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The Characteristics and Prerequisites of the One Who Delivers the Message of Islām

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

Only those who exhibit knowledge and truthfulness may be permitted to spread daʿwah. Their deeds, words, and appearance must all be praiseworthy in the eyes of Allāh.

The one who delivers [the message of Islām] from Allāh must support his [mission] by having knowledge of the message itself and truthfulness with regards to it.

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH)

For only the one who is described with the characteristics of knowledge and truthfulness could ever be amenable for a station of delivering [this message], narrating [from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and passing laws [of Islamic jurisprudence]. He must be knowledgeable of that which he is delivering and truthful with regards to it. He must also have a praiseworthy path [in life], a commendable legacy and be just in his actions and speech. His private and public as well as his outward and inward appearance and state should be similar relative to one another. [This is because] the station of the one who signs on behalf of kings is widely recognized for its merit, one could one be ignorant of its value. For it is from among the highest, most well-established positions.

So how could the station of the one who signs on behalf of the Lord of the heavens and the earth [not be of greater importance?] It is quite suitable for the one who chooses to take on such a position to make the necessary preparations and to fully ready himself. He must acknowledge the loftiness of the position he intends to occupy. Let him not hold concern in his chest for speaking the truth and brazenly clarifying it to increase its apparency. [Let him remember] that indeed Allāh is the granter of his guidance and his supporter. How [could it be otherwise] when Allāh Himself, the Lord of lords, has taken this very same position. Allāh says:

وَيَسْتَفْتُونَكَ فِي النِّسَاءِ ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِيهِنَّ وَمَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ 

‘And they request from you, [O Muḥammad], a [legal] ruling concerning women. Say, “Allāh gives you a ruling about them and [about] what has been recited to you in the Book”’
[Nisāʾ 4:127]

[Indeed], honour and majesty belong to the one whom Allāh Himself takes as a close ally. For Allāh says in His book:

يَسْتَفْتُونَكَ قُلِ اللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِي الْكَلَالَةِ ۚ

‘They request from you a [legal] ruling. Say, “Allāh gives you a ruling concerning one having neither descendants nor ascendants [as heirs].”’
[Nisāʾ 4:176]

So, let the one who passes laws [of Islamic jurisprudence] know who he represents in his legal proceedings. Let him have no doubt that tomorrow he will be asked whilst he stands before Allāh’

Source: Iʿlām al-Muwaqqiʿīn 1:16
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: June 1, 2023
Edited: June 10, 2023


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