Early Days in the Call to Allah

Habib Ali al-Jifri derives some lessons from photos of Habib Umar bin Hafiz in his youth in the Bayda region of Yemen calling to Allah and teaching people their religion.

Firstly, dawah is not built upon large gatherings and media support (without negating the importance of these two things), but rather upon going out to people, spending time with them and teaching them the basics. Continue reading Early Days in the Call to Allah

Advice on Reconciliation

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What advice do you have for someone involved in reconciling between conflicting parties?

This is a great thing and there is a great reward in it. Someone engaged in this should humbly plead with Allah for success and then he should surrender the affair to Allah. He should take people’s personalities and understandings into consideration so that what he says will be accepted by them.

On Dealing With Opposition Due to Lack of Knowledge

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

There are brothers and sisters who have attended the Dowra or have studied abroad for a short time. They then return to their communities to teach what they learn as they have been encouraged by their teachers to do so but they encounter people (some of whom are connected to this path) who do not support them and even discourage others from taking knowledge from them on the grounds they have not studied enough. What is the best way of dealing with this? 

They should persevere in their dawah and not be affected by what these people say. They should show these people respect, maintain good relations with them and not treat them in the same way as they are treating them. They should emphasise the well-known principle that anyone who has even one piece of Islamic knowledge is an ‘alim (literally someone who knows) and he must act upon it and teach it. They must teach what they know and learn that which they do not know. If the people who are opposing them are aware of Imam al-Haddad then they can tell them what Imam al-Haddad says in the introduction of al-Dawah al-Tammah.

On Involvement in Protests

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Should those involved in dawah take part in protests which condemn things like police brutality or the oppression of the Palestinian people?

Oppression must be condemned whatever form it takes as long as this does not lead to greater oppression or some other kind of evil. Ordinary people are free to get involved in such protests if they wish, but the role of those involved in dawah is to clarify the Islamic position on such matters. They should not be directly involved in protests because this may have political and social implications and may lead them to neglect aspects of their dawah.

On Working With ‘Salafi’ Groups

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Can we work with ‘Salafi’ groups?

If these groups truly follow the Salaf (the Pious Predecessors) in the realm of tenets of faith then we are in agreement with them. If, however, they claim to follow the Salaf but in reality go against their methodology then we should avoid mixing with them so that confusion does not arise regarding how we call people to Allah. It may be possible to work with the moderate elements among them on things on which there is scholarly consensus and which benefit society. We may also work with them on projects which are run in the name of all Muslims in the region, not in the name of a specific group.

Forbidding Evil, Maintaining a Good Opinion and Leaving What Does Not Concern Us

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How do we combine between forbidding evil, maintaning a good opinion of others and leaving that which does not concern us?

When we forbid someone from doing something wrong we do not believe that they will have a bad ending or that they will be punished. Rather we believe that Allah will forgive them and replace their bad deeds with good deeds and perhaps they will intercede for us on the Day of Judgement. At the same time we do not spy on them or pry into their private affairs. If we do this we have left that which does not concern us. If we do see someone committing an act of disobedience then it concerns us to stop them from them doing it as far as we are able. The Prophet ﷺ said that if someone falls into an act of disobedience they should seek Allah’s concealment but only if they expose themselves we carry out the hadd punishment.