The Manners and Etiquette of Dawah

The Attributes of a Successful Caller



 بـــــــــــــــسم الله الرحمـــــــــــــــــن الرحيـــــــــــــــــم

All praise is due to Allaah the Lord of the worlds and peace and blessings upon His servant and His Messenger our prophet and messenger Muhammad and his family and companions and those that follow him until the of judgement.

After which follows:

The subject of calling to Allaah swt is an important one. The call to Allaah means inviting (others) to enter into the religion of Allaah. Allaah created the creation for His worship

Allaah says:

And I (Allaah) created not the Jinn and Mamkind except that they should worship Me (alone). I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allaah is the All-Provider, the owner of power, the most strong. [Surah daariyat:56/57]

The benefit of those worshipping Allaah returns to them for they are the ones in need of the worship of Allaah. As for Allaah, the most high, then He is not in need of them and He is self sufficient from their worship.

Allaah says:

“If you disbelieve you and all those in the earth together, then verily, Allaah is Rich (free of all needs) the Owner of all praise. [Surah Ibrahim:8]

In a hadeeth qudsi Allaah says:

Oh my servants, if the first and the last of you, the Men of you and the Jinn of you were to be the most pious (heart of) one man then that would not increase My kingdom in anything. Oh my servants, if the first of you and the last of you, the men of you and the jinn of you were to be the worst (heart of) a man amongst you that would not decrease anything from My kingdom. Oh my servants, it is your actions that I account you for then I will show it to you so whoever finds good then let him praise Allaah and whoever finds other than that then let him blame no one but himself.[Saheeh Muslim 4/1994 related by Abi Dar].

So the worshippers are the ones in need of worshipping Allaah so that they acquire the pleasure of Allaah and His forgiveness and mercy. This so that they may enter His paradise and save them from His punishment. This is why Allaah created them. However, it was decreed from His wisdom that He will test them and test them so that there would be a distinction between the people of obedience and the people of sin.

Satan and his party call the people away from worshipping Allaah to the disobedience of Allaah and to the following of desires and lusts. This is why Allaah sent messengers calling people to that which is good. The devils call them to evil.

And Allaah calls to paradise and forgiveness by His will and He makes His signs clear to mankind that they may remember. [Surah al Baqara:221]

And Allaah calls to the dar sallam and He guides whomsoever He wills to the straight path.

He calls you that He may forgive you your sins and He delays it until an appointed time.

So Allaah calls His servants that they may worship Him and that they may have repentance towards Him, that they ask forgiveness. He has sent the Messengers calling the people to that and He has given the scholars (inheritors of the Prophets) the responsibility of calling to Him for the benefit of His servants and profit.

The call to Allaah has been established ever since what happened between Adam and satan and when satan took it upon himself to lure whoever he was able from the children of Adam and misguide them.

Indeed satan is an enemy so take him as an enemy, and he calls his party to be of the companions of the fire. [Surah al Faatir:6]

No doubt there are callers to that which is good and there are callers towards wrong amongst the devils from the Jinn and the men. This being wisdom from Allaah, the most High, a trial and test for His servants from the time He created the creation until the end of the world. Conflict continues between the truth and falsehood and between the callers to good and the callers to evil. Allaah has praised the callers towards Allaah.

Allaah says:

And who is more better in speech than one who calls to Allaah (says: My Lord is Allaah believes in His oneness) and does good deeds and says I am indeed from amongst the Muslims. Good and bad are not equal, Push forward with one which is better. [Surah Fusuliat: 33,34]

So Allaah has mentioned that the callers to Allaah are the best people in speech. He has also described the callers as those who practice what they call the people to. So the caller must first be practicing what he is calling to in terms of obedience and worship until he becomes a good example such that his saying and actions are truthful. This is why Prophet shuayb said:

I do not wish, in contradiction to you, to do that which I forbid you. I only desire reform to the best of my power. And my guidance cannot come except from Allaah in Him I trust and to Him I repent. [Surah Hud:88]

Allaahs saying I am indeed from amongst the Muslims means that he belongs to Islam and the Muslims and the group of Muslim. He does not belong to any others except Muslims.

Then Allaah the most high shows that the caller to Allaah will meet some harm from the people but He advised (the caller) to push forward with one that is better.

If anyone has wronged him then he should meet this wrong with righteousness. For this will result in the acceptance of his call.

