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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  [16172]  
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Evidence can be produce by two basic ways:

  • Naqlee - transmitted evidence: the Qurãn and authentic Sunnah, and the statements, understanding, and practical application of the Sahãbah, and
  • `Aqlee - rational evidence: views based on scholarly understanding of the Qurãn and authentic Sunnah related to the issue at hand (we begin with Sahãbah/ Companions, then the Tãbi`oon/Successors, then the Atbã` at-Tãbi`een/Followers of the Successors, and any of the scholars who follow their Minhãj (which is abiding by the Qurãn and authentic Sunnah and discarding personal, unfounded opinions) e.g. al-Bukhãree, Ibn Taymeeyah, ash-Shawkãnee, M. ibn Abdul-Wahhãb, al-Albãnee and several others; and the linguistics of the Arabic language which must always be dependent on and consistent with revelation. We must note that we always seek an answer from the transmitted texts, and only go to rational points that are made based on Qurãn and authentic Sunnah when we - via the scholars - are unable to find an answer within the transmitted texts.

One of our eminent scholars, Ibn al Qayyim al-Jawzeeyah stated, "Knowledge is what Allãh says, what the Prophet says, and what the Companions say."

Therefore, in light of the above, one must, be knowledgable in whatever he is inviting the people to. This is a very important condition of Baseerah because if one does not know what he's talking about he could be inviting people to Kufr and Shirk and Bid`ah and Kabã'ir and other Muharãmãt. The Prophet said, The seeking of knowledge (of religious matters) is mandatory upon every Muslim (al-Bayhaqee); and Allãh says, "Everyone must know that there is none worthy of worship except Allãh" (47:19) and "invite to Allãh with clear knowledge" (12:108).

A second condition of Baseerah is that the dã`ee (inviter) should be familiar with whom he is giving da`wah to. This is important because having this knowledge may be benefcial in convincing the invitee(s) to accept Islãm because the dã`ee would know how (or how not) to approach his audience. When the Prophet commissioned Mu`ãdh to be the governor of Yamãn, he abreasted him that he was assigning him to an area that was predominately of Jews and Christians (see Bukhãree vol.9 #469 and Muslim vol. 1 #27). With this information it would be useful for Mu`ãdh to know that he would be around people who had some knowledge of the previously-revealed divine scriptures because the approach we use with a Confucianist would not necessarily be the same approach we use for a Sabean or for a Christian, etc. Likewise, it may be better to send our Muslim brother Mustafã O'Connell to Ireland than it would be to send someone of British origin (because generally people are more comfortable with others who are similar to themselves - and notwithstanding the ongoing conflict between the two nations).

This hadeeth concerning Mu`ãdh is also a proof for the first condition of Baseerah because the rest of the hadeeth informs us that the Prophet told Mu`ãdh to instruct the people in the basics of Islãm. In order for Mu`ãdh to do this he himself would first have to have knowledge of Tawheed, Ittibã` ar-Rasool, Tahãrah, Salãh, etc. And let us take special note that the first tbing that the Prophet ordered him to do was: invite the people to Lã ilãha illãllãh.

A third condition of Baseerah is to be respectful, polite, humble, and the like, yet not compromising any Islãmic principles (like shaking hands with the opposite sex or sipping non-virgin cocktails) -while conveying the Da`wah. Allãh instructed Moosã and Hãroon "Both of you go to Fir`awn for without a doubt he has transgressed, and speak to him with kind and gentle words" (20:43,44), and "If you had been severe and harsh-hearted they would have ran away from you" (3: 159). Furthermore, we should not insult those things that the disbelievers worship besides Allãh, e.g. in the 70's when I was a member of the Nation of Kufr (the "so called" Nation of Islam) I used to say to my parents "How can we you worship that white, blue-eyed, hippie devil [Jesus]?' Although, both of us was in a state of disbelief when I accosted them in this manner it naturally brought about a defensive response (which will make it harder to convice someone of your point). To ridicule and blaspheme the gods that people worship besides Allãh is in opposition to Allãh's command "Do not revile those whom they pray to besides Allãh because they will wrongfully revile Allãh" (6:108).

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