The Manners and Etiquette of Da'wah
Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan hafidhahullaah
From 'The Attributes of a Successful Caller'
All praise is due to Allah the Lord of the worlds and peace and blessings upon His servant and His Messenger our prophet and messenger Muhammad and his family and companions and those that follow him until the Day of Judgement.
After which follows:
The subject of calling to Allah (SWT) is an important one. The call to Allah means inviting (others) to enter into the religion of Allah. Allah created the creation for His worship
“And I (Allah) created not the Jinn and Mankind except that they should worship Me (alone). I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, the owner of power, the most strong.”
The benefit of those worshipping Allah returns to them for they are the ones in need of the worship of Allah. As for Allah, the most high, then He is not in need of them and He is self sufficient from their worship.
"If you disbelieve you and all those in the earth together, then verily, Allah is Rich (free of all needs) the Owner of all praise.”
In a Hadeeth Qudsi Allah says:
“Oh my servants, if the first and the last of you, the Men of you and the Jinn of you were to be the most pious (heart of) one man then that would not increase My kingdom in anything. Oh my servants, if the first of you and the last of you, the men of you and the jinn of you were to be the worst (heart of) a man amongst you that would not decrease anything from My kingdom. Oh my servants, it is your actions that I account you for then I will show it to you so whoever finds good then let him praise Allah and whoever finds other than that then let him blame no one but himself.” [Saheeh Muslim 4/1994 related by Abi Dar].
So the worshippers are the ones in need of worshipping Allah so that acquire the pleasure of Allah and His forgiveness and mercy. This so that they may enter His paradise and save them from His punishment. This is why Allah created them. However, it was decreed from His wisdom that He will test them and test them so that there would be a distinction between the people of obedience and the people of sin.
Iblees (Satan) and his party call the people away from worshipping Allah to the disobedience of Allah and to the following of desires and lusts. This is why Allah sent messengers calling people to that which is good. The devils call them to evil.
“And Allah calls to paradise and forgiveness by His will and He makes His signs clear to mankind that they may remember.”
[Surah al Baqara:221]
And Allah calls to the Dar as-Salam and He guides whomsoever He wills to the straight path.
He calls you that He may forgive you your sins and He delays it until an appointed time.
So Allah calls His servants that they may worship Him and that they may have repentance towards Him, that they ask forgiveness. He has sent the Messengers calling the people to that and He has given the scholars (inheritors of the Prophets) the responsibility of calling to Him for the benefit of His servants and profit.
The call to Allah has been established ever since what happened between Adam and Iblees (Satan) and when Iblees (Satan) took it upon himself to lure whoever he was able from the children of Adam and misguide them.
“Indeed Iblees (Satan) is an enemy so take him as an enemy, and he calls his party to be of the companions of the fire.”
[Surah al Faatir:6]
No doubt there are callers to that which is good and there are callers towards wrong amongst the devils from the Jinn and the men. This being wisdom from Allah, the most High, a trial and test for His servants from the time He created the creation until the end of the world. Conflict continues between the truth and falsehood and between the callers to good and the callers to evil. Allah has praised the callers towards Allah.
“And who is more better in speech than one who calls to Allah (says: My Lord is Allah – believes in His oneness) and does good deeds and says I am indeed from amongst the Muslims. Good and bad are not equal, Push forward with one which is better.”
[Surah Fusilat: 33,34]
So Allah has mentioned that the callers to Allah are the best people in speech. He has also described the callers as those who practice what they call the people to. So the caller must first be practicing what he is calling to in terms of obedience and worship until he becomes a good example such that his saying and actions are truthful. This is why Prophet Shu’ayb said:
“I do not wish, in contradiction to you, to do that which I forbid you. I only desire reform to the best of my power. And my guidance cannot come except from Allah in Him I trust and to Him I repent.”