And good and bad are not equal, push forward with one which is better. [Surah Fusuliat: 34]

So when the caller is harmed, he doesnt consider what is said or done against him. He meets the wrong with that which is good. So he is good to whoever has harmed him so that he brings people to good because he doesnt want to be victorious himself but rather he wants good for the people. This is why the Prophet saws never gave victory to his own self. Rather he became angry and took revenge if the sanctuaries of Allaah were violated. As for himself then he was harmed and it was said of him (this and that) and they spoke against him but he never sought victory for himself rather he wanted the reward from Allaah. This is from the essential fundamentals of the call, having righteousness to the ones being called even if they fall into error. This will bring them to goodness and attract them to good as for meeting them with bad then this will push them away.

Push forward with one which is better. [Surah Fusilat: 34]

Then Allaah showed the fruits of this and said:

But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the hereafter i.e. paradise and of a high moral character) in this world. [Surah Fusilat: 35]

Then He showed that this attribute is dear, meaning that the person should be patient and should endure (harms) and he should answer bad things with good. This is a good attribute which Allaah said:

And none shall reach it except those who are patient. [Surah Fusilat: 35]

This requires patience and it is to imprison the soul from wanting revenge and being victorious. Settling down the soul and this is what protects him from his human enemy, with goodness towards him until you invite him by love and he comes to the truth. As for the satanic enemy then Allaah has shown how to protect oneself from them.

And if an evil whisper from satan tries to turn you away (from doing good) then seek refuge in Allaah, He is the All Hearer, the All Knower. [Surah Fusilat: 36]

The caller to Allaah will face the human devils and the Jinn devils. As for the human devil then he should face him with goodness upon their error and forgiveness upon their errors and not to pay attention to what they say. As for the jinn from amongst the devils then one is protected by seeking refuge. This is the way for the successful caller. That he continues to call to the way of Allaah and that he should not weaken such that his effort decreases due to a person harming him or that he(the person) spoke against him. The reason being is that he is not calling to himself and he is not looking to give victory to himself rather he is calling to Allaah, the most high. So the call to Allaah means inviting others to enter the religion of Allaah who is the one who has created this creation for that purpose, the one who gives their happiness, and improves them and gives them success.

The caller to Allaah doesnt want from the people to look towards himself by rewarding him. Rather he seeks the reward from Allaah. The caller to Allaah does not seek promotion and to be prestigious in the land. He looks to the benefit of the people and to take the people out of darkness into light. This is what the successful caller seeks as for the one opposite to that, seeking to be seen or praise from the people, no doubt that he returns to the beginning of the path when he meets the first obstacle. As for the one who calls to Allaah then he is not put off but he continues his dawa.

Say: I do not seek from you reward. [Surah Al -An’am: 90]

All of the Prophets said to their nation: I do not ask from you any reward. What we want is to benefit you and bring good, if you accept then that is the intention sought. If you do not accept then we have left the responsibility (to Allaah) and have established the proof upon you.

The call to Allaah precedes Jihaad (strive in the cause of Allaah) because the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wasallam used to send his army to call the people to Islam before they fight them.

They start with the call to Allaah so if they (the disbelievers) accept then all praise is due to Allaah but then if they did not respond to the call then they are fought and jihaad is proclaimed against them in order to raise the word of Allaah.

1. So the disbelievers are called to enter Islam.

2. Those Muslims who have misguidance in Aqeedah are called to the correct Aqeedah.

3. Those Muslims who have correct Aqueedah but they have some sins and wrongness are called to repent and to leave of sins and disobedience.

So the call to Allaah is required and it varies according to the need. So it is a must to have this call to Allaah. It is the work of the Prophets, the Messengers and their followers from amongst the righteous scholars until the hour comes and it is not allowed to leave it. Allaah says praising this nation:

You are the best nation who have come out to the people, you enjoin good and forbid the evil and you believe in Allaah. [Surah Imran:110]

Allaah says:

Let there arise from amongst you a nation who call to that which is good and they enjoin that which is good and forbid that which is evil. They are the successful ones. [Surah Imran:104]

The aim of this nation is the call to Allaah so that the people are taken out of darkness into light. Allaah ordered His prophet with the call to Allaah:

Call to the way of Allaah with wisdom and beautiful exhortations and argue with them in ways that are better.[Surah Nahl:125]

This is an order from Allaah to His Prophet saws. Then He has shown him the methodology that he should follow in his call.

Say: this is my way, I call to Allaah, upon knowledge, I and whoever follows me, and subhanallaah and I am not from the polytheist. [Surah Yusuf:108]

In these two verses the ruling of calling to Allaah is clarified for us that it is obligotary since Allaah ordered the Messenger saws. He has also mentioned that His followers must also call to Allaah as the Prophet saws called to: Say: this is my way, I call to Allaah, upon knowledge, I and whoever follows me.

Th methodology of the call must be in accordance to what Allaah has legislated and not a methodology that is left for the people (to make up), such that they make a methodology for themselves. Rather the methodology is that Which Allaah clarified and that which the Messenger saws has implemented in his pure life. Those that followed him were upon the methodology of the Messenger saws in his call. Any one who brings a new methodology other than the methodology of the Messenger saws, and that is the way of the Quran and the Sunnah, then they will be wrong and the consequences are that his call will not be successful.

So we should follow the footsteps of the Messenger saws and take his methodology from the Quran and the sunnah. In the above two verses it clearly shows this. First and foremost the caller to Allaah must have sincere intention and the aim of this caller must be to seek reward from Allaah and to establish His religion and to improve the ways of those being called upon in a righteous way. He does not want a gain from the gains of this world nor to be highly honoured in the land nor to show off and to be famous neither a worldly greed. Rather he seeks the face of Allaah. He seeks to take out the people from darkness into light, from misguidance into guidance, from disbelief into (correct) belief and from disobedience into obedience. This is what is sought.

From the saying of Allaah to Allaah. Is a clarification of sincerity. Sheikh Muhamad Abdul Wahhab said regarding this verse I call to Allaah is a clarification of sincerity, because many people call to themselves.[Fath al majeed sharh kitaab tawheed 1/185]

I say: Nor does one call to a group or party or person other than Muhammad saws. Nor to a madhab other than the Islamic religion neither to a group except to the group of Muslims Ahlu sunnah wal Jamaah (and he says I am from amongst the Muslims).

It is upon the caller to invite to Allaah and not to call to himself because many people call to themselves. This is why if some harm, deficiency or obstacle from the obstacles befalls him, it affects him because this affects his personallity. As for the one who calls to Allaah then he is not concerned with the praise of the people or whether they do not praise him. The reason is that he seeks the face of Allaah, the most high. If any harm befalls him then he is upon the path of Allaah.

The second attribute of this methodology is that the condition for the one who calls to Allaah that he is upon knowledge. He has knowledge with what he is calling to. Upon him is to learn the knowledge first and foremost which will allow him to call the people to Allaah, the most high.

The ignorant one is not good for calling (people)even if his intention is good and even if his aim is to call to Allaah. If he doesnt have knowledge then he is unfit for dawa (calling people) because he is not Islamically qualified. The one calling to Allaah is in need to show for the people the wrong from the right in aqueedah (belief), in worship, in interactions, in manners, in etiquette, in personal life, and in many of things in the legislation in need of showing them these things. If he doesnt have the knowledge then how will he clarify to them. Will he say it with ignorance and make halal haram and make haram halal. This is a great catastophe. He will misguide the people even if his intention is good. Until without realising it misguides the people and make haram halal and make halal haram and gives a wrong fatwa. He is not fit for dawa except for the one equipped with Islamic knowledge taken from the book of allaah and the sunna.

وآخر دعواهم أن الحمد لله رب العالمين

Manners and Etiquette of Dua


1st Manner: Asking Allah alone

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

“Do not make du’a to anyone alongside Allah.” (70:18)

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

“Say (O’ Muhammad): I make du’a unto Allah only, and I ascribe unto Him no partner.”(70:20)

The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“Du’aa* is worship”
Making du’a is an act of worship; directing, one’s worship to other than Allah alone is an act of major shirk.

*Du’aa is of two types, Du’aa Mas’alah, which is to supplicate Allah and the Du’aa of Ibadah which includes all acts of worship

2nd Manner: Praising Allah at the beginning of the du’a and asking Allah to praise His Prophet at the end of it.

Fudalah b. ‘Ubaid reported that the Prophet (may Allah praise him) heard a man supplicating during prayer: the man prayed “O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me.” So the Prophet (may Allah praise him) told him,

“You were hasty. When you pray, praise Allah, ask Allah to exalt my mention, then ask Allah.”

Another man praised Allah and asked Allah to exalt the mention of His prophet (may Allah praise him) so he (may Allah praise him) said:

“O supplicant, ask Allah and your prayer will be answered.”[Narrated by at-Tirmidhi]

Buraidah reported that the Prophet (may Allah praise him) heard a man saying, “O Allah, I ask You, I bear witness that there is no god but You, the One, the As-Samadh (the One upon Whom all creatures depend). He begets not, nor was He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.”The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said,

“You have asked Allah by His Greatest Name. When one asks Him by this name, He gives, what one desires, and when supplicated by this name He answers.” (Reported by Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi, who regards it a sound hadith)

Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah does not accept du’a from the conceited, the one who flaunts and the one who is not serious, (He accepts only) from a person who praises and asks from his heart.”

