Da’wah ; Inviting to Allah

Introduction

If we look at the Muslim World we can see that they are helpless. We are many in number yet we suffer the most. There are more than a billion Muslims all over the world out of a five billion world population, yet we suffer. How can it be? So studying a few ahadith in this respect will help us to get a better understanding of the situation. Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said, “lf you deal with eenah (one of the Haram form of buying and selling), hold the cow’s tail and become content with employing yourself in agriculture and (while) leaving Jihad in the way of Allah. Allah would permit your humiliation and would relieve you until you come back to your Deen “. (Abu Daud)

As the above clearly shows that the real cause of our defeat and suffering is not due to any shortage in number or resources but because we are neglecting our responsibilities and duties. Among them one of the Duties is giving Da’wah

What is Da’wah?

First question we need to answer is what is Da’wah? Da’wah is an Arabic word translated as ‘invitation’. Spreading the Message of Islam, inviting others to the path of Allah, warning (indhar), giving glad tidings (tabshir), teaching and instructing (ta’lim), conveying and propagating (tilawa) is all included in the meaning of Da’wah. How important is Da’wah?

Task of Prophets

Prophets were chosen to invite the people to Allah. They were sent as a witness to the people calling them to all that is good and keeping them away from all that is bad. This was the responsibility given to all the prophets. Prophets have done their job to the best of their ability without any negligence whatsoever. Quran gives us many moving examples of their dedication in fulfilling this task.

“Messengers as bearers of good news aswell as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allah after the (coming of) messengers. And Allah is ever all powerful, all Wise.” (4:165)

“O Prophet (Muhammad), verily, we have sent you as a witness and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner, and as one who invites to Allah by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light” (33:45-6)

“Say (O Muhammad), ‘O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah – to whom belongs the dominions of the heavens and the earth. La ilaha illa huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). It is He who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and His words, [the Torah and the Injeel and also Allah’s Word: ‘Be!’ – and he was i.e. Isa son of Maryam], and follow him so that you may be guided.” (7:158)

“He said: ‘O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day. But all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight from the truth. And verily, every time I called unto them that you might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. ‘Then verily, I called to them openly (aloud)’. ‘Then verily I proclaimed to them in public, and I have appealed to them in private.'” (71:5-9)

“It may be that you (O Muhammad) are going to kill yourself with grief, that they do not become believers [in your messengership]” (26:3)

“And when it is said to them (munafiqeen): believe as the people (followers of Muhammad) have believed,’ they say: ‘shall we believe as the fools have believed?’ Verily, they are the fools, but they know not.” (2:13)

Purpose of our existence – Now the Prophet (s) is no longer with us and there will not be other Prophet as he is the last of the Prophet but the work of ‘spreading Islam’ must continue. This responsibility automatically falls on the Muslim that is us, as a Successor to last Prophet.

“You (true believers) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin al-Ma’ruf and forbid al-Munkar, and you believe in Allah…” (3:110)

“Let there arise out of you a group of people enjoining to that which is good, enjoining al-Ma’ruf and forbidding al-Munkar and it is they who are successful.” (3:104)

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allah with sure knowledge). And Glorified and Exalted is Allah (above all that they associate as partners with him.) And I am not of the Mushrikeen” (12:108)

“Thus we have made you a just (and best) nation that you be a witness over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad) be a witness over you” (2:143)


Fard

This task is a compulsory one, which means that you must do it. Everyone claiming to be a Muslim must give Da’wah. It is like the five daily Salah, fasting in Ramadan, going to Hajj and so on.

The propagation of Islam was the mission of all the prophets and messengers of Allah. There was never a prophet who was not a preacher and teacher. All of them preached the same message: ‘Worship Allah, you have no other god but Him.’ They all called to their people saying: ‘I do not seek any reward from you for this work.’

‘Call thou [all mankind] unto thy Sustainer’s path with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the most kindly manner.’ (16:125)

‘Say [O Prophet]: “This is my way, resting upon conscious insight accessible to reason, I am calling [you all] unto God – I and they who follow me.” And [say] “Limitless is God in His glory; and I am not one of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him!” (12:108)

‘And who could be better of speech than he who calls [his fellow-men] unto God, and does what is just and right, and says, “Verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves to God?”‘ (41:33)

Experience of Jews

Those who give up this mission or fail to fulfill it or neglect it are guilty of breaking their promise with Allah: Allah made a promise with the Jews as they were the chosen people, to make their book known to all and not to hide it. But unfortunately they failed to keep up with their promise and Allah’s curse fall on them. This should serve as a warning to the Muslims as Allah says that those who hide His clear message of the Book {Qur’an} are cursed.

See Qur’an (3:187, 2:40, 2:61, 5:13, 2:159- I 160, 45:16-18)

Why give Da’wah?

