The fundamentals of Da‘wah
Fatwa No: 7583


What are the fundamentals and prerequisites of Da‘wah?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.


The established fundamentals of Da‘wah were perfectly explained by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in an authentic Hadeeth. When the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was sending Mu‘aath  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him to Yemen to invite the people to worship Allaah The Almighty, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, commanded him to begin by inviting them to testify that none is worthy of being worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is the Messenger of Allaah. If they accepted this, then he should teach them that Allaah ordered them to perform five prayers every day. Again, if they followed this, then he should teach them that Allaah The Exalted had made it obligatory upon them to pay Zakah from their property, and that it was to be taken from their rich and given to their poor. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]


This highlights the unchangeable fundamentals of Da‘wah and indicates that one should properly prioritize his advice in order of importance. If Da‘wah is directed to disbelievers, top priority must be given to Tawheed, (monotheism) as it is the most important fundamental.  Once this has been established, then the rest of the pillars follow, and then the other duties and so on.


In contrast, if the Da'wah is directed to Muslims who know and comply with The Two Testimonies of Faith, there should be focus on the other pillars of Islam in accordance with the recommendations and instructions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to his Da‘wah envoys.


Coming to Da‘wah prerequisites, we find knowledge on the top of the list. The one who invites others to Islam must be fully aware of what he enjoins and what he warns of in order to be effective. Otherwise, he might enjoin evil or forbid good. However, he does not have to be a scholar. All what is needed is to be properly informed of the specific subject he introduces. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, commanded Muslims to report part of what he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, delivered, even if that is a single verse. [Al-Bukhari]


There are other requirements that are as important as knowledge. These include:


-      Using wisdom


-      Good instruction and leniency


-      Choosing the suitable time and place for delivering advice


Patience and tolerance are also very important requirements, because any caller to Islam will certainly face negative or even aggressive reactions from some recipients in the course of his substantial mission.  Allaah Says (what means): {And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites but do not harm them, and rely upon Allaah. And sufficient is Allaah as Disposer of affairs.}[Quran 33:48]


The behavior and actions of the one who calls to Islam must conform to Sharee‘ah. If his words and actions contradict what he enjoins people to do, he will lose credibility and have no effect on others.  Allaah Says (what means): {Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason?}[Quran 2:44]


Allaah Knows best.

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