3rd Manner: Repenting to Allah

The person should repent for all of their sins and sincerely beg for Allah’s forgiveness.

4th Manner: Yaqeen (Certainty) and not being hasty

The person should be certain that their du’a will be answered. The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“Ask Allah with certainty that He will answer your prayers, and know that Allah will not accept the supplication from an absent heart.”(at-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“When you ask Allah, ask with confidence.”

Abu Hurairah also reported that the Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“None of you should say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You wish, (or) O Allah, have mercy on me if you wish.’ Rather you should be firm in your request, for (Allah does whatever He wishes) and no one can force Him to do otherwise.”

Some of the early Muslims used to say that the supplicant should be like a child when you ask Allah, crying until you are answered.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“The person’s supplication will be answered unless he asks for sin or severing the ties of kinship, except if the person is hasty.”

Then the Prophet (may Allah praise him) was asked about hastiness. So the Prophet (may Allah praise him) described it as:

“The person says, ‘I asked, and I have not seen the answer.’ Then he leaves dua.” [Muslim]

`Umar (May Allah be please with him) said: “I do not carry the worry of acceptance but the worry of du’a. If I am inspired on how du’a is made, acceptance will accompany it.”

`Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) said: “No believer makes du’a and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated.”

5th Manner: Asking Allah three times

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported that the Prophet (may Allah praise him) loved to repeat his supplication three times, and pray for forgiveness three times. (Abu Dawud)

The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“If you ask Allah for the Jannah (The Heavenly Gardens) three times, the Jannah will say, ‘O Allah, make him enter Jannah.’ And if you ask Allah to protect you from hellfire three times, hellfire will say, ‘O Allah, protect him from the hellfire.’”

6th Manner: Asking in secret and supplicating in neither a loud nor low voice

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

“A mention of the mercy of thy Lord unto His slave Zakariyyah when he cried to his Lord a cry in secret.” (19:2)

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

“Neither say your prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between.” (17:110)

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

“Call on your Lord with humility and in private, for Allah does not love those who go beyond bounds.” (7:55)

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari reported, “Once the people raised their voices in supplication. At this the Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

‘Be easy on yourselves. You are not calling upon someone deaf or absent. You are calling upon one who is All-seeing and All-hearing. He is nearer to you than the neck of your mount. O’ Abdullah b. Qais, shall I tell you a word that is one of the treasures of Paradise? It is: “There is no power, nor any might except with the permission of Allah”(Muslim & Bukhari)

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“Hearts are like vessels, some more attentive and capacious than others. When you supplicate Allah you should be certain of being answered, and know that Allah does not answer a supplication that comes from a careless and inattentive heart.”(Ahmad)

7th Manner: Tahaarah

It is preferred to have wudhu when making du’a.

8th Manner: Facing the Qiblah

It is more honorable to face the Qiblah when making du’a if possible. The Prophet (may Allah praise him) went out and prayed for rain and faced the Qiblah.

9th Manner: To ask Allah by His names and attributes

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:

“And to Allah belongs the beautiful names, so invoke Him by them.” (7:180)

10th Manner: Raising the hands

Salman narrated from the Prophet (may Allah praise him):

“Surely Allah is Hayyee, and He loves to conceal the shortcomings of His slaves. If His slave raises his hands, He does not let him go empty handed.”

Malik b. Yassar reported that the Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“Supplicate Allah while your palms are open and do not supplicate Him with their backs upwards.”

Ibn ‘Abbas is reported as saying, “When asking for something from Allah, you should raise your hands opposite to your shoulders; when asking for forgiveness you should point with one finger; and when making an earnest supplication you should spread out both your hands.”(Abu Dawud)

11th Manner: Not consuming the Haraam (unlawful)

On the authority of Abu Hurairah, The Messenger of Allah (may Allah praise him) said:

“Allah the Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good. Allah has commanded the faithful to do that which he commanded the messengers and the Almighty has said: ‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things and do right.’ And Allah the Almighty has said, ‘O you who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you.’”

Then he (may Allah praise him) mentioned [the case of] a man who having journeyed far was disheveled and dusty and spreads out his hands to the sky [saying] “O Lord! O Lord!” His (the traveler’s) food is unlawful, his drink unlawful, his clothing unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully; so how can he be answered?![Muslim]

12th Manner: Doing good deeds and asking Allah by one’s good deeds

Qasim bin `Abd said: “I said to Anas bin Malik: ‘O Abu Hamzah pray to Allah for us.’ He said: ‘Du’a is elevated by good deeds.’”

