All praise is for Allaah, Lord of all the Worlds, who ordered us to follow His Messenger and to call to His Way, and may Allaah send praises and blessings of peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions, and those who truly follow them until the Day of Judgement. To proceed:
Calling to Allaah (ad-Dawah ilallaah) is the way of the Messenger and his followers, as Allaah, the Most High, says:
Indeed calling to Allaah was the mission of all the Messengers and their followers, in order to bring the people out from darkness and into light, from unbelief (kufr) to true Faith (eemaan), from shirk to tawheed, and from the Fire to Paradise. This call to Allaah rests upon firm pillars, and is established upon foundations which are absolutely essential. If any of these are missing the da'wah will not be correct and will not produce the desired results - no matter how much effort is expended and time wasted - and this is the reality which we witness with regard to many of the present day calls which are not supported by those pillars and built upon those foundations. These pillars which support the correct da'wah are clearly shown in the Book and the Sunnah, and can be summarised as follows:
1. Knowledge Of That Which One Calls To:
Since the ignorant person is not suitable to be a caller (daa'ee). Allaah, the Most High, said to His Prophet :
'Baseerah' is knowledge. So the caller is certain to face those who are scholars of misguidance, those who will attack him with doubts and futile arguments in order to rebut the truth. Allaah, the Most High, says,
Furthermore the Prophet said to Mu'aadh, radiyallaahu 'anhu, "You are going to a people from the People of the Book." So if the caller is not armed with sufficient knowledge for him to face every doubt and contend with every opponent, then he will be defeated in the first encounter, and will be halted at the beginning of the way.
2. Acting In Accordance With That Which He Calls To:
So that he will be a good example - his actions attesting to his words, and leaving no excuse for the opponents of the Truth. Allaah, the Most High, said about His Prophet Shu'ayb that he said to his people:
Allaah, the Most High, said to His Prophet Muhammad :
Allaah, the Most High, said:
3. Purity Of Intention (Al-Ikhlaas):
Such that the call is made purely and sincerely to seek the Face of Allaah (and seeking His Reward) - not for show, or repute, or status, or leadership, nor desiring worldly goals - since if any of these goals adulterate it, the call will not be for Allaah, rather it would then be a call for oneself or for the attainment of the worldly goal - as Allaah informs that His Prophets said to their people:
4. Beginning With What Is Of Primary Importance, Then With That Which Comes Next In Importance, And So On:
So firstly he calls to the correction of 'aqeedah (belief and creed) - by ordering that all worship is made for Allaah, and shirk is forbidden. Then ordering the establishment of the Prayer, and the payment of the Zakah, and that the obligatory duties are carried out and that forbidden things are avoided. This was the procedure followed by all of the Messengers, as Allaah, the Most High, says:
Allaah, the Most High, says:
Furthermore when the Prophet sent Mu'aadh to Yemen he said to him, "Indeed you are going to a people from the People of the Book - so let the first thing that you call them to be the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah. So if they accept that then inform them that Allaah has obligated five Prayers upon them in each day and night..."
The best example of giving da'wah is to be found in the method of the Prophet - it is the most perfect and complete methodology - in that he remained in Makkah for thirteen years, calling the people to tawheed and forbidding them from shirk, before (he ordered) them with Prayer, Zakaat, Fasting and Hajj, and before he forbade them from usury, fornication, theft and murder.
5. Patient Perseverance In Facing Difficulties Encountered In Calling To Allaah, And In Facing Harm From The People:
For the path of da'wah is not strewn with roses, rather it is covered with hardships and hazards. The best example of this is the case of the Messengers, may Allaah's Praises and Blessings of peace be upon them all, with regard to the harm and the mockery which they suffered from their people. As Allaah, the Most High, said to His Messenger :
He, the Most High, said:
Likewise the followers of the Prophets are met with the same harm and hardship in proportion to their effort in calling to Allaah, following the example of those noble Messengers - may Allaah's praises and purest blessings of peace be upon them.
