Fifteen Points concerning the Call and the Caller 1

15 Points Concerning

The Call and the Caller



Verily Allah created the creation for His ‘ibaadah[1], as He said,

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“And I have neither created the Jinn nor human­kind, except that they worship Me. I seek not from them any provision, nor do I ask that they feed me. Verily Allah is the All-Provider, the Owner of Power, the Most Strong.” [Surah adh-Dhaariyaat (51):56-58]

And in order to clarify the reality of worship that Allah obligated upon His slaves, He sent messengers and revealed books, that people come to know what is mandatory upon them in regards to their Rubb[2] (Y), and to know that their happiness and sorrow is interrelated with worship, in its presence or absence. Allah (I) said,

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“O Children of Aadam if there come to you Mes­sengers from amongst you, reciting to you My verses, then whosoever becomes pious and right­eous, on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. But those who reject our aayaat[3] and treat them with arrogance, they are the dwellers of the fire, they will abide therein forever.” [Surah al-A’raaf (7):35-36]

And the last of the messengers and the best of them is our Prophet, Muhammad (r), who was sent by Allah to the people in their entirety, addressing them in His saying,

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“Say [O Muhammad (r)]: ‘O people, Verily I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah - to Whom belongs the Dominion of the heavens and the earth, there is none worthy of worship except Him. It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and His Words. And follow him so that you may be guided’.” [Surah al-A’raaf (7):158]

Through him, Allah rejuvenated souls and enlightened their sight. Through him, He opened eyes that were blinded, ears that were deaf­ened, and hearts that were enveloped. Through him, Allah sufficed after poverty and multiplied after their insignificance. Through him, Allah guided to Tawheed[4] and to direct all worship to The Creator, after they prostrated to stones and trees and supplicated to those whom they neither heard nor saw. Allah did not raise him (r) until he left his Ummah[5] upon a clear and white path, its landmarks and milestones clear and unambiguous, its night like its day; none goes astray from it except that it leads to their destruction.

As it was inevitable after the passing of time that people be af­flicted with ignorance and become surrounded by negligence and distractions which divert them from learning the religion or following and acting and upon it; and as it is impossible for all people to devote themselves to seeking knowledge, Allah made obligatory it upon this ummah that a number from every group proceed forth to seek knowledge in the religion and to warn the people when they return to them in order that they may be cautious. Allah (I) said,

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“And it is not for the believers to go to and fight all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, for that they [who were left be­hind (or proceeded forth)] gain understanding in the religion, and that they may warn the people when they return to them, so that they may take caution.” [Surah at-Tawbah (9): 122]

For this reason it becomes obligatory that students of knowledge and carriers of the religion follow the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah (r) in their da’wah[6]; they are to be his successors in goodness in the ummah, by reviving what has become obsolete in his religion and been effaced from his sunnah[7]. It is upon them to correct the beliefs falsely attributed to the religion and to refute those who desire to distort it and its callers with fabricated lies, past and present. They are to do this sincerely for Allah, following the example of the first caller, the Noble Prophet (r), in compliance with His (I) saying,

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“Say [O Muhammad (r)] ‘This is my way, I call to Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me. And Glorified and Exalted is Allah, and I am not from the mushrikeen (those who as­sociate partners with Allah)’.” [Surah Yusuf (12):108]

And indeed the ummah’s need for sincere da’wah - which rectifies ‘aqeedah[8] and cleanses it from scars and filth, encourages the fulfill­ment of obligations in regards to Allah and His creation as well as the avoidance of the prohibited, and which warns them from the conse­quences of fasaad[9] - is like their need for rainfall, nourishing food, and cold water; rather it is much more needed. Whoever is void of food and drink, his end is death, which might in fact lead him to Jannah[10]. But as for the absence of religion, it leads to everlasting loss which in turn leads the slave to Jahannam[11], and what an evil abode it is.

So da’wah is fard kifaayah[12] upon students of knowledge, each accord­ing to their ability. If it were abandoned, all of them would be regarded as sinning, and if a number of them were to assume it, it remains obligatory on the rest to assist. And if there were to be only one or two students of knowledge in an area or village, it becomes fard ayn[13] on them to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, in conformity with the saying of Allah (I),

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“Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, for that they [who were left be­hind (or proceeded forth)] gain understanding in the religion, and that they may warn the people when they return to them, so that they may take caution.” [Surah at-Tawbah (9):122]

And let those students of knowledge who call to Allah be congratu­lated. Let them be congratulated that they are the successors to the Messenger of Allah (r) in leading the way to Allah and His straight path, striving to better society, battling fasaad and warning against its evil and disastrous outcome. Let them be congratulated that they have the most share in his bequeathal, may the peace of Allah and His blessings be upon him. Allah (I) says,

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“If only there had been among the generations be­fore you persons having wisdom, prohibiting oth­ers from fasaad in the earth. [But there were none] except a few of those whom He saved from among them. And those who did wrong pursued the good things of [the worldly] life, and were mujrimoon (criminals, polytheists, disbelievers in Al­lah, sinners).[Surah Hud (11):116]

And the Prophet (r) said,

“Convey from me even if it were only an aayah, and relate the accounts of Bani Israa’eel[14] without any harm, and who­ever lies upon me intentionally, let him take his seat in the Hellfire.” (Al-Bukhaari)

He (r) also said,

“May Allah illuminate the person who hears my sayings and retains it, and conveys it as he heard it. And it may be that the person who is told has more understanding than the one who has heard it; and it may be that the carrier of knowledge is not one who understands.”[15]

Indeed da’wah to Allah is a security for the society which is in fear of punishment and general chastisement. But this is only if the da’wah were given its due right, by the callers as well as the addressed: by the caller in having ikhlaas[16], seriousness, and without slackening or leaving what it entails, and by the addressed in accepting and acting upon the advice. Indeed if the caller slackens, weakens, loses vigor or becomes satiated with to the harm faced in his call, or if he was to hasten in achieving results, the outcome will not be as desired. Rather it may be the exact opposite: fasaad will become unrestrained and the evil-doers will gain the upper hand, and in that will be an invitation to widespread evil and great suffering.

On this merit, we have summarized those qualities incumbent upon the caller to emulate, and they are as follows:

(1) Knowledge. It is from the conditions of being a caller that he be knowledgeable to that which he is calling to, and we understand this condition from the noble aayah,

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“Say [O Muhammad (r)] ‘This is my way, I call to Allah with baseerah (sure knowledge), I and whosoever follows me’.” [Surah Yusuf (12):108]

What is meant by ‘baseerah’ here is the knowledge of what is being called to. So if one calls to Tawheed, he should have knowl­edge of its types and be well conversant with that which renders it void from the different types of shirk[17], the lesser of it and the greater. If he calls to the establishment of salaat[18], he should have knowledge of its description, conditions, obligatory and superogatory[19] acts, and so on. If he were to be faced with something he did not know, he must restrain himself until he comes to know of it, whether by researching from its sources or asking someone more knowledge­able than himself. Let not pride hold him back from saying to that which he has no knowledge: ‘Allah knows better’, or ‘I do not know’.

Saalim bin Abduallah bin ‘Umar was asked about an issue and he replied, “I do not know.”

The inquirer said, “It is indeed a great thing that you say, ‘I do not know,’ you being the son of Abdullah bin ‘Umar.”

So Saalim replied, “What is graver in the sight of one who understands Allah is that I speak of which I do not know.”

A person asked al-Qaasim bin Muhammad about a matter, and al-Qaasim replied said, “I do not know it well.”

So the person contin­ued, “I brought the situation to your attention because I do not know anyone else.”

So al-Qaasim replied, “Do not look at the length of my beard or the many people around me, by Allah I do not know it well.”

An elderly one from the Quraysh sitting next to him asserted, “Keep to it [this answer] my son, for by Allah I have not seen anyone in a gathering one as noble as you today.”

Al-Qaasim replied, “By Allah that my tongue is severed is more beloved to me than speaking of that which I have no knowledge.”


[1] ‘Ibaadah () linguistically is the utmost extent of humility. [‘Mufradaat Alfaadh il-Quran’ by ar-Raaghib al-Asfahaani]. In the religious sense, it is a general term which consists of all things which Allah loves and is pleased with in speech and action, inner and outer. [‘al-’Ubudiyyah’ by ibn Taymiyyah]

[2] The word rubb () is a derivative of the verb rabbaa () which literally means to raise and nurture, as the father and mother nurture and raise their children by providing for them food, clothing, and other necessities. Allah is the Rubb because he is the one who creates, provides sustenance, nurtures, and raises his creation by His bounties and by His grace. [Adapted from ‘al-Mufradaat Alfaadh il-Quran’]

[3] Aayaat () in the Arabic language is the plural of the word aayah (), which means a clear and obvious sign. [‘Mufradaat Alfaadh il-Quran’]. In the religious sense, it is a verse from the Quran, an attribute of Allah which is not created, and in the universal sense, they are the wide array of creations which give evidence to their Creator, Allah.

[4] Tawheed () is the verbal noun of the verb wahhada () which literally means ‘to single out’. In the religious sense, is the concept of ‘singling out Allah in his attrib­utes of lordship, worship, and Names and Attributes’.

[5] An ummah () is word that literally denotes any amount of ‘people grouped to­gether as one’, whether its basis be religion, era, or location, whether they are grouped together by their own choice or not [‘Mufradaat Alfaadh il-Quran’]. Here it is the collec­tion of people, past and present, who answered the call of the Prophet (r).

[6] Da’wah () is the verbal noun of the verb da’aa (), which means ‘to call’ or ‘invite’, and here it is specifically ‘to call to the religion of Islaam’.

[7] Sunnah () is a word that means ‘way’, or ‘path’. In Islaam, it refers to the legal way, orders, prohibitions, statements and actions, etc, of the Messenger of Allah (r), which have become the ‘models (of behavior and deed) to be followed by all (sincere) Muslims’. The word is often used in relation to the authentic traditions concerning the Prophet (r) recorded in the collections of ahadeeth (see footnotes 22 & 23 on Hadeeth and Saheehayn).

[8] ‘Aqeedah () is derived from the noun ‘aqd (), which is a knot or something tied or bound tightly. In the religious sense, it is the set of firm beliefs in which there is no room for doubt, and is called so for it being bound and tied to the heart.

[9] Fasaad (): sin, transgression, evil-doing.

[10] Jannah ( ): literally, ‘garden’, referring to the Everlasting Garden of heaven.

[11] Jahannam (): The punishment of the afterlife, the Everlasting Fire.

[12] Fard Kifaayah ( ) could be translated as ‘communal obligation’, in that what is obligatory is that the act be performed in the community of believers by a quantity which circumstance necessitates. If that quantity is met, the obligation falls from the rest. So in a sense, its obligation is in regards to the act rather than the individual.

[13] Fard ‘Ayn ( ) could be translated as ‘individual obligation’ in that it is obligatory on each and every individual, and not merely that the act be performed by a certain amount of people.

[14] Bani Israa’eel: The progeny (descendents/children/tribes) of Israel, or Yaqoob (u), who are the Jews.

[15] This hadeeth has been narrated in numerous books of hadeeth. This wording is closest to the one narrated by ibn-ul-Arabi in his book ‘Aaridat-ul-Ahwadhi.

[16] Ikhlaas () is the verbal noun of akhlasa (), which literally means ‘to purify’, as one purifies honey. In the religious sense, it is ‘the purification of one’s action for Allah’, or ‘sincerity’.

[17] Shirk () is to associate others with Allah in His aspect of Lordship, worship, or attributes.

[18] Salaat ( ) The Prayer.

[19] Not obligatory, but additional voluntary and meritorious (acts of prayer).

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Section : the Call and the Caller
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Date : 4/5/2010
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