"Say: 'This is my way: I invite to Allãh
on/with clear knowledge - I and whomever follows me (does this). Glorified is Allãh, and
I am not of the polytheists."" (12:108),
This is one of the ãyãt that our righteous
predecessors extract the rules/principles/basics of Da'wah from. The Arabic term is Usool
ad-Da`wah and is used interchangeably with the word Minhãj.
"Say" We are instructed to inform
the people whatever follows after the command of "say". This ãyah, as well as
all the others, is being addressed to the Muslims in general and the Prophet in particular
as to how we are to give Da`wah. In it are important commands for us to implement. Thus,
we should learn them, understand them, and apply them.
"This is my way" The
word Sabeel is
synonymous with the words Tareeq, Minhãj, and Sunnah. The Companion Ibn Abbãs explained
"the Shar`ee (laws) and Minhãj (methodology) as the Sabeel (way) and Sunnah
(example)" - Bukhãree p. 16.
The instruction that follows is the Sunnah of
Da`wah, and it is very important that it be adhered to. It is as follows:
"I invite... This phrase is in the first
person, singular of the present tense of the verb da`ã. It means: I am calling, I do
summon, I bid/beckon/invite. to Allãh. This does not mean we call people to where
Allãh is - above His Throne which is above the seven heavens over the heavenly waters.
What it means is we summon people to the meaning of Lã ilãha
which is "none is worthy of worship except Allãh, and it also to call people to His
Deen, to His Uniqueness, and knowledge of Him by way of His Perfect Attributes.
There is a science of the Arabic language in which a
part of a phrase can be used when it is actually referring to the whole phrase. This
science is being applied when the ãyah states to
Allãh because it is referring to
the Kalimah (Lã ilãha illãllãh). The reverse of this is also a science in which
an entire phrase is used when it is actually referring to part of a phrase, e.g. "They
thrust their fingers into their ears... " (2:19) The word fingers is used but
it is actually referring to the fingertips (of possibly only two fingers yet the Jam` case
of three or more is used).
So it is here that Allãh tells us to invite the
people to Tawheed. Clearly notice that we are not commanded to summon the people to any
individual (regardless of how knowledgeable), any organization or masjid, any way of
thinking, any project, nationalism, interfaith dialogue, ism or schism, etc. We are only
commanded to call the people to the meaning of Lã ilãha illãllãh.
"with clear knowledge" This part
the ãyah tells us HOW to invite the people to the statement of Tawheed: Lã ilãha
illãllãh. The word Baseerah is not simple one to translate into English, however,
for right now we'll use the word knowledge.
Baseerah means Daleel and Burhãn (clear proofs and
evidences). The word Daleel literally means guide. Often people ask the question
"What is your Daleel (evidence/proof from the Qurãn and authentic Sunnah)?" So
what they are literally asking for is "guidance" because this is what revelation
does - it guides us. Thus, this is HOW we invite the people toTawheed: with
proofs/evidences from the Ourãn and authentic Sunnah!