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The Call to Allāh

Al-ʿAllāmah Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān

This article is taken from the shaykh’s introduction to the book Manhaj al-Anbiyā fī al-Daʿwah ilá Allāh by Shaykh Rabīʿ ibn Hādī al-Madkhalī.

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5. Patient Perseverance in Facing Difficulties Encountered in Calling To Allāh, And in Facing Harm From the People:

For the path of daʿwah is not strewn with roses, rather it is covered with hardships, and hazards. The best example of this is the case of the Messengers – may Allāh’s praises and blessings of peace be upon them all – with regards to the harm and the mockery which they suffered from their people. As Allāh – the Most High – said to His Messenger (ﷺ):

وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِئَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَحَاقَ بِالَّذِينَ سَخِرُوا مِنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُونَ ‎﴿١٠﴾

Indeed, Messengers were also mocked before you, but those who mocked them were overtaken by the punishment which they made light of.
[Sūrah al-Anʿām, 6:10]

And He also said:

وَلَقَدْ كُذِّبَتْ رُسُلٌ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَصَبَرُوا عَلَىٰ مَا كُذِّبُوا وَأُوذُوا حَتَّىٰ أَتَاهُمْ نَصْرُنَا ۚ

Indeed, Messengers were also denied before you, but they bore these denials with patient perseverance, and they suffered harm until Our help came to them.
[Al-Anʿām, 6:34]

Likewise, the followers of the Prophet met with the same harm and hardship, in proportion to their efforts in calling to Allāh, following the examples of those noble messengers – may Allāh’s praise, and purest blessings of peace be upon them all.

6. The Caller Must Be a Person of Good Manners Using Wisdom in His Call:

Since this will be an important reason for the acceptance of his call. Just as Allāh ordered His two noble prophets: Mūsá and Hārūn – ʿalayhimus-ṣalātu was-salām – that this was the manner in which they were to face the worst Unbeliever upon the face of this earth: Firʿawn (Pharoah), who claimed lordship for himself. Allāh – the one free from all imperfections – said:

فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ ‎﴿٤٤﴾

“And speak mildly to him, that he might accept admonition or fear and obey Allāh.”
[Ṭā Hā, 20:44]

And Allāh said to Mūsá – ʿalayhis ṣalātu was salām:

اذْهَبْ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَىٰ ‎﴿١٧﴾‏ فَقُلْ هَل لَّكَ إِلَىٰ أَن تَزَكَّىٰ ‎﴿١٨﴾‏ وَأَهْدِيَكَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَتَخْشَىٰ ‎﴿١٩﴾

“Go to Firʿawn who has transgressed all bounds in his haughtiness, pride, and disbelief, and say: Will you not purify yourself from the sin of disbelief and be obedient to your Lord? And that I guide you to the worship of your Lord, so that you may submit fearfully to Him and be obedient to Him.”
[Nāziʿāt, 79:17-19]

And Allāh – the Most High – said, concerning the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ

“By the Mercy of Allāh you behaved with gentleness towards them, and had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have left you and departed.”
[Āl ʿImrān, 3:159]

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ

“Indeed you, O Muḥammad ﷺ! Call mankind to the way prescribed by your Lord with the Revelation that has been sent down to you, and admonish them with the examples and warnings that Allāh provided in His Book, and argue with them in a way that is better.”
[al-Naḥl, 16:125]

7. The Caller Must Remain Firm in His Expectation and Hope for Good:

He should not despair in the effect of his call, nor about the guidance of his people. Nor should he despair about the aid and the help of Allāh – even if a long time passes. Again, he has the best of examples in this matter in the Messengers of Allāh. So the Prophet of Allāh, Nūḥ (‘ʿalayhis ṣalātu was salām) remained among his people for nine hundred and fifty years calling them to Allāh.

Also, when the harm and the hurt caused by the Unbelievers became severe, and the Angel of the mountain came to our Prophet Muḥammad (ﷺ), asking if he wanted him to crush them with the two mountains, he replied: “No! I wish to have patience with them. Hopefully, Allāh will produce from them offspring who will worship Allāh alone, not giving any partner to Him.” 4 So if the daa’ee lacks this attribute, he will halt at the start of the path and feel discouraged and frustrated.

