Prerequisites of working in Da'wah
Fatwa No: 8580

  • Fatwa Date:11-4-2011 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 8, 1432
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Question

What do I have to do to be a caller to Allaah?

Answer

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

Due to the great importance of Da'wah (Islamic propagation), which was the vocation of all the prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, anyone who wishes to assume this noble task should possess certain qualities and fundamental ethics.  The following is a summary of those qualities and  ethics as derived from the books of the scholars: 

1-      Strong faith in what the caller to Allaah preaches: The success of Da'wah is contingent on the extent to which the caller believes in his mission and understands what it requires.  Allaah The Almighty Said (what means):

·        {O Yahya (John,) take the Scripture with determination.} [Quran 19:12]

·        {"Take them with determination and order your people to take the best of it.} [Quran 7:145] 

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was the best example in this regard. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was very determined to complete his mission and he did not allow himself to be tempted away from it or prevented from doing it.

2-      Closeness to Allaah, to Whose worship people are being called: A caller to the worship of Allaah The Almighty, more than anyone else, has to be close to Him to win His support and guidance.  Sincerity is one of the most important signs of closeness to Allaah The Almighty.  The sole intention of the caller must be only to please Him by taking on this task. The caller should care for neither worldly possessions nor personal gain. He must keep away from showing off and being proud. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, warned us against insincerity in the well-known Hadeeth which was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. In this Hadeeth the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informed us that one of the first three persons to enter Hell on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who studied religious knowledge and taught it to others and who used to recite the Quran. He will be brought to Allaah The Almighty and He will make known to him His favors and this person will recognize them. Then Allaah The Almighty will ask him if he thanked Him for these favors. This person will answer that he studied religious knowledge and taught it and recited the Quran for His sake. However, Allaah the Almighty will tell him that he has lied, because he studied religious knowledge only for people to call him a scholar, and recited the Quran only for people to call him a good reciter of the Quran; he sought worldly recognition and he achieved that. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell. [Muslim and others]. The previous Hadeeth is just one of many texts that indicate the importance of sincerity in seeking to please Allaah The Almighty, for He does not accept a good deed without it. 

In addition to sincerity, a caller to the worship of Allaah The Almighty should seek to gain the love of Allaah through frequent acts of worship; both obligatory and voluntary. In a Hadeeth Qudsi (Sacred Hadeeth), Allaah The Almighty teaches us that His slave keeps on coming closer to Him through performing voluntary acts of worship until he gains His love. When Allaah The Almighty loves one of His slaves, He Becomes his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks. If he asks something from Allaah The Almighty, He gives it to him, and if he seeks refuge with Allaah The Almighty, He protects him. [Al-Bukhari].

Nothing could be better than to be loved, guided, and supported by Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. A caller to the worship of Allaah The Almighty needs such a blessing in order to achieve his aim.

3-      Knowledge, insight and understanding of the issues he deals with:  Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Say, [O, Muhammad] "This is my way; I invite to Allaah with insight, I and those who follow me. And Exalted is Allaah; and I am not of those who associate others with Him."} [Quran 12:108].  These are important factors. A caller who is not knowledgeable would lose credibility and lead people to distrust him and what he is calling them to. One must have sufficient knowledge to be able to teach others.

4-      Practical practice of what he preaches: If the words of the caller to the worship of Allaah The Almighty do not correspond with his actions, or if he lacks uprightness, his preaching will have no credibility.  Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of Allaah that you say what you do not do.} [Quran 61:2, 3]

Not only does he lose credibility, but also Allaah The Almighty will expose him on the Day of Resurrection.  The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, told that such a person would be brought on the Day of Resurrection and thrown into Hellfire so that his intestines would come out, and he would go around and around like a donkey goes around a millstone. The people of Hell will gather around him wondering why he ended up like this if he used to advice people to do good deeds and forbid them from bad deeds. He will reply that yes, he used to encourage good deeds, but he did not do them himself; and he used to forbid bad deeds, yet he did them himself. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

5-      Full awareness: awareness is as fundamental as knowledge. A caller to the worship of Allaah The Almighty has to be fully aware of the prerequisites of Da'wah in his time. He should also be aware of the nature and circumstance of his audience, as well as his own nature and circumstances. If the caller to Islam is not aware of these things, he will make mistakes and his call will be thwarted with disaster. Awareness is very important because plans and priorities are based on it. Full awareness deepens the insight of the caller to the worship of Allaah The Almighty.

6-      Wisdom:  The methods adopted by a caller to the worship of Allaah The Almighty should be wisely chosen so as to suit the person being advised.  Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

·        {He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.} [Quran 2:269]

·        {Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction.} [Quran 16:125]

 The wisdom of the caller refers to his ability to choose the right approach for the right person in the right situation.

7-      Good morals:  This quality is particularly important because it strengthens the relationship between the caller to the worship of Allaah and the people.  Allaah The Almighty describes the character of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as having high morals. He Says (what means): {And indeed, you are of a great moral character.} [Quran 68:4]

In another verse, Allaah The Almighty tells us about the significance of this quality in the field of Da'wah.  Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {So by mercy from Allaah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allaah. Indeed, Allaah loves those who rely [upon Him].} [Quran 3:159]

Good morals and manners are of great significance. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, stated that the believers who have the most perfect faith are those with the best morals.  [At-Tirmithi:  Hasan Saheeh (Sound)].  In another Hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informed us that nothing will be heavier in the Scale of the believer on the Day of Resurrection than good manners.  He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, added that Allaah The Exalted hates ill-tempered and foul-mouthed persons. [At-Tirmithi:  Hasan Saheeh (Sound)].  Consequently, a caller must endeavor to have good morals and get rid of bad manners.

8-      Thinking good of all Muslims: The caller to Allaah The Almighty should think good of all Muslims and judge them according to what is apparent. This is because only Allaah The Almighty knows the intentions. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {O You who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allaah; indeed, Allaah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.} [Quran 49:12].  That is why the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, warned us against suspicion. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, described it as worse than telling lies. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] 

However, thinking good of people does not mean being oblivious to their reality or overlooking their mistakes. Rather, it implies trying to interpret their words and actions in the best possible way. Also,  thinking good of people does not contradict being cautious, as a believer is intelligent and quick-witted.

9-      Covering up the faults of people:  Allaah The Almighty warns against spreading evil and immorality among the Muslim community and promises to punish those who do that.  Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread [or publicized] among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter.} [Quran 24:19]  In this regard, it is sufficient to know the reward of covering a Muslim's faults as mentioned in the Hadeeth in which the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informs us that Allaah The Almighty will cover up on the Day of Resurrection the defects and faults of the one who covers up the faults of others in this present life. [Muslim]

10-    Moderate Mingling and socializing: One should socialize and mix with people when it is good to do so, and leaving them when it is better to do so.

11-    Respecting everyone according to his status and piety:  The caller should respect those who deserve to be treated this way, as the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, commanded us in a Hadeeth narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her.  [Muslim].  Even the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, rebuked those who do not show mercy to youngsters, as well as those who do not acknowledge the honor due to elders.  [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]

12-    Finally, a caller to the worship of Allaah The Almighty should consult his fellows, advise them, and cooperate with them, as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.} [Quran 5:2]  Working in the field of Da'wah requires cooperation and integration more than in any other field of endeavor.  Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves.} [Quran 42:38]  Moreover, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,  stated that the essence of the religion (Islam) is sincere counseling and good advice for the sake of Allaah The Almighty, His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; and to Muslim rulers and the common people. [Muslim]

All these qualities and morals are necessary for those who seek to guide others and achieve success in Da'wah. There are many more references on this subject. 

Allaah Knows best.

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