Allah ﷻ describes the correct manner of engaging in da‛wah work as one which is characterised by certain qualities which distinguish it from others. These qualities are as follows:
- Insight and Knowledge
A caller to Islam (daa‛iyah) must be knowledgeable about the truth to which he invites others, clearly presenting divine instructions to them, based on clear evidence: “Say: This is my Way: I invite to Allah, on the basis of a clear proof, and so do those who follow me .” (Soorat Yusuf, 12:108)
He does not have to know many things before he starts calling people to Islam. Whenever he learns something new, he has to teach it to others. For instance, If he learns about the necessity of not associating anyone in the worship of Allah, he ought to convey this information to others. Likewise, if he learns about some aspects of the beauty of Islam, he must convey this to them. To put it in a nutshell, he must convey anything he learns about Islam, even if what he has learned is one single verse of the Qur’an, as the Prophet ﷺ once ordered, “Convey what you learn from me [to others], even if [what you have learnt] is one verse of the Qur’an.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 3274)
This was the very practice of the Prophet’s companions; they would learn the principles of Islam in a few days and then they would go back to their people to call them to Islam and arouse their interest in it, especially through their high moral character.
The Qur’an says, “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the best manner possible.” (Soorat An-Nahl, 16:125) Wisdom is the ability to make sensible decisions and give good advice at the appropriate time and place because of the experience and knowledge one has.
Given the differences between people regarding their character and level of understanding, a caller to Islam must choose the appropriate method to engage in da‛wah work and wait for the appropriate opportunity to win them over.
He must approach them with gentleness and compassion, and engage in a calm and balanced dialogue which does not instigate ill feelings and inflame hatred. It is for this reason that Allah ﷻ reminds His Messenger ﷺ of the favours He bestowed upon him by making him gentle with people: “It is by Allah’s grace that you deal gently with them; had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would surely have deserted you.” (Soorat Aal-‛Imraan, 3:159)