بسم اله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah most Gracious most Merciful
Da’wah, is short for الدعوة إلى الله or “Inviting to the Way of Allah”. Da’wah is Fardh Ayn “فرض عين” meaning it is obligatory on all Muslims, male or female, according to the knowledge they possess. So if a Muslim only knows suratul Ikhlas for example, then he/she should give Da’wah with that. It is very important to give Da’wah according to the knowledge one possesses, hence it is equally important to increase the knowledge one possesses about ones own religion/Way of Life.
Da’wah is sometimes mistaken by non-Muslims as proselytizing, while that is not the case. The objective of Da’wah is to convey the message as clear as possible, and not to convert people. This is a point that some Muslims may not know or understand, and so they think Da’wah is to try to convert people, and because of this mentality the person who is trying to give Da’wah may actually drive away the one Da’wah is being given to, as well as cause the one giving Da’wah to go into stress, as well as cause him to create rivers of sweat.
So, the main point of Da’wah is that it is not about converting people at all for it is Allah who guides people, rather it is all about conveying, and how you convey the message determines the effectiveness of your Da’wah. To whom you start to convey the message to is also important, if your family or some members of your family is not Muslim, don’t go to another country to give Da’wah, one should start with ones family, and then ones neighbours, if one lives by non-Muslim neighbours for years and not even mention Islam once to them, then that is like concealing knowledge, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
مَنْ سُئِلَ عَنْ عِلْمٍ عَلِمَهُ ثُمَّ كَتَمَهُ أُلْجِمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِلِجَامٍ مِنْ نَارٍ
Whoever is asked about some knowledge that he knows, then he conceals it, he will be bridled with bridle of fire
So give Da’wah, according to the knowledge one has, no matter how little it is. For those whom Allah guides through our Da’wah, we get reward for them doing good, while there is no decrease in reward for them. Furthermore it is very rare that a person comes to Islam because of the Da’wah of one person, rather it is the work of many, one may come and plant the seed, while the other comes to water it, until it grows into a tree, and the person is guided by Allah’s will.
Above I mentioned that the effectiveness of our Da’wah depends on how we convey the message. How we convey the message is very important, and the most fundamental and most valuable rules on this in my opinion, is mentioned in one Ayah:
ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة وجادلهم بالتي هي أحسن إن ربك هو أعلم بمن ضل عن سبيله وهو أعلم بالمهتدين
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.
Surat Annahl Ayah 125
It is important to have both knowledge and wisdom, for knowledge without wisdom is like a person building a building starting from the foundation up, but puts no cement to hold the bricks in place. Just like that a person with knowledge who gives Da’wah to another but has no wisdom may not know when to stop and when to listen, and what to look for to see how what is being conveyed affects them. It is also part of wisdom to argue in the best way, now arguing does not necessarily mean debate here.
An example of “Arguing in the best way” is that of Ibraheem (peace be upon him) and the king, when Ibraheem said to the king that it is Allah that gives life and takes it, so the king said that I give life and take it, from there Ibraheem (peace be upon him) said to the king that Allah brings the sun up from the east so can you bring it up from the west? And the king was dumbfounded.
This story is an example of both arguing in the best way, as well of wisdom. For Ibraheem could have stopped and explained to the king that the way he gives and takes life is totally different from how Allah gives and takes it, rather he simply went on to the next argument which dumfounded the king. This simply is one example of argumentation, and how one argues differs as each person you give Da’wah to differ.
Each person is at a different level, some people may be uninterested in what you have to say, while others maybe hostile, while others maybe interested, and while others may actually be supportive and agree to what you say. For those uninterested or hostile, you would have to know how to deal them, and how to for example wisely bring someone uninterested to a state where that person is actually interested in what you have to convey.
It is very important to listen to the person whom you are giving Da’wah to, if you do then you can tailor your Da’wah to suit that person. Each person is different, hence Da’wah can’t be given the same way to each person. Many times Da’wah is about clearing misconceptions people have, so it is important that one listens to the person, and to the misconception, no matter how funny or offensive it may be, and then clear that misconception for the person.
Knowledge is also an important part here, you must have knowledge of these misconceptions as well as the understanding of where they come from, misconceptions are different in each place around the world. There are many ways to make Da’wah, for example one can do Da’wah during a discussion, or through ones actions/manners. Simply, one has to think about how one can do Da’wah when one is in a particular situation or state.
Lastly I would like to end, by mentioning again that Da’wah is not about trying to convert people, rather it is all about trying to clearly convey the message to them.
If you have any questions that came to mind while reading this blog-post, then I invite you to ask them here.
سبحان رب العزة عما يصفون، و سلام على المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين