Definition and importance of Da'wah

- Love for the Prophet  (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)

- Understand the virtues of the Companions (Sahaba)

- Examine the history of Islam

- Learn what is required from one by Islamic Law (Shari'ah).


Importance of Da'wah

      'Allamah Ghulam Rasool Sa'idi writes: Da'wah is a fard kifiya (an obligation that rests upon the community, not the individual). If there are individuals within a community inviting people to da'wah, then others within the community are relieved of the obligation. If no-one in the community issues the invitation, the sin falls on every individual within that community. A person who performs da'wah is known as a da'i. Although their effectiveness will vary according to their ability, all da'i should be, at the very least, familiar with the basic teachings of Islam. (Tibyan al Qur'an, under verse 104, Surah Al-'Imran, 'Allamah Ghulam Rasool Sa'idi)

      Allah Ta'ala speaks of Da'wah in several places in the Quran:  "We made you a middle nation to be witnesses over mankind." (Surah al-Baqara, 143)

"Let there be a community among you, who call to the good, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success." (Surah Al-'Imran, verse 104)

"And warn your tribe and close ones." (Surah al-Shura, verse 214)

"Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition. And argue with them in a way that is best." (Surah al-Nahl, verse 12)

       In these verses Allah Ta'ala praises this ummah as being the guides of mankind. Whereas earlier ummah required their followers to extend guidance to their own kith, kin and nation, our ummah differs in that it is our duty to spread the Word of Allah Ta'ala to the whole of mankind. There is a duty upon this ummah to call towards good and forbid evil for the whole of mankind. It is necessary for everyone in the ummah to perform da'wah according to his or her ability.

      A da'i should use wisdom and speak with softness. He should teach of the benefits of Islam in both this world and the next. As a last resort and only if required, debating should be employed to remove any doubts. But this also should be performed in the best possible way. Da'wah should be given with the best of speech and in the most polite manner.

         In his last sermon the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: "Convey what you have received from me, even if it is a verse." (Bukhari, Muslim chapter on Hajj)

      This Hadeeth and the references from the Qur`an prove that da'wah is wajib and that every Muslim, according to their skill, and according to the opportunities Allah gives them, should engage in it.  Allamah Sa'idi writes: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: "If one of you 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 degree of faith." "Keep commanding good and forbidding the evil and if you do not, Allah will not accept your supplication (du'a)."

          The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, spoke about one of the communities of the Bani Isra'il that did many evil things. Their 'ulama tried to forbid them but the people did not stop. The 'ulama continued to keep company with these very people despite their wrong actions. Then Allah Ta`ala hardened some of the 'ulamas' hearts as they continued to keep the company of these evil people without rectifying the evil that they saw. Later, the prophets such as Dawud and 'Isa, peace be upon them, cursed them for this.

          The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said if there were people committing sins and people who had the power to stop them but did not do so, then Allah Ta`ala would punish both parties before their death. The Prophet,  may Allah bless him and grant him peace, also said there would be people in his ummah who would not consider an evil doer an oppressor. He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, advised that when someone sees such people, he/she should keep away from them and not to sit in their company. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said that a person who did not command the good and forbid the evil was not of his company. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said that Allah Ta'ala commanded Jibreel to destroy a city because of the evildoers therein. Jibreel 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". These Hadeeth are mentioned in Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Bahaiqi. (Tafsir Tibyan al-Qur'an, under surah Ali Imran, verse 104 by 'Allamah Sa'idi)


Note: this article is referenced from the book “Principles of Dawah - Its Priciples and Practices in History” - by Abu Ammar

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