Dawah in Islam
In individual Da’wah the address is made to one or a few persons and to no multitudes. Apart from this, most of the times it is performed without any pre-plan; for example, this opportunity is obtained in incidental meetings, social get-together or friendly tete-a-tetes
type of Da’wah has different characteristics among which the following are
is an oft-recurring thing and every man finds an opportunity for this Da’wah
many times a day.
is no need of particular labour and efforts in it. Moreover it is often
performed along with other works. Not much time is spent in it. For example, its
opportunity can be procured on the occasion of condolence or visiting a sick
person or going for lending congratulation on the birth of a child.
Daw’ah is easy. It needs much less mental labour than the collective meetings
or discussions and in this the caller to Islam is free also from every kind of
is very easy. Everyone who keeps faith in Daw’ah can participate in it whether
he is uneducated and has no specialization in it. In this way, this method of
convocation is also an excellent field of practice and exercise for the work of
Daw’ah in which many opportunities of testing abilities occur.
this Daw’ah is performed in a secret manner, the instigator is guarded against
every kind of hypocrisy and show. So it comes to general observation that many
orators and callers to Islam and propagators suffer from the mania of “loud
speaker” and “Sickness of presidentship”.
this kind of Daw’ah many new ways of meditation and deliberation open up,
because every person gets an opportunity of conveying his view points;
accordingly he often comes across many new problems, and questions arise in his
heart in this connection. No one available in the general crowd, who may give
answer to his question. Hence he keeps continuously groping for its answer, till
he gets the answer to his question at least.
a man presents his doubts and suspicions very freely in the discourse which
takes place in a free atmosphere, and may remove them by mutual interchange of
this method of discourse is very useful and beneficial and the atmosphere of
brotherhood and love is also created in such discourses.
paths are never blocked. The Daw’ah continues advancing even under the hardest
circumstances and difficulties and keeps stepping forward with full earnestness.
The more the authorities try to suppress it, the more it rises quickly, because
in such situations the call of all hearts is only one and the problems and
difficulties of people are nearly similar. This is a time when the forces of
tyranny and violence fail miserably.
also has the blessings of apostlehood, for, the beneficent prophets started
their Da’wah in the same manner and it was their way throughout their lives.
the beginning it is felt that the effects of individual Da’wah are very slow
and its results seldom prove fruitful. The critic can also say that in this vast
society it is not within the capacity of a few hundred or a few thousand people
to be able to gain the expected benefit by their limited Da’wah. Their
objection is correct to a limit, and this is an accepted fact that when the
opportunities are provided, the collective Da’wah is also very important, but
in the long run, only the individual Da’wah plays the basic role in the
success of Da’wah. And those people who come closer after gaining satisfaction
from individual Da’wah prove to be the real essence of every Da’wah. Only
such persons have been playing an important role in reformative movements of the
past centuries. Their example is similar to the disciples of the prophets and
the followers of reformers. In this way, the example of individual Da’wah is
like a foundation on which the edifice is erected but that foundation is
concealed beneath the earth, and he example of collective Da’wah is like the
building itself and both of them are interdependent. Also, it is not necessary
that the efforts of individual Da’wah are limited in every case. Contrary to this sometimes it so happens that this is quicker in effect
than the collective Da’wah, and is far from failures.
the proceeding lines we have said that the individual Da’wah is extremely
delicate. Hence, it is extremely difficult to introduce Da’wah and avoid its
Propagator commits a blunder when he thinks that he has convinced the addressee,
though he should not be satisfied in any way, for it is not necessary that he
who has the great capability of expression will necessarily be able to present
his opinions in the best way, and it is also not necessary that he who has
expressed his opinion in the best way, might also have convinced the addressee
too. Again, it is also not certain that he should expect any good result from
him whom he has succeeded in satisfying well. For, the task of turning all the
abilities of thought and deed of human beings towards good is very difficult.
Because human nature tends to escape to other paths, and human beings are
equally impressed by their inneremotions as well as wisdom.
in this connection, we would like to mention the following things:
Mildness and Forbearance
It is essential for performing the task of Da’wah in the
best manner that the instigator should manage it with mildness and forbearance,
and since he is in dark about the nature of persons, it is necessary that he
should first understand them and find out their inclinations towards virtue and
performing the task of Da’wah , possession of its knowledge is very necessary.
He should not tell such a thing to him, the consequence of which he may not
know. Surely the caller to Islam has such a message which is unfamiliar to most
of the people of society and there is also an attraction in this for them, nor
have they strength to bear this burden in themselves. So it is sometimes
unavoidable to have any opposition from their side. It is, therefore, our
responsibility to know the quality of the land before ploughing and sowing seeds
in it, for some land is absolutely barren without any capacity of growth.
Consideration of Addressee’s Sentiments
thing should not be ignored is that you should regard addressee’s feelings
fully, although he may be opponent, also because difference in opinions is
natural and it is not such a thing for which mutual relations may be broken. So
it is essential that you should listen to others just as you want others to
listen to you. You should be your own critic and keep thinking about the vices
of your own. Do you speak very much? Does your voice rise while talking? Is your
method of discourse bitter? Are you proud of your knowledge? Do you use harsh
if you are aware of your mistake, adopt the true path without hesitation even if
you have to apologize for that. Be an ideal man so that the enemies who are
always deeply tracing your faults may not defame you; and deviating from the
main topic do not be diverted towards personal gains, because you will have to
take the support of wealth and property, rank and dignity also. Then this will
reach the government and the court and in this way the Satan will have an
opportunity of taking a firm footing.
to this, if you adopt the reasonable way from the beginning, your discussion
will be good and uncomplicated. If you bear in mind the respect and regard of
the Ulema, mutual differences will not get an opportunity to crop up. Your
opponent who differs from your viewpoint will have now only two ways – he will
either agree with you or set himself apart from you in a good way. He will
either be thankful to you or beg your pardon. Being impressed by your way of
speaking, he may be desirous himself to see you again, which will be the proof
of the fact that you are successful to some extent.
