The Call To Allaah, how to make Da´waa


La Ilaha Illa Allah
Staff member
By The Esteemed Shaykh, Saalih al-Fawzaan

All praise is for Allaah, Lord of the Worlds, who ordered us to follow His Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and to call to His Way, and may Allaah send praises and blessings of peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family, his companions, and those who truly follow them until the Day of Judgement. To proceed:

Calling to Allaah (ad-Da'wah ilallaah) is the way of the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and his followers, as Allaah, the Most High, says:

"Say, O Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam): This is my way, I call to Allaah (i.e. to the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, with no partner) upon certain knowledge - I, and those who follow me. I declare Allaah free and far removed from all that they associate as partners with Him, and I am free of those who worship anything else along with Him." [Soorah Yoosuf 12:108]

Indeed calling to Allaah was the mission of all the Messengers and their followers, in order to bring the people out of darkness and into light, from unbelief (kufr) to true Faith (eemaan), from shirk to tawheed, and from the Fire to Paradise. This call to Allaah rests upon firm pillars, and is established upon foundations which are absolutely essential. If any of these are missing the da'wah will not be correct and will not produce the desired results - no matter how much effort is expended and time wasted - and this is the reality which we witness with regard to many of the present day calls which are not supported by those pillars and built upon those foundations. These pillars which support the correct da'wah are clearly shown in the Book and the Sunnah, and can be summarised as follows:

[1] Knowledge of that which one calls to:

Since the ignorant person is not suitable to be a caller (daa'ee). Allaah, the Most High, said to His prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam):

"Say, O Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam): This is my way, I call to Allaah (to the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, having no partner) upon certain knowledge (baseerah). I, and those who follow me." [Soorah Yoosuf 12:108]

'Baseerah' is knowledge. So the caller is certain to face those who are scholars of misguidance, those who will attack him with doubts and futile arguments in order to rebut the truth. Allaah, the Most High, says:

"And argue with them in a way that is better." [Soorah an-Nahl 16:125]

Furthermore the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said to Mu'aadh (radhiyAllaahu 'anhu), "You are going to a people from the People of the Book."[2] So if the caller is not armed with sufficient knowledge for him to face every doubt and contend with every opponent, then he will be defeated in the first counter, and will be halted at the beginning of the way.

[2] Acting in accordance with that which he calls to:

So that he will be a good example - his actions attesting to his words, and leaving no excuse for the opponents of the Truth. Allaah, the Most High, said about His Prophet Shu'ayb that he said to his people:

"I do not wish to forbid you from something and then do it myself. rather I only wish to rectify you as far as I am able." [Soorah Hood 11:88]

Allaah, the Most High, said to His Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam):

"Say, O Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam): Indeed my Prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are all purely and solely for Allaah, Lord of all the Worlds. There is no share in any of that for other than Him. That is what my Lord ordered me, and I am the first of this nation to submit to Allaah as a Muslim." [Soorah al-An'aan 6:162-163]

Allaah the Most High, said:

"Who is better in speech than one who calls the people to Allaah and does righteous deeds?" [Soorah Fussilat 41:33]

[3] Purity of intention (al-ikhlaas):

Such that the call is made purely and sincerely to seek the Face of Allaah (and seeking His Reward) - not for show, or repute, or status, or leadership, nor desiring worldly goals - since if any of these goals adulterate it, the call will not be for Allaah, rather it would then be a call for oneself or for the attainment of the worldly goal - as Allaah informs that His Prophets said to their people:

I do not ask you for any reward for conveying this Qur`aan. [Soorah al-An'aam 6:90]

I do not ask you for any wealth for my admonition. [Soorah Hood 11:29]

[4] Beginning With What is of Primary Importance, Then With What Comes Next In Importance, And So On:

So firstly he calls to the correction of 'aqeedah (beliefs and creed), by ordering that all worship is made purely for Allaah, and that shirk is forbidden. Then ordering the establishment of prayer, and the paying of zakaah, and that the obligatory duties are carried out, and that the forbidden matters are avoided. This was to procedure followed by all the messengers, as Allaah-the Most High-says:

We sent a Messenger to every nation, ordering them that they should worship Allaah alone, obey Him, and make their worship purely for Him; and that they should avoid everything worshipped besides Allaah. [Soorah An-Nahl 16:36]

