“Quite often often those brothers and sisters who attribute themselves to the great lofty station (maqam) of inviting others to Islam (da’wah) will actually scare off a hundred people for every one person that they attract. And the people that they attract are quite often not the best people, not the people who are spiritually and morally the most impressive…”
– Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad
I am aware of at least one occassion where, after a long day at work, I caught the bus to pray in congregation at one of the Mosques in Easton, Bristol. I was sitting attempting to read the Qur’an before Maghrib. So far, so serene.
I then recognised a youthful bearded face approaching me with a smile, which I too reciprocated
out of slight surprise as this doesn’t happen often, as you do.
“What was this chap talking about?” I hear you ask. “Did he confuse the triangular samosa in your man-bag with a New World Order symbol?” No. “He was giving you instructions on how to roll-up the perfect trouser leg wasn’t he?” Wrong again.
The brother (whose intentions were no doubt sincere) was giving me da’wah.
The method, however, was ineffective and slightly annoyed me. All I could think of, whilst politely nodding, was the fact that my internal state was perturbed when it should have been in a state of stillness.
What impression would that have had upon a recent convert who’s faith in Islam was perhaps not firmly established yet? Thankfully, this is not the norm.
Our community is home to many talented youth who are eloquent in their discourse – a true Sunnah of our Prophet, upon him be peace.
I’d like to share a piece from Imam al-Ghazali’s masterpeice, the Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din, on The Attributes of the Person Censuring in the context of Da’wah.
“Having presented in detail the rules for someone condemning the wrong, they may be summarised in three traits needed by the person giving the reprimand:
- Knowledge of the appropriate circumstances for censure and their definitions, so as to keep within lawful bounds;
- Godfearingness, without which one might know something but not apply it because of some personal interest; and
- Good character, the prime prerequisite for being able to control oneself, for when anger is aroused, mere knowledge and piousness are seldom sufficient to suppress it if character is lacking.