The call of our Da’wah is to Allah. Our message is to return back to Qur’an and Sunnah in its entirety. We aim to create a society where the deen will be fully established. Allah says “We have sent the messenger with the guidance and religion of truth that he makes it prevail over all other religions although the pagans may detest it.” (61:9)

What if we do not give Da’wah? Neglecting this duty obviously implies hypocrisy in our belief. This will result in ~ punishments in ‘this’ life and the ‘next’ life.

“And so, humiliation and powerlessness afflicted them and they earned Allah’s anger” (2:61).

Although this ayat is talking about the Jews but the similar moments can also be seen in our history when we neglected our duty. For instance the Tatars, Mugols, British, (colonialism).

During Daud (as)’s time Allah made a ruling to stop fishing on a certain day. One group disobeyed it. Another obeyed it themselves but did not stop others from breaking it while the third group not only followed the command themselves but also actively tried to stop others from committing it. When Allah decided to punish the people for their transgressions He turned the fIrst two groups in to apes and saved the third one.

Prophet (s) said Du’a (prayer) will not be accepted when people give up Da’wah: “By Allah in whose hand is my life, necessarily you should enjoin good and forbade evil or else Allah will send chastisement on you. And you will make Du ‘a but your Du ‘a will not be accepted”. (Tirmidhi)

In another hadith he said: “Certainly it is not as you think. By Allah you must enjoin good and forbid evil and hold the hand of the aggressors, pursued them to act justly and make them steadfast in truth, failing which Allah will punish you along with them (wrongdoers) and will be cursed like the Jews” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)

The five premises

First: sincerity and truthfulness with Allah, and to seek His favour. Allah says:

‘And withal, they were not enjoined aught but that they should worship God, sincere in their faith to Him alone.’ (98:5)

The holy Prophet, (saw) foretold tat the first with whom the fire of hell will be lit are three; among them a scholar who acquired knowledge so that people would say he is learned. And it was indeed said of him.

Second: to practice what one preaches. Actually it is a scandal and disgrace that a person’s actions contradict his words. Allah derides such people in His Qur’an:

‘Do you bid other people to be pious, the while you forget your own selves – and yet you recite the divine writ? Will you not, then, use your reason?’ (2:44)

Third: gentleness in presenting the message. Allah advised Moses and Aaron to adopt this measure with Pharaoh, the greatest tyrant of his time:

‘But speak unto him in a mild manner, so that he might bethink himself or [at least] be filled with apprehension.’ (20:44)

And to Muhammad, He also cautioned: ‘And it was by God’s grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy followers; for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from thee’ (3:159).

Hence it was on this basis the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, declared: ‘Make matters easy and do not make them difficult. Give glad tidings and do not drive people away.’

Fourth: adopt a gradual approach to propagation. Do as Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, did in his mission by beginning with the most important matters; then follow them up in order of priority. This was clearly demonstrated in the advice he gave to Mu`adh before he sent him to Yemen. “You will come upon a People of the Book (Jews and Christians), the first thing you should invite them to is to bear witness that there is no God save Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah. If they respond positively to this, then inform them that Allah had ordained for them five prayers each day and night.’

Fifth: address every people with what is suited for them and their needs. There is a special approach to the people of the cities and another approach to the villagers. Similarly, there is a special approach to the bedouin. The intellectual has his position and the ignorant has his position. So too, there is a style for the argumentative and an entirely different one for the submissive. ‘And whoever is granted wisdom has indeed been granted wealth abundant.’

GOALS OF DA’WAH

First: to attain the position of inheritors of the prophets, for they were the first callers and beacons of light in the field of propagation.

Second: to obtain prayers for your forgiveness from the creation for having taught the people goodness. Even the whale in the ocean will pray for the caller to truth.

Third: to gain great rewards equivalent to that of those invited. The Prophet, (saw) said: ‘Whoever calls to a good tradition will have the reward as the one who followed it without reducing from their reward.’

Fourth: the development of the caller from being on who is called to one who calls. He influences others and is not influenced by others who call to evil.

Fifth: the caller will become a leader among his people ad they will follow him. Allah almighty describes the righteous and notes that they call upon Him saying: ‘Cause us to be foremost among those who are conscious of Thee!’ (25:74)

A clear formulation of the aims of da`wah can be summarized is as follows:

  1. To guide people to the religion of Allah
  2. To establish evidence against those who decline from or oppose the religion
  3. To discharge the duty enjoined on us, the Muslims, by Allah
  4. To exalt the word of Allah on earth

The first objective, of guiding people to Allah’s religion and establishing worship of Allah alone, was the primary task of the Prophets and Messengers. The Prophets were calling people to the realization and fulfillment of the purpose of creation, which is worship of their Creator. Worship can be defined as “everything that Allah (swt) loves and approves of from the apparent and hidden sayings and deeds.” [Ibn Taymeeyah] The Qur’an makes it clear that worship is the specific reason why Allah created all that exists, animate or inanimate.

