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Three Challenges You Will Encounter in Your Dawah Effort

Opposition Against Dawah

Whenever there is a force of good, there will be an opposing force of evil. This is just the nature of this life:

{And We said, Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.} (Al-Baqarah 2:36)

This effort of dawah will be opposed by people who have interest in keeping people away from Allah. These are the ones who opposed Allah’s Messengers and will oppose anyone who follow into their footsteps. Those are corrupt people who not only strayed from the guidance of Allah but also became soldiers of the Shaytan in deviating people. As a matter of fact, they became more interested than the Shaytan himself in doing so:

{And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy – devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion …} (Al-An`am 6:112)

The spectrum of this opposition is wide ranging from mild verbal opposition to aggressive physical harm to the da`iyah. Going through the Quran and reading all the stories of those noble prophets and messengers will make you arrive at the conclusion that is concisely summarized:

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{And those who disbelieved said to their messengers, “We will surely drive you out of our land, or you must return to our religion …} (Ibrahim 14:13)

Here are examples of what this opposition may look like.

Promoting Opposing and Distracting Messages

{And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.} (Luqman 31:6)

This verse eloquently summarizes how some would spend time and money to distract people from the way of Allah. An-Nedr Ibn Al-Harith, a man from Quraish, did the exact same thing we see on media outlets these days. He hired storytellers accompanied by female-dancers with one purpose in mind: distracting people away from listening to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

So, Da`iyahs must realize that they are not practicing their dawah in vacuum. The same way they are trying to positively affect the minds and the hearts of people, there are others who operate on the same minds and hearts, yet negatively. They are using innovative tools and the spare no money or effort in doing so. Da`iyahs, as well, should innovate and work hard to overcome this negative and distracting effort. Perseverance is a virtue and key to success.

Attacking the Personality of the Da`iyah

“Didn’t Allah find someone better than you to send?”

“Had the Quran been sent down to a great man from the two cities? …”

“Did you came to us to change our way of life and to have control over our land …”

“This is nothing but a plot in the city to drive its people away from it …”

These are example quotes from what people used to respond to those who call them to Allah. The tone of accusation is very clear in these quotes; you are insignificant; you are not worth playing this role; you came to destroy our best way of life; you want to damage our society; you are seeking leadership.

It is very disheartening to hear these accusations. No one likes to be falsely accused. Allah said to His Messenger, and accordingly to us, {We indeed know it grieves you what they say…} (Al-An`am 6:33) and gave him the solutions, {Be patient in front of what they say …} (Taha 20:130)

Threatening and Harming

When Pharaoh was asked, {Are you going to leave Moses and his people to spread mischief in the land and leave you and your gods?} (Al-A`raf 7:12) he responded, {We will kill their sons and leave the females alive, and we surely are dominant over them.} (Al-A`raf 7:12)

When Prophet Shu`ayb (peace be upon him) made his message clear and loud to his people,

{Said the eminent ones who were arrogant among his people, “We will surely evict you, O Shu`ayb, and those who have believed with you from our city, or you must return to our religion.} (Al-A`raf 7:88)

There is no better example than the three-year boycott Quraish carried out against the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions. The da`iyah will face such a challenge and it takes a great deal of effort to instill patience and courage not only in the heart of the da`iyah but also in the hearts of other people in front of such threats.

In the next part, we will talk about a very important quality that will help the da`iyah overcome all these challenges and continue the endeavor of dawah despite the pressure; that is sabr. We will also talk about some tips and advice to develop patience as well as a look at this quality in the life of the best da`iyah, the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)

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