DAWAH: AN INVITATION OR A MESSAGE ……….

Is Dawah,  an invitation or handing a message?

An invitation is given to someone you like, care about and want to share something personal with in your own private sanctums.

A message is a missive that someone handed to you to pass it on; it deserves honesty in delivery but does not have that personal investment of emotion and passion in it.

So what is dawah?

I do not have the answer. It seems like from my reading of the Quran so far that Dawah is a combination of an invitation and passing on a message.

It is as if you found a recipe for peace, love, tranquility and happiness all rolled into one dish. You have tried out the recipe and found it to be perfect! Now you want to share it with your best friend, your closest relative and the nephew or niece that you have great affection for…………and thus you invite them into your inner sanctums and make the offering with all your genuine hospitality,compassion, love and caring attached to it.

THE RESPONSE

If Dawah is an invitation only, then if someone refuses it one gets affronted and upset. If Dawah is a message only, it can be passed on without personal involvement, and you don’t care if the recipient takes it or leaves it.

I feel Dawah is an invitation to a recipe that you have savored and found it to be amazingly fantastic and you are convinced that it is the loveliest thing in the world that you can offer a friend or colleague that you truly care about;

However I also feel that Dawah is also a message that is from a Divine source and you know that it is your utmost duty to pass it on in the most pristine manner that you can without tainting it with personal bias or altering it to fit your desires or the recipients mood. You do want the recepient to benefit from the message as you have, and thus you have to gauge the best time when the recepient will be most responsive to this message.

DECLINING WITH HUMILITY

I have invited three sisters one after another to come and give a series of halaqa’s and each one of them have declined. Either saying that they are not in a place yet where they feel they can invite someone when they do not have much to offer. The other reason given was that it would stroke the Nafs and that would be bad for their aspirations for Tazkiyah

So here am I with no one to teach our group from the possible teachers who we think are qualified to do so.

AGGRESSIVE AND IN YOUR FACE DAWAH

While others, on cyberspace are falling over each other sending incessant emails, scanned books, articles from mailing groups. Sometimes the same exact article with no valid reference is repeatedly sent, ramming it down your throat till you are ready to turn off the tap of Dawah.

There has got to be a happy medium, a moderate path as everything that Prophet Muhammad pbuh taught us was in the moderate path or in the middle path.

On one side are people who are saving their cloak from being dipped in the river of Nafs and being dragged into it eventually, and on the other are people who do not have time to stop and look in the mirror to see if they are following even a modicum of what they are spouting into cyberspace.

WHEN SHOULD ONE GIVE DAWAH?

I asked our learned Sheikh (a young man): “ when should one give dawah” His reply was similar to what we are also taught in medical school, which is:  “see one, do one, teach one!” which means as you learn, practice it and simultaneously pass it on……..

This still does not answer the question of how to and whom to pass it on?

The best example to tap into is of course Prophet Muhammad pbuh who in the course of twenty-three years changed the map of the world.

I am writing this post before completing my research on the methodology of Prophet Muhammad pbuh in total, hoping some help will come from the readers.

So here is my research so far:

After a particularly arduous and hurtful session session with his (pbuh) family and their adamant refusal and sarcasm of the Prophet’s (pbuh) message, Allah Subhanawataala reveals instructions to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): I paraphrase from Surah Baqarah:

“Your duty is to convey the message not convince”

This is particularly important because the “feeling of rejection” that comes over a daaee when trying to transmit the message can be depressing and paralyzing.

The key is to carry out the act of dawah with utmost sincerity and hospitality and leave the results to Allah Subhanawataala.  If it is met with resistance then Alhamdolillah and if it is accepted Alhamdollillah!

The next question that comes up is:, how many times do you give the same message to the same person or persons? Do you continue slamming the person with emails, visits, and conversations wherever you see them with the same information & using the same methodology?

The answer to this came in the tafseer of the ayah which relates the conversation between Ibrahim (AS) and Nimrud: Surah Baqarah 2: 258

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِي حَاجَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فِي رَبِّهِ أَنْ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ الْمُلْكَ إِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّيَ الَّذِي يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ قَالَ أَنَا أُحْيِي وَأُمِيتُ  قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْتِي بِالشَّمْسِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ فَبُهِتَ الَّذِي كَفَرَ  وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ  ﴿٢٥٨﴾

Hast thou not turned thy thought to one who disputed with Abraham about his Lord because Allah had granted him power? Abraham said: “My Lord is He Who giveth life and death.” He said: “I give life and death.” Said Abraham: “But it is Allah that causeth the sun to rise from the East: do thou then cause him to rise from the West?” Thus was he confounded who (in arrogance) rejected faith. Nor doth Allah give guidance to a people unjust. (258)

The tafseer by Dr. Farhat Hashmi goes as follows:

When Ibrahim (AS) brought the message to Nimrud about Allah Subhanawataala, that “Allah gives life and death”. Nimrud promptly ordered two prisoners to be brought in front of him and ordered one to be slain and left the other alive, and said” I give life and death”

Ibrahim (AS) did not argue with Nimrud. He did not point out that you killed one prisoner but you did not give life to the other, he already was alive.

He changed the topic and said My Lord causes the sun to rise from the East, can you make it rise from the West?” This dumbfounded Nimrud, and left him speechless for a while.

Thus here is an important lesson for a daee, when one method and one topic is not working, go to something totally different, instead of taking the ignorance of the recipient and rubbing it in, which will cause ill will between the two, and a shut down of  receptive communication.

Allah Subhanawataala says in the Quran:

, “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and have dialogue with them in the best of manners.”

The question, to a muslim is why do you want to give the message to anyone?

I am sure everyone has his or her reasons………..Jannah, Naar, obligations, etc etc etc.

The basic reason is outlined in the last Khutbah of Prophet Muhammad pbuh

Excerpt of the last paragraph of the last Khutbah:

People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well therefore, O people, and understand words, which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith), and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listened to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people.”

Allah Subhanawataala commands us many times in the Quran

“Obey Me (Allah) and obey the Rasool (Muhammad pbuh).


There are entire books on Prophet Muhammad’s method of communication of the message of Allah………..Perhaps every muslim man and woman may want to review these, practice the ways and then proceed to: “see one, do one and teach one!”

Allah Knows best!

What is your method of Dawah?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s