Da'wah - the Sunnah of Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam
Da'wah is the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. In fact, da'wah is a sunnah that Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam did the most in his lifetime. Many of us didn't realize this. When we talk about da'wah we think it is always about calling people to Islam. Calling our fellow friends to learn about Islam, get to know Islam, understandIslam.
The stigma about da'wah is that many of us muslims (especially Malay) are afraid to do da'wah because we feel like we are hurting the feelings of our non-muslim brothers. We have to remember and bear in mind that Allah SWT has made it clear, our responsibility is just to call people to Islam, to tell them about Islam, to deliver the message. After we have done that the next step is for Allah to do.
Our duty is not to convert but to convey. The acceptance of Islam, the question whether the person accepts Islam, is Allah's job. We have a very clear example during the time of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, even the Prophet's uncle did not accept Islam. Why? Because Allah does not permit it.
Maybe some of us would ask, "What is the use of da'wah if the acceptance of Islam is Allah's job? Why waste our time if that person wouldn't want to accept Islam?" For me the answer is simple, ask ourselves this question :- How sure are we that person would not accept Islam? and imagine that we are walking with our friends, we know there's a hole coming, the logic is for us to tell our friend to be cautious of the hole, but if he did not take action about it what will happen to him? Of course he would fall into that hole.
Apply the said logic in the work of da'wah. Our responsibility is to tell them, at least the decisions that they make would be a decision that is "well informed". Let's go back to the analogy earlier, what if we did not informed our friend about the hole. If he falls into it without us warning him what would happen? Wouldn't he blame us for not telling him about the hole? The same thing will happen on judgment day. We would be blamed because we didn't take the effort to warn them about the "hole" that Allah SWT has promised for those who are did not embrace Islam. If we had told them about the hole at least we can say "I have told you so". If not we can be made liable because of our ignorant attitude.
Do not be afraid of doing Da'wah
This is one of the benefits that we can obtain from doing da'wah, we don’t just teach other people about Islam but we also teach our self about Islam. By doing da'wah we would know what it is about Islam that we don't know. So we can improve.
Now back to the question of how to do it? The answer is this – what is the use of Al-Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam? Remember, when we do da'wah we are not speaking for ourselves, we are speaking on behalf of Allah, we are speaking for Allah and we are using His words, His qalam. That is why the Quran and Sunnah were left to us by the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
Imagine we are at our office, we receive an instruction from our boss, we convey it to our colleague. If we just go to him tell him to do this and that without any reference or authority, do you think he would listen to you or dismiss you? Of course he would dismiss you. But if we come to him to tell him about the work and say this is an instruction by the boss, and if he doesn’t believe us maybe we could produce a written instruction from our boss, do you think your colleague would dismiss you?
The same concept applies to da'wah. Do not be afraid, we are speaking for Allah, with Allah's word. Allah will always be with us.
If we are not qualified to talk about our own deen, then something is wrong with us and with our society. It's like people are asking you about ourselves and we tell them "sorry I do not know myself that well, I can't talk about me". Don’t that sound so wrong in so many ways?
Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said in a hadith kudsi which give the meaning: "Convey from me even a sentence, may the one that listens to it understands more than the one that is listening". That is our tauliah, our recognition. From the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam himself.
Da'wah by Example
The best way to do da'wah is by example. Aisyah R.A in a hadith said that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is the living Quran. That is one of the ways how he make make da'wah. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was teaching the Sahabah Quran, called other people and told them about Quran. The best way to tell others is by action. That is why people say action speaks louder than words.
When I say we have to do da'wah, I'm not asking each and every one of us to go on a mimbar and give khutbah. What I'm asking is for us to share something about Islam to our fellow friends and colleague. Be the best of Muslims, portray the best of akhlak, and share the good things about Islam, the blessings of Islam. Equip ourselves with the knowledge of Islam. If they ask questions that we can't answer, don't be afraid, take our time, do our research, and make references to our teachers.
That way we don’t just do da'wah to them but we also are doing da'wah to ourselves.
Last Sunday (26.5.2013) I joined a street da'wah with iMuslim. We went to Masjid Negara. It was a great new experience. Honestly at first I didn’t think I could do it. But after approaching a few tourists, it felt different. Excitement entered into my heart. I enjoyed having conversations with the tourists. It built up my confidence, and the best thing of all we got to know people, their experiences and their views about life.
It makes me wonder how the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was able to survive doing da'wah for decades. In the middle of the dessert, with people trying to hurt him, people insulting him almost everytime during His early years of prophethood. Why did I think so? Because I only did it for couple of hours in a country that is not so hot, without anyone trying to hurt me or even insulting me, and trust me, exhausted weyh!
I hope that I'll have the opportunity to do street da'wah again. It's sunnah and it teaches me a lot of things. I believe you guys should join too.