How should we invite to Islam?
From the sad matters that have afflicted the Muslims is their being divided into nations and groups, sects and tribes and their being fanatical on that, to the extent that they even fight against one another, even though Allah warned us about this in His book and linked such behaviour to rejecting and disbelieving in Him:
“Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you (0 Muhammad) have no concern with them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.” [6:159]
Tragically many people invite others to join their sect, their group, their Imam, or Sheikh or their own cultural interpretation of Islam, or perhaps they call to one aspect of Islam, or some current crisis and think that this is da’wah! This is not the invitation that Allah ordered us with at all, in fact it opposes it, because Allah makes it clear that the call is to Allah, to testify that Allah alone is worthy of worship and that Muhammad (saws) is the Messenger of Allah:
“Say: This is my way; I call to Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me. I declare Allah 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.” [12:108]
So those who are true followers of the Messenger call to Allah, and they call to Allah with knowledge and understanding, with wisdom and good exhortation and reasoned arguments:
“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching and argue with them in a way that is best” [16:125]
So we must call to Allah, and call to His way, and this is what the Prophet (saws) advised Mu’adh ibn Jabal when he sent him to Yemen.
“Oh Mu’adh, you are going to the people of the book, so the first thing you call them to is the oneness of Allah.” So this is the Prophetic method of calling, to remind the people of Allah and His oneness and the realities of judgement and the fire and the rewards of paradise. It was the way of Muhammad (saws) and of all the Prophets to call to the worship of Allah alone and to abandon the worship of anything besides Allah: “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah, and reject all false deities.” [16:36]
When the Muslims take up this duty and raise this call, and extend this invitation, then and only then will we be the best of all nations, since doing that is a condition of our success as Allah says: “You are the best of peoples raised up for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah.” [3:110] Calling to good and prohibiting evil is the distinguishing mark of this nation, and instrumental to our success, so when we abandon that, the description of being the best of peoples can no longer apply to us, rather we might become like those whom Allah cursed due to their hiding the truth that they had:
“Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.” [2:159] I pray and hope that Allah guides us to be from those who are the callers to this noble deen of Islam. Ameen.
The need to work together
This task, in order to be carried out properly and effectively needs to be done not only on an individual and community level, but by a group dedicated to this task, who give this matter their full attention until this message reaches the ends of the earth. The imperative for such an organisation is alluded to in the Qur’an where Allah says:
“Let there arise from amongst you a band that invites to all that is good, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, they are the ones to achieve success.” [3:104]
So if there is no such group then we are all sinful and in disobedience to Allah. And as for this matter reaching the corners of the earth, then that certainly will take place as the Prophet (saw) said it would:
“Surely, this religion will reach the boundaries of the day and night and Allah will not spare a rural or an urban dwelling except that he would cause Islam to enter it by elevating some and degrading others. A glory with which Allah elevates Islam and a humiliation with which Allah degrades Kufr (disbelief).” (Ahmad and Ibn Hibban, saheeh)
And in another narration:
“This matter (Islam) will keep spreading as far as the night and day reach, until Allah will not leave a house made of mud or hair, but will make this religion enter it, while bringing might to a mighty person (a Muslim) and humiliation to a disgraced person (who rejects Islam); might with which Allah elevates Islam (and its people), and disgrace with which Allah humiliates disbelief (and its people).” (Musnad al-Imaam Ahmad)
So this matter will come to pass as the Prophet (saws) said it would, and perhaps in this day and age where the world has become a global village with mass communi-cations and ease of travel, there is an unprecedented opportunity to fulfil this vision. So why not make the intention and take the steps that are within our ability to bring this about so that we can gain the rewards and benefits of that. Indeed all success in any endeav-our is in the hands of Allah.