The Obligation of Da’wah Between Facts and Obstacles, 1
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on October 11, 1986)
Allah (S.W.T) addressed his prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) in surat Yusuf, (verse 108), what can be translated as, "Say you (O Muhammad): "This is my way; I invite unto Allah on evidence clear as the seeing with one’s eyes, I and who; ever follow me. Glory to Allah! And I am not of the mushrikin (polytheists, pagans, idolaters)."
Allah (S.W.T) informed His prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) that his message is concluded in one word, the call or da’wah to Allah (S.W.T), and He described this da’wah in three facts:
The first fact: The da’wah is based on a clear and strong evidence, and this clear evidence is described in Allah’s (S.W.T) book (the noble Qur’an) and the sunnah of the prophet. So that the da’wah is based on concepts that are drawn and confined, hence it is clear and distinguished.
The second fact: This da’wah is not restricted with the messenger alone, but it is his da’wah as well as it is the da’wah of all those who believed in him and followed his guidance. Because this da’wah is general and not limited with time, thus it will be carried on until the Day of Judgment. The life of the messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) has ended but the life of his ummah is going on to carry the message of Islam and to convey the deen of Allah (S.W.T) until the Day of Judgment.
And this is how the early Muslim’s carried this message of Allah (S.W.T) and spread out in the earth as carriers and conveyers of this deen. Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat Al-A’raf, (verse 181), what can be translated as, "Of those we have created are people who guides (others) with truth, and establishes justice with it."
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him said in his explanation to this verse. Allah (S.W.T.) when mentioning these people in this ayah is referring to the ummah of Muhammad (S.A.W.), and those are the Muhajeroon, Ansar, and their good followers, from this ummah till the Day of Judgment.
Qatadah, may Allah mercy be upon him said, "We have been informed that the prophet (S.A.W.) when he used to recite this ayah used to say, "This is for you and the people who received books before you had been given similar to it." And then he recites (verse 159), from surat Ala’raf, what can be translated as, "Among the people of Moses there is a ummah who lead (the men) with truth and establish justice with it."
The third fact: It is a da’wah that always fights (Ash-Shurk) association anything with Allah (S.W.T.) without any compromise. It stands in its basis on the ideology of unity to Allah (S.W.T). This is why it fights idolatry from all its forms and shapes, new and old ones. Since the old times when the idolatry came with wooden and stone shaped, until it became in the form of theories, philosophies, and personalities.
The fourth fact: One of the most prominent tasks and duties of the honorable messengers for which Allah (S.W.T.) sent them to mankind is to convey the message in the clearest way. The duty has been done successfully by the messengers. Allah told us their stories in many Qur’anic verses and the prophet told us about them through many of his authentic ahadith.
Allah (S.W.T.) addressed prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) saying in surat Al-Ahzab, (verse 45), what can be translated as, "O prophet (Muhammad)! Truly we have sent you as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings, a warner, and one who invites to Allah’s (Grace) by his will, and as a lamp spreading light."
The messenger of Allah Muhammad (S.A.W.) carries on this task successfully using several ways for that. He has faced many hard times and difficulties, and his seerah is full of witnesses and incidents. It will be wise to mention some of those to see its importance and to have it as a lantern which guides us today in our da’wah for Allah (S.W.T.).
Some of these ways are:
Calling his people to meeting with him to convey to them the message of Islam:
Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that when Allah revealed to the Prophet, "And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred." Then the prophet climbed up mount of "Safa" and called "O people of Fehr, O people of Adie," until they all gathered so that some were unable to come send a representative to see what is the matter. And They asked: "What is it?" The prophet (S.A.W.) answered: " Do you believe me if I tell you there is an enemy in the valley that will onset on you?" They said: yes, we did not experience any lying from you. The prophet said, "I am the warner, warning you of a severe punishment." So his uncle Abu Lahab scolded the prophet and said, "Is it for this you have summoned us!?" Then Allah reveled, "Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab, and perish he…to the end of the surat Al Masad"
Among his ways is:
His visits to the places where people gather to convey to them the message of Islam:
Imam Ahmad reported that Rabia’ Addailami said, "I saw the messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) going through the market place of "Dhel-Majaz" and saying, "O people say: "La-ilaha-illa-allah you will succeed." At that time his uncle Abu-Lahab was casting sand on him and saying, "O people don’t let him fool you and take you away from your religion. This man wants you to turn away from your gods "Al-Lat" and "Al-Uzzah", But the messenger of Allah did not look at him.
Among the Prophets ways to convey the message are:
- His famous trip to the city of "At-Ta’f" to convey the message of Islam to the people of Thaqif.
- Introducing himself to the different tribes in the Pilgrimage season saying, "Who among of you will take me to his people and protect me until I complete conveying the Message of my Lord."
- His sending the letters to convey the message of Islam to the Kings and Princesses: Imam Ibn sa’d narrated: In the month of Dhul-Hujjah, in the sixth year since the prophet migrated to Madinah, in the period of the peace treaty with tribe of Quraish, the prophet (S.A.W.) send messengers to the kings inviting them to Islam and wrote them letters. So in the month of Maharram, the seventh year (Hijrah), six of the companions with letters left on the same day, in different directions, where each one of them used to know the language of the people he sent to.
And there are many others examples, which clarify the messenger of Allah’s care in fulfilling the task of conveying the message of Islam in different ways. His noble life was devoted for this great goal.
If we look at the situation of the Muslims today, we will know the danger of neglecting this duty of conveying the message of Islam. We became weaker and weaker with no effort or plan for this da’wah. On the other hand, we hear about many of the non-Muslims missionaries carrying out their false concepts. They travel to many Muslim countries where they spend and dedicate their wealth and life and face many difficulties and hard times and live in very harsh conditions.
Here in this country, we came for different reasons and motives. For education, business, or shelter where we achieved many of this, Walhamdulliah. On the other hand, few of us immigrant or indigenous took the time and effort to convey the message of Islam to the people around us. And instead a dangerous situation has spread among us, neglecting the obligation of the da’wah. This negligence is helped by many hindrances and obstacles. Next week, Inshallah, we will talk about these obstacles.