Da`y identifying priorities

Q 1: Today many youth believe that we should abandon some acts of Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) in order to avoid disagreement among people. For example, placing the right hand on the left hand in Salah, positions of raising the hands in Salah, and Jalsat-ul-Istirahah (a brief sitting after prostration and before standing during the Prayer). They argue that Islam has many priorities and these matters come in later stages, and not in the first stages in the method employed by a Da‘y (caller to Islam), especially Jalsat-ul-Istirahah. They believe that if you apply an act of Sunnah and people start to look at you with discontent, it will be a Fitnah (trial). They use the following Ayah (Qur’anic verse) as a proof: "Fitnah is worse than killing." And the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): "Fitnah is asleep, Allah has cursed those who awaken it." These are legal proofs to be followed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to follow his Sunnah, especially at times of disagreements. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Hadith on the authority of Al-‘Irbad ibn Sariyah, after he mentioned some matters: Whoever lives after me, will see much disagreement, so keep to my Sunnah and the practices of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who will come after me. . . Please advise.

A: Firstly, Du‘ah (callers) to the Way of Allah (Exalted be He) should start with the most important issues, then the less important, and so on. The Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed Mu‘adh when he sent him to Yemen, saying: You are going to People of Scripture. When you reach them, call them to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. If they obey you in this, inform them that Allah has enjoined on them five Salahs (to be offered) throughout every day and night. If they obey you in this, inform them that Allah has enjoined on them Sadaqah (obligatory charity) to be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor among them. If they obey you in this, beware (not to take as obligatory charity) their precious property. And fear the supplication of a wronged person, for there is no barrier between them and Allah. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) (Part No. 12; Page No. 241) They should not distract themselves from these important issues by engaging in disagreement over subsidiary matters or supererogatory acts of worship like those mentioned in the question. Variance in these matters is legally acceptable, as they are controversial and subject to debate and Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings).Du‘ah should explain the basic Shar‘y (Islamic legal) rulings, meaning: the Wajib (obligatory), Mustahab (desirable), Haram (prohibited), Makruh (disliked), and Mubah (permissible). There is no harm that some people may disagree with them as long as they provide the proofs from the Qur’an and the Sunnah to their sayings and actions. Secondly, individually, they have to adhere to the Sunnah and apply it themselves as much as they can and be an example to follow in their actions, behavior, worship, and transactions so as to present to people the image of a practicing Muslim who calls to the Way of Allah (Exalted be He) by word and deed in the fundamentals and branches of religion.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.