We did not send any Messenger before you, O Muhammad, except that We revealed to him that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, so make all your worship purely for Allaah. [Soorah al-Anbiyaa 21:25]

Furthermore, when the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) sent Mu'aadh to Yemen, he said to him: "Indeed you are going to a people from the People of the Book, so let the first thing you call them to be the testification that none has the right to be worshipped excepted Allaah. So if they accept this, then inform them that Allaah has obligated five prayer upon them in every day and night..." [3]

Then there is in his (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) way and method of giving da'wah, the best example, and the most perfect and complete methodology - in that he (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) remained in Makkah for thirteen years, calling the people to Tawheed and forbidding them from Shirk, before he ordered them with prayer, Zakaah, fasting, and Hajj, and before he forbade them from usury, fornication, theft and murder.

[5] Patient Perseverance in Facing Difficulties Encountered in Calling To Allaah, And in Facing Harm From the People:

For the path of da'wah is not strewn with roses, rather it is covered with hardships, and hazards. The best example of this is the case of the Messengers - may Allaah's praises and blessings of peace be upon them all - with regards to the harm and the mockery which they suffered from their people. As Allaah - the Most High - said to His Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam):

Indeed Messengers were also mocked before you, but those who mocked them were overtaken by the punishment which they made light of. [Soorah al-An'aam 6:10]

And He also said:

Indeed Messengers were also denied before you, but they bore these denials with patient perseverance, and they suffered harm until Our help came to them. [Soorah Al-An'aam 6:34]

Likewise, the followers of the Prophet met with the same harm and hardship, in proportion to their efforts in calling to Allaah, following the examples of those noble messengers - may Allaah's praise, and purest blessings of peace be upon them all.

[6] The Caller Must Be a Person of Good Manners Using Wisdom in His Call:

Since this will be an important reason for the acceptance of his call. Just as Allaah ordered His two noble prophets: Moosaa and Haaroon - 'alayhimus-salaatu was-salaam - that this was the manner in which they were to face the worst Unbeliever upon the face of this earth: Fir'awn (Pharoah), who claimed lordship for himself. Allaah - the one free from all imperfections - said:

"And speak mildly to him, that he might accept admonition or fear and obey Allaah." [Soorah Taa Haa 20:44]

And Allaah said to Moosaa - 'alayhis salaatu was salaam:

"Go to Fir'awn who has transgressed all bounds in his haughtiness, pride, and disbelief, and say: Will you not purify yourself from the sin of disbelief and be obedient to your Lord? And that I guide you to the worship of your Lord, so that you may submit fearfully to Him and be obedient to Him." [Soorah an-Naazi'aat 79-17-19]

And Allaah - the Most High - said, concerning the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam:

"By the Mercy of Allaah you behaved with gentleness towards them, and had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have left you and departed." [Soorah Aali-'Imraan 3:159]

"Indeed you, O Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam! Call mankind to the way prescribed by your Lord with the Revelation that has been sent down to you, and admonish them with the examples and warnings that Allaah provided in His Book, and argue with them in a way that is better." [Soorah an-Nahl 16:125]

[7] The Caller Must Remain Firm in His Expectation and Hope for Good:

He should not despair in the effect of his call, nor about the guidance of his people. Nor should he despair about the aid and the help of Allaah - even if a long time passes. Again, he has the best of examples in this matter in the Messengers of Allaah. So the Prophet of Allaah, Nooh ('alayhis salaatu was salaam) remained among his people for nine hundred and fifty years calling them to Allaah.

Also, when the harm and the hurt caused by the Unbelievers became severe, and the Angel of the ,mountain came to our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), asking if he wanted him to crush them with the two mountains, he replied: "No! I wish to have patience with them. Hopefully Allaah will produce from them offspring who will worship Allaah alone, not giving any partner to Him." [4] So if the daa'ee lacks this attribute, he will halt at the start of the path and feel discouraged and frustrated.

