God says: “remind, if the Reminder profits”. How is da’wah a virtue of Islam and whom does it benefit?
Da’wah comes from tad`u, which means to supplicate, call, request, encourage, seek help, incline towards, or ask.
In Islam it involves:
Calling people to Allah (Exalted be He).
Making people better worshippers of Allah.
Encouraging others to become better in practice and understanding of Allah’s religion.
Giving da`wah is in general a communal obligation. But practically in our times, one can argue that in many cases it becomes an individual fard (duty) that we’re all required to practice. This is because there are so few Muslims who have any correct knowledge of the religion, and so many who’re giving improper da`wah, teaching people innovations in religion and often shirk. In order to combat the da`wah of Satan, we need to build the habit of calling people to Allah.
And let there be (arising) from you a nation inviting to (all that is) good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful (muflihoon). (Aal `Imran 3:104)
The word “muflihoon” in the above verse, which means “the successful ones”, comes from the same root as fallah, which means a farmer. When a farmer plants some seeds, he doesn’t instantly see a plant grow in front of his eyes. He has to irrigate the land, plant the seeds in proper order, water them throughout months and then finally after a year or so he sees some result, some crops to harvest.
By Allah’s Will
In the same way, when giving da’wah, we can’t expect instant results – wait for the harvest.
Oftentimes it will happen that you give someone some advice, but they don’t take it seriously. In those times we have to remember:
Success doesn’t depend on us. It depends on Allah.
We won’t always see the fruit of our advice right away
We have done our work by giving da`wah. Allah said to the Prophet (peace be upon him):
So remind, (O Muhammad); you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller. (At-Tariq 88:21, 22)
Benefits of Da`wah
It is the way of all the prophets and messengers.
And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, (saying), “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah)” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was (deservedly) decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers. (An-Nahl 16:36)
We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain (their affairs) in justice. And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. (Al-Hadid 57:25)
It is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and those who followed him in righteousness.
In fact, it is a sunnah that was continuously practiced by the Prophet from the beginning of his prophethood until his death.
It brings benefit, not only to the one you’re calling, but to yourself.
So remind, if the reminder should benefit. (Al-A`la 87:9)
He didn’t specify the word benefit – benefit to whom? What kind of benefit? This benefit is all comprehensive, and it affects both the caller and the called, by Allah’s permission.
It is the best of speech:
And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims”. (Fussilat 41:33)
The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action”. (Muslim)
We are raised above other nations by virtue of da`wah:
You are the best nation produced (as an example) for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient. (Aal `Imran 3:110)
It is a sign of completeness of tawheed and strength of faith. You are only comfortable in telling others to do something if you yourself believe it to be true.
So giving da`wah is a fruit of faith. it also strengthens one’s faith by bringing one closer to Allah.