(If you are a social media Da’ee floating new videos every now and then, displaying yourself as scholars, issuing fatwas on sensitive issues, and doing takfir freely, you are perhaps causing more harm than benefit. Just like the act of worship, the distribution of inheritance, and the Sunnah of Nikah (marriage) and Talaq (divorce), Da’wah has to be done as taught by Allah and His Messenger, and this includes the syllabus of Da’wah too. In this article, there are some introspective insights checking our sincerity and methodology of Da’wah).
The term Da’wah is translated as “The Invitation (to Worship and Obey Allah)”. Islah means to correct people’s Aqeedah, Manhaj, way of worship and manners and establish the legislative of Shariah as per the Sunnah of the Prophet. Both the terms Da’wah and Islah, in a broader sense, displays “commanding the good (‘amr bin maroof)” and “forbidding the evil (nahi anil munkar)”. A person who is enthusiastic about doing Da’wah will have to be upright in morals and ethics, and carry a correct aqeedah that follows the correct method of Da’wah. Note the announcement of Allah,
“This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me.” [Surah Yusuf: 108]
The above verse incorporates three important rules of Da’wah:
Da’wah is to invite mankind to worship Allah and understand Tawhid in the correct manner.
Da’wah is to be done with clear knowledge, evidence and proof, instead of inauthentic and suspicious content that can pose a danger to Aqeedah.
This method is for the Prophet as well as for his followers.
Come join the Al Jumuah family, and help spread the message of Islam to everyone.
"Every single penny that we raise will be fully invested in creating more content to spread the message of Islam."Click here to support
Dawah is to Invite to the Worship of Allah
One-third of the Quranic verses inform about the attributes, power and names of Allah. This is proof that the entire Da’wah focuses on Tawhid. Most of the sects from among the Muslims have deviated from this as they take a wrong understanding of the attributes and names of Allah. Surah Ibrahim begins by informing the purpose of the Quran,
“This is a Book which We have revealed to you (O Prophet) so that you may lead people out of darkness and into light, by the Will of the Most Mighty, Worthy of praise.” [Surah Ibrahim: 1]
The Da’wah of every Prophet was the establishment of Tawhid and to stop the people from shirk (polytheism).
We sent a messenger to every community, saying, “Worship Allah and shun false Gods.” [Surah An-Nahl: 36]
The Syllabus of Da’wah is the Quran
Which books do you refer to when it comes to Da’wah? In other words, the content of Da’wah should be from its text and the method of presenting that text should also be from the Quran. Here is a verse from the Quran that announces the syllabus of Da’wah,
“O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not then you have not conveyed His Message.” [Surah Al Maidah: 67]
In this verse, Allah commanded His Prophet to perform Da’wah from the book of Allah, and He further mentioned that if he does not convey with the Quran, then he would not actually be performing Da’wah. This is what many people fail to understand, and so many groups have ignored the correct understanding of Tawhid because they have abandoned the Book of Allah and began performing Da’wah by using other books as guides. Some even try to make use of modern approaches, which at times can land them in the pit of innovation or negation of faith.
Picking Any Other Syllabus Is Diversion From The Straight Path
Allah has cautioned us to always remain on the straight path. For this purpose, He has revealed the Quran as guidance and sent his Messenger (ﷺ) as a guide, so we are able to walk on the straight path, the Seerat al Mustaqeem. Therefore it is the duty of knowledgeable people to perform Da’wah based on the Quran. However, the majority do so with their own content, which, although it has a mixture of the words of Allah and narrations of the Prophet (ﷺ), it is mixed with a lot of their own opinions and analysis. Such an attempt leads to diversion from the straight path, since they have disobeyed Allah’s command and conveyed the message making use of the wrong sources.
“This is the message for mankind, so that they may know that their Lord is one Lord and so that the people of understanding may take heed.” (Surah Ibrahim: 52)
The Arabic word used for the message in the above verse is Balagh, and to convey the message is termed as Tabligh. So the Tabligh has to be based on what is taught in the Quran.
This is exactly where the Jews and the Christians went wrong. Allah termed these people as worshippers of their own scholars. When Adi bin Hatim wanted to embrace Islam, he went to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) wearing a silver cross around his neck. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) recited the following verse,
“They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah.” [Surah At-Taha:31]
Adi commented, “They do not worship them.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Yes they do, for they prohibited the allowed for them and allow the prohibited, and the people obey them in this. This is how they worshiped them.” [Tafseer ibn Kathir, At-Tawbah: 31]
Da’wah Through Unauthentic Books
Our faith is so precious that even the entire earth filled with gold is worthless in comparison to it. However, your faith can become corrupted if you base your Da’wah on listening to immature people who are lacking in knowledge or who are on the wrong aqeedah. There are people who use such books that only contain fabricated Hadiths and sayings. They will teach for hours in their groups or universities (or madrasas). This only leads to a growth in wrong aqeedah and manhaj. The Quran announces how the people of the Book, the Jews and the Christians, edited the book of Allah and placed their own fatwas, yet claim to this day that those books are from Allah.
“So woe to those who write the book with their own hands and then they say: ‘This is from Allah,’ so that they may purchase it with a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they have earned.” [Surah Al Baqarah: 79]
Many books today promote innovation, deviation in creed, the narration of fake stories of miracles as good deeds. Some of these books even make use of the verses of the Quran and a few authentic Hadiths, but their overall direction is not towards guidance. Allah has dismissed such efforts of mixing truth with falsehood and presenting it as a recipe of Da’wah,
“Do not mix truth with falsehood and knowingly hide it.” [Surah Al Baqarah: 42]
Da’wah Through Assumed Interpretation of the Quran Can Result In Your Own Destruction
“Say: Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.” [Surah al-Kahf: 103-105]
When people have the wrong Aqeedah and Mahanj, then it causes their faith to become corrupted as it causes them to become involved in shirk (polytheism), bidah (innovations), and kufr (disbelief), as they are far from the straight path, the way of the sunnah, and the way of righteous predecessors (Salaf). They have a greater chance of failing not only in this world but in the next world as well. The Quran says about those who fall into shirk,
“Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.” [Surah An-Nisa :48]
As for bidah, the Prophet said,
“Every innovation is going astray, and every going astray will be in the Fire.” (Muslim: 867)
It is apparent that such a person will fail in the hereafter and will be led to the hellfire because of his performing da’wah or attaining knowledge from those people who do it not based on the Quran, but from fabricated books which spread evil in the society.
Disputing and Indulging in Useless Debates is not Part of Da’wah
A few enthusiastic youths today rush to debate with people of other faiths, becoming agitated when they meet the same kind of arguments. The Quran advises us to argue, but to do so with wisdom and excellent approach. It also advises us to avoid those who dispute and make fun of our religion.
“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace.” [Surah al- Furqan:63]
“He has already revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah’s revelations being denied or ridiculed, then do not sit in that company unless they engage in a different topic, or else you will be like them.” [Surah An-Nisa:140]
Therefore, if you really want to perform dawah, first obtain knowledge from the noble scholars or people of knowledge who teach and do da’wah based on the Quran, as they have studied it, and who follow the command of Allah and His Prophet (ﷺ).
Da’wah from the Quran and the Sunnah will cause your permanent destination to Paradise, if Allah wills.