Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhu) mentioned:
A Muslim’s entire life is a da’wat (invitation). This is not restricted to any situation; instead every action of his should be a da’wat.
Just as there are conditions for all other ‘ibaadaat and acts of worship, likewise there are conditions for inviting towards Islam. One should not adopt such an approach that would turn people away from Islam. The Quraan Shareef even advises us that in the process of inviting we should not pick on the religions of others, for they will in turn pick on Islam.
Among the most important aspects in inviting to righteousness is sincerity. This is the lesson that we learn from qurbaani. Allah Ta‘ala explains that it is not the meat or the blood that He looks at. Rather, it is the state of taqwa – referring to the state and condition of the heart. With what frame of mind is a person carrying out his ‘ibaadat? Is it being performed solely for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala or not? Whether we are going to sit in the company of some pious person or going for Hajj etc., it should all be for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala. It should not be for merely gaining some barkat.
Sincerity applies to our speech and our manner of dealing with situations as well. Sometimes, we utter certain statements just to gain the attention and favour of our superiors or people.
The Message of Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) to those Engaged in the Effort of Da’wat and Tableegh
On one occasion, many people associated with the effort of Da’wat and Tableegh had gathered in the musjid of Nizaamuddeen after the fajr salaah. At that time, Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was at the end of his life and extremely weak. Moulana’s condition was such that even while lying in his bed, it was difficult for him to speak more than a few words. While in this condition, Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) urgently called one of his special attendants and instructed him to deliver the following message to all those present:
Your engaging in the service of Deen is greatly rewarding. However, all your effort and striving while travelling from place to place in the path of Allah Ta’ala will be of no avail if you do not acquire the correct knowledge of Deen and remain engaged in the zikr of Allah Ta’ala at all times (zikrullah refers to fulfilling the commands of Shari’ah at every moment in one’s life together with engaging in zikrullah). The correct knowledge of Deen and the zikr of Allah Ta’ala are like the two wings of a plane without which the plane cannot fly. In fact, if people are negligent in regard to acquiring the correct knowledge of Deen and engaging in zikr, there is a great fear that this effort will later on become a means of opening a new door of misguidance and fitnah.
Without acquiring the correct knowledge of Deen, a person will only have Islam and Imaan in name and he will only be practicing Deen as a custom and ritual. On the other hand, if a person has the correct knowledge of Deen, but it is not coupled with the zikr of Allah Ta’ala, then this knowledge will be without noor. Similarly, if one engages in abundant zikr, but it is not complimented with the correct knowledge of Deen, there is great danger of this person going astray.
In essence, it is through the zikr of Allah Ta’ala that one’s knowledge of Deen will be blessed with noor. If zikr is not accompanied with the correct knowledge of Deen, the true, desired benefit and effect of the zikr will not be seen. In fact, it is often witnessed that people who lack the correct knowledge of Deen become the victims of shaitaan who then uses them to spread misguidance among others.
Thus, the importance and necessity of acquiring the correct knowledge of Deen and engaging in zikr should never be overlooked and trivialized. Rather, special attention should always be shown to acquiring the correct knowledge of Deen and fulfilling the commands of Shari’ah at every moment in one’s life together with engaging in zikrullah. If special attention is not shown to these two aspects, your effort of Da’wat and Tableegh will be fruitless and become nothing more than travelling and touring in the world, and — may Allah forbid! — you will all suffer a severe loss in the Hereafter.