Why are we here? Why did Allah place us on this planet? What is our destiny? What is our purpose?
As Muslims, we have the answer. The answer is simply: To Worship Allah.
But does our responsibility end there? Are we satisfied with our own salvation and need not worry about the millions of potentially lost souls around us?
Or should we try to share what we have with others?
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) spent much of his life calling others to Islam. In fact, Allah confirms this as the prophet’s primary mission in the Quran, the translation of which is:
O Prophet! Truly We have sent thee as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and a Warner― (45) And as one who invites to Allah’s (Grace) by His leave, and as a Lamp spreading Light.
Chapter 33 Vers 45-46
This is an indication – and there are many evidences and proofs throughout the Quran and Hadith – that calling others to Islam is a noble and beloved action.
The Criteria for Giving Da’wah
But before we rush out and start propogating Islam, it would be wise to cover some of the basics of giving Da’wah. So let’s go over some important aspects of inviting to Islam.
- First and foremost, you must be sincere
- Stick to the truth.
- Invite with both your tongue and your actions
- You should be knowledgeable of what you say
- You should be familiar with the people you are calling to Islam
Now, let’s go over each of these topics in a little more detail, Inshallah.
There are some who invite a person to Islam because they want to marry them.
And there are some who invite to Islam just so they can make a name for themselves.
And still others join da’wah groups and organizations just to make friends and have a social life.
But the best reason to give da’wah is to please Allah.
You may marry someone, and then divorce them later. Or they may die. But Allah never dies.
You may try to make a name for yourself yet never be recognized. But Allah will always you give you what you deserve.
You may seek friendship and companionship, but friends die, and company parts. But Allah is always with us.
Stick to the Truth
This may seem obvious, but we must always speak the truth when conveying the message of Islam. This means we do not twist the words of Allah and His messenger to “conform” to modern ears.
We speak the truth and we do not fear their accusations. Nor do we shy away from sensitive topics.
There are some parts of Islam and Islamic history that critics have used to defame Islam. For example, the prophet’s marriage to Aishah at a young age. And the commands of Allah in the Quran to fight the disbelievers.
Rather than make up excuses for these topics or cover them up, let’s learn and understand them well. Most of the time, the one who is trying to defame Islam knows little or nothing of the truth behind the accusations.
Invite With Your Tongue and Your Actions
In Surah Saff, Allah says what translates as:
O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Extremely hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.
Chapter 61 Verse 2-3
Wouldn’t it be a shame if you are a man who preaches about how Islam protects women’s rights, only to have it come out that you abused your wife?
Isn’t it hypocritical to lay blame on non-Muslims who commit zina (illegal sexual intercourse), yet you have a girlfriend or boyfriend?
What good does it do to give exalted claims about how Islam cures so many evils, if you are constantly committing evil yourself?
Therefore, it is vital that we not only speak like Muslims, we must also ACT like Muslims. And this does not mean simply wearing a turban or hijab. This means striving and trying to live up the high standards we call to.
So when we do business with others, we do not cheat or lie. We speak the truth at all times. We make our prayers on time.
I can guarantee you, you will invite more people to Islam with your actions than with your words alone.
Be Knowledgeable of What You Speak
This is quite simple: Talk about what you know. Do not try to explain the linguistic qualities of Quranic Arabic if you do not truly understand it.
This is not to say we must be scholars to call to Islam. But we should only speak about those topics that we truly know and understand.
If you are speaking to someone about Islam and you come across a subject you’re not familiar with, there’s no shame in admitting the truth. Simply say you do not have enough knowledge about that topic, and refer them to someone who does.
Or tell them that you will look that information up and get back with them later.
The point is, don’t misguide others with your lack of knowledge. Just talk about what you know.
Be Familiar With Your Audience
You should understand the people you are speaking to. You would not explain Islam the same way to a PhD as you would to an illiterate person. You must approach them differentl.
You should also have some understanding of their culture, habits, and behaviors. Your approach to giving da’wah for an American Christian would be different than your approach to an Egyptian Christian. The American may know little or nothing about Islam, whereas the Egyptian most likely has Muslim friends and family members.
Inshallah, I hope you take this advice helps you next time you’re giving da’wah. It is a wonderful undertaking, and one we must indulge in every chance we get.