Characteristics of the Callers to Allāh
The topic today revolves around calling to Islam and the sunnah, based upon the introduction of Shaykh Fawzan to the book authored by Shaykh Rabee: ‘Methodology of the Prophets in calling to Allaah’.
Some characteristics are specific to the Da’ee (caller). When calling to this affair of Qur’aan and Sunnah, then it is to be done in a specific manner.
Shaykh Fawzan says that the first characteristic a Da’ee must have is knowledge (of what they are calling to). It is not befitting for the ignorant one to be a Da’ee.
This point is made clear in the ayah wherein Allaah says: “Say (Oh Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)): this is my way. I call to Allaah upon clear insight. Myself and whoever follows me”.
So it is clear that this affair of dawah is based upon knowledge and clear insight. However, many of the callers call the people without knowledge, and this is what distinguishes the callers to sunnah from others.
The second characteristic is action upon what you are calling to, so that he is a good example. By necessity, there will be people opposing this call to the truth, and for this call to be as strong a call as possible, acting in accordance to what one is calling to will ensure that proofs cannot be used as an example against a person.
The third characteristic is sincerity when calling; and not intending to show off or to make it well-known that he is calling the people. Rather, first and foremost the person should seek their reward from Allaah.
The fourth characteristic is to begin with the most important of affairs, that which will bring rectification, and that is the affair of Tawheed; being sincere in worship for Allaah alone and staying far away from shirk. Then after that, the remaining pillars of Islam should be called to.
This is proven from the hadeeth of ibn Abbaas when the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) sent Muadh ibn Jabal to Yemen and commanded him to begin by calling the people of Yemen to the worship of Allaah alone.
The fifth characteristic is to have patience upon calling to Allaah. This is particularly important as there will always be opposers and those with enmity to an individual only due to calling the truth. This is the way of the Messengers and the righteous.
Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Hadee mentioned that if a person is found to be liked by every single person, then know that this person is upon falsehood.
Allaah says: “And indeed, our Messengers were denied. However, they remained patient upon that which they were denied and the harms that came to them, until the victory of Allaah came to them”.
The sixth characteristic is that the Da’ee calls with good manners. The Messenger of Allaah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam had the best of manners, and so it is befitting that the caller also comes with good manners.
This affair of good manners and wisdom is not one where a person does not call whilst being stern. Shaykh Rabee says that the origin of calling is gentleness. However, if there is a need for a person to be more stern and severe, then he does so. A person must stick to the foundation first (calling with gentleness) but only if there is a need then they call with severity. This is wisdom- knowing when to be gentle when calling and when to be severe.
The seventh characteristic is that the Da’ee has a strong hope in his call, and that the Da’ee does not despair from the effects of his call upon the people.
Allaah says: “Indeed you do not guide, However Allaah guides whomsoever He wills”.
So it is upon a person to know that guidance is not in their hands.
The scholars mention that there are two types of guidance:
- Guidance from Allaah
- Directing a person towards good
If a person has fulfilled the obligation of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, then there is nothing to despair about. Upon this individual is to await the guidance from Allaah to direct the person to the truth.
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