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The Manners and Etiquette of Da`wah
  Explanation of the Verse, "Say this is my way, I call unto Allaah..."
Author: Dawud Adib
Source: Al-Huda Magazine
Article ID : DAW010001  [14672]  
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"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.

Qul

"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.

Hãdhihi Sabeelee

"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:

Ad`oo Ilallãh

"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 illãllãh 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.

`Alã Baseerah

"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!


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