Category Archives: Methodology

Etiquettes for Dawah Discussions

In order for people to get the most out of dawah discussions, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) recommends observing the following etiquettes:

 

  1. You should believe that you are not worthy of attending such a gathering and that you are only attending out of Allah’s bounty.

 

  1. Your heart should be filled with veneration for the work of dawah. Allah ennobled the Prophets and the Leader of the Prophets ﷺ by making it their mission.

 

  1. You should intend to rectify yourself, your family, the people of your town and all Muslims and you should seek to resemble those that truly serve the Sacred Law.

 

  1. You should realise that you are in need of all those in attendance, even those who lack knowledge and experience.

 

  1. You should never think that had it not been for you the gathering would not have taken place. This is one of the faults of the lower self which leads to Allah’s displeasure.

 

  1. You should realise that Allah decreed that completion and perfection are attained when the views of all those attending are put together.

 

  1. You should welcome and respect every person’s opinion. You should never openly say that someone’s opinion is wrong. Always look for an element of truth in it.

 

  1. You should not refrain from expressing your opinion out of fear of it being rejected. Rather you should express your opinion and be completely prepared for it to be rejected.

 

  1. You should reflect upon what will be discussed in the meeting for a week beforehand. This gives you time to fully explore any ideas that you may have.

 

  1. You should focus fully on what is being discussed during the meeting and not think about anything else, even if it is an idea you wish to present.

 

  1. Only one person should speak at one time during the meeting. Only one discussion should take place.

 

  1. No one should cut anyone else off in mid speech except out of necessity.

 

  1. You should not express your own view until the previous person’s view has been fully discussed.

 

  1. Once a decision has been made based upon consultation this should not be reversed except out of necessity and on condition that everyone is in agreement.

 

  1. When people have different views on something a decision should be made based on the view of the majority. Goodness, blessings and success are in this, even if someone whose understanding is limited thinks it is not the best thing to do.

 

  1. Those who attend the meeting should smile at one another, pray for one another in their absence, show respect for one another and check up on one another. This will strengthen the ties between them.

 

Advice on Interacting with Others

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Advice from Habib `Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

In our interactions with others, there are two methods we can adopt:

  1. The first is to see yourself as interacting with Allah, so that you respond to both good and evil by doing good, seeking Allah’s pleasure and reward.
  2. The second is to see yourself as interacting with people, so that you respond to the actions of others with similar actions – you respond to evil with evil and good with good.

Allah says in reference to the second method:

The reward of evil is evil similar to it..

Then Allah completes the ayah by demonstrating the superiority of the first method:

But whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah..

Finally, Allah warns against transgressing the limits and choosing any other method, by saying:

He does not love the unjust. (42:40)

 

Dealing With Those Who are Reluctant to Work With Us

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

What can we do if we find our brothers are reluctant to work together on dawah projects?

We should ask Allah to rectify the situation, maintain ties with them and ask other people to encourage them to co-operate. We should also invite them to attend meetings or gatherings from time to time.

 

Say: ‘This is My Path’ | Wisdoms of Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

Words of wisdom from Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy on him and benefit us by him). 

Allah says to His Prophet  :

“Say: ‘This is my path..’”[1]

With this command Allah honours the Prophet and affirms his station. The command also contains the meaning of granting permission (ijazah). The ijazah is one of the foundations of the religion and is especially important in the science of hadith. Scholars traditionally give each other ijazah and shaykhs give their students ijazah. The ijazah is an affirmation of what is contained in the heart of the person receiving it and is a means for the pious to exchange secrets with one another.

If a Shaykh tells you to do something or gives you permission to recite a certain invocation, it means that he sees that you have the capability and the readiness to do that thing or recite that invocation. Through that permission you may receive strength and secrets from the Shaykh. For this reason it is said that only through the ijazah do the secrets of reciting the Qur’an, the adhkar or the names of Allah become manifest.

When Allah says to His Prophet: ‘Say,’ this is a command and also a sign that the Prophet is worthy and capable of fulfilling His command.

“Say: ‘This is my path: I call to Allah on clear evidence – I and whoever follows me.’”

So whoever takes that path will be with the Prophet . Anyone who calls people to Allah will be blessed with being with Allah’s Beloved . This a high station and only those who are patient and immensely fortunate will attain it.

We must, however, call to Allah with insight and on clear evidence. We cannot show arrogance or contempt to any Muslim. We cannot attack the beliefs of the Ummah of Muhammad, the Ummah to which Allah showed mercy.

The Prophet said:

“My Ummah shall not concur on misguidance.”[2]

O Allah, make us among those who convey this message and follow Your Messenger and among those who are guided by the light of Prophet-hood.

***

[1] Yusuf,  12:108

[2] Narrated by al-Tabarani

On Taking a Wage for Teaching the Islamic Sciences and the Qur’an

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

 

Should someone take money for teaching the Islamic Sciences?

