By Safaa Alshiraida
The first Da’iah (caller) to Islam is Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); Allah (SWT) says:
“O Prophet! Verily We have sent you as a witness, a bringer of glad tidings and a warner, and as one who invites (i.e., a Da’iah) to Allah, by His leave, and as a Lamp spreading light” (33:45-46)
“And invite (them) to your Lord. Verily you (O Muhammad) are indeed on a right way” (22:67)
Complying with his Lord’s commands, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kept striving in delivering the Message until the end of his life.
The above, and other Ayat which commands the Apostle (PBUH) to make Da’wah extends to include all Muslims. Scholars say, all commands directed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should be carried out by his followers as well, except where the exception has been made that a certain command is specifically directed to him alone. Since no exceptions were made here, all the Ummah of Muhammad (PBUH) have to deliver the message of Islam to others. Allah (SWT) says:
“Say: This is my way; I invite to Allah on clear evidence, and so does whosoever follows me” (12:108)
“And who is better in speech than him who invites to Allah, works righteousness and says: I am one of the Muslims” (41:33)
In order for a Muslim to be able to perform that sublime task, Da’wah, he/she has to have certain qualities. Among such qualities are:
1. Clear Understanding of Islam:
And by understanding we mean the correct understanding of Islam, based on its two principal sources, i.e. the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This understanding establishes in the Da’iah’s mind the criteria which he should use to judge all major as well as minor issues he might encounter during his whole life. Having attained the required level of understanding, a Da’iah will come out with proper judgement for issues which confuse those who lack this understanding. This will help the Da’iah hold fast to the right even in presence of overwhelming opposition. The Tarbiya programs of MAS provide such a clear understanding of Islam.
2. Knowledge of Da’wah:
A Da’iah should understand all aspects of his Da’wah: its foundation from Qur’an and Sunnah; general policies of Jama’ah; details of approaches and injunctions relevant to the various aspects of the Da’wah. A Da’iah should know as much as he could about those aspects and should be willing to make up any deficiency in his knowledge. The Tarbiya programs of MAS provide such knowledge.
3. Firm Belief:
This stage follows understanding and is sometimes referred to as `understanding by heart’. A person who has attained this stage is not only intellectually convinced that what he carries is the truth, but he also becomes willing to defend his belief with his effort, time, wealth and everything.
4. Reliance on Allah:
A Da’iah should be strongly linked to his Lord; his belief that Allah (SWT) is the Creator and Sustainer of this universe, and that only that which He wills happens, should result in his complete reliance on Allah (SWT) in the success of his Da’wah. If he performs his duties and does not seem to gain success, he does not get frustrated. If he succeeds, he knows that it is all from Allah so pride does not invade his heart.
A Da’iah in whom the above qualities are fulfilled is willing to persist on striving in the cause of Islam and never gives up This is because such a Da’iah is always yearning to the Hereafter and to what Allah has prepared in it for those who strive in His cause. At the same time he realizes how worthless the conveniences of this life are and, therefore, cannot be tempted to forsake his Da’wah for any material benefits. The lack of the above factors results in the opposite; i.e. the Da’iah can very easily be intimidated to give up his Da’wah or is willing to trade it for earthly benefits such as wealth, status, position, etc.
5. Good Example:
Practicing what one preaches makes the difference between a successful and a futile Da’iah. Prophet Shu’aib told his people:”I wish not to do that which I forbid you to do” (Holy Qur’an 11:88)
6. Updating One’s Techniques:
A Da’iah should always keep training on various methods of Da’wah and make use of modern innovations in delivering his message. He should also benefit from the experience of others.
7. Awareness of Current Situation:
A Da’iah cannot live and make Da’wah in today’s world while isolated from the present situation and events taking place around the world.
8. Moral Values:
This means possessing the following basic Islamic moral characters .
a. Taqwa (God-fearingness):
A Da’iah should avoid not only Haram things, but also those things which are doubtful (Shubha).
b. Lowering One’s Gaze:
Gazing at Haram produces lust in one’s heart, and lust is the first step to committing sins.
c. Protection of One’s Tongue:
A Da’iah should avoid uttering any vain speech, gossip or using obscene words and expressions.
d. Patience and Perseverance:
Such qualities help the Da’iah cope with hardships he might encounter on the road of Da’wah.
Truthfulness makes the difference between a believer and a hypocrite. Truthfulness should be observed in both speech and deeds.
Towards all human beings, especially believers.
Which is one of the most sublime qualities of a Da’iah. It can only be reached through cognizance of oneself and of Allah (SWT).
h. Sacrifice and Self-denial:
A Da’iah should be willing to give up everything for the sake of his Da’wah: wealth, time, effort, etc.
i. Cooperation and Love:
To summarize, one may say that a Da’iah should possess all possible kinds of strength: Aqidah, ideology, physical strength, moral character, education and culture, knowledge and diligent work, thus fulfilling the command of Allah:
“And prepare for them all you can of power” (8:60)
and of His Messenger: “The strong believer is better in the sight of Allah and more beloved to Him than the weak believer, and in both there is good”