6. The Caller Must A Person Of Good Manners:
He must use wisdom in his call, since this will be an important reason for the acceptance of his call. Just as Allaah ordered His two noble Prophets, Moosa and Haaroon, that this was the manner in which they were to face the worst unbeliever upon the earth - Fir'awn (Pharaoh) - who claimed Lordship for himself. Allaah, the One free of all imperfections, said:
Allaah, the Most High, said to Moosa, 'alayhis-salaatu was-salaam:
Allaah, the Most High, said, concerning His Prophet Muhammad :
Allaah, the Most High, says:
He, the Most High, says:
7. The Caller Must Remain Firm In His Expectation And Hope For Good:
He should not despair of the effectiveness of his call, or about the guidance of his people. Nor should he despair about the aid and the help of Allaah, even if a long time passes, and again he has the best example in this matter in the Messengers of Allaah. So the Prophet of Allaah, Nooh, 'alayhis-salaatu was-salaam, remained amongst his people for nine hundred and fifty years, calling them to Allaah.
Also when the harm and the hurt of the unbelievers became severe against the Prophet , and the angel of the mountains came to him asking if he wanted him to crush them between the two mountains, he replied, "No, I wish to have patience with them, hopefully Allaah will produce from their offspring those who will worship Allaah alone, not giving any partner to Him." If the caller lacks this attribute he will halt at the start of the path and feel discouraged and frustrated.
So whichever call is not built upon these foundations, and whatever methodology is not from the methodology of the Messengers - then it will be frustrated and fail, and it will be toil without any benefit. The clearest proofs of this are those present day groups (jamaa'aat) which set out a methodology and programme for themselves and their da'wah which is different to the methodology of the Messengers. These groups have neglected the importance of 'aqeedah (correct belief and creed) - except for a very few of them - and instead call for the correction of side-issues. So one group calls for the correction of rule and politics, and demands establishment of the prescribed punishments, and that Islamic Law be applied in judging amongst the people, and this is indeed something very important, but it is not what is most important - since how can one seek to establish and apply Allaah's Judgement upon the thief and the fornicator before seeking to establish and apply Allaah's Judgement upon the mushrik, the one who attributes worship to others besides Allaah?! How can we demand that Allaah's Judgement be applied to two men disputing about a sheep or a camel before demanding that Allaah's Judgement be applied to those who worship idols and graves, and those who deny or hold heretical beliefs with regard to Allaah's Names and Attributes, divesting them of their true meanings, or distorting them?! Are these people not greater criminals than those who fornicate, drink wine and steal?! Those are crimes against mankind, whereas shirk and denial of Allaah's Names and Attributes are crimes against the Creator, the One free of all imperfections, and the right of the Creator has precedence over the rights of the creation.
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah says in his book, al-Istiqaamah (1/466): "So these sins along with correct tawheed are better than corrupted tawheed in the absence of these sins."
Then another jamaa'ah affiliates itself with da'wah, except that its methodology is also at variance with the methodology of the Messengers. They give no importance to correct 'aqeedah, rather they give importance to worshipping and practising some dhikr (remembrance of Allaah) in the way of the Sufis. They concentrate upon going out (khurooj) and touring the lands, and what is important to them is that they manage to attract the people to join them, without caring about their beliefs and creed ('aqeedah). All of these are innovated ways, taking as their starting point matters which were left until last in the call of the Messengers. This is just like the case of one who seeks to cure a body whose head has been cut off, since the place of 'aqeedah in the religion is like the head with regard to the body. So it is necessary for these groups to correct their concepts and understanding by referring back to the Book and the Sunnah in order to know the methodology of the Messengers in calling to Allaah. For indeed Allaah, the One free of all imperfections, informed that correct rule and sovereignty, which is the central part of the call of the former Jamaa'ah whom we mentioned, cannot be achieved except after correcting 'aqeedah such that all worship is for Allaah alone, and worship of everything else is abandoned. Allaah, the Most High, says:
So these people wish to establish the Islamic State before purifying the lands of idolatrous beliefs which take shape in the worship of the dead, and devotion to tombs, such as is no different to the worship of al-Laat, al-'Uzzaa and the third of them Manaat, rather it is worse. So they are attempting that which is impossible.
Indeed establishment and application of the Sharee'ah and the prescribed punishments; establishment of the Islamic State; avoidance of whatever is prohibited; and achievement of whatever is obligatory - all of these things are from the rights of tawheed, and matters which perfect it and follow on from it. So how can we give attention to that which is subsidiary whilst neglecting that which is of primary importance?
