Dawah – Importance,Guidelines and Understanding

1. Dawah Is communal obligation (fard kifaayah) upon the ummah and it is an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn) upon every Muslim, according to his level of ability and knowledge.

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Convey from me, even if it is only one verse.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3461

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said, in his commentary on the first in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:104]:

What is meant by this verse is that there should be a group of this ummah who carry out this mission; however, that is also obligatory upon every individual of the ummah according to his means, as it is proven in Saheeh Muslim that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” According to another version: “Beyond that there is not even a mustard seed’s worth of faith.”

End quote from Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/78

2.Evidence from Quran and Sunnah on the obligation of calling people to Allah swt.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah indicates that it is obligatory to call people to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, and that this is one of the obligatory duties. The evidence for that is abundant, such as the verses in which Allah, may He be glorified, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:104]

“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad SAW) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Quran) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better”

[an-Nahl 16:125]

“and invite (men) to (believe in) your Lord, and be not of Al-Mushrikoon (those who associate partners with Allah”

[al-Qasas 28:87]

“Say (O Muhammad SAW): "This is my way; I invite unto Allah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allah i.e., to the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge”

[Yoosuf 12:108].

So Allah, may He be glorified, has explained that the followers of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) are those who call people to Allah; they are the people of insight. What is required, as is well known, is to follow him and adhere to his way, as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much”

[al-Ahzaab 33:21].

3.Communal obligation (fard kifaayah) and also confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah mu’akkadah) and a great righteous deed. (Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 1/330 )

The scholars have clearly stated that calling people to Allah, may He be exalted, is a communal obligation (fard kifaayah) with regard to the regions in which the callers live, for every region and area needs the da‘wah (call) and needs people who are active in this field. So it is a communal obligation; if sufficient numbers of people undertake it, the duty is waived from the others and for the others da‘wah becomes a confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah mu’akkadah) and a great righteous deed.

But if the people of a specific area or region do not undertake da‘wah, the burden of sin is incurred by all of them, and it becomes obligatory for all of them; each person must undertake to call people to Islam, according to his ability. However, generally speaking, with regard to every country, what is required is for there to be a group that is devoted to the mission of calling people to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, throughout the world, to convey the message of Allah and to explain the command of Allah by all possible means, because the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sent out callers, and he sent letters to people and to kings and rulers, calling them to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.

4.Which is important ? – Calling Muslims or calling non muslims

There is no need at all for differences as to which work should take precedence: calling Muslims or calling non-Muslims. The one whom Allah enables to do any of that should go ahead with it. There are some Muslims who are good at calling non-Muslims, because Allah has given them the ability to explain things clearly or to convince people easily, or He has enabled him to learn the language of the non-Muslims whom he is calling, or because of the nature of his work, as there are many non-Muslims with him, or because he travels to their country or because he has a neighbour who is a non-Muslim, and so on.

In such cases we say to the individual: Go ahead and call these people with wisdom and beautiful preaching, with clear proof, and with patience in dealing with them.

And there are some Muslims who are good at calling their fellow Muslims, because of some of the things that have been mentioned above; or because he does not have the patience to call non-Muslims; or because he has skills in convincing and debating in various issues and establishing clear proof; or because he is well versed in some branches of Islamic knowledge that may be needed more by one who calls Muslims than one who calls non-Muslims.

5.No Need for disputes or arguments in Dawah.No room for conflict.

The point of all this is to say that there is no need for disputes or arguments, let alone division, around this issue. Both are necessary according to sharee‘ah, and each person will be enabled to do that for which he was created. The one who finds that he has an interest and is able to work in either of the two fields should not denounce anyone who works in the other field, because both of them are good and are necessary, and neither takes precedence over the other at all. We do not know of any one among the early daa‘iyahs (callers) who said: We are going to refrain from calling the non-believers until we have set straight the Muslims’ affairs. When will that ever happen?!

Moreover, we do not know of anyone who says that we should refrain from calling Muslims, teaching them and setting their affairs straight in order to focus on calling the non-Muslims and bringing them to Islam.

There is no room for conflict in da‘wah; rather it is the task of every Muslim, each according to what he is able to do and what Allah has given him of knowledge, forbearance, wealth and so on.

6.Regarding Online Dawah on Social Networks,Messengers and Chat Rooms.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

We ask Allaah to increase your energy and guide your efforts, and grant you the best of rewards for your interest in da’wah and calling people to the religion and way of Allaah. There is no one who is better in speech and conduct than one who guides the people to truth and light.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And who is better in speech than he who [says: ‘My Lord is Allaah (believes in
His Oneness),’ and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allaah’s (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: ‘I am one of the Muslims’”

[Fussilat
41:33]

Warning:

But I warn you that private chat rooms are a door to temptation and evil, because among those who enter them are women and those who follow their whims and desires. The daa’iyah may begin by talking to everyone, and the shaytaan sets traps of specious arguments and desires, until he instils in his heart the temptation to imitate the followers of falsehood, or he makes him influenced and controlled by haraam desires, then he plays with him as a child plays with a ball. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) when Shaytaan (Satan) made their (evil) deeds seem fair to them and said, ‘No one of mankind can overcome you this day (of the battle of Badr) and verily, I am your neighbour (for each and every help).’ But when the two forces came in sight of each other, he ran away and said ‘Verily, I have nothing to do with you. Verily, I see what you see not. Verily, I fear Allaah for Allaah is Severe in punishment’”

[al-Anfaal 8:48]

On our site we have previously offered advice to those who engage in da’wah via the internet, lest the shaytaan ensnare them in ways they did not imagine. We have stated that public da’wah or organizing da’wah efforts in this field should be done by organizations or groups, and this is more beneficial and safer than individual efforts, because the shaytaan is closer to the one who is alone.

