Carrying the da'wah is the task of Prophets. It is of the best and most honourable deeds. Allah (SWT) says: "Who is better in speech than the one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says I am one the Muslims ?"(41:33). The recompense for that deed is the best reward and the most abundant gift. Those who perform such a noble deed enjoy the highest rank and the best place with their lord in the hereafter. This is the case if they acted properly, perfected their work and did it only for the sake of Allah (SWT).
In order for the carrier of the da'wah to be aware of his affair, confident in his march, not to be stricken with frustration, grief and despair, in order that his situation does not reach the point where he gives up his da'wah and abandons his duty, he must inspire his course of action and his method from the Book of his Lord and the Sunnah of His Prophet. This makes him aware of his matter as Allah (SWT) says:
"Say this is my way. I invite to Allah with a certain knowledge, I and whoever follows me. Glory be to Allah, and I will never be from those who join Gods with Allah". (12:108).
The issue which must be manifest, the truth of which must be understood and comprehended is the duty and nature of the da'wah carrier. Is it to carry out the duty of propagation (tableegh) only, and the matter ends at that point ? Or is the da'wah carrier responsible for achieving the results which his da'wah is aimed at achieving, and is he accounted for that ?
To answer such questions, it is necessary to explain the following matters:
1 ) There are tens of Qur'anic ayaat which confirm the complete separation between the duty of tableegh together with carrying the da'wah on one side and achieving its results on the other, though the person wishes for the success of his da'wah and the acceptance of the guidance by his people. These are some of the ayaat:
"If you turn away, know that it is our messenger's duty to proclaim the message (Al-Balaagh al Mubeen)" (5:92).
"The messenger's duty is only to preach the clear message." (24:54).
"If then they turn away, we have not sent you as a guard over them, your duty is but to convey (the message)." (42:48).
The Qur'anic ayaat explained that the matter of their (the people's) guidance and acceptance is left to Allah (SWT); the da'wah carrier has no control over that. These are some of the verses:
"Not for you , (but for Allah) is the decision, whether he turns in mercy to them or punishes them, for they are indeed wrong-doers." ( ),
"Therefore do remind for you are one to remind. You are not to manage (their) affairs." (88-21/22).
2 ) To adhere to Iman and the righteous deeds - indicated by the words of Allah (SWT);
"Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that he will surely grant them inheritance in the land." (24:55).
This does not necessarily lead to the immediate granting of inheritance ( istikhlaf) or the speedy victory, just because of the involvement in the da'wah's deeds and executing them. The evidences for that are the following .
a. The delay of the victory of the Prophets, including Muhammad (SAW), though they were completely committed to the Iman and the righteous deeds and were far from doubts. Allah (SWT) says : "(They were reprieved) Until , when the messengers gave up hope (in their people), and thought that they were treated as liars, then came to them our help" (12;110) . "Or do you think that you shall enter the gardens of Bliss (al-jannah) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you ? They encountered suffering and adversity and they were shaken, that even the messenger and those who believed with him cried ; When will come the help of Allah . And verily, the help of Allah is near !" (2:214).
b. The necessity of the da'wah carrier to show patience and perseverance until Allah (SWT) fulfils his promise of help and grants inheritance. In this, Allah (SWT) says: "You shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the book before you and from those who worship partners besides Allah. But if you persevere patiently , and guard against evil, then that indeed is a determining factor.... " (3:186). "Messengers before you were rejected , so they showed patience and constancy towards their rejection and their persecution until our help reached them. And there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah" (6:34).
c. Warning against feelings of impatience, anger, heartlessness and grief . Many ayaat and hadith warn against this. Allah SWT says: "So wait with patience for the command of your Lord, and be not like the companions of the fish... " (68:48) The command of Allah is in the following context, that he gave time to the people of Quraish and delayed the help to the messenger of Allah (SAW) against them. He (SWT) also said "If their turning away is hard on you, then if you were able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder in the sky to bring them a sign, (what good ?). If it were Allah's will, he could gather them together on true guidance. So don't be of those who are ignorant." (6:35) And He (SWT) said "Is he, then, to whom the evil of his conduct is made alluring, so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to the one who is rightly guided) ? For Allah leaves to stray whom he wills and guides whom he wills. So let not your soul be vested in regret for them. For Allah knows well all that they do." (35:8). The Prophet (SAW) said talking to Khabab bin al Aratt at the end of a hadith: ". . . . but you are in Haste."
