Da'wah: WHY and HOW


stillnessofnight88FOR many years of my youth, I used to spend the last ten days of Ramadan in Makkah. My favorite sitting spot was on the first floor, in the Ottoman construction area between Al-Rukn Al-Yamani and the Hijr, and it was there that I would largely remain during the days and nights I was in the Haram.

One year though, my regular choice of dwelling was changed when I heard that my teacher, Sh. Ibn Jibreen, was also visiting and was sitting on the third floor. I wanted to pray by him, watch him pray, and hoped that I might find some private moments to ask him questions or listen to answers he gave. Just watching the sheikh was in itself a great opportunity for the student of knowledge. We learned from his manners, the way he carried himself, and how he dealt with others.

One night a group of young men came up to the Shaikh after Isha and before Taraweeh. They asked the Shaikh if praying Taraweeh in congregation would be better for them, or whether they should go out to the markets to give advice and do some street Da'wah. Unfortunately, during the Taraweeh prayer time, it was very common for unsupervised young girls and boys go out to the markets to hit on each other, and there were many other practices that were not proper that would prevail during this time. They explained the situation to the Shaikh and the told him that they were not from Makkah and that they had traveled only so they could pray and fast in at the Haram.

The Shaikh said that he would answer them the next day and to meet him in the same place and at the same time. That was one of longest 24 hours in my life; I could not wait to see what the Shaikh's answer would be. I started thinking about all the answers he might give and the different ways the Shaikh might say them, but what happened that night was very different than anything I had thought of.

I came early to ensure a spot close to the Shaikh. After Isha, the brothers came and the Shaikh said, "BismiAllah, let's go!"

"Whereto, Shaikhana?" they said.

With his well-known big smile, the Shaikh replied, "To the market together." That was his answer! Giving Da'wah and advising people could be more beloved to Allah than congregational Qiyam and Taraweeh in Makkah if it was done for the sake of Allah.

Of course I followed them to the market. It was Sooq Al-Layl (the night Sooq), and the brothers were very happy to have the Shaikh with them. At the entrance of the marketplace, the Shaikh noticed a store selling music (cassette tapes), and the Shaikh asked the man in the store to come out.

The Shaikh reminded him in a private manner about the prohibition of music and what these songs were calling for. I snuck as close by the Shaikh as I could to watch the Shaikh and see what he was saying to the man. Among what he said was that Ibn Abbas did not live in Makkah because he was afraid that his sins would be multiplied as the rewards multiply in Makkah due to its holiness and sanctity.

"Your store is only 50 meters away from the Haram, are you ready to meet Allah with such record?" he asked in a kind and concerned tone.

After 10 minutes I heard the man shout out to all the people around the area in a voice mixed with tears,

"As Allah is my witness, and His Angels, and all of you, I promise that before Fajr I'll get rid of all these tapes. From now on, I will change my business to a Halal one that sells Qur'aan and Islamic lectures and nasheeds."

The story was in the news the next day. It was a great night and one in which I learned great life lessons that I try to practice until today.

1- Actions speak loader than words. If we want our words to have a real impact, we have to be the first to practice with the people.

2- The real scholars and leaders are the ones who mix with the youth, live amongst them, and are seen with the public, not those who give orders and advice from distance.

3- Naseehah to those you know and you don't know can have a powerful impact when given with mercy and wisdom.


4- Sometimes we talk about the big things that we cannot change and we do not work on the things that we can change.

If this incident inspired you as did me, share your thoughts and give your comments.

{Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining Al-Ma'roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.} (Surah Aal 'Imraan: 104)


wowscenerySeveral years back, I heard a story that deserved to be written in letters of gold. I did just that; immediately wrote down the story. Although not in gold, it was to me in meaning more glamorous than gold.

I heard the story directly from a Romanian brother, Muhammad, who was a guest on a program called Kayfa Aslamt (How did you accept Islam?) on the Quran Radio Station of a Muslim country.

Around 1992, Muhammad visited Bosnia, and seeing the state of the people there, was motivated to embark on a ‘peace tour’ on foot, as he called it.

One night his travels landed him and his wife in a small remote village in Turkey. As he searched for a motel or any roof to spend the night under, he came across a villager and asked him for information regarding a place to stay. The man responded that there was none, and through a few English words and Muhammad’s very limited Turkish, managed to invite him to spend the night in his home.

Seeing that he had no other choice, Muhammad agreed, although they were frightened of this stranger who was a large man and sported a long beard. Little did he know that the man he feared was the same one who would change his life.