Analysis of Circumstances
has given knowledge and wisdom to every nation. As some scholars said:
nation possesses knowledge.
considering the conditions of a nation, the knowledge which is very necessary
for it may be absolutely unnecessary for other nations. So it is not suitable
for any one to think of calling other deviators from the right path. Because of
this, Deen has been made easy and flexible, so that it may adjust itself with
the changing circumstances. No one ever has the right of thinking that religion
has only one form for all the times. Undoubtedly “Truth” is one but it has
many angles and various aspects. And as knowledge will continue to increase, the
differences among the people will keep on increasing.
Religion): it was only
doubt, knowledge is the field of the solution of difficulties but the evolution
of knowledge itself produces many complications. So it is necessary for the
caller to Islam that he should
learn this art, and maintaining relations with people he should understand their
views. He should keep searching for truth amidst doubts and suspicions and
finding an opportunity of serving in a new society he should try to understand
the society patiently and quietly for some time. This may take much more time,
in knowing the society fully. Finally, he should start his work only after he
has learned the way of working in the society. If he starts working without
knowing the society, he will have to face many troubles which will cause many
impediments to come in the path of Da’wah.
by the Basic Principles
are some basic aspects of human thought which may take enough time to
understand. There is no harm in it because when the caller understands the basic
rules of discussions, only then it will be possible for him to benefit himself
and others. For example, if you want to converse with anyone on the topic of
Islam you should know the basic points of it: faith in Allah, belief in the
invisible (God, Angel, Hell, Heaven etc.), confirmation of traditions and
perception of intellectual things. But if the addressee has no faith in these
things, you should not carry on this discussion but try to converse from another
angle. The same is the matter with that person who has chosen someone as his
leader and out of his admiration does not take care even of the Truth or public
expedience. Now if the caller to Islam is aware of this, he should converse with
him in the manner that he may be brought gradually to his aim without causing
any objection to his beloved leader.
caller to Islam should always be awaiting such an opportunity in which he may
introduce his addressee to Truth without opposing his beloved leader during that
period. If he succeeds in doing so, it were as if he has his heart and after
this he will be having full opportunity of sowing the seed of Truth in him by
utilizing wisdom and patience and uprooting falsehood.
etiquette of Da’wah includes also the fact that the caller to Islam should be
an open-hearted man with high morals. It is not suitable for him to presuppose
that he himself is correct and fit, and the opponent is an atheist, illiterate
and a sinner. Instead, the base of discussion should be examined upon facts, and
as soon as the caller to Islam feels weakness of his viewpoint, he ought to
agree with the addressee without exhibiting any obstinacy and present his
opinion from another angle.
is also compulsory to distinguish between Fiqh (theology) and Shariah (Islamic
law). For, Shariah is that base, the soundness of which is above every doubt and
suspicion. As far as Fiqh or theology is concerned, it is a thing which we have
understood from Shariah itself. Presenting it before the people and deciding
according to its commands require “Ijtihad” (comprehension of fundamental
things of religion in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah), in which there is
probability of both the mistake and rectitude. For the caller to Islam,
accepting defeat in some affairs or at least exhibiting it is very beneficial
for convincing people about his own opinion. Again, he should never start
discussion, Until he is well aware of the basic points of debate and knows well
those points which he has to use in convincing his addressee. It is clear that
while the caller gives many things to the addressee, he also takes many things
Assistance in Indisputable Affairs
is also one of the requirements of wisdom that the caller to Islam should try to
bring his addressee round to the demands of practice. Because discussion is not
required which is just a means to some purpose and what is actually required is
action and not mere discussion.
is also wise that he caller to Islam should work up a favourable atmosphere
regarding the basis of his ideological relation with his addressee, so that in
future this relation may help in developing mutual co-operation. For example,
your addressee considers one thing justified from a national view point and you
consider it correct from the religious view point. The target of both is the
same. Both want to get rid of the same enemy. In such a case it is more
important to cooperate with each other rather than to engage in trivial
differences. And no obstacle should be allowed to this mutual co-operation.
from Sometimes the caller to Islam, during the course of his discourse, adopts
an emotional or political attitude, and considering his own opinion correct
hurts the feelings of others due to his selfishness. This is often harmful,
because in this form of address, no concession is made for others while it is
the only thing satisfying which the whole personality can be mended. In this
connection sincere love and sacrifice are the two weapons which impress others.
Hence, it does not suit a caller to Islam to kindle the fire of hatred within
his addressee’s heart and start debating with him. Nor should he make any
effort to compel his addressee to agree with him. For a caller to Islam it is
extremely unbecoming to let selfish emotions cross his mind at any stage. The
work of Da’wah is only for Allah Who is independent of all.
[From: How to Call people to Islam?]