Giving da’wah, or inviting people to abide by Islam, is undeniably fard (obligatory). However, despite this being known from Islam by necessity, there are some individuals who cause doubts (shubuhaat) in effort to escape from this noble duty and what it entails, or in order to cover up their lack of commitment and willingness to sacrifice for the Deen of Allah (SWT).
To refute these shubuhaat, firstly the term fard (or waajib) needs to be defined and understood, as well as its different forms and types.
The Definition of Fard and its Types
The word fard (obligation) has been defined by the scholars of Usool (Islamic Jurisprudence) as: “The decisive request of the Legislator (i.e. Allah) to the responsible person, with an indication of punishment if it is not done.”
There are many forms of fard; in fact, some scholars of Usool have stated that there are around sixteen types of waajib. Some of these are mentioned below:
n Waajib Mutlaq
Waajib Mutlaq is an unrestricted obligation. Examples of this type of fard are da’wah and jihaad.
Da’wah is unrestricted (Waajib Mutlaq) as it can be given in night or day, summer or winter, openly and privately, to individuals or to society, to men or women etc.
Some ignoramus individuals claim that it is not allowed to give da’wah to the media; however, in order to restrict an obligation which is Waajib Mutlaq, one needs to bring forth evidence from the Qur’aan or Sunnah.
Jihaad is also Waajib Mutlaq as it is not restricted to any land, place, or time. In other words, it can be in the West or the East, in the streets or in a desert, in a theatre or in a library, in night or in day, in morning or evening and so on. Furthermore, it is also unrestricted in terms of weapons – one can use a pen, rock, stone, stick, knife, fork, sword, missile, car, bicycle, chair, table or gun etc. Again, like da’wah, in order to restrict it one needs to bring evidence.
n Waajib Muqayyad
Waajib Muqayyad is an obligation which is restricted. It is an obligation whereby the Legislator has asked the responsible person to carry out a particular task but has given a time limit.
An example of this type of fard is Salaat ul-Maghrib. Salaat ul-Maghrib is Waajib Muqayyad as it is an obligation, but Allah has specified when it should be performed (i.e. just after sunset).
n Waajib Kifaayah
Waajib Kifaayah is a sufficient (communal) obligation. It is the request of the Legislator to the responsible person to do (a particular action). If some fulfil the task the burden will be lifted from others.
Examples of this type of fard are sighting the moon (for Ramadaan), performing Janaazah for a deceased Muslim, or for a group to arise to forbid the munkar (evil).
If an obligation that is Waajib Kifaayah is not fulfilled by some, the burden will fall upon others, and therefore it will become Waajib Kifaayah Muhattam. So for instance, if a Muslim male passes away it is Waajib Kifaayah for Muslims to perform his Janaazah. If they are unable to do so within three days, the burden will fall upon others and hence it will become Waajib Kifaayah Muhattam.
n Waajib ‘Ayn
Waajib ‘Ayn is an individual duty. Examples of this type of fard are Salaat, fasting, Hajj etc.
n Waajib Asaasie
Waajib Asaasie is a foundation, or root obligation. In other words, it is an obligation by which other obligations are dependant on. Therefore, if it is not fulfilled, other obligations (that are dependant on it) cannot be accomplished.
For example, implementing the hudood (the punishment system), social system, judicial system and so on is an obligation in Islam. However, these cannot be accomplished without the existence of the Khilaafah (Islamic state). Hence, the Khilaafah is a Waajib Asaasie because there are other duties that cannot be completed without it.
Another example of Waajib Asaasie is Tawheed. When a person embraces Tawheed, other duties will become binding upon him/her to fulfil, such as Salaat. One of the conditions of Salaat (prayer) is that a person must be a Muslim.
n Waajib Far’ie
Waajib Fa’rie is opposite to Waajib Asaasie.
n Waajib Muhaddad
Waajib Muhaddad is a duty which has been specified by Text (i.e. a verse or hadeeth). For example, it has been specified (by Text) that the obligatory prayer of Salaat uz-Zuhr is four raka’aat (units). It is not allowed for an individual to deliberately perform more or less than what has been specified.
n Waajib Ghayr Muhaddad
Waajib Ghayr Muhaddad is an obligation which has not been specified or restricted. An example of this type of fard is da’wah – no limit has been placed concerning how much da’wah one should do in their lifetime.
n Waajib Naa’ib
Waajib Naa’ib is an obligation which can be delegated. An example of this type of fard is Zakaat. Zakaat is collected by those whom have been delegated by the Islamic state (not by so-called charity organisations!).
n Waajib Ghayr Naa’ib
Waajib Ghayr Naa’ib is a duty which cannot be delegated.
The Obligation of Working with a Jamaa’ah (Movement)
Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’aan:
Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining al-Ma’rouf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful. (EMQ Aal ‘Imraan, 3:104)
Based upon this verse, it is Waajib (Fard) Kifaayah for a group to arise with the purpose of inviting people to Islam, and commanding the good and forbidding the evil.
