The Arabic term da’wah is derived from the verb ﺎ ﻋ ﺩ da’aa which means “to call; to invite; and to supplicate, i.e. to call on God”. It is used to refer to the act of
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INTRODUCTION TO DA WAH The Arabic term da wah is derived from the verb !”!# da aa which means to call; to invite; and to supplicate, i.e. to call on God!. It is used to refer to the act of conveying or calling people to the message of Islaam. In that context it is a contraction of the phase ad-da wah ilallaah (calling to Allaah). $%!&'(!) *+,!” ‘-. *+/’0 1.23″4#+5 6,7’8!9 ‘:’;!< 1=>? !Say: This is my way and I invite to Allaah with certain knowledge ” (Soorah Yoosuf, 12: 108) Virtues of Da wah Da wah was the basic mission of the prophets of God. They were raised up among their respective people to call them to the worship of Allaah alone and to abandon the worship of the various false gods that they had invented. @A>5 B=>C 6’D !E1F!G!) 4H+I+/!J!K2>L MN/. .238’E!O4P.!J Q-. .J3H384″. ‘R+5 ST239!U $V !I have sent to every nation a messenger [proclaiming:] Worship Allaah and avoid the [worship of] false gods.” Soorah an-Nahl, (16): 36 There are numerous verses in the Qur#aan which describe how the former prophets invited their people to Allaah. These stories serve as examples to the last Prophet (r) and his followers. Furthermore, there are a number of other verses in which Allaah specifically exhorts the Prophet (r) to convey the message of Islaam to people. !W’C’X4Y3Z1/. ![‘A @[!\2>]!^ +T!J !_`)!U *+/’0 3a4#.!J !Call to your Lord and do not be among the pagans.” Soorah al-Qasas, (28): 87 Consequently, Allaah praises those who engage in this noble endeavor as being the best in speech. 4[!A!Jb!”!# 4[@Z’A ST42+? 3[!c4d+5 !W’Z’,4c3Z1/. ![‘A 6’E@\’0 +e +?!J fg’/ !h +=’Z!”!J ‘-. *+/’0 !Who is better in speech than one who calls to Allaah, does righteous deeds and says indeed I am among the Muslims.” Soorah Fussilat, (41): 33 The best words that any human being can speak are words of guidance inviting people to the purpose of their creation; the worship of God. This being the case, the reward for giving da wah must be tremendous. Thus, it is no surprise to find that the Prophet (r) addressed the great reward for this righteous pursuit saying, )) ! ” #$%& ‘()%* +,-. / 0!%”%& 1′(234 5%”3# 6738 (93/.(( Whoever directs someone to do good will gain the same reward as the one who does good.!1 He was also reported to have said, )) : $3#38 (93/(; < =>0)+* (9 / 3? @%A 0B+C(D3E %F 0!3G H3I (93/ =>0)+* +,-. / ‘()JK-L 39 / 0!%@ %M$%N OPQ0< 5%@ 1 Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, p. 1050, no. 4665. PAGE - 2 ============ $RS(2T .(( Whoever calls to guidance will receive the same reward as the one who follows him without any decrease in the reward of [his follower].!2 As a show of divine grace, Allaah has promised that every good deed would be rewarded tenfold and more.3 According to the Prophet (r), one who guides others to do good deeds gets a reward equivalent to their reward for doing good. Consequently, people guided to righteousness earn, throughout their lives, good deeds for those who guided them. Such an immeasurable reward is specifically granted to those involved in the prophetic mission of da wah. As an illustration of the magnitude of the reward for guiding others to Islaam, the Prophet (r) was also reported by Sahl ibn Sa$d as saying: ))%@RU0)3= 3? V 0!6"@L 3W Q(X3E -M%Y ;3GZD@L 0'([0\ 3?%@ %M>+]3E -M%* (9 / 3?%@ ^'(234 .(( For Allaah to guide someone by your hand is better for you than having red camels.!4 Camels were considered the most valuable property in ancient Arabia and the red variety was the most prized of all. Consequently, the Prophet (r) here indicates that guiding others to the truth is worth more than our most prized possessions in this world. This fact is further reiterated in Chapter al-$Asr where Allaah declares humankind in a state of loss with the exception of !those who advise each other with truth.”5 Allaah also hinged the label of honor, best of humankind,! granted to the Muslim nation on the fulfillment of their da wah-duty of calling humankind to righteousness and prohibiting sin among them. ‘- ‘) +R23E’A4i3^!J ‘X+]4E3Z1/. ‘[!” +R42!j4E!^!J ‘kJ3X4G!Z1/ ‘) +RJ3X3A1l!