If you’ve spent time talking to someone about Islam, you may have noticed the elevated faith and sense of satisfaction you felt. Imagine if this was your full-time occupation and the objective of your life !
So, what do we know about the Prophets ? May Allah’s Blessings be upon them. #1 Their faith was the strongest among people. #2 Their job and occupation was to call humanity toward Allah. Coincidence ? Absolutely not. Da’wa is the source of Faith, so the Faith of a Prophet was always increasing throughout life until they met their Creator.
Scholars have said that there are 3 states of faith, in terms of describing the level. First, the faith of the Angels, who see Allah’s manifestations in the unseen, and are not under the trials of worldly life They have a faith that remains constant at a high level. It is the faith of those who See the Unseen. Second, the faith of everyday people. Our Prophet s.a.w. has described our faith as that which wavers between fear and hope, and fluctuates in its intensity. And third, the faith of the Prophets, who are charged with representing Allah’s Divine Call to humanity on earth. Their engagement in their duties keeps their faith on a steadily increasing trajectory.
And so the one who takes it upon themselves to call others toward Allah, if their intentions and methods are kept correct, will also benefit from increasing faith. It’s Allah’s way of helping the Believer who is representing Allah’s Message among people.
Our Beloved Prophet and his Noble Companions invested themselves entirely in Da’wa. Among themselves, they were constantly propelling one another toward Allah’s Acceptance and Pleasure. Their thoughts, words, and actions were guided by the desire to become the perfect embodiment of Guidance and Enlightenment. Their constant reminders to one another were to exchange the comforts of this life for the Hereafter. And they shouldered the task that Allah and His Messenger had laid before them: to call all humanity to salvation, and establish a society that exemplified that call.
Within a couple of generations, the Da’wa of Islam, the onslaught of Truth, Civility, and Mercy against ignorance, impropriety, and injustice, was sidelined as the potentates became obsessed with empire. “Jihad” became synonymous with war. Da’wa was for specialized preachers and teachers. And the Muslim society resolved to refine themselves by means of scholarship, books, and legalities. A few centuries later, once scholarly excellence had already been established, the widespread need was to develop and maintain spiritual and moral excellence through tasawwuf. Now, we live in a time when even this has been forgotten. And the understanding Da’wa, real Da’wa, is 1400 years removed from us !
Today, there are several mistaken notions regarding Da’wa in the Muslim community. Da’wa is neither speeches nor teaching, as so many Muslims believe. Da’wa is not about verbage or eloquence. It is a different activity than either of these. It is not TV programs about Islam, nor is it handing out pamphlets. These are all just informational services. One knows that a Prophet is a Da’iy, but can hardly imagine a Prophet engaging in these weak activities. Da’wa is a much stronger mental and spiritual intention and action that begins with basic practices, yet leads one through a lot of spiritual conditioning and self-correction.
Another misunderstanding among Muslims is that Da’wa is only to be given to non-Muslims. They think Da’wa means inviting non-Believers to accept Islam. In fact, today’s Da’wa must be directed first at the existing Muslims, as they are not only in danger of losing their faith and dying as Unbelievers, but their condition is a major hold-up to the progress of Islam. In truth, for each time the Prophet s.a.w. invited a newcomer to Islam, he made Da’wa among the Believers many more times, actually as a constant effort. It was through the Prophet’s Da’wa, and the Companions’ engagement with him, that their own faith was elevated to such a level it was as if they saw the Unseen with their waking eyes.
Finally, one of the most drastic misunderstandings in the community is that making Da’wa is only for some specially qualified people, or that there is some prerequisite level of knowledge before one may engage in Da’wa. Of course, this is a deception of Shaytaan who always seeks to prevent the Believers from reaching higher levels of spiritual energy. By convincing the Muslims to leave Da’wa to only 1 of every 1,000 Muslims, Shaytaan effectively shuts down the Faith Generator of the entire community. Any question why we see Muslims leaving Islam, or living their lives with no purpose ? No Faith !
So, among all Believers, the greatest friend of Allah and greatest enemy of Shaytaan is the Da’iy. Shaytaan calls humanity to hell, disbelief, dark qualities and actions. The Da’iy calls humanity to Allah, faith, enlightened qualities and actions. The Da’iy is on the offensive, the forefront, in the battle of Truth vs. Falsehood. As the champion of Truth, the Da’iy receives help from Allah in the form of strengthened faith. If the Da’iy is persistent, he or she will notice themselves becoming more introspective, seeking weaknesses within the self, and more cognizant of the human plight, our proximity to Eternal Bliss or Damnation.
The Scholar is not superior to the Da’iy; rather the Da’iy is superior, unless the Scholar is also a Da’iy. However, not all scholars are. Many just assume a role of teaching others. This is not the same level as the one ardently calling humanity to race toward their Creator. The late Maulana Saeed Ahmad Khan (Rahmatullah ‘alayhi) was once asked by a pupil: “how will I know when I am on the right path?” The great Shaykh of India and Arabia replied crisply and clearly: “when your only obsession and occupation is for the guidance and salvation of humanity, you will be following your Prophet.”
I am available for workshops designed to learn and practice the spiritual Da’wa of Islam. This would not be a “rock-star” type lecture, but a circle of learning and practice, as our Prophet s.a.w. taught his companions. I can share the etiquettes, methods, objectives, and discipline of making everyday Da’wa a central part of our lives as Muslims, and a powerful energy source that helps us push our Islam forward, in our own lives, and within society. Of course, there would be no monetary charge for this – the Da’wa of Islam is not for sale. What belongs to Allah returns to Him.
Please contact me if you’d like to set up a Da’wa circle in your area. Salaam.