So whichever call is not built upon these foundations, and whose manhaj (methodology) is not the methodology of the Messengers - then it will be frustrated and fail, and it will be told without benefit. The clearest proof of this are those present day jamaa'ahs (groups) which set out a methodology and program for themselves and their da'wah, which is different to the methodology of the Messengers. These groups have neglected the importance of 'aqeedah (correct beliefs and creed) - except for a very few of them - and instead they call for the correction of side issues. So one group calls for the correction of rule and politics and demands establishment of the hudood (prescribed punishments), and that the Sharee'ah (Islaamic Law) be applied in judging amongst the people - and this is indeed something very important, but it is not what is most important; Since how can one seek to establish and apply Allaah's Judgement upon the thief and the fornicator, before seeking to establish and apply Allaah's Judgement upon the mushrik - the one who attributes worship to others besides Allaah. How can we demand that Allaah's Judgement be applied to two men disputing about a sheep or a camel, before demanding that Allaah's Judgement be applied upon those who worship idols and graves, and those who deny or hold heretical beliefs with regards to Allaah's Names and Attributes - divesting them of their true meaning, or distorting them. Are these people not greater criminals than those who fornicate, drink wine, and steal?!! Since those are crimes against mankind, whereas shirk and denial of Allaah's Names and Attributes are crimes against the Creator - the One free from all imperfections - and the rights of the Creator have precedence over the rights of the creation.

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) says in his book: al-Istiqaamah (1/466): "So these sins along with correct tawheed are better than corrupted tawheed in the absence of these sins." [5]

Then another jamaa'ah (group) affiliate themselves with da'wah, except that their methodology is also at variance with the methodology of the Messengers. They give no importance to the correct 'aqeedah, rather they give importance to some acts of worship and practicing dhikr (remembrance of Allaah) in the way of the Soofees. They concentrate upon khurooj (going out) and touring the lands, and what is important to them is that they manage to attract they people without caring about their 'aqeedah. And all of these are innovated ways, taking as their starting point, matters which were left until last in the call of the Messengers. This is just like the case of the one who seeks to cure a body whose head has been decapitated - since the place of the 'aqeedah in religion is like the head with regard to the body.

Thus it is necessary for these groups to correct their concepts and understanding, by referring back to the Book and the Sunnah, in order to know the methodology of the Messengers in calling to Allaah. For indeed Allaah - the One free from all imperfections - informed that the correct rule and sovereignty, which the central part of the call of the central jamaa'ah whom we mentioned, cannot be achieved except after correcting 'aqeedah, such that all worship is for Allaah alone and worship of everything else is abandoned. Allaah the Most High - says:

"Allaah promised to those amongst you who truly have eemaan (true faith and belief) and act in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, that he will grant them rulership upon the earth, just as He granted it to those before them, and that He will establish their Religion for them and grant them authority to practice the Religion which He ordered them with. And He will certainly change their situation to one of security, after their fear. Providing that they worship Me, not associating any partners with Me. Then, whoever rejects this favour by acting in disobedience to their Lord - then they are the rebellious transgressors." [Soorah an-Noor 24:55]

So these people wish to establish the Islaamic State before purifying the lands of idolatrous belief which take the form of worship of the dead, and devotion to the tombs - such as is no different from the worship of al-Laat, al-'Uzzaa and the third of them al-Manaat, rather it is worse. So they are attempting that which is impossible:

"And whosoever seeks greatness without effort or exertion

Will only be wasting his life in seeking something impossible."

Indeed, establishment and application of the Sharee'ah and the prescribed punishments, and the establishment of the Islaamic State, and avoidance of whatever is prohibited, and the achievement of whatever is obligatory - all of these things are from the rights of Tawheed; and matters which perfect it and follow on from it. So how can we give attention to that which is subsidiary whilst neglecting that which is of primary importance?


[1] From the Shaykh's introduction to the book: Manhajul Anbiyaa fid Da'wah ilallaah feehil Hikmah wal Aql (p. 10-16) of Shaykh Rabee' Ibn Haadee.

The translations of the meanings given for all Qur'aanic Aayaat are summarised from the tafseers of at-Tabaree, al-Baghawee, al-Qurtubee, Ibn Katheer, and ash-Shawkaanee.

[2] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 7372) and Muslim (no. 29) from Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radiallaahu 'anhu).

[3] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 7372) and Muslim (no. 29) from Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radiallaahu 'anhu).

[4] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 454) and Muslim (no. 4425), from Aa'ishah radiallaahu 'anhaa.

[5] The proof for this is the Saying of Allaah - the Most High: "Allaah does not forgive that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives whatever is lesser than that to whomsoever he pleases." [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:48]