3 ) It is very necessary for the da'wah carrier to be aware of the burden of his responsibility. It is the burden of the revival and the change, and he has to be aware of the great size of the obstacles, obstructions and challenges that he will face in carrying the da'wah. This is part of the necessary enlightenment to examine the way and to comprehend the actual facts that can't be overlooked.
It can't be denied that the carriers of the da'wah today who are committed to the true idea and clear method, have inherited a huge legacy of ambiguities that befell the Islamic idea (Al Fikrah Al Islamiyah) since the second Hijrih century up until this time. These clouding veils concealed the image of Islam as it was revealed upon Muhammad (saw) who said the truth when he said "Islam started strange, and it will return as strange. So may Allah bless the strangers." Besides that, since the carriers of the da'wah started the plan of revival and the change, and resuming the Islamic way of life, they face the question of the way for revival and the method of change when they deal with those who deviated from the method of the Prophet (SAW) in establishing the Islamic State and implementing the rule of Allah (SWT) on the earth. Furthermore, the international situation is different today than it was when the messenger of Allah (SAW) established his state. The state was established in Madinah without drawing any attention from the Persians or the Romans. The first military encounter between the Islamic State and the Roman empire was in the 8th year of Hijrah. Today, the kufr states in the world work together in attacking us. They also work directly and through their puppets, the rulers of the Muslims, to prevent the re-establishment of the Khilafah. They also fight against political Islam after they succeeded in destroying the Khilafah state over seventy years ago.
As for the challenges that face the Muslims in general and the da'wah carrier in particular, they are many. These are some of them.
a. Physical challenges: These are reflected in the destruction the Khilafah, the establishment of an entity for the Jews in Palestine, chasing the sincere workers for Islam using brutal means unmatched before, working to prevent the Ummah from getting the advanced fighting capabilities including Nuclear and chemical weapons and also foiling and attacking the attempts at unifying the Muslims any.
b. Intellectual challenges: These are represented in defaming the image of Islam and circulating distortion about Islam everywhere, particularly from the bad scholars. Also in creating the racial and national calls, focusing on the idea of a compromise solution, glorifying the liberties and democracy. Further, they are manifest in the attempt to destroy the social system in Islam and the attempt to show that Islam is incapable of solving modern problems, and much more.
The presence of such obstacles, obstructions and challenges which face the da'wah carrier, beside the great burden, are natural and normal in the course of the true da'wah. Accordingly it is not allowed for the da'wah carrier to be overwhelmed by distress and frustration, or to leave the da'wah when he notices the obstacles in the march and the delay of victory. He must know that the inaction and the inactive response of the society and the people's turning away from the da'wah and the delay of victory; all this does not necessarily mean a shortcoming in the work or deviation from the proper path. There is no better proof of that than the condition of the Islamic da'wah at the end of the Makkan era. The rest is dependent on the command of Allah (SWT). Ibn Hisham reported in his Seerah of the Prophet(SAW) , "And when Allah SWT wanted to help his deen, support his messenger and fulfil His promise to him, the messenger of Allah (SAW) went out in the season in which he met those few people of al-Ansaar."
This favour from Allah (SWT) upon His Prophet came after the Makkan society had frozen and after Thaqeef had rebuffed the Prophet (SAW) badly, and after the Arab tribes had rejected the seeking of their help. The situation was the harshest and despair reached its highest level.
So after explaining these previous matters the da'wah carrier is assured that he is proceeding in the true path, no matter how much time it takes. Though he has the best hope in Allah (SWT) that the victory comes soon and the way-out is near, he does not relate the carrying of the da'wah with the achievement of its aims.
There is one more matter, the presence of which the da'wah carrier has to make sure of all the time, that his action should be righteous. In order to be so, it should be pure and correct. The correct action is that which depends on the Sharia' and does not deviate from it at all. The pure action is that which is done only for the sake of Allah (SWT), and not for any worldly ornament. Once the matter is such, then the da'wah carrier should be assured that the promise of Allah (SWT) is true, and that the Islamic State will be established, even if it took time.
Translated from an arabic article published in Al-Waie magazine published in Lebanon