Calling people to Islam without physically confronting them
Fatwa No: 91045

  • Fatwa Date:14-1-2006 - Thul-Hijjah 15, 1426
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I had sent you one question before and you had replied but said to tell the full matter what had happened. Actually the case is like this. We had been for our vacations to our native place Karwar back in India. There they commit all Shirk, etc. When we told them it is all wrong what you do is by showing Quran and Hadeeth. They boycotted us by not letting us to enter mosque or pray with Jamaa'. And told all the village people top not to talk to us etc., and if anyone does so he will be boycotted. And there happened many case like if the correct preaching people do not go from that village they start to trouble those people, etc. Sometimes even come to attack also. So in this cases can we revolt them back and is there any sin doing it suppose they are with weapons and have a fight with us and we also fight for our self defense and cause any casualties of kill any one, will there be punishment for me in the day of judgement? Please answer me.


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 is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.


There is no doubt that it is an obligation on the callers to Allaah to advise whoever commits an act of Shirk [associating partners with Allaah] because Shirk is the greatest sin that could be committed on earth. Whoever shoulders the responsibility of advising people should be patient and should persevere through the harm he encounters. Enjoining good and forbidding evil is something which requires patience all the time, as one is harmed by the people he calls to Allaah. It is for this reason that Allaah mentioned being patient after mentioning enjoining good and guiding to the truth. Allaah Says (what means): {By time. Indeed, mankind is in loss. Except those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.}[Quran 103:1-3]. Luqmaan also advised his son to be patient. Allaah Says (what means): {O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination.}[Quran 31:17]. Imaam Ibn Katheer may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him interpreted the above verse as follows: 'Luqmaan knew that whoever enjoins good and  forbids evil would inevitably be harmed by the people, so he instructed his son to be patient.'

Therefore, brother, you should follow the example of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) confronted polytheism and idol worshipping in Makkah and he order his companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them not to physically fight the polytheists and disbelievers even though they (i.e. the companions) wished to do so. Moreover, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) neither ordered them nor allowed them to destroy the idols around the Ka’bah, because at that time they were weak and few in number.

So, we advise you, dear brother, to enjoin good and forbid evil without using methods and means that lead to a physical confrontation with the people you are calling to Islam. Indeed there are steps to follow in changing evil. Whoever is not able to change the evil with his hand (i.e. physically), he should change it with his tongue (i.e. verbally) and if he is unable to change it with his tongue, he should change it with his heart by detesting it in his heart and this is the weakest level of faith. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he should change it with his hand (i.e. physically), if he is unable he should change it with his tongue (i.e. verbally) and if he is unable, he should change it with his heart (by detesting it in his heart) and that is the weakest level of faith." [Muslim]  However, you should not provoke them, as Allaah Says (what means): {Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.}[Quran 16:125]. Nevertheless, if the misguided people want to harm the caller to Islam despite him abiding by the above etiquettes, then he is permitted to defend himself and repel the harm. Nonetheless, the scholars may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that getting rid of the aggressor should be by the least harmful means. For instance, it is not permissible to kill the aggressor if one can stop him without killing him. They even stated that whoever is able to run away is obliged to do so, as running away is lesser in harm.

Allaah Knows best.

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