So whichever call is not built upon these foundations, and whose manhaj (methodology) is not the methodology of the Messengers – then it will be frustrated and fail, and it will be told without benefit. The clearest proof of this are those present day jamāʿahs (groups) which set out a methodology and program for themselves and their daʿwah, which is different to the methodology of the Messengers. These groups have neglected the importance of ʿaqīdah (correct beliefs and creed) – except for a very few of them – and instead they call for the correction of side issues. So one group calls for the correction of rule and politics and demands establishment of the Hudūd (prescribed punishments), and that the Sharīʿah (Islamic Law) be applied in judging amongst the people – and this is indeed something very important, but it is not what is most important; Since how can one seek to establish and apply Allāh’s Judgement upon the thief and the fornicator, before seeking to establish and apply Allāh’s Judgement upon the mushrik – the one who attributes worship to others besides Allāh. How can we demand that Allāh’s Judgement be applied to two men disputing about a sheep or a camel, before demanding that Allāh’s Judgement be applied upon those who worship idols and graves, and those who deny or hold heretical beliefs with regards to Allāh’s Names and Attributes – divesting them of their true meaning, or distorting them. Are these people not greater criminals than those who fornicate, drink wine, and steal?!! Since those are crimes against mankind, whereas shirk and denial of Allāh’s Names and Attributes are crimes against the Creator – the One free from all imperfections – and the rights of the Creator have precedence over the rights of the creation.

Shaykh al Islām Ibn Taymīyyah (d.728H) says in his book: al-Istiqāmah (1/466): “So these sins along with correct tawḥīd are better than corrupted tawḥīd in the absence of these sins.” 5

Then another jamāʿah (group) affiliate themselves with daʿwah, except that their methodology is also at variance with the methodology of the Messengers. They give no importance to the correct ʿaqīdah, rather they give importance to some acts of worship and practicing dhikr (remembrance of Allāh) in the way of the Ṣūfīs. They concentrate upon khurūj (going out) and touring the lands, and what is important to them is that they manage to attract they people without caring about their ʿaqīdah. And all of these are innovated ways, taking as their starting point, matters which were left until last in the call of the Messengers. This is just like the case of the one who seeks to cure a body whose head has been decapitated – since the place of the ʿaqīdah in religion is like the head with regard to the body.

Thus, it is necessary for these groups to correct their concepts and understanding, by referring back to the Book and the Sunnah, in order to know the methodology of the Messengers in calling to Allāh. For indeed Allāh – the One free from all imperfections – informed that the correct rule and sovereignty, which the central part of the call of the central jamāʿah whom we mentioned, cannot be achieved except after correcting ʿaqīdah, such that all worship is for Allāh alone and worship of everything else is abandoned. Allāh the Most High – says:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ ‎﴿٥٥﴾

“Allāh promised to those amongst you who truly have īmān (true faith and belief) and act in obedience to Allāh and His Messenger, that he will grant them rulership upon the earth, just as He granted it to those before them, and that He will establish their Religion for them and grant them authority to practice the Religion which He ordered them with. And He will certainly change their situation to one of security, after their fear. Providing that they worship Me, not associating any partners with Me. Then, whoever rejects this favour by acting in disobedience to their Lord – then they are the rebellious transgressors.”
[al-Nūr, 24:55]

So these people wish to establish the Islamic State before purifying the lands of idolatrous belief which take the form of worship of the dead, and devotion to the tombs – such as is no different from the worship of al-Lāt, ʿUzza and the third of them al-Manāt, rather it is worse. So they are attempting that which is impossible:

“And whosoever seeks greatness without effort or exertion

Will only be wasting his life in seeking something impossible.”

Indeed, establishment and application of the Sharīʿah and the prescribed punishments, and the establishment of the Islamic State, and avoidance of whatever is prohibited, and the achievement of whatever is obligatory – all of these things are from the rights of Tawḥīd; and matters which perfect it and follow on from it. So how can we give attention to that which is subsidiary whilst neglecting that which is of primary importance?


  1.  From the Shaykh’s introduction to the book: Manhaj al Anbiyāʾ fid Daʿwah ilAllāh fīhil Hikmah wal ʿAql (p. 10-16) of Shaykh Rabīʿ Ibn Hādī. Translated by Abū Ṭalḥah Dāwūd Burbank
  2. Related by al-Bukhārī (no. 7372) and Muslim (no. 29) from ʿAbdullāh Ibn ʿAbbās (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu).
  3. Related by al-Bukhārī (no. 7372) and Muslim (no. 29) from ʿAbdullāh Ibn ʿAbbās (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu).
  4. Related by al-Bukhārī (no. 454) and Muslim (no. 4425), from Āʿishah raḍī Allāhu ʿanhā.
  5. The proof for this is the Saying of Allāh – the Most High: “Allāh does not forgive that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives whatever is lesser than that to whomsoever he pleases.” [al-Nisāʾ, 4:48]

The translations of the meanings given for all Qur’anic Āyāt are summarised from the tafsīrs of al-Tabarī, al-Baghawī, al-Qurṭabī, Ibn Kathīr, and al-Shawkānī.


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Published: May 29, 2007
Edited: February 9, 2023


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