Monday, 16 April 2007

Da'wah Is For Myself

"Da'wah" literally means invitation. It is the word Muslims use when referring to proclaiming, passing on and spreading the word of Islam (with wisdom and kind exhortation).

The Prophets AS are the first callers, proclaimers of Islam. Almighty Allah created us, the earth for us to live upon and the means for our sustenance. However, He did not leave us without any clues as to why we are here. Allah sent clear guidance and revelation in order that we may lead a life that is wholesome and which will, if we succeed, lead us to Paradise.

Allah communicated this message to us via men of good character, chosen from amongst us.

These men, Prophets and Messengers had one duty on this earth as Allah clearly states in the Qur'an:

"And our (the Prophets') duty is only to proclaim the clear message." (Surah Yaseen: Ayat 17)

The responsibility of Da'wah was not just left to the Messengers AS and Prophets AS. Instead, once any person has grasped an understanding of Islam, there comes the responsibility to share that knowledge and truth.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW has said:

"You shall not attain Imaan until you love for others what you love for yourself." (Bukhari, Muslim)

Now we know that Da'wah is the responsibility of each and every Muslim.

The big question is, "how to go about it?"

First, we have to learn from authentic sources before we can pass on knowledge. Seeking knowledge is a duty of every Muslim. The blueprint for an Islamic life is laid down in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. They cannot always be understood by just reading of the translation, but the Ulama (learned scholars) should be consulted who have spent many years of their lives in this field.

When we start to follow the blueprint we will then be a living example to all those around us. Whether we like it or not people will judge Islam by what they see of us. If people only ever see hypocrisy, fighting one another, debating and cheating each other they will dismiss Islam out of hand because of the Muslims.

Nevertheless, if they see us in our Islamic appearance, humble, decent, hardworking, striving to bring in our lives firstly the blueprint of Islam, they may thus stop and think, and in consequence make enquiries about Islam.

Almighty Allah says in the Qur'an:

"Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people and forget (to practise it) yourselves." (Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayat 44)

This is a warning about merely paying lip service to Islam, an attitude which can quickly undermine any Da'wah effort.

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