Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi had stated that da’wah is an effort to bring others to the religion of Islam, fulfilling all of the stipulations on earth, calling towards good and forbidding evil, as well as undertaking jihad in His Path. Da’wah is a continuation of the duty of the prophets and messengers, who were sent by Allah to their Ummah. This role is then assumed by the Companions, as-salaf as-salih (the pious predecessors), and the Muslim scholars until the end of time.
Allah mentions in verse 36 of Surah an-Nahl:
Which means: “And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taaghoot.” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed…”
In general, we know that da’wah strategy is delivered in three approaches, namely da’wah through speech, da’wah through actions, and da’wah through writing. Rasulullah provides the best example of giving da’wah. He was able to perfect da’wah strategies through all three approaches mentioned, along with his Companions.
Da’wah is also a continuous effort and it is definitely not seasonal. It must be executed with diligence and ikhlas (sincerity), though faced with various trials and challenges. This is because the objective of da’wah itself is clear, which is to invite mankind to completely surrender and submit to the Will of Allah. Indeed, the work of da’wah is a responsibility shouldered by every believer, with the condition that one must have foundational knowledge regarding the knowledge that is to be conveyed. Those engaged in da’wah will attain the reward and virtues when their da’wah efforts are accepted and practiced by others.
In the hadith of Jareer bin ‘Abdullah, Rasulullah said:
Which means: “He who introduced some good practice in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect…” [Narrated by Muslim].
Therefore, every Muslim cannot avoid the very task of da’wah in inviting society to good, especially upon family members or one’s dependents. Verily, in conveying the risaalah (message) of da’wah, Islam has outlined basic principles that are clear and must be adhered to, as Allah mentions in verse 125 of Surah an-Nahl:
Which means: “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best…”
Every da’i (one who gives da’wah) must master the message that is to be conveyed so that it coincides with authentic Islamic teachings. All issues raised must be mentioned with the intent to educate and produce Muslims that are open-minded, not obsessed with rigidity, or spreading teachings that are far deviating from the actual teachings of Islam that it destroys the aqeedah, Shari’ah, and Islamic akhlaq, which are sacred.
Every da’i must always strive to increase their knowledge, especially regarding matters that are to be conveyed, remaining honest and sincere, as well as grasping thorough comprehension of Islamic tarbiyyah (education) for it is truly vital in grooming the hearts of the intended recipient of their da’wah efforts.
Allah mentions in verse 108 of Surah Yusuf:
Which means: “Say, “This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allah, and I am not of those who associate others with Him.””
The diversity of methods or da’wah techniques truly provides an effective impact upon intended da’wah recipients. The da’i must be wise in selecting the most effective methodology, the necessary tools, and its suitable time, as well as verbal speech that can captivate the hearts. However, all methodologies must be according to what has been deemed permissible by the Shara’. Do not just chase after sheer profits and popularity, which can cause a well-intended program, having good objectives, but associated with unrighteous methods and exaggerated. Hence, its outcome ends without good.
The da’i must know who is the target of their da’wah. The saying goes, “different pond has different fish, a different field has different grasshoppers” (meaning: the different area has different circumstances).
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.