Carrying the Da’wah is a great work and a path full of hardships and difficulties, a path that was previously taken by our noble Prophet ﷺ and his honorable Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all), passing it to those who have believed in this Da’wah after them; to call man away from the worship of creation and invite them to worship only their Creator. No one can carry the hardships and difficulties of this path except a person who acclimatized, rectified and nurtured himself to qualities of goodness that must be possessed by the Da’wah carrier, and the most important of these qualities is ‘sacrifice’.
What is intended by sacrifice: it is to give something without seeking anything in return, such as sacrificing one’s self, money, work, time, family, knowledge, status, etc., until the person feels that they only have right in their basic needs and nothing else, so they work hard in offering this sacrifice without seeking material reward for their contributions, but rather seek the pleasure of Allah (swt), and supporting His Deen.
Indeed, success is not achieved through hope, and Da’waat (calls to Islam) are built upon different kinds of exertion and sacrifice. If it becomes known that the affliction sent upon the carriers of Da’wah is an on-going norm, then it becomes apparent that the Da’wah of truth will not be established without sacrifice.
Self-sacrifice is an attribute that must be possessed in the Da’wah carrier, and he should acclimatise himself for what will be inflicted on him in this path; of torture, denial, prosecution, cutting of livelihood, imprisoning and restricting him in all aspects of life. He could even be killed. And the stories of the Prophets and Messengers and their companions, including our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions, set a good examples for us.
Our noble Prophet ﷺ was not safe in his path of delivering Islam from the harm of the disbelievers. From the moment he climbed Mount Safa, and warned his tribe of near kindred, he started suffering different forms of harm; they described him as a magician and a mad-man after he was known as the honest and trustworthy. He ﷺ and his companions suffered the most grievous harm and were trialed in the severest ways. Thereafter, the Prophet ﷺ started presenting himself to the tribes during Hajj seeking their protection to proclaim the Deen of Allah. He went to Ta’if seeking his objective but returned with bloody feet and was expelled, and he was boycotted with his companions and supporters in the valleys of Makkah for 3 years that they ate tree-leaves out of hunger.
Many of the companions of the Prophet ﷺ marked tremendous amounts of exertion and sacrifice; Bilal, Sumayyah, Yasser and Ammar were tortured severely that Sumayyah and Yasser were killed in the path of the ‘Aqeedah and the way of life that they carried, seeking Allah’s reward and Jannah that is as wide as the heavens and the earth. Quraysh also beat ‘Abdullah bin Mas’oud severely until blood covered his face because he recited to them the verses revealed to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. He was pleased and delighted with what he encountered, as he comprehended that what he encounters will be reserved for him with Allah (swt); thus, he said: “‘Those enemies of Allah have never been more worthless to me than this moment, and if you wish I will go back to them and do the same tomorrow.’ They said, ‘No, it is enough for you. You have made them hear what they hated.’ Mus’ab (may Allah be pleased with him) leaves behind the bliss and warmth, and migrates to Madina as a caller to Islam; Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) puts himself in danger of being killed in the bed of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ on the night of Hijrah; Al-Baraa’ threw himself in the Garden of Death in-between the enemies; thus, Allah (swt) grants victory to the Muslims because of him; Abu Dardaa’ abandoned trade to devote himself to the company of the Prophet ﷺ; Khalid bin al-Waleed accepted renouncing his position in obedience to the Ameer of the Believers; Abu ‘Ubaydah gave up his position as a leader of army to ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas for the sake of uniting the Muslims.
Every Da’wah is spread only by the efforts of its followers, and the Deen of Islam has not spread through the comfort of the hearts and the safety of souls. The religion of Islam would not have reached us without the high spirits of the companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and all the Muslims after them who left their homelands, and left their families, children and trade, and sacrificed for this sake their souls and money. They realized that they bear a heavy responsibility and a great duty, and that they are the heirs of the Prophet ﷺ in delivering the call of Allah and the application of the laws of Allah in the Caliphate State so that people see the justice and mercy of Islam, and enter the religion of Allah in crowds. Therefore, anything besides this great duty and great call became worthless in their eyes.
As for sacrificing money, the honorable companions are the Da’wah carriers’ role models in exerting, giving and generosity of their wealth. The Da’wah needs money and contributions in order to perform its tasks, and who is better or has more right than the Da’wah carrier in spending on his Da’wah and its work, committing to spending money (on it) as he commits to his children and those under his care, and hastens to do righteousness in response to the words of Allah (swt): وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيۡءٖ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيۡكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُونَ “And whatever you may expend in Allah’s cause shall be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.” [8:60] إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتۡلُونَ كِتَٰبَ ٱللَّهِ وَأَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقۡنَٰهُمۡ سِرّٗا وَعَلَانِيَةٗ يَرۡجُونَ تِجَٰرَةٗ لَّن تَبُورَ * لِيُوَفِّيَهُمۡ أُجُورَهُمۡ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضۡلِهِۦٓۚ إِنَّهُۥ غَفُورٞ شَكُورٞ “Lo! those who read the Book of Allah, and establish worship, and spend of that which We have bestowed on them secretly and openly, they look forward to imperishable gain, since He will grant them their just rewards, and give them yet more out of His bounty: for, verily, He is much-forgiving, