Article No.

04

The Prohibition of engaging in

DAWAH
Knowledge
From Muntaqa Fatawa and Muhadhiraat Fil-Aqeedah wad-Dawah of Shaikh Salih ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan Translated by Shawana A. Aziz Published by Quran Sunnah Educational Programs www.qsep.com

without

Shaikh Salih ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan writes,

“Actions without knowledge is deviation and the desire to achieve knowledge without studying is a delusion (false belief)."
[al-Multaqa (q. no. 43, p. 59)]

Shaikh Salih ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan (rahimahullah) explained that it is a condition of Dawah that one is knowledgeable about that which he is calling to, in light of the verse,

"Say (O Muhammad r), This is my way. I invite unto Allah (the Oneness of Allah) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allah. And I am not of the Mushrikoon." [Soorah Yunus (12): 108]

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"(In this verse) The meaning of Baseerah is knowledge. The caller to Islam must be equipped with beneficial knowledge concerning beliefs, the permissible and the prohibited, and the knowledge about the Book and the Sunnah. And he should have the knowledge of the texts of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah such that he can distinguish to the people, what is correct and incorrect. (the caller must be equipped with knowledge) because if he was ignorant, he does not know the wrong and he does not know the correct. Perhaps, he calls to the wrong while he does not know and perhaps, he warns against the good while he is unaware because ignorance is a fatal disease. (the caller must be equipped with knowledge) because the one who calls to Allah will be exposed to doubts from the Shayateen amongst the jinn and mankind – doubts in Aqeedah and doubts concerning Halaal and Haraam. And if he does not posses the knowledge to refute these doubts, then he be will confused and perhaps he will be overpowered by the people of misguidance, which will be a great loss. So, the one who calls to Allah must be equipped with the beneficial knowledge and means to combat the opponents, and therefore the Prophet r said to Mu'adh t, "You are going to a people from the Ahlul-Kitab." Meaning beware.

The people of the Book are learned; they have misinterpretations and they have doubts and they have false arguments. The one who approaches them must be aware of their conditions. In this (narration) is a proof that it is obligatory upon the caller to learn about the society in which he is doing Dawah, he should know their troubles and their nature; and he should know their level of knowledge such that he is prepared to face them - otherwise, they will confuse him and perhaps overpower him and this will be a loss for the Dawah to Allah and this will be a failure before the opponents and the foes. It is not appropriate to enter the field of Dawah until one learns and achieves comprehension and understanding through beneficial knowledge. If one has some knowledge or a part of knowledge, then he should call in accordance to the limit of his knowledge and he should stop at the matters which he does not know. And he should not engage with the people in issue of confusion that he in unacquainted with. But if he has some knowledge, then he should call in accordance with his level of knowledge and he should stop at issues which he does not know. This is a very important matter and it is that one should be a caller in accordance with the level of his knowledge with which he can confront those whom he is calling to and solve their problems...

"Glorified and Exalted be Allah. And I am not of the Mushrikoon (those who set up rivals with Allah)." [Soorah Yusuf (12): 108] (in this part of the verse is) glorifying Allah from that which does not befit Him from shirk, imperfection and defects. In this is safeguarding the correct Aqeedah from that which does not befit Him from Shirk and defects which Shaytan from the Jinn and mankind utter. The caller must be knowledgeable about this great knowledge and he cannot glorify Allah from that which does not befit Him until he learns the correct Aqeedah and learns that which opposes it from Shirk and doubts in such a way that he can glorify Allah.

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“I am not of the Mushrikoon.” In this (part of the verse) is declaring oneself free from the Mushrikeen (those who associate partners with Allah). A caller must declare himself free from shirk and the Musrikeen for the sake of Allah... There are people who do not disassociate themselves from the people of the false religions, rather they say, 'People are free in their Aqeedah (beliefs) and in their religion.' Perhaps, some of them even call to bringing the religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) together – and they claim that they are the Duat (caller to Allah) while they do not disassociate themselves from the Mushikeen and do not consider what they (the Mushrikeen) are upon as falsehood. This is clear misguidance. How can there be a Dai (caller to Allah) and he neither declares himself free from Shirk nor the Mushrikeen and calls it 'freedom of religion'? There is no freedom in religion. Deen (religion) in one and it is the Deen of Allah, with which He sent His Messenger and He revealed His Book concerning it – It is one religion. Allah says, "Verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path." [Soorah al-An'aam (6): 153] Religion is one and it is the Deen of Islam. And whatever is apart from it, is falsehood, Allah says, "Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam." "Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." [Soorah aal-Imran (3) 85]" [end quote from Muhadiraat (p.601)] Question: What is your advise to those youngsters who make haste in engaging in Dawah activities and issuing Fatawa without knowledge? Reply by Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan, "Surely, Dawah to Allah is obligatory on the one, who is capable of fulfilling it practically, physically and mentally, and he who is in incapable of Dawah, then he should make dua on behalf of the Muslims for their Tawfeeq (guidance) and success, and if he is wealthy, he should help the Dawah monetarily through publishing books, and distributing it. Concerning Fatawa, then this is a critical position. It is not permissible to venture into it except for those who are qualified in knowledge that is acquired from the scholars, and he should not give Fatawa except in necessity (only) if he does not find somebody who is more knowledgeable than him" [Al-Muntaqa] Question: Many of the Duaat focus all attention towards one aspect of Dawah, and that is Fadhaailul-Aamaal (virtues of righteous deeds). What is your opinion concerning this? Is it obligatory to combine both, Targheeb (encouragement) through mentioning Fadhaailul-Aamaal (virtues of righteous deeds) and Tanbeeh (warning) against the mistakes, especially in Aqeedah. Reply by Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan, 'It is obligatory that the Dai (the caller) begins with the issues of Aqedah because they are the fundamentals, and the Fadhaail (virtues) come after the rectification of the Aqeedah, and the caller must begin with that which is most important, and then what comes after. Allah's Messenger r began with the Aqeedah, and stayed in Makkah for 13 years calling to Aqeedah, and the legislation were obligated after the Hijrah. What we conclude from this is that the caller should be wise in the Dawah, and arrange the issues according to their appropriate priority, and cure every evil accordingly. He who is afflicted with deviation in the Aqeedah, then he should be advised about his deviation, and be shown the proofs, and enlightened towards the correct path. And he who is correct in his Aqeedah but he has strayed in his performance of good deeds or he has fallen prey to some prohibited actions, then in his case, we use discussions, reminders and warnings. So, the caller deals with every society according to the evils found in it, and treats it suitably. As far as restricting to Fadhaailul-Amaal or limiting oneself to correcting the rule and abandoning (rectification of) Shirk, this is misguidance and evident ignorance, and Dawah by these two approaches does not reap any good result. [al-Muntaqa (q. no. 52, p. 59)]

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Question: What do you say concerning those who travel (make Khurooj) to other countries for Dawah while they have never ever sought knowledge themselves. They encourage others to it and refute any other approach. They claim that whosoever is in the way of Allah for Dawah, Allah will take care of them. And they allege that knowledge is not a fundamental condition. And you are aware that he, who travels to other countries will face different madhhabs and religions and questions addressed to the caller. Do you not agree Shaikh that he, who travels should be equipped in order to face the people, and especially in West Asia, where they denounce Shaikh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab. Please respond so that we may benefit from it. Answer by Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan, ''Khurooj in the way of Allah' is (used in the context of) Khurooj for battle but as for what they call Khurooj nowadays is Bidah which is not known from the Salaf. A person's going out in order to call towards Allah does not have a set number of days, rather one calls towards Allah in accordance with his capability and opportunities, without restricting to a Jamaa'ah or a set of forty days or less or more. Similarly, what is required from the caller to Islam is to be knowledgeable. It is not permissible for a person to make Dawah while he is ignorant, Allah says, "Say (O Muhammad), 'This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge." [Soorah Yusuf (12): 108] 'with sure knowledge' because the caller should certainly know what he is calling the people to; Wajib (obligatory), Mustahab (recommended), Prohibited or Makrooh (disliked), and he should know what is Shirk, sin, Kufr (disbelief) and Fusq, and he should know the different levels of Inkar (rejection) and its kinds. The Khurooj that takes one away from learning knowledge is an act of Batil (falsehood), because seeking knowledge is obligatory and it does not take place except with learning and studying, and it does not occur through Ilham (inspiration), this is from the myths of Sufi misguidance, because actions without knowledge is deviation and the desire to achieve knowledge without studying is a delusion (false belief)." [al-Multaqa (q. no. 43, p. 59)]

Articles in this series:
Article No. 01: How do we keep steadfast upon the way of the Salaf? Article No. 02: The essential relationship between the youth and the scholars of Islam. Article No. 03: Enjoining the good and Forbidding the Evil: Significance, Manner and Approach Article No. 04: The Prohibition of engaging in Dawah without Knowledge Article No. 05: Is Ignorance an excuse in matters of Aqeedah (beliefs)?

These articles can also be downloaded from our website www.qsep.com
Published by Quran Sunnah Educational Programs www.qsep.com
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