Success in Calling Others to Islam
Salmaan ibn Fahd al-'Awdah
If we look at the success and failure
of various propagation efforts throughout history, we find two primary causes for success. The first of these is the truth
of that which is being called towards. The more truthful it is, the more harmonious it will be with both sentiment and reason.
People are much more ready to accept it.
We see in the Qur’ān how a party from among the Jinn heard the Prophet
(peace be upon him) reciting the Qur’ān and said: “'We have really heard a wonderful Recital! 'It gives guidance
to righteousness, and we have believed therein. We shall ascribe no partner unto our Lord.” [Sūrah al-Jinn:
They, in fact, were immediately inspired to call their people to the truth and warn them. Allah says: “Behold,
We turned towards thee a company of Jinn, (quietly) listening to the Qur’ān. When they stood in the presence thereof,
they said, ‘Listen in silence!’ When the (reading) was finished, they returned to their people, to warn them.
They said, ‘O our people! We have heard a Book revealed after Moses, confirming what came before it. It guides to the
truth and to a Straight Path. O our people! Respond to Allah's summoner and believe in Him. Allah will forgive you some of
your sins and guard you from a painful doom’.” [Sūrah al-Ahqāf: 29-31]
Some non-Muslim societies
enjoy a considerable degree of justice and respect for human rights, principles that are outlined in the Divine Law. Because
of this, Allah gives their societies stability, longevity, and power to the extent that they observe these principles. History
attests to this fact.
The second factor for successful propagation is the faith that the propagator has in it. Firm
conviction in the correctness of what he is calling towards makes him into an example for others in both his words and his
deeds. It gives him the ability to lead others.
Allah says: “And We appointed, from among them, leaders, giving
guidance under Our command, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have sure faith in Our Signs.”
[Sūrah al-Sajdah: 24]
There are four crucial words and phrases in this verse: “leaders”, “giving
guidance”, “patience”, and “sure faith”.
For people to be honest in what they call towards
and be true leaders who can guide others, they must have patience. They need to be able to persevere without faltering in
their faith when they are confronted by those who disdain what they believe in. they need absolute conviction that is not
tainted with the slightest doubt.
Allah says: “And the Unbelievers said to their messengers: ‘Be sure
we shall drive you out of our land, or ye shall return to our religion.’ But their Lord inspired (this Message) to them:
‘Verily We shall cause the wrong-doers to perish!’” [Sūrah Ibrāhīm: 13]
Allah says: “The
leaders, the arrogant party among his people, said: ‘O Shu`ayb! we shall certainly drive you out of our city - and those
who believe with along with you; or else you all shall have to return to our ways and religion.’ He said: ‘What!
Even though we do detest them? We should indeed invent a lie against Allah, if we returned to your ways after Allah has rescued
us from them. It is not for us to return to it unless Allah our Lord should (so) will. Our Lord comprehends all things in
knowledge. In Allah do we put our trust. Our Lord! Decide between us and our people in truth, for you are the best to decide’.”
[Sūrah al-A`rāf: 88-89]
Certainty of conviction can be discernable from what we say, in our speaking without
faltering or hesitation and without fear or what other might say. We must speak clearly without any ambiguity, announcing
that Islam is in fact Allah’s religion and that Allah will accept from us no other, for truly Allah says: “Whoever
desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted from him and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.”
We must declare to them with total frankness that we disbelieve in the falsehood that they are on and that we dislike
what they believe until they believe the truth.
We must demonstrate our convictions in our deeds, our conduct, and
our way of life. Those who carry with them the true religion in their hearts and have confidence in what they have do not
run after the scraps that fall from the tables of others.
Experience shows us that a young man or woman who lives
his or her life according to Islam while residing among non-Muslims is often better for the spread of Islam than dozens of
preachers and Islamic lecturers who call people to Islam with their tongues and turn them away from it with their deeds.
one American city, we met a man, a university professor, who had accepted Islam seven years earlier. All the Muslims who knew
him spoke highly of him, his character, and his efforts in calling people to Islam.
We asked him to tell us what prompted
him to accept Islam. We were very happy to hear from him what confirmed what we had been telling Islamic workers for years
– that it is imperative for us to show pride for our faith when living among non-Muslims. We must not compromise our
beliefs and our practices on their account. Our conduct and our way of life should proclaim the goodness of Islam to them
and give them occasion to think and to reflect.
This man had lost faith in Christianity and had begun an arduous journey
seeking the truth. He studied a number of different religions but found none to suffice him. He did not think for a moment
about looking into Islam. He had ruled Islam out from the start because of the ugly image of Islam that he received from the
Western media and from Muslim people themselves.
One day, he say a young lady studying in the university. She wore
proper Islamic dress by which she quietly challenged the nudity and loose morals that surrounded her. He asked her about her
dress and told him that she was a Muslim and that Islam requires women to dress modestly and not display their bodies to the
lustful eyes of base men.
He told us: “Previously, I though of Islam as a religion that belittled and marginalized
women. However, here was a woman who had so much pride that she was able to maintain her appearance in a way that made her
stand out from all the others around her while living in their midst. Therefore, what I had heard about Islam and the position
of women in it was incorrect.”
This experience was what brought him to think about – and ultimately accept
Even those Muslims who have shortcomings and are less than perfect in their practice of Islam can still,
with the Islamic virtues that they possess, influence others towards Islam in a positive way. There is an interesting anecdote
about a non-practicing Arab Muslim woman who was living in Canada. She became acquainted with a non-Muslim Canadian man who
asked her to marry him. She refused because he was not Muslim. SO he asked her about Islam and he she told him a little bit
about it. She left it at that, but he pursued the matter further. He went to some Islamic centers in Canada and began reading
about Islam avidly until his heart was filled with the conviction that it was the truth. His new manifested itself in his
appearance and his manners. He also began to grow a beard. He started praying consistently in congregation at the mosque.
He went back to his friend after that and again asked for her hand in marriage. She again refused, this time saying:
“You have become an extremist.” This time, though, he did not pay her any mind.
Why should we be ashamed
of our Islamic way of life that is free from blemish? Why should feel defeated and feel that others are better than we are?
Being vanquished in battle is not as bad, since it can be followed one day by victory. However, when defeat enters
the heart, it puts an end to all hopes of triumph. The worst kind of defeat is the defeat of the spirit.