Earning money should not be the intention and objective of the one teaching. Teaching the Islamic sciences should not be turned into a business. Rather, the teacher should be concerned about conveying the Sacred Law to people. If someone gives you something and he is happy to do so and it is easy for him to do so then you can accept it. If you need it, you can keep it and if you do not then you can give it to someone in need. You should not accept money if the person who gives it has gone through difficulty to obtain it – such as if he had to borrow the money. The highest level of sincerity is not to stipulate a fee, not to be concerned with the fee and to accept whatever comes your way regardless of how much it is and then spend it in a way which is pleasing to Allah.

The sign of the teacher’s truthfulness is that he does not differentiate in the way he teaches and cares for his students between those who pay him and those that do not and those that pay him a little and those that pay him a lot. Rather he treats them all equally.

 

Should I take a wage for teaching the Qur’an?

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The best thing to take a wage for is the Book of Allah.” Some scholars use this hadith as evidence for the permissibility of taking a wage for teaching the Qur’an. Your intention should be good and the sign of your sincerity is that you would continue teaching even if you stopped being paid. You should use what you earn to pay for your needs and you should give any extra money away in charity.

On Consulting the Shaykh Regarding Dawah Efforts

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

 

We would like to consult you on every affair relating to our dawah efforts. However, we do not wish to take too much of your time. What principle should we follow in consultation?

You should consult us in affairs which are unclear. For example, if it is not possible to determine whether a certain act will have good or bad consequences. There is no need to consult us regarding affairs which are clear. However, you should still seek the blessing of consulting those who are close to you and those who are easy to consult as much as possible.

[Note: this does not prevent someone from sending in a report on their dawah efforts for Habib Umar or the Dawah Department in Dar al-Mustafa to look at and give advice]

 

On Giving Advice to People Involved in Dawah

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

 

Sometimes the behaviour of certain people involved in da`wah or spreading knowledge appears to be inconsistent with Prophetic teachings. Should we maintain a good opinion of them and make excuses for them or should we apply different criteria to them?

We should maintain a good opinion of all people. This does not prevent us, however, from giving sincere advice and counsel to such people. Our counsel should be appropriate to their station and personality.

The True Meaning of Calling to Allah

Habib `Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) explains the true meaning of calling to Allah. Extracts from a speech delivered in Dar al-Mustafa 1st Muharram, 1435/ 3rd November 2013. The full Arabic speech is available from here.

Calling to Allah is an act which draws one closer to Allah. Its essence is a burning passion in the heart of the caller based upon love, mercy, wanting good for people and the desire to be a source of joy to the Prophet . If this is ignited in the heart of the caller, he longs to attach the hearts of those around him to their Creator. Other worldly things which motivate most people then become meaningless to him.

This noble call, with its connection through chains of transmission in inward and outward knowledge going back through great scholars to the Prophet , is based upon mercy—there is no harshness in it. It is based upon love—there is no hatred or rancour in it. It is based upon wisdom, beautiful preaching and debate in the best way.

The fruits that it has borne can be seen in the East and the West. Where did these fruits come from? They came from the people serving this call focusing completely on the purpose of the call. This focus in turn prevented them from demanding things from Allah which they had no right to demand: namely, that they swiftly reap the fruits of their own efforts. One of the things that veils many callers to Allah is hastily demanding to see results and selfishly wishing to be the one who picks the fruit. The true callers see their work as merely planting seeds. They would say:

“We have planted tiny seeds and we leave it to Allah to bring forth the crops.”

True callers know how to apply the Sacred Law to the situation in which they are in, and do not allow the current climate to dominate their perspective. The meaning of calling to Allah is that Allah chooses you to bring His slaves out of the heedlessness which they find themselves in to a state of wakefulness in which they seek Allah’s pleasure.

The difference between the way of Prophetic inheritance and other methodologies built on infirm foundations is that those who follow this way seek to attain understanding directly from Allah, they seek to attain sincerity, they seek Allah’s assistance so that they can serve Allah in whatever role Allah has placed them in.

 

 

On Exhaustion Due to Dawah Work

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

 

I have been involved in da`wah for some years and I feel drained and I lack the support of those around me. What advice do you have for me?

You must remember for Whose sake you are working. You must be true to Him and remain serving Him until you meet Him. Even If no one on the face of the earth supported you and everyone was against you, it would still be your obligation to remain calling people to Allah until you meet Him. At one point Sayyiduna Ibrahim was the only believer on the earth. Allah said about him: Truly Ibrahim was an entire nation.

On Responding to People Who Interfere in our Dawah

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

 

People affected by innovative beliefs are interfering in our dawah. How should we respond?

 

You should increase in dignity, serenity, humility and sincerity. You should want good for those who are in that state and ask Allah to improve their state. Do not get involved in debate and argumentation. Ignore their efforts to discredit you when this is more effective. If need be, clarify controversial issues without mentioning individuals and groups and their perspectives. If you are forced to mention individuals then do so as little as possible, only mention them briefly and avoid doing so in public. Reading the following repels harm:

 

حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيل

Hasbunallahu wa n`am al-wakil

Allah is enough for us and He is the best One in whom we place our trust.

 

 

وأُفَوِّضُ أَمْرِي إلى الله إِنَّ اللّهَ بَصِيرٌ بِالعِباد

 

Wa ufawudu amri il’Allah inn’Allaha basirun bi’l-`ibad

I surrender my affair to Allah – surely Allah is ever watchful over His slaves