Q 2: As beginners in the field of Da‘wah (calling to Islam),
what is the best method to follow in order to call people to Allah?
A: Firstly, equipping oneself with beneficial knowledge derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
Invite (mankind, O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom.
Wisdom denotes knowledge. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم): "This is my way; I invite unto Allâh (i.e. to the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allâh i.e. to the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism with sure knowledge).
By stressing the importance of sure and substantial knowledge, an ignorant person is thus not qualified to practice Da‘wah. Secondly, performing righteous deeds. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
And who is better in speech than he who [says: “My Lord is Allâh (believes in His Oneness),” and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allâh’s (Islâmic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds
(Part No. 12; Page No. 246) The Qur’an quotes Prophet Shu‘ayb (peace be upon him) as saying:
I wish not, in contradiction to you, to do that which I forbid you.
Accordingly, Du‘ah (callers to Islam) must put into practice all that to which they call people so that their example is followed and respected. Allah (Glorified be He) says:
O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do?
Most hateful it is with Allâh that you say that which you do not do.
Thirdly, enduring with patience all the hardship encountered. Allah (Exalted be He) quoted
Luqman Al-Hakim (Luqman the Wise) as saying to his son:
"O my son! Aqim-As-Salât (perform As-Salât), enjoin (on people) Al-Ma‘rûf - (Islâmic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allâh, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad), and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allâh with no exemption).
He (Exalted be He) says:
...and recommend one another to the truth [i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma‘ruf) which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar) which Allâh has forbidden], and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islâmic Monotheism or Jihâd).
Fourthly, kindly treating those who are called to Islam and gently turning them towards good. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
"And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allâh)."
He (Exalted be He) also says:
Invite (mankind, O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’ân) and fair preaching
Addressing His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Allah (Exalted be He) says:
And by the Mercy of Allâh, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you
(Part No. 12; Page No. 247) Fifthly, giving priority to what ranks most important, namely, rectifying ‘Aqidah (creed), then to proceed to other religious duties one after another, following the Prophet’s example of varying his methods of Da‘wah from the Makkan to the Madinan era.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.