance. Lets beware of giving Da‟wah whilebeing in a state of ignorance. Some pious people have said,“Give knowledge [of Deen] everything you have, it will giveyou some of what it has”. Lets ask ourselves, how much willit give us, if we only give it our spare / leisure time?Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
Sincerity:it is waajib upon the Daa‟ie to haveIkhlaas for the sake of Allah [swt].He / She should not be desiring toshow the people, or to have a goodimage, nor should he desire the praisesand rewards of the peopleSome Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
The beautiful style of speech:the Daaie is responsible for acquiring a respectable level oflanguage proficiency, to effectively convey the message.It is worthy to note that all evil channels ofcommunication convey its mischief, deceit, delusion, andfalsehood through adorned speech. The Daa‟ie is moreentitled to use this, to call for the truth. Brevity and eloquence in conveying the Message. Use parables and similitude to make it more interesting. Clarity and repetition when necessary. Gestures & visual aids definitely make an impact.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
Akhlaaq:Be gentle and patient, and moderate inDa‟wah, while dealing with people. Beware ofharshness , as it will make them distant, notclose, and causes separation, not unity. Ourwords need to have an affect on their hearts.The best believers are those with the best character.Don‟t favour a group of people over others.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
Perseverance:Dawah will test us in many situations[afflictions, temptations, and obstacles] that try to lureus off from our mission. A Daa‟ie should have apraiseworthy personality and an excellentbehaviour, calling to patience. A Daa‟ie should besincere in Da‟wah, and strive in spreading truthamongst the people, and keep them away fromfalsehood. And with that, we should supplicate forguidance for them. [May Allah guide u, grant u theability to accept the truth. May he help u withacceptance of the truth. [hidaak allah wa faqakallah li qubool al haqq aanak allah alaa qubool alhaqq].The Daa‟ie should not despair, or havehopelessness, or say anything except that which isgood. He should not say a statement which mightcause aversion to the truth.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
Practice what we preach:We should not call tosomething and then notdo it ourselves, whichare the conditions ofthe losers.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
Deliver the Message, and leave the rest to Allah.We must remain firm in our expectation, and hope forthe good. We should not despair in the effect of ourcall, nor about the guidance of people we call to. Weshould not despair about the aid and the help of Allah,even if a long time passes.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
We need to use wisdom andtact, especially when informingsomeone not to continue in aprohibited act.This is not easy today, as people havecome to regard some prohibited acts assimply ordinary, and cannotunderstand the objection to it. Hikmais required to make people see the errorof their ways.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
We should find out the interests of thepeople, and make conversation withthem around their interests.We should provide literature accordingto their interests. E.g.A doctor could be given MauriceBucaille‟s “The Bible, The Qur‟an, andScience]A lawyer could be given books onIslamic Law, etc.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
We should win the hearts of thepeople with the light of Islam, bysimple measures such as Invitingthem to our home, preparing foodfor them, being polite, and wellmannered etc.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
We should be constant in Da‟wah. Results oftentake place only after some time, and so we shouldbe aware of the stamina, efforts, and thepatience that is required.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
Strong will and confidence:It‟s desirable to exhibit a strong will,positive self-confidence,and the capacity to control emotions.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
Posing questions:This will often stimulate thought and sharing of ideas.Rewarding the right answers will encourage eagerparticipation.Some Qualities we need as a Daaie [contd.]
People learn in different ways.Researchers confirm that some people learnfrom what they see, some learn from whatthey hear, while some prefer to read.People‟s acceptance of a concept alsodepends on their scope of intellect, culturalbackground, or their field of operation. Allthese diverse factors call for variousmethods of Da‟wah dissemination - thatappeals and stimulates peoplesinterests, senses and needs.Realize that
ALWAYS REMEMBER!Guidance is from Allah.Our job is only to convey the message in a clearway. We should not worry if people do not agreeor listen to us. Shaytaan will use this fact toestablish resignation and hopelessness in ourhearts, and make it appear that we could funnelour efforts elsewhere.Beware !
Remember the priorityDawah should start with fundamental issues, beforeproceeding with those that are less central. The oneness ofAllah [Tawheed] is the beginning and the end. Each deedshould be connected with it. Muslims argue over subsidiarymatters, and give more attention to some voluntary forms ofworship, neglecting those that are obligatory. This neglectwith regards to priorities has resulted in muslims losingtheir faith, the source of their strength. The presentweakness is used by the enemies of Islam to further prolongthe current state of affairs. The only form of Islamencouraged by the enemies of Islam, and the secularists topractice is the one which only celebrates occasions, involvesin bidah, etc. So Prioritize.
Prioritizing in different situations• Keep the situation in mind: While there is a need towarn people against the deviations of the nation of Islamin North America, that is really of little importance inBosnia, or Pakistan. Similarly, there are different shirk-Practices in different places that need to be corrected.• Da‟wah also depends upon whether the people beingaddressed are Atheists, Polytheists or the People of theBook.• Previously, people had to be called towardsMonotheism, away from idolatry, now a days, there ismore need to invite people to the existence of Allah, asAtheism and Agnosticism is common.
Ask yourselfHow do our efforts compare with those of the prophet [saw]and his companions?How many good deeds have we prepared for the day ofjudgment?What did we , as individuals and communities, do for Islam?Were we distracted by our money and our children from theobedience of Allah and jihad for his sake?“O you who believe! Let not your money or your childrendivert you from the remembrance of Allah. If any act assuch, then surely they are the losers.”[Al-Munafiqun – 9]
The prophet saw said, “No servant will be let go on the dayof judgment until he is asked about the 4 matters: hislifetime, and how he spent it, his knowledge and whatdid he use it for, his money, where did he gain it from andwhere did he spend it. And his body, in what way did hewear it away. [at tirmidhee].Have we used our bodies for fasting, praying, enjoining goodand forbidding evil, or have we used them up bysuccumbing to our desires?The prophet [saw] said, “By Allah, if Allah guides a man [toIslam] thru you, it is much better for you than beingblessed with the best pleasures of this world”.Remind yourself
The means of any mission must serve its objectives.There are Muslims who stoop to unimaginable levels to promote theirprojects and ideas. It is the norm to see the funding ofschools, books, etc, coming from interest money.Some allow mixed gathering to encourage participation.The result will be identical. Anything that does not operate within theframework of Islam will inevitable fail.So we should be wary of the means we use.Means
Continuous ImprovementWe should try to be a dynamic individual whocommits to building up our skills and developingour talents continuously.
Our prophet Muhammad [saw]conveyed the message, fulfilled thetrust, counseled the Ummah, andthen passed away.Our duty is to safeguard that trusthanded down to us throughgenerations of the MuslimUmmah.Conclusion
DuaAnd finally to close from a Dua –“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from aSciencewhich gives no benefit,a Heart that does not fear You,a Soul which is not satisfied, and a
May Allah Show usthe straightpath, and guide usall through the way