Bukhari and Muslim relate the hadîth of the Prophet (may Allah praise him) of the story of three men, who each supplicated to Allah by (mentioning) a good deed they had done earlier in their lives.

“Three persons of a people before you were on a journey when they were overtaken by a storm; therefore, they took shelter in a cave. A rock slipped down from the mountain and blocked the exit of the cave. One of them said, ‘The only way for deliverance is to beseech Allah and (to mention) some virtuous deed (he did purely for His sake).’”

One of the men mentioned a good deed which they had done for Allah, and supplicated, “O Lord, if I did this thing seeking only Thy pleasure, then do Thou relieve us of the distress wrought upon us by this rock.”

The rock moved, but not enough to free the men. So, the other two made similar supplications while mentioning their good deeds until the rock moved enough to free them.

13th Manner: Asking Allah in times of ease

The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“Whoever is pleased that Allah answers his prayers during hardships and difficulties let him make much supplication during times of ease.” (at-Tirmidhi)

14th Manner: Knowing the best times for du’a

Some of the best times to make du’a are:

1) Middle of the night

The Messenger (may Allah praise him) said:

“The Gates of Heaven are open at midnight, and a caller calls: ‘Is there a supplicant that his supplication may be granted? Is there a petitioner that his petition may be granted? Is there a distressed person so that his distress may be removed?’ At that time, no Muslim makes a du’a but that it is answered, except for an adulteress who trades with her body, or a person who gathers his money unlawfully.” [Sahih al-Jami’ 2968]

2) At the time of athaan and between it and the iqamah

The Messenger (may Allah praise him) said:

“A du’a between athaan and the iqamah is not refused, so supplicate during that time.”[Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban]

The Messenger (may Allah praise him) said:

“Two kinds of du’a are not rejected – or rarely are they rejected – du’a at the time of the call for prayer, and du’a at the time of fighting when the warriors are on the battlefield.” [Abu Dawud]

3) On Friday after ‘Asr

The Messenger (may Allah praise him) said:

“Friday has twelve periods. Among them is a period when no Muslim asks Allah for anything but He grants it to him. Search for that period late after ‘Asr.” [Sahih al-Jami’ 8402]

4) When it is raining

The Messenger (may Allah praise him) said:

“Two kinds of du’a are not rejected: du’a at the time of the call for prayer, and du’a during rain.”[Abu Dawud]

5) A parents du’a for his child, while fasting and while traveling

The Messenger (may Allah praise him) said:

“Three types of du’a are undoubtedly granted: a parent’s du’a for his children, du’a of a fasting person, and du’a of the traveler.”[Abu Dawud]

6) While Making Sujood

The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“The slave is closest to his Lord while in sujood, so ask Allah in that time.”

7) Laylat’ul-Qadr

Aisha asked the Prophet (may Allah praise him) “What should I say on Laylat’il-Qadr?” And he replied,

“O Allah, indeed you are oft-forgiving, and love to forgive – so forgive me.”

15th Manner: Making du’a for others

The Prophet, (may Allah praise him) said:

“Whenever you make a supplication for another believer and he is not present, an angel will say ‘and same to you.’”

Abdallah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-’As reported that the Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.”(Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi)

16th Manner: Not making du’a against oneself or one’s children

The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“Don’t make du’a against yourselves. Don’t make du’a against your children. Don’t make du’a against your maids. And don’t make du’a against your wealth. You might supplicate Allah during a time in which He answers the prayers.”(Abu Dawud)

17th Manner: Different types of people whose du’a is accepted

The Prophet (may Allah praise him) said:

“The supplications of three persons are accepted, and there is no doubt concerning their acceptance: the supplication of a father, of a traveler, and of one who is wronged.’ (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (may Allah praise him) also said:

“The supplications of three persons are not rejected: the supplication of a fasting person at the time of breaking fast, of a just ruler, and of a person who is wronged. Allah causes their supplications to rise above the clouds, and gates of heaven are opened for them, and Allah says, ‘By My Majesty, I will help you, even it be after a while’.”

(Reported by Tirmidhi)

18th Manner: Memorizing the Authentic Supplications and du’as of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him)

We should all do our best to memorize the different du’as made by the Prophet (may Allah praise him) in the different situations throughout our day, to keep ours tongues wet with the remembrance of Allah, and by extension purify our hearts.