“And I created not the Jinns and men except that they may worship Me (Alone).” [Al-Qur’an, adh-Dhaariyaat(51):56]

“There is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not that glorification.” [al-Qur’an, al-Israa'(17):44]

The aim of Muslims in da`wah is the same, calling all of mankind to worship of Allah alone and submission to Him according to the Deen that He chose for His Prophets to convey. At the same time, it must be realized that the actual results of our efforts in guiding people to Allah’s religion are not in our hands, as it is only Allah who guides. Even the Prophet himself (s) was unable to guide his uncle Aboo Taalib, about which Allah (swt) said:

“Verily you (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And he knows best those who are guided.” [Al-Qur’an, al-Qasas (28):56]

Establishing Allah’s proof against the disbelievers and the rebellious is the second goal of da`wah, and is achieved by our relating the message in a proper way. Our success in this regard does not depend on whether Allah guides those whom we call or not.

The Prophets themselves were sent as warners to the mankind, having as their duty only to convey the message and explain the obligations of the people towards their Creator, and to warn of a severe torment for those who rejected the message. Disbelievers are thus left with no excuse that can justify their disobedience to Allah. These concepts are explained in the following Qur’anic verses:

“Messengers are bearers of good news as well as warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allah after the Messengers. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.” [al-Qur’an, an-Nisaa’ (4):165]

“Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him (to convey the Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to convey [the Message] in a clear way.” [An-Noor (24):54]

Calling to Allah will therefore leave those who disbelieve without an excuse before Allah on the Day of Judgment, in case they do not respond to the call of the Messengers. Calling is our role, and responding is theirs.

“Say (O Muhammad, to the disbelievers): My Lord pays attention to you only because of your invocation to Him. But now you have indeed denied (Him). So the torment will be yours forever.” [Al-Qur’an, al-Furqaan (25):77]

The third goal of da`wah is to fulfill our duty of calling people to Allah (swt). Our duty is only to convey the message, so our success in realizing this goal is also not dependent on the response of those that we are calling. Allah (swt) says to the Messenger in several places in the Qur’an:

“Your duty is to convey the Message.” [Al-Qur’an, Ash-Shooraa (42):48]

“The Messenger’s duty is but to convey the Message.” [Al-Qur’an, al-Maai`dah (5):99]

“Whether we show you (O Muhammad) part of what We have promised them or cause you to die, your duty is only to convey (the Message) and unto Us is the reckoning.” [Al-Qur’an, ar-Ra`d (13):40]

Releasing ourselves from the duty of da`wah enjoined upon us by Allah is of particular relevance to those Muslims living in non-Muslim lands, as engaging in da`wah would in shaa’ Allah justify their stay among the disbelievers.

The Prophet(s) has also explained that fulfilling our obligations can provide us an excuse before Allah; otherwise we are bound to perish:

“The people will not perish until they have no excuse left for themselves.” [Authentic Hadeeth]

The fourth goal is establishing a Muslim nation and making the word of Allah dominant on earth. Allah explains in the Qur’an:

“It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with Guidance and the Religion of Truth that He may make it (Islaam) superior over all religions. And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness.” [Al-Qur’an, al-Fath (48):28]

Allah (swt) also says in the Qur’an:

“He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, purifying them, and teaching them Book (the Qur’an), and Al-Hikmah (Sunnah). And verily, they had been before in manifest error.” [Al-Qur’an, al-Jumu`ah (62):2]

The Messenger of Allah and the Sahaaba established an Islamic society here on earth. Therefore our aim in da`wah should also be to create a strong Muslim society that would exalt Allah’s word in this world. This goal, like the first one, is dependent on the response of those we are calling and is therefore in Allah’s Hands. However, Allah has promised to Muslims that He will establish them on earth if they believe and do righteous deeds:

“Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islaam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Al-Qur’an, an-Noor (24):55]

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2 comments on “Da’wah ; Inviting to Allah

  1. […] : The Quran Blog – Enlighten Yourself Etiketler: allah, Da’wah, Inviting Bu yazı Salı, 22 Haziran 2010, 20:07 tarihinde English […]

  2. yoyo says:

    Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said, “lf you deal with eenah (one of the Haram form of buying and selling), hold the cow’s tail and become content with employing yourself in agriculture and (while) leaving Jihad in the way of Allah. Allah would permit your humiliation and would relieve you until you come back to your Deen “. (Abu Daud) — This is about Jihad and not Da’wah correction. 🙂 Either quote it or just leave it , but this hadeeth is for Jihad not for Da’wa . Da’wa is an important way to invite people in Islam , but you can never compare it to Jihad . No offense intended my brother . JazakALLAHukhyr

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