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III) Da`wah is the Most Honorable Deed
Da`wah is the most honorable deed in the sight of Allah. The Qur’an states that inviting people to Allah is one of the noblest acts that entails a high reward:
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)
Those who deliver Da`wah are promised to attain the true success both in this world and the Hereafter, if they perfect their work hoping for nothing but the pleasure of Allah. With regard to the reward, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it.” (Muslim) The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “By Allah, if Allah were to guide one man through you it would be better for you than the best type of camels.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) In order for the Da`wah to succeed in propagating Islam, it must be put in its rightful place as a primary element of our existence as a Muslim nation. Therefore, it is the duty on all Muslims to exert every possible effort to pave the way of Da`wah so that the message of Islam, the last message from Allah to mankind could reach every place in the world in the best possible manners.
The present Situation
A closer look at the situations of the Islamic world, from the East to the West, one can see that Da`wah among non-Muslims has lost its place in the lives of Muslims. It is clear that Muslims are becoming increasingly unaware of their primary mission in this world, which is calling mankind to Allah’s path. At the present time, only very little effort, comparing to the great resources of the Islamic world, is done for Da`wah among non-Muslims. Da`wah among non-Muslims has been moved from the top of their priorities to be a nonessential religious practice. Furthermore, many Muslims have become shy to present Islam to others.
1- Many thinkers and historians see that the decline of Muslims did not begin with Western penetration to the Islamic world but it was rather the result of gradual degradation of their religious practices and spiritual values in addition to their failure to be up to date with new developments in science and technology. As the Algerian thinker Malek Bennabi mentioned, “Muslims became colonized because they had become ‘colonizable”’. 2- These adverse situations were further complicated after the fall of Islamic Caliphate and western colonization that led to the division of Islamic world into conflicting countries and states. Thus, the Islamic world was plagued by loss of freedom, dependence on international power, internal disputes, conflict after conflict purposely created by outsiders. And Muslims were caught in a vicious cycle of internal division, conflict, and weakness. 3- The decline of Da`wah was the natural result of this turning down of the affairs of the Muslim Ummah. 4- As a result, new generations of Muslims lost the sense of their Islamic identity due to spread of misunderstanding and misconceptions about Islam, in addition to poverty, ignorance, and over dependence on non- Muslims. 5- Islamic scholars and reformers concentrated their efforts on correcting these adverse conditions in the Islamic world. Reforming Muslims and turning them back to Islam, removing misconceptions about Islam, and defending Islam were set at the top of their goals and priorities. 6- Muslims became so absorbed in their own problems that they became indifferent to Da`wah among non-Muslims. That is why modest efforts were done for the sake of the spread of Da`wah among non-Muslims.
1- Da`wah among non-Muslim should go in parallel with Da`wah among Muslims no matter how big is the gap between the true Islam and Muslims situations. 2- Obstacles in the way of Da`wah should not discourage us or turn us away from our main mission of calling mankind to the truth because the world is in bad need for this mission. 3- The obstacles of ignorance, prejudice and hostility against Islam should not distance us from non-Muslims. 4- We should fill the gaps and build bridges between us and non-Muslims so that it becomes easy for us to reach them. 5- As we pointed before, we should be consistent in our Da`wah even if we did not get the results we expected for guidance comes from Allah:
Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. (Al-Qasas 28: 56)
6- We must always remember that Da`wah is taken care of by Allah. He would guide through it those who are qualified for His mercy; those who have good hearts are sincerely searching for the truth. 7- And He will turn away from it those who do not deserve His mercy; those who chose to divert from His way; all of this is decreed according to His perfect wisdom and surrounding knowledge. 8- As we see Islam is the fastest growing religion in world although Muslims are doing almost no effort to spread it. Islam is gaining new followers every day who will one add to its revival. _______________ The article is excerpted from the author’s A Guide to Giving Da’wah To Non-Muslims”, Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.