As soon as he arrived at the man’s house, Muhammad and his wife were comforted by the fact that there was a family there; an elderly grandmother of about 80 yrs, a mother and five children all close in age. The family prepared a supper for them that he described as simple, yet tasty. Then they were told that they shall sleep in the same room and the family would go sleep in another.

Early the next morning, Muhammad and his wife got up to thank the family and complete their journey. (Remember, Muhammad was not a Muslim, yet).

To their complete astonishment, they discovered that the house only consisted of that one room where he and his wife had slept, while the old woman, the man, his wife, and their five children were all sleeping outside, under a tree. This was in the month of November and the cold was bitter.

Extremely shocked at the man’s behavior, Muhammad asked, “Are you crazy?”

The man, who could barely communicate, replied,

“No, I am Muslim.”

The words went through Muhammad like an electric shock. He could never forget that man’s action.

He began searching Islaam, as he only had a distorted image of it, and even read the Qur'aan. He visited Syria, Jordan and Egypt, were he furthered his studies about the Qur'aan and the Hadeeth.

When the host asked him when he embraced Islam, he replied that in his heart, he was a Muslim from the time the man said, “I am Muslim.” But he and his wife officially took their Shahaadah (Declaration of Faith) in Egypt, two months after the encounter with the Turkish man.

When he returned to his home country, Romania, he faced anger and rejection from his family. Taking heed in the conduct of the Turkish man, he decided that preaching would serve no purpose. He showed them the beauty of Islaam through his actions. Later, the ones who carried the most enmity towards him, were the first to accept Islaam.

Today, we look around us and witness how many have been deceived into limiting the beauty of an individual to their physical characteristics. But Islaam disagrees; it is only magnificence of one’s character and conduct that make them truly attractive in the eyes of the people. Not only does it earn one an elevated status in the eyes of the people, but in the hereafter as well, where a special position is promised.

The Prophet (sallaAllahu 'alayhi wasallam) said, “The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be the best of you in conduct.” (al-Bukhaari)

An individual who upholds good morals and cares to possess fine character is a gift to society. People feel contented in the presence of such a person; they trust, admire, and aspire to be like him. While others around us set ‘examples’ of beauty in their own terms, it is upon us to be the ones with whom people are dazzled by their beauty in moral uprightness. And while others undress their bodies in hope of earning titles in the race to beauty, we shall wrap ourselves in the garments of honesty, mercy, forbearance, courage, patience, humbleness and modesty. For our race differs: it is to be among the most perfect as described in the words of the Prophet (sallaAllahu 'alayhi wasallam) who said, “The most perfect man in his faith among the believers is the one with the best behavior.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

We wished to write the story of the Turkish man in gold due to the status the mineral holds in the eyes of the people for it’s shine. But it remains hard and solid, unable to smear those who adorn themselves with it permanently. As for the shine of good character, it blinds the beholders from all other faults, as they only see perfectness in the shining one, free from all blemishes.

The Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) said, “Verily, a man would attain, through his good character, the ranks of someone who stands the night (in prayer and supplication) and fasts the day.” (Classified as Sahih by Al-Albanee in As-silsila Saheeha).

Indeed, true beauty shall always leave a crown on your head. But, you do not have to wait for anyone to place it there.

sisteronlaptopWe should facilitate the opportunities (of Da’wah) for the Female Callers to Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) and I do not know of anything that should prevent this. Whenever there is a woman present who is qualified to give Da’wah to Allaah (subhaanahu), she should be aided and it should be requested of her to direct and provide guidance to women because they are in need of female advisors and guiders of their own kind.

The presence of a female caller amongst women may be more beneficial in conveying the Da’wah to the path of the truth (to them) than a man. A woman maybe too shy to tell a man about the issues that concern her, or there may be something that prevents her from listening to the Da’wah from a man, but this is not the case when she is with a Female Caller because she mixes with her, relates to her what she is concerned with and she is also affected by a female caller more (than a man).

Therefore, it is imperative upon those who have knowledge from amongst the women to perform what is Waajib (compulsory) upon them in relation to Da’wah and directing (other women) to everything that is good according to the best of their abilities, as Allaah (‘azz wa Jall) says, {Invite/call (mankind, O Muhammad ) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islaam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Quraan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better.} (An Nahl: 175)

He also says, {Say (O Muhammad ): "This is my way; I invite/call to Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah - Islaamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me..} (Yusuf: 108)

He says as well, {And who is better in speech than he who invites/calls to Allaah (Islaamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims.} (Fussilat: 33)

And His saying, {So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can…} (At Taghaabun: 16)

The verses of this meaning are plentiful and they are general to both men and women and Allaah is the granter of success.

Reference: Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz: Vol: 7/P: 325-326.