Unfortunately, some individuals nowadays claim that they do not need to work with a jamaa’ah (group) to forbid the munkar because it is Fard Kifaayah, and there are already plenty of groups that are engaging in this duty. However, what these individuals fail to understand is that the munkar (evil) of man-made law is still prevalent all over the world, and the groups that arose to forbid it have not been able to eradicate it. Consequently, the burden has fallen on all Muslims and it has become Waajib Kifaayah Muhattam upon them to work collectively and forbid one of the greatest munkars of today: man-made law (shirk).
The Right of Allah Takes Precedence over the Right of the Individual
There are two types of munkar: (1) Munkar Asaasie and (2) Munkar Far’ie.
Munkar Asaasie means “root evil”. This is any evil which is accepted in society and is thus permitted by the government. Munkar Far’ie is the evil of an individual that is generally not accepted or permitted in society.
Examples of Munkar Asaasie (particularly in the West) are alcohol, nudism, lottery, gambling, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and so on because they are accepted in society and permitted by the government. If these munkaraat (evils) have not removed the obligation will fall on others. In other words, it will become Fard Muhattam.
The Waajib takes priority over the Naafilah (optional deeds) and even the Sunnah (recommended deeds) because if it is not done one will face severe punishment from Almighty Allah. And in some cases, an obligation can take priority over another obligation (some duties need to be performed immediately, others do not). This is the purpose of studying the different types of waajib – in order to know which duties take priority, not in order to escape from performing them!
Da’wah (inviting people to worship and obey none but Allah), Jihaad and Salaat are the Haq (rights) of Allah; hence, they take priority over the rights of the individual and the rights of man. This does not mean that we should neglect one’s individual rights; rather, it means that our number one priority should be to fulfil Allah’s rights, and then ours.
It is very strange how people nowadays are busy concentrating on recommended acts (such as using a siwaak) and are neglecting the obligatory acts (such as jihaad and being with a jamaa’ah that is forbidding evil).
The Obligation of Giving Da’wah
It has been reported by al-Bayhaqi in as-Sunan al-Kubraa on the authority of Anas bin Maalik (RA) that the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said: “There will come a time in my Ummah where there will be nothing left from Islam but its name and nothing left from the Qur’aan but its letters. Many mosques will be built but they will be empty from guidance. No hudood will be established, and they will not call to Islam nor command the good and forbid the evil. They will be the worst of creations.”
It has also been reported in Sunan Abee Daawud and Saheeh ul-Bukhaari that Allah (SWT) sent a group of Malaa’ikah (angels) to a village in order to destroy it. After visiting the village, they returned back to Allah and said that there are some good people there doing good deeds (praying in their homes). Allah ordered the angels to start with them first because they isolated themselves and did not address the munkar of society.
And in At-Tirmidhi, it has been reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! You will enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted.”
From these ahaadeeth we can conclude that da’wah, commanding good and forbidding evil are obligatory because neglecting them is linked to severe punishment. Islam prohibits isolation and we have duties to fulfil outside of our homes.
In the past there were people who did not command good and forbid evil because they claimed that the evildoers will be destroyed by Allah and therefore there is no need to forbid them from doing evil. Allah (SWT) said, concerning this:
And when a community among them said: “Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?” (The preachers) said: “In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah), and perhaps they may have taqwaa (i.e. fear Allah).”So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel (disobey Allah). (EMQ al-A’raaf, 7:164-165)
Similarly, today there are many ignorant individuals who say that we do not need to give da’wah to the Kuffaar because they have already heard about Islam and they will consequently be dealt with by Allah. This is wrong because although they will be dealt with by Allah, we still have a duty to make Izhaar ud-Deen (Islam dominate the world) – politically.
Imaam al-Jawzi said that the Shaytaan will cause people to make tasweef, i.e. delay performing their duties, in many ways, such as by:
1. Delaying it till the next day
The Muslim should be quick to perform a good deed; however, Shaytaan will whisper to him and make him delay it as much as possible until he completely forgets about, or neglects it.
2. Laying down unnecessary conditions
Some people put unnecessary conditions upon themselves, such as that they must be a scholar before they can give da’wah, or that they must know the Arabic language etc.
There are some who say that we should not forbid (condemn) the evil of alcohol, homosexuality, pornography etc. because it is unwise to do so. They claim that we must have hikmah (wisdom) and use different means (such as by voting or hating it in the heart). However, if we refer to the understanding of the Sahaabah for the term hikmah, it means Qur’aan and Sunnah. Therefore, using one’s hikmah means (in Sharee’ah) to follow the Qur’aan and Sunnah, not one’s desires or personal opinions.
Other ignorant individuals say that forbidding evil or distributing leaflets outside a mosque causes fitnah. This is absolutely ridiculous as giving da’wah, such as by handing out leaflets or speaking out, is not fitnah. Rather, the true fitnah is the kufr and shirk which is being implemented everywhere on Earth.
The Qualities of the Jamaa’ah
The leader of an army does not necessarily have to be a scholar. However, the leader of a jamaa’ah (group or movement) whose objective is to command good and forbid evil needs to be a scholar, or a person who has access to ‘ulamaa. This is because the person needs to know what munkar is and be aware of its various types – and this will consequently require one to refer to the Text.
One should make sure that the jamaa’ah they choose to work with is led by a scholar, or a person that has access to ‘ulamaa. Furthermore, the jamaa’ah must be upon the correct manhaj and ‘aqeedah.