^ ‘m @E,’/ 4n!P’X4o>5 $V@A>5 !X47!o 4p3O4E>C !You are the best nation raised up for humankind. You enjoin righteousness, forbid corruption and you believe in Allaah.” Soorah aal-Imraan, (3): 110 Thus, the Muslim nation has been given the status of the best nation because of their belief in Allaah, their promotion of morality and their opposition to vice. If they fail to believe in Allaah by applying the Sharee ah in their governments and promote vice by permitting ribaa based economies, the production of alcohol, and the spread of lewdness, they may sink below the worst of disbelieving nations. Consequently, Muslim nations top the list of the most corrupt nations on earth today. Muslim students in Bangla Desh riot annually for the right to cheat in their exams. Obligation of Da wah Calling to Allaah is generally considered by scholars of Islaam as an obligation on every Muslim according to their abilities. It has been instructed by Allaah in the Qur#aan and by Prophet Muhammad (r) in his Sunnah. With regard to its obligation, Sh. Ibn Baaz said the following: Da wah is an obligation on everyone who has the ability, from scholars to Muslim rulers 2 Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1406, no. 6470. 3 Soorah al-An aam, 6: 160. 4 Sahih Al Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 156-7, no. 253. 5 Soorah al- Asr, 103: 3.

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and missionaries, until the message of Islaam reaches every corner of the earth in the various languages of the people. This is the type of propagation that Allaah has commanded. He, Most High, instructed His Prophet (r) [to disseminate the message of Islaam as follows]: !_`)@U 4[‘A !_47+/’0 +e’q4\>5 b!A 1rB,!) >e239@X/. !jst+l!t !O Messenger, convey what was revealed from your Lord.” (Soorah al-Maa!idah, 5: 67) Thus, it was obligatory on the Messenger (r) to deliver the message in the same way that it was obligatory on all the messengers of God % peace and blessings of Allaah upon them and upon all who follow them in conveying the message. –Therefore, it is obligatory on the whole nation, from rulers and scholars to businessmen and others to convey this religion from Allaah and His Messenger (r), and explain it to people in their various languages.!6 However, scholars have made a distinction between the individual obligation of da wah and the community obligation. Sh. Ibn Baaz stated the following: There are two levels of Da wah to Allaah: The first is Fard ayn (an individual obligatory duty) and the second is Fard kifaayah (a collective obligatory duty). It is Fard ayn on you when no one in [your] country, region or tribe takes up the responsibility of enjoining good and forbidding evil, if you have knowledge. It becomes obligatory on you specifically to give da wah, to enlighten people to the rights of Allaah, to command what is good and prohibit evil. However, if there are present those who give da wah teach people and guide them, then it would be sunnah and not obligatory for others who also have knowledge of the Sharee ah.7 Regarding the obligation of da wah in this age, Sh. Ibn Baaz also said: At a time when there is a shortage of callers, when evil is prevalent and ignorance dominates, da wah becomes fard ayn on everyone according to their ability.!8 Proof for the community obligation of da wah can be found in the following verse and others similar to it: !_’u+/4J>5!J ‘X+]4E3Z1/. ‘[!” +R42!j4E!t!J ‘kJ3X4G!Z1/ ‘) +RJ3X3A1l!t!J ‘X47!v1/. *+/’0 +R23″4H!t wV@A>5 4p>]4E’A 4[>]!O1/!J+R23g’,1x3Z1/. 3p3< !Let there arise among you a group inviting to all that is good, enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil. Those are the successful ones." (Soorah Aal Imraan, 3: 104) Allaah states that a group of the believers should shoulder the responsibility of promoting virtue and prohibiting vice in the society. Because religion is not merely a personal affair as perceived in the secular West, it forms the very fabric of society. Policing the society should not be left up to the government alone but should be shared by members of the communities which constitute the society. On the other hand, the individual obligation of da wah can be seen indicated in the following verse: 6 Words of Advice Regarding Da!wah, pp. 47-8. 7 Words of Advice Regarding Da!wah, p. 18. 8 Ibid., p. 20. PAGE - 4 ============ 'V!E!c!g1/. 'V+y'"42!Z1/.!J 'V!Z1]'g1/ ') !_`)!U '=7'8!9 *+/'0 3a4#>. !Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good preaching.” (Soorah an-Nahl, 16: 125) The Prophet (r) is personally addressed in this verse and by extension all individual believers are instructed to invite people to Islaam. In case this instruction was perceived as limited to only certain individuals like scholars or groups, the Prophet (r) himself broadened the scope of responsibility by making it the individual responsibility of everyone who had any knowledge saying: )) _`3Ea (>%@3b cdD3# L>0ef”3V.(( Convey from me, even if it be only a single verse.!9 Every Muslim must learn some verses or chapters of the Qur#aan for their daily prayers. Among the shortest and most popular chapters is Soorah al-Ikhlaas which states: !Say: He is Allaah the Unique, Allaah the Self-subsistent. He did not give birth nor was He born. And nothing is similar to Him.” Every one of these verses contains a crucial message about Allaah about which most religions are ignorant. Each verse clearly distinguishes God, the Creator, from His creatures. The vast majority of Muslims knows this short chapter and can share its messages to the idolatrous world around them. Consequently, virtually no one is excused from giving some da wah. Furthermore, whenever the Prophet (r) addressed people, he used to say: ))0!(D / 0!%@ 53#(b%* 3>0< (93/ %gf"3H0E -M%* 53h3# 3Q <$Zi@L 6M j%& 3k l$3e-@L 0Q <$Zi@L gf"3H02 @.(( Let those present convey what they heard to those absent. For, perhaps he may inform one better able to understand it than him. !10 Allaah#s Curse In order to stress the gravity of da wah as a duty on Muslims, Allaah warned those who did not fulfill their responsibility in this regard of His curse and the curse of all His creatures. !E1/!q4\+5 b!A +R23Z3O1]!t ![4t';M/. MR'0 z-. 3p3j3E!G1,!t !_'u+/J>5 ‘{ !O’]1/. 6’D ‘m @E,’/ : @E@7!) !A ‘H4G!) 4[‘A |!H3j1/.!J ‘K !E`7!81/. ![‘A +R23E'”+}/. 3p3j3E!G1,!t!J !Indeed those who hide the clear messages and guidance that I have revealed after I have made it clear to people in the scripture; those are cursed by Allaah and cursed by all who curse.” Soorah al-Baqarah, (2): 159 The Prophet (r) further stressed the gravity of the sin of hiding knowledge saying: )) m$ZD@L ‘(/%* c & ! V 0!6″@L 0n%o(D3E $Z[ / $O[-” # 3;3p%N (93/ (9 / 1q$3r ” V `3/$32 C-@L 3q(>3E 0!6″@L 0!3[3r-@%* 9EdQ@L ‘(/%* =$ZD@L.(( Whoever hides knowledge by which Allaah benefits people in their affairs of religion, Allaah will bridle him on the Day of Resurrection with a bridle from the Hellfire.!11 9 Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 4, p. 442, no. 667. 10 Ibid., Kitaab: al-$Ilm; Baab: Rubba Muballagh.

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To have knowledge of Islaam but not convey it to others constitutes hiding knowledge.! Hiding knowledge may be a deliberate act wherein a person has the intention to keep the knowledge away from other people. This may occur in cases where people are asked about Islaam but refuse to reveal its teachings due to racial or tribal concerns. For example, in years past, some Indians of Guyanese or Trinidadian origin refused to teach African Guyanese and African Trinidadians due to their racist belief that Islaam was only for Indians. Likewise, some African Americans following the racist doctrines of the Nation of Islam! or influenced by them have refused to explain Islaam to European Americans as they considered them to be devils or simply the enemy. Hiding knowledge may also be a passive unintentional act whereby a person has the knowledge but neglects to convey it due to reasons of shyness or feelings of inferiority. An example of passive hiding of knowledge may be found in the case of many immigrant Muslims who live, study, and work among non-Muslims for many years without ever saying a single word to them about Islaam. 11 Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. , p. , no. , Sunan Ibn-I- Majah, vol. , p. , no. , Sunan an-Nasai,