7.Dawah Via Online Private Chat

Praise be to Allaah.

Entering chat rooms may lead to many evil consequences, hence we do not advise anyone to focus his concern and energy on that. Many of the youth have been tempted to use chat rooms to get to know girls, so it starts with da’wah and ends with becoming preoccupied with and tempted by these girls, and some of them have even committed fornication.

Our website has heard of many sad stories, some from girls who have repented, and some from the wives of some righteous men whose lives have been changed by these chat rooms.

Hence we think that this matter should be left to some daa’iyahs to carry out in an organized and collective fashion, because of the fear of evil consequences that start with chatting for the purpose of da’wah and end – usually – with evils that are not permitted in Islam, such as infatuation and what it leads to. The Shaytaan has ways that he follows with those whom he wishes to tempt, so we must beware of these things.

We appreciate your protective jealousy (gheerah) with regard to people’s falling into sin, and your keenness to call people to Allaah, but we would prefer you to direct your energies towards general writing on bulletin boards and delivering khutbahs and teaching in the mosques and in public places. This is more beneficial and is better for you – in sha Allaah – than using private chat for da’wah.

And Allaah knows best.

8.Equip Yourself with Knowledge,Islamic Resources and information before doing Dawah.

The one who wants to call others to Allaah must equip himself with the shar’i knowledge that he wants to convey to others, and he should have sufficient experience to debate well with others, and he should have some knowledge of the doubts and desires that they suffer from, and how they may be treated. If all a person has is sincere emotions and a little knowledge gathered from here and there, that will not achieve anything and it will not benefit the one whom he is calling at all. The worst thing that we fear for the one who embarks on such a mission before he is prepared for it and before he is properly qualified for it, is that he may be like the one who is overcome with compassion for the people who were stricken with a fatal disease and he rushed to help them without any experience in medicine, so he does not benefit the sick or protect himself. There is a saying; “He went hunting but he got caught.” So beware, O slave of Allaah, and let your first concern be to save yourself.

“Nay! Man will be a witness against himself [as his body parts (skin,
hands, legs) will speak about his deeds],

15. Though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds)”

[al-Qiyaamah 75:14-15]

9.Do Not fear rejection or insult.

If a person is qualified to call people to Allaah, no matter in which field he works to call them, it is not permissible for him to stop calling on the basis of fear that a person may reject the call and insult the message or the religion, otherwise there would be no more da’wah and no one to explain the true religion to people. This is not what pleases the Lord of the Worlds. Rather Allaah has commanded us to adhere to wisdom and use beautiful preaching. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad صلىالله عليه وسلم) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’aan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided”

[al-Nahl 16:125]

10.Be Gentle,Kind and easy going.

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) urged us to be kind and gentle, giving glad tidings and using an easy-going attitude, out of keenness that the people who are called should accept the truth that is presented to them.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Mu’aadh and Abu Moosa when he sent them to the people of the Book in Yemen: “Be easy going and do not be harsh, give glad tidings and do not put people off.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3038) and Muslim (1773).

The one who adheres to this method of calling people will not be harmed if the one whom he calls turns out to be one who reviles the religion or rejects it or is arrogant towards it.

The leader of the daa’yahs, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), was continually involved in calling people to Allaah and offering wise advice, even though many of the mushrikeen responded with insults, beatings and mockery.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

When the words “And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred” [al-Shu’ara’ 26:214] were revealed, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out and climbed al-Safa, then he called out: “Ya sabaahaah (Be on your guard)!” They said: Who is this that is calling out? They said: Muhammad. They gathered around him, and he said: “O Banu So and so! O Banu So and so! O Banu ‘Abd Manaaf! O Banu ‘Abd al-Muttalib!” They gathered around him and he said: “Do you think that if I told you that there was a cavalry emerging from the foot of this mountain, would you believe me?” They said: We have never known you to be a liar. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I am a warner to you of an imminent and severe punishment.”

Abu Lahab said: May you perish! Did you call us together only for this? Then he stood up, and this soorah was revealed: “Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet) and perish he!” [al-Masad 111:1].

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1394) and Muslim (208).

11.Do not insult and do not feel ashamed of the Truth.

What is forbidden is initiating insults and put-downs with the mushrikeen and kuffaar, lest that make them respond in like manner. This is what Allaah forbids in the Qur’aan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allaah, lest they insult Allaah wrongfully without knowledge”

[al-An’aam 6:108]

Do not feel ashamed of the truth, and do not give up conveying the message of this religion with knowledge and insight. Strive to choose appropriate words and choose the right approach. Avoid insulting and mocking, and all kinds of wrongdoing and aggression, then after that it will not matter whatever the person you are calling may say. His sin is his burden to bear on the Day of Resurrection, and you will earn reward in sha Allaah.

And Allah knows best.

Based on the following Resources:

http://islamqa.info/en/77579

http://islamqa.info/en/32693

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