Sunday, January 30, 2011

What is the method to guage the effect of the da'wah?

The following question was received by one of our readers:

Question: What is the way for us to guage the effect of the da'wah to resume the Islamic way of life? Is it by looking at how many people we have, how many people attend our events or demonstrations, what people are talking about in society? Can you please clarify what criterion we should use to judge this.

Answer: It is incorrect to guage the effect of the da'wah from the number of people that are in a group or attend their events or demonstrations. Although a group requires people to be part of it and requires a popular base of supporters, however numbers are not an accurate measure when judging the impact of the da'wah to resume the Islamic way of life.

Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani wrote in Concepts of Hizb ut-Tahrir:

“Those who carry the da’wah should not assess the da’wah by their number. Such assessment is absolutely wrong and harmful to the da’wah because it distracts the da’wah carriers from focusing on the society to focusing on the individuals. This will cause the da’wah to slowdown and perhaps cause failure in that place. The reason behind this is that society is not composed of individuals as many people think. Rather the individuals are parts of the group (community). What bonds the individuals in the society are other components such as their thoughts, emotions and systems. The da’wah is carried in order to change the thoughts, emotions and systems. It is collective da’wah and a da’wah taken to the society and not to the individuals. Reforming the individuals is only to make them become part of a group (bloc) that carries the da’wah to the society. Therefore those who carry the da’wah and have a deep understanding of its nature rely on society to carry the da’wah to it.”

“Although, the transformation of society from one state to the opposite state cannot be noticed just like the transformation of the water in the kettle is not noticed, those who are aware of societies and have confidence that the ideology which they carry is the fire and light which will burn and enlighten, know that society is in a state of transformation and it will definitely reach boiling point and the points of movement and dynamism. Therefore, they give attention to societies (and not number of individuals).”

This is further elaborated in the adopted booklet 'The Departure Point' published by Hizb ut-Tahrir in 1954 that sheds light on this topic:

"22- The method of gauging the thoughts and the sensations of society is very simple. It would be by way of monitoring the effect that political events evoke the thoughts. In other words, did these political events evoke thoughts, or did they merely confirm the old thoughts? It would also be by way of monitoring the effect that the political events on the emotions. In other words, did they evoke new emotions, or did they merely confirm the old emotions. What is meant by emotions here is what is felt in terms of happiness, sadness, pleasure and anger due to the new thoughts and emotions or due to the confirmed old thoughts and emotions.

As for the existing thoughts and emotions, these could be gauged by monitoring the matters which the masses talk about and by monitoring their evoked emotions; for instance, the Muslims’ talk nowadays about the co-operatives and the public companies, instead of talking about the companies of “Inan” or the companies of “Mudharabah”; or their anger for their nationalism instead of their anger for the sanctities of Islam.

Hence, according to this criterion the registering of the thoughts and the sensations takes place. It would be imperative to attend to observing all people, intellectuals and others alike, because the thoughts and the sensations are one in the one society.

23- Gauging the thoughts and the emotions of society would be in order to treat them by way of attacking the erroneous thoughts, highlighting their falsehood and transforming the emotions of joy from what the Muslim should not be happy about to what the Muslim should be happy about, and the emotions of anger from what the Muslim should not feel angry about to what the Muslim should feel angry about. Hence, it would be imperative to attend to recognising the reactions which the events and the thoughts cause. In other words, recognising people’s reaction to the thoughts and events. Did they cause any reaction or not? If they did, this would indicate that they have approved of them, hence, it would be imperative to demonstrate the falsehood of the thoughts and to transform the emotions. If they did not cause any reaction, it would be pointless to give them any attention because it would be then a waste of time.

24- Since the cornerstone in the tackling of thoughts and emotions is the changing of the concepts, it would be imperative to recognise the reaction that occurs when the process of changing the concepts is taking place. In other words, did the party’s endeavour to changing people’s erroneous concepts provoke any reaction form them and any effect upon them or not? If it did trigger a reaction and an effect, this would indicate that the thoughts which the party had conveyed did generate in them a host of concepts; it would also indicate that their taking of the thoughts was in reality a changing of the concept. However, if they did not provoke any reaction from them despite their understanding of the party’s thoughts, this would indicate that what occurred was that people merely received information, but no changing of concepts took place.

