The Art of Dawah — Calling people to Allah
And who is better in speech than one who calls to Allah, and does righteousness, and says, “Surely I am one of the Muslims”?(Surah Fussilat, 41:33)
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful Allah
Dear reader, many of us are fortunate to be born in a Muslim family. Someone of our ancestors accepted Islam and the gift has come down to us.
If no one presented Islam to him, he would not have been a Muslim. And subsequently we may never have been a Muslim.
This shows us the importance of dawah and trying to spread Islam. So people may accept the truth and they may be saved. Allah says:
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
And who is better in speech than one who calls to Allah, and does righteousness, and says, “Surely I am one of the Muslims (surrendering to Allah)”? (Surah Fussilat, 41:33)
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them with that which is better. (An Nahl, 16:125)
وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
And let there be a nation of you calling to the good, enjoining the approved and forbidding from the wrong, and those they are the successful. (Surah Aali Imran, 3:104)
فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ
So remind by the Qur’an him who fears My threat. (Qaf, 50:45)
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِي لَيْلًا وَنَهَارًا
[Noah] said, “Lord! Surely I have called my people night and day. (Surah Nuh, 71:5)
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
بَلِّغُوا عَنِّي وَلَوْ آيَةً
Convey from me, even a single verse. (Bukhari, 3461)
Narrated Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, that the Prophet ﷺ sent Mu`az, may Allah be pleased with him, to Yemen and said,
ادْعُهُمْ إِلَى شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، وَأَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، فَإِنْ هُمْ أَطَاعُوا لِذَلِكَ فَأَعْلِمْهُمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدِ افْتَرَضَ عَلَيْهِمْ خَمْسَ صَلَوَاتٍ فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ، فَإِنْ هُمْ أَطَاعُوا لِذَلِكَ فَأَعْلِمْهُمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ افْتَرَضَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَدَقَةً فِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ، تُؤْخَذُ مِنْ أَغْنِيَائِهِمْ وَتُرَدُّ عَلَى فُقَرَائِهِمْ.
“Invite them to bearing witness that there is no god but Allah and I am Allah’s Messenger. Then if they obey you in that, teach them that Allah has indeed enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night. Then if they obey in that, teach them that Allah has made it obligatory on them the charity from their wealth, it is to be taken from their wealthy and returned to their poor.” (Bukhari, 24:1)
This hadith shows that dawah can be a step by step process. We may invite people to the shahadah first, then teach them about salah and then zakah.
On the contrary, we also find evidence from the Prophet’s seerah of calling people to accept Islam as religion, not only just calling people to the shahadah.
Dear reader, when we look at the Meccan Qur’an, which is a form of dawah from Allah Himself, we find it focus on three aspects:
1 — Tawheed (Oneness of God)
2 — Risalah (Messengers)
3 — Akhirah (Afterlife).
Thus in our dawah to non Muslims can also focus on these three. Remember the ART of Dawah. A-R-T — Akhirah, Risalah, Tawheed.
Calling people to guidance should be for both Muslims and non Muslims. In Australia, some groups focus on Muslims and some on non Muslims. Whilst having specializations is good, let each party not criticize and belittle the work of the other.
عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ
Perhaps they may be better than them. (Surah Al Hujurat, 49:11)