This article is especially for those Muslims who are living in non-Muslim countries. In General, it is for all those who have any contact with non-Muslims.
Definition of Dawah and Islaah:
Da’wah means a ‘call’ or ‘invitation’; which means to invite non-Muslims to Islam as well as the Muslims to the true understanding and practice of Islam, but many a times, in context, it refers to the invitation of Islam extended to those who are yet to believe in or accept Islam.
‘Islaah’ literally means ‘to repair’ or ‘to improve’. In an Islamic context, it refers to efforts to improve Muslims or to correct them.
Difference between Dawah and Islah:
Dawah in Arabic actually means an invitation and an invitation can only be given to an out sider. And in Islamic terminology, Dawah ul Islam means an invitation to Islam. When we speak about Islam to a non Muslim inviting to Islam it’s called Dawah.
Many people even think when we speak about Islam to Muslim it’s called Dawah and they use this term Dawah for both types of talk. Basically when we speak about Islam to a Muslim calling him closer or letting him know more about Islam the more appropriate word is Islah,
- I do not have enough knowledge to do Dawah
This is one of the most common excuses given for not doing Dawah. The Prophet (pbuh) said
“Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol.4, Hadith 667)
- My own deeds are not too good, how can I do Dawah with others?
This is a nice statement to hear. This shows that how humble a Muslim is.
For those Muslims, who are not very good Muslims, doing Dawah will surely help you become better practicing Muslims. When you share something with others, you have the inclination to practice it yourself.
Your deeds are not really bad. The Christian missionaries who come to missionize the Muslims and people from other faith, they drink alcohol. Do you drink alcohol? No ! So who is better, Are they better or you? They gamble. Do you gamble? No! So who is better, are they better or you? They are promiscuous. Are you promiscuous? No! So who is better, are they better or you?
When they can do the job, what is wrong with you? They have the falsehood with them. You have the Truth of Islam with you. So why can’t you do the job? The non-Muslims today want to know about Islam especially after September 11, 2001. The situation has turned in favor of Islam. So do not miss the wonderful opportunity that you have.
Note: When I say about missionaries, I do not mean all of them but many of them do indulge in such things. Generally, Muslims are more moral than the missionaries especially those who come from the West.
- First we should make our own Muslims better Muslims, then we should do Dawah
This is one of the most common excuse given by Muslims who live in Muslim countries. Making Muslim, a better Muslim is called “Islah”. It is important to make a Muslim a better Muslim, if he is not of the right track. Converting people is not in your hand. I know of “Muslims” who will not practice Islam even after you bring countless evidence and proofs to them. So you mean are you going to stick to them only and not move forward? Your job is to deliver the message to others. The Quran says
“Therefore do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage (men’s) affairs. But if any turn away and reject Allah,- Allah will punish him with a mighty Punishment, “ (Quran 88:21-24)
Dawah and Islahboth are important at the same time. In Medina, at the time of the Prophet (pbuh) there were Muslims who did not use to come to the compulsory Prayers and the Prophet said “I feel like setting their houses on fire”
Even in Medina, there were such Muslims who were not good practicing Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) did not say that I’ll just make them good Muslims and stick to them only. Yet he wrote letters to other non-Muslim kings, asking them to embrace Islam.
If you say that, first I will make Muslims better Muslims and then invite non-Muslims. That time will never come. That time will not come in your entire life, nor will it come even in your next ten generations.
I am not saying that you should only do Dawah. Dawah and Islah both are important. But if you have less time than Dawah is MORE important because the non-Muslims are involved in the sin of shirk i.e associating partners with Allah. This is the most henious of sins. The Quran says
“Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.” (Quran 4:48)
So if you see a person who is involved in such a sin. He is going to hell for sure. If you are not going to stop that sin, then he’ll surely go to hell. So doing Dawah is a compulsory duty upon every Muslim and is very important task.
- My Dawah will not be affective.
As I mentioned, our job is not to convert people. Our job is to deliver the message of Allah. It is he who gives guidance. The Quran says :
“Therefore do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage (men’s) affairs.” (Quran 88:21-22)
Allah (SWT) will not question you on the day of judgment whether they became Muslims or not. But he will question whether you delivered the message or not.