25- Since it is the party that tackles the thoughts and the emotions of society with the thoughts that it has adopted, it would therefore be imperative for it to attend to recognising the inclinations people have towards the thoughts of the party and towards the party itself. In other words, do people approve of the thoughts of the party or do they dislike them? Do they like the party itself or do they hate it? Or do they neither like nor hate it, and do they treat it with disregard and indifference?

26- It would be necessary for the party to recognise the thoughts and the sensations of society when addressing society, so that it could direct its attention to the thoughts, so that it recognised the thoughts which should be conveyed at the appropriate time. It should be however recognised that the attending to the thoughts is merely one part of the party’s activity, because the party should first of all endeavour to change the method of thinking people have, secondly, to change the intellectual base upon which people build their thoughts, thirdly to change their thoughts they carry and fourth to link all the thoughts which they encounter in life to their intellectual base. Hence, it would become easy for the party to change the thoughts and it would become easy for it to ensure that people themselves will have started to change their thoughts and to link them to their intellectual base. Consequently, the party would ensure the transfer of the Ummah and the radical transformative stage would be achieved.

27- The transfer of the Islamic Ummah from the wretched situation she is in to a better situation would depend on the success of the radical transformative stage. It would be also dependent on the existence of the Islamic thoughts in people’s minds, because man’s concepts about life emanate from the basic thoughts he carries, and he is affected by the extrinsic thoughts. Hence, the party should exhaust a great effort in order to generate the basic thoughts and to remove the extrinsic thoughts. However, it should be made absolutely clear that the presence of the thoughts in people’s minds would not be sufficient for the transfer of the Ummah from one situation to another. The thoughts should rather be established in the individuals and the groups in a manner that gives them deep-rootedness and concentration and generate for them the power and the influence, in order to trigger the sweeping transformation, hence the transformation and the transfer would occur in the Ummah.

28- It is noted that in society in the Muslims’ lands that the basic thoughts about life are capitalist and democratic thoughts. However these thoughts are shaky and not firmly established due to the fact that people’s Aqeedah is the Islamic Aqeedah. When people adopted these thoughts they took them as such not in a doctrinal manner, and they had been cheated by those who gave them these thoughts, by telling them that they did not contradict their Aqeedah, but rather in conformity with their Aqeedah. Hence we find that these thoughts are not concentrated in their minds, even if their conducts proceed according to these thoughts. Once they become convinced that they contradict their Aqeedah, they would soon abandon them and return to their Islamic thoughts, and this people’s return would mark the transformation in society."

Therefore if in a place an Islamic group held events where hundreds of thousands of people attended or demonstrated yet the dominant thoughts in that society were democratic and secular evidenced by the peoples reaction to political events then that group would not have had a significant effect. Yet if a group was small in number but due to its focussed activity the dominant thoughts in a society changed such that the people say for example started to call for the Islamic Khilafah instead of democracy, that would be a significant effect of the da'wah.


Anonymous said...

It is better to apply new ideas and concepts to understand and guauge the dawa or elaborate on the ideas to the current reality;rather than cut and paste text that is 56 years old.

Islamic Revival said...

Jazakallah khair for your comment. It is correct to bring new concepts and ideas if the old concepts have been proven to be false, otherwise the concepts are true regardless of how old they are. So if we are asked a question about the definition of thought, we may paste an answer that is more than 50 years old as long as the answer conforms to the reality. If we are asked for the definition of Fiqh we may given an answer that is more than a thousand years old, as long as the answer is true.

You are right that it is good to elaborate on ideas by linking them to reality, sometimes we are not able to do that due to time constraints and thus include the quotation from a relavent text that provides the correct concept.

Islamic Revival said...

We have taken the relavent point from your advice and ammended the answer to make it more comprehensive, jazakallah khair.

சக்தி said...

good article

mohamed eliyas said...

nice post

Anonymous said...

jazaaka Allahu Khair.... beautiful .... really helped in order to sense the reality of any uprising that is taking place.... just by understanding the needs of the people we can guage what are the calling for once again
Allahu khairan