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CALL The pillars or foundations of da‚wah consist of three elements: The Call, The Caller and The Called. Each has its own particular characteristics, prerequisites and goals. For the effective fulfillment of the responsibility of da‚wah the requirements of each pillar must be thoroughly met. The Aim or Goal of Da‚wah is to spread the teachings of Islaam in their pristine purity. It is to enlighten disbelievers about Islaam and to correct mistaken beliefs among Muslims. The Prophet ( r ) said: )) .(( fi Islaam began as something strange, and it will return as something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers. fl 1 : ! : When the companions asked, fiO Messenger of Allaah, who are the strangers?fl He replied, )) .(( fi Those who rectify [themselves and others] when people become corrupt .fl 2 The goal of da‚wah is expressed in the following verse and others like it. fiCall to the way of your Lord fl Soorah an-Nah l, (16): 125 Abul-Hasan ‚Alee Nadawee said the following regarding this verse: fiThe verse does not ask [the Prophet ( r )] to invite people to faith, correct beliefs, prayers, good manners or call on people to respect human rights. No such things have been mentioned in particular since all these are covered in the phrase fi– to the way of your Lord.fl – These words are profound and comprehensive.fl 3 Sh. Ibn Baaz elaborated on the verse saying, fiThe way of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is submission, the straight path, the religion of Allaah with which He sent His Messenger ( r ) . Therefore, this is what must be called to, not the math ™hab of such and such a person nor the opinion of any individual. –The way of Allaah is that which the Noble Qur™aan and the pure authentic Sunnah of the Messenger ( r ) directs one to– It is necessary for the Muslim missionary to call people to the whole of Islaam and not to cause division among them, nor to be a blind follower of a math ™hab, a tribe, a shaykh or a leader, etc. Rather his aim should be 1 Sahih Muslim, vol. , p. , no. . 2 Sunan at-Tirmith ee, 2765 ( Those who correct what people have corrupted of my Sunnah. ) Reported by at – T abaraanee in al-Jaami‚ as -S agheer, no. 290. 3 Inviting to the Way of Allah, p. 11.

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and the doors will be locked, with the exception of this One Path. For it is connected to Allaah and leads to Him.fl 6 ‚Abdullaah ibn Lu™ayy narrated that Mu‚aawiyah ibn Abee Sufyaan got up among them and said, fiIndeed the Messenger of Allaah ( r ) stood up among us and said, ‚ Certainly those before you from the People of the Book split up into seventy two sects and [the followers of] this religion will split up into seventy-three sects, seventy-two of them in the Fire and one in Paradise; that is the group [jamaa‚ah].™ fl 7 In another narration, when he was asked what the one sect was, he replied, fi What my companions and I are following now. fl 8 Some aspects of Islaam are more critical than others; therefore priority must be given to the most important principles. The first pillar of Islaam is the declaration that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and the first pillar of Eemaan (faith) is belief in Allaah. Furthermore, the only unforgivable sin is to worship other than Allaah. Consequently, the call to Allaah should focus on Tawh eed, which is exactly what the Prophet ( r ) instructed his companions whenever he sent them. For example, Ibn ‚Abbaas reported that when the Prophet ( r ) sent Mu‚aath ibn Jabal to Yemen he told him: )) .(( fi You will be going to Christians and Jews, so the first thing you should invite them to is the assertion of the oneness of Allaah, Most High. If they realize that, then inform them that Allaah has made five daily prayers obligatory on them. If they pray them, then inform them that Allaah has made the payment of charity from their wealth obligatory on their rich to be given to their poor. If they accept that, then take it from them and avoid the best part of people™s property. fl 9 The call to Tawh eed should address Allaah™s unique unity with respect to His lordship and sovereignty over His creation, His names and attributes and His right to be worshipped alone, without any partner. This belief in Tawh eed should also be manifest in human relations with God, in their social interactions among themselves and in their relationship with the world in which they live and the creatures of that world that have been subjected to them. 6 At-Tafseer al-Qayyim, pp. 14-5. 7 Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. , p. , no. . 8 Mustadrak al-H aakim, 9 Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 9, pp. 348-9, no. 469 and Sahih Muslim , vol.1, pp. 15, no. 28.

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Thus, whatever subject the da‚wah may begin on, whether h ijaab, terrorism, polygamy, etc., a conscious effort should be made to divert the topic ultimately to that of Tawh eed. For it is only the acceptance of Tawh eed which will provide the one being called with success in this life and the next. If he is convinced of the reasonableness of h ijaab , and the unfairness of labeling Muslims as terrorists, and that polygamy is logical and natural, but he has not accepted the unique oneness of Allaah and that He alone deserves our worship, and dies in that state, he has failed and destroyed his opportunity for success in the next life. Whereas, if he accepted Allaah™s unique oneness and worshipped Him alone, but was confused about the obligation of h ijaab, terrorism and polygamy, and died in that state, his place in paradise would be guaranteed according to Allaah™s promise and that of His Messenger. A classical example of diversion in da‚wah can be seen in the case of Prophet Yousuf in prison when two prisoners asked him to interpret their dreams. Then it occurred to them, after they had seen the proofs to imprison him for a time. And there entered with him two young men in the prison. One of them said: fiIndeed, I saw myself pressing wine.fl The other said: fiIndeed, I saw myself carrying bread on my head and birds were eating from it.fl [They asked:] fiInform us of the interpretation of these things. Indeed, we believe you are one of the righteous.fl He replied: fiWhenever food came to you as your provision, I informed you about it before it came. That is from what my Lord has taught me. Indeed, I have abandoned the religion of a people who did not believe in Allaah and the Hereafter. And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and we would never attribute any partners whatsoever to Allaah. This is from the Grace of Allaah to us and to humankind, but most people are not thankful. O my two prison companions! Are many different lords better than Allaah, the One, the Irresistible? You are only worshiping besides Him names which you and your fathers made up for which no authority was revealed by Allaah. Judgment belongs to Allaah alone. He has commanded that you worship none besides Him; that is the upright religion, but most people do not know. O my two prison companions! As for one of you, he will pour wine for his lord to drink and as for the other, he will be crucified and birds will eat form his head. This is the case judged concerning which you both inquire.fl ( Soorah Yousuf, 12: 35-41) It is also important to remember that the call is to the message of Islaam and not necessarily conversion to Islaam. It is an invitation in which the message of Islaam should be conveyed in its pristine purity and its comprehensive beauty. If that is the case, then people™s negative reactions are not important, as long as they are not a result of faults on our part. Furthermore, the message should not be compromised in such a way as to water it down until its essence is lost. The essence of the message, Tawh eed, must be conveyed wherever and whenever possible and as directly as possible. The popular phenomenon of fiInterfaith dialoguefl attempts to blur the essential issues and put all religions on an equal footing. Since all religions call to goodness and righteousness, they should be tolerant and accepting of each other. Meaning, there is no need to try to convert each other™s followers. Peaceful co-existence is what is needed and

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not a battle for souls. Such a call is dangerous as it is fundamentally false. There is only one true religion, Islaam, and all others are false. Other religions, in an attempt to slow or halt the wave of conversions from their religions to Islaam, have introduced the interfaith dialogue concept after centuries of vilifying and demonizing it final Prophet, Muhammad ( r ). As for dialogues and forums where knowledgeable Muslims have an opportunity present their evidences for the superiority of Islaam and its teachings to masses of non- Muslims, these are acceptable as long as the clear message of Islaam is not compromised.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CALLER The individual who as accepted the duty of calling others to Allaah must possess certain characteristics to effectively convey the message. These attributes are mentioned in the Qur™aan and preserved in the record of the divinely guided lifestyle of the Prophet ( r ). 1. Knowledge The foremost quality that the daa‚ee (caller) should have is that of knowledge which is itself a prerequisite for faith. One must have sound knowledge of what one is inviting others to. If the Muslim missionary is ignorant, his message will appear weak and incapable of withstanding close scrutiny. This does not mean that the daa‚ee must know all of Islaam before inviting others. However, it does mean that he should have clear knowledge of whatever limited area of Islaam he is inviting others to. Allaah, Most Great and Glorious, instructed the Prophet ( r ) to inform others that his call to Islaam was based on knowledge. fiSay: This is my way and I invite to Allaah with certain knowledge fl Soorah Yoosuf, (12): 108 Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad ( r ) made the pursuit of knowledge an obligation on all Muslims. 2. Kindness / Gentleness It is essential that the daa‚ee be soft in conveying the message because harshness could easily discourage people from listening to the truth. Allaah addressed this issue with regard to the Prophet himself saying: fiIf you were harsh and hard hearted, they would have fled from around you.fl Soorah Aal ‚Imraan, (3): 159 Furthermore, it was as a result of Allaah™s mercy that the Prophet ( r ) was gentle to those he invited to Islaam. fiAnd by the mercy of Allaah you dealt with them gently.fl Soorah Aal ‚Imraan, (3: 159) The daa‚ee must always consider the fact that Allaah instructed Prophets Moosaa and Haaroon to gently communicate the message of Islaam to Pharaoh who was, at that time, claiming that he was God. fiSo speak to him, both of you, mildly in order that he may reflect or fear God.fl Soorah T aa Haa, (20): 44 The Prophet ( r ) also prayed saying: fi O Allaah, be hard on whoever acquires control over the affairs of my nation and is hard

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