The Limits of Da’wah
It is common for the lay Muslim to engage in da’wah and today this is most frequently done online, sometimes Facebook, Twitter and also on Paltalk. Unfortunately there are those in our growing community that have mimicked the da’wah of the Christians and Atheists – without being aware of what they are doing. So what is da’wah? Da’wah is literally, an invitation to Islam, and from this, da’wah is not to:
- Belittle your opponent.
- Be emotional with your opponent.
- Enter into discussion about a topic in which you have no knowledge, the foremost being ‘aqeedah.
- Show off (demonstrate your ‘skills’ at debating or demonstrate ‘knowledge’ you possess).
- Prove your opponent wrong.
If we limit ourselves to not doing these five ills, and this is the way of the Christians and Atheists, then we will only then begin to perfect our da’wah.
How is this the method of the Christians?
Christians tend to look down on infidels (this is a Christian term, meant to mean unfaithful to Christ), in the sense that we do not possess the Spirit and thus do not have clear insight into the reality of the world and their scriptures. This causes them to be emotional and to use primarily emotional arguments, viz a viz: Christ has changed me, I spoke with him, you’re Satan because you disagree with him etc.
One of the more odd experiences I’ve faced is Christians copy pasting copious amounts of text and copying missionary literature and then spamming you with it. No, the 50th time you’ve left me a pamphlet or sent me an e-mail does not convince me of your faith, rather it convinces me that you just want to shut me out and not listen to me. Even top Christian apologists fall prey to this, they would write or speak for long periods of time on irrelevant discussion to the topic at hand, and when questioned, they again repeat speaking or writing on something off topic, just to tire you out. Remember, stopping a person from speaking is not guiding them, it’s simply screaming, “I’m right and you’re wrong“, over and over again.
How is this the method of Atheists?
Now when I mean atheist, I’m implying agnostics and militant atheists, although I’m not generalizing but this is usually my experience with them. Now, not many know this, but by study and trade – I am a Scientist. In fact, my field specializes in the area of logic. Logic is the foundation of and the pillar of my field. Many times I’ve come across atheists who employ the belief that all theists do not use reason and logic. When in fact it is these people who have never actually used logic, nor is it used in their day to day operations. At University where I often have discussions, it’s pretty funny to see persons trying to explain to me why faith cannot be reconciled with science, reason and logic. Except for the fact that faith is often based on science, reason and logic – something which the Qur’aan emphasizes.
Often times, I’ve found it easier to explain that the atheistic model of life is morbidly self hating. We are nothing and our lives are without purpose (I’m looking at you Lawrence Krauss). This is their modus operandi, this is what they want us to believe, so the question begs itself, if our lives are worth nothing and therefore has no purpose – why don’t they off themselves? If not, then they imply that they do have a purpose, and if so, purpose implies intent, for no one can have a thought about something without intending to think about that something.
What is the Best Da’wah?
On the authority of Abu Hamzah Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) – the servant of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) – that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said :
“None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”
(Related by Bukhari & Muslim).
Your brother in this case means your brother in humanity. We must love for ourselves to be guided, to be treated in a calm and respectful way, to not be argued with for the sake of arguing or disagreed with for the sake of disagreeing and most of all, to be treated with honesty. Due to this, the Prophetic advice is clear, treat others as we would want to be treated and this in turn, will be the best da’wah possible. We must remember than da’wah is for Allaah and Him alone – and if done with this methodology, then He – the Changer of Hearts, can guide anyone to the truth.
and Allaah knows best.