It is my view that the fact that these groups are at variance with the methodology of the Messengers in calling to Allaah is a result of their ignorance of this methodology, and the ignorant person is not suitable to be a caller, since one of the most important conditions for da'wah is knowledge, as Allaah, the Most High, says about His Prophet,
So one of the most important qualifications for a caller (daa'ee) is knowledge. Then we see that these groups (Jamaa'aat) which attribute themselves to da'wah are at variance with each other. Each group lays down a programme different to the programme of the others and follows a different methodology to it. This is the inevitable consequence of contradicting the methodology of the Messenger , since the way and methodology of the Messenger is a single way, containing no division, nor divergence, as Allaah, the Most High, says,
So the followers of the Messenger are upon this single way and are not divided and split. Rather those who contradict this way are the ones who divide amongst themselves, as Allaah, the Most High, says,
So because these groups (Jamaa'aat) are a threat to Islaam which may obstruct it, or prevent people from entering into it, then this is something which must be properly explained, and it must be made clear that this is something which is not from Islaam at all. Allaah, the Most High, says,
So since explanation of this is obligatory and it is binding to make it clear, a group of scholars having sincere concern for Islaam and the required level of knowledge and research took on the task of indicating the mistakes of these groups and explaining where they are at variance in da'wah with the methodology of the Prophets, so that they may return to what is correct. Indeed the truth is that which the Muslim always seeks, and so that those who do not realise their errors may not be beguiled by them. So from these scholars who took on this great duty of acting upon the saying of the Prophet , "The religion is sincerity/sincere advice, the religion is sincerity/sincere advice, the religion is sincerity/sincere advice." We said, "To whom, O Messenger of Allaah?" He said, "To Allaah, and to His Book, and to His Messenger, and to the rulers of the Muslims and their common folk," - from those who explained this matter and gave sincere advice about it is the noble Shaykh, Dr. Rabee' ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee in his book entitled, 'The Methodology of the Prophets in Calling to Allaah, That is the Way of Wisdom and Intelligence.' For he explains, may Allaah grant him success and reward him with good, the Methodology of the Messengers in calling to Allaah, as it is shown in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger . He presents the methodologies of the variant groups in the light of this in order to clearly show the difference between the methodology of the Messengers and these differing and contrasting methodologies which are at variance with it. He discusses these methodologies in the scholarly way and in a just way, whilst quoting examples and witnesses to what he says. So his book, and all praise and thanks are for Allaah, accomplishes the goal, and is fully sufficient for those who desire the truth, and is a proof upon those who are stubborn and obstinate in opposing what is correct.
So we ask Allaah to reward him for his work, and to cause it to be of benefit, and may Allaah send praise and blessings of peace upon Muhammad, his family and true followers, and His Companions.
Written by: Saalih ibn Fawzaan
Teacher in Imaam Muhammad ibn Sa'ud Islamic University.
Soorah Yoosuf (12):108.
Attribution of worship or any of Allaah's Rights to others besides Allaah.
The pure worship of Allaah alone, recognising Him as the sole Lord - the posessor of the most perfect Names and Atributes.
Soorah Yoosuf (12):108.
Soorah an-Nahl (16):125.
Soorah Hood (11):88.
Soorah al-An'aam (6):162-163.
Soorah Fussilat (41):33.
Soorah al-An'aam (6):90.
Soorah Hood (11):29.
Soorah an-Nahl (16):36.
Soorah al-Ambiyaa (21):25.
Soorah al-An'aam (6):10.
Soorah al-An'aam (6):34.
Soorah Taa Haa (20):44.
Soorah an-Naazi'aat (79):17-19.
Soorah Aal-'Imraan (3):159.
Soorah al-Qalam (68): 4.
Soorah an-Nahl (16):125.
Reported by Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. 4/300 no.454) and Muslim (Eng. trans. 3/987 no.4425).
The proof for this is the Saying of Allaah, the Most High,
Publisher's Note: For more information about Sufism refer to "The Reality of Sufism" by Muhammad ibn Rabee' ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee.
Soorah an-Noor (24):55.
Publisher's Note: These were some of the idols that were worshipped by the Quraysh at the time of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam).
Soorah Yoosuf (12):108.
But some of those who claim to be callers to Islaam, if you were to ask them, "What is Islaam?" "What are the things which negate Islaam?" Then they would not be able to give a correct answer, so how can it be permissible for such a person to be a caller (daa'ee)?!
Soorah Yoosuf (12):108.
Soorah al-An'aam (6):153.
Soorah al-An'aam (6):159.
Author: Shaykh Rabee' Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee
Source: Manhajul-Anbiyaa fid-Da’wah illAllaah feehil-Hikmah wal-’Aql
Translator: Abu Talhah Dawood Burbank (rahimahullaah)