- Doesn’t the Quran say “There is no compulsion in religion”
The Quran does say so. But it’s not right to quote the verse in bits and pieces. The verse reads
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error:” (Quran 2:256)
Your job is to deliver the message with wisdom and beautiful preaching. (Quran 16:125). Your job is not to convert people. A Muslim CANNOT force anyone to embrace Islam. You are supposed to deliver the Truth of Islam. The rest is up to them whether they accept or not.
- Doesn’t the Quran say “To you is your religion, to me is mine”
Again, it’s the quotation out of context. Let’s read this verse in context.
1. Say : O ye that reject Faith!
2. I worship not that which ye worship,
3. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
4. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
5. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
6. To you be your Way, and to me mine. (Quran 109:1-6)
The Question of rejecting faith only arises when you present the faith in Islam to them. Your job is to deliver the message to them. If they don’t want to accept. As a last, resort its “To you be your Way, and to me mine.” Suppose if I see a Hindu doing idol worship. I’ll try to convince him that it is wrong even according to the Hindu Scriptures such as Bhagvad Geeta 7:19-23 etc. But yet he wants to do. “To you be your Way, and to me mine”
So this is as a last resort NOT the first.
- When we do Dawah, the non-Muslim says “mind your own business”
This is another common excuse given by the Muslims. The reply is, it is the business of every Muslim to mind other people’s business where faith is concerned. Dawah is a compulsory duty of every Muslim. Therefore, when the person says, “mind your own business” He is right, that is what you are doing. You are minding your own business only.
- The person gets hurt if I do Dawah, it affects the friendship, and I do not want to hurt anybody.
The Question arises, does it hurt you when you see your friend or anyone doing blasphemy? Don’t you realize that these people are going to hell?
Doesn’t it hurt you when they say that God has a son? The Quran says:
88. They say: “((Allah)) Most Gracious has begotten a son!”
89. Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous!
90. At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin,
91. That they should invoke a son for ((Allah)) Most Gracious.
92. For it is not consonant with the majesty of ((Allah)) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. (Quran 19:88-92)
Doesn’t it hurt you when they give the worst swearing to Allah (SWT)? The Quran says that if the mountains had feelings and emotions like you and I have, they would fall in utter ruin, the earth will split asunder, the skies will burst. But what is happening to you? All you need to do is open your mouth.
Furthermore, it is a misconception that doing Dawah will break your friendship. The point is how your approach is. How good you are in your speech. How logical you are in your approach. If you start insulting his religion, that can make a difference but if you do it with wisdom and beautiful preaching inshallah you will not hurt anyone and your friendship to Allah should be much more important than the friendship to your non-Muslim friend. It is Our duty to remove the misconceptions about Islam and present the correct picture of Islam.
To conclude, it all depends upon how strong your Eeman (faith) is.
9. It will create provocation among the non-Muslims
Provocation is likely to be created if a person is a hater of Islam. Is this the reason that should stop you from spreading the message of Almighty Allah?
Provocation is not the test. If this was the test, then our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) was a failure (Naoozobillah). The pagan leaders, who loved him before, became his worst enemies. Did it make him stop from what Allah had commanded him?
So provocation will be created among those non-Muslims who are haters of Islam, that should in no means bother, instead you should remain steadfast and practice what Allah (SWT) has commanded.
10. If Every Muslim becomes a Daee, then who will take other professions like Doctors, lawyers, engineers etc?
Doing Dawah is a compulsory duty of every Muslim. In the Glorious Quran, Allah (SWT) speaks about full time Daees. The Quran says :
“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.” (Quran 3:104)
Today it is a dire need of the Muslim Ummah. We have very few people who are full time Daees.
I am not saying that every Muslim should become full time Daee, but every Muslim can do part time Dawah e.g with your colleagues who you meet everyday in the office, with your friends who you meet in the school and university. While traveling, if you meet a non-Muslim or you can do Islahwith those Muslims you meet, who are not good practicing ones. You can do it using media such as computer, internet etc. You can do it in many ways.
The Glorious Quran says
“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious:” (Quran 16:125)
May Allah (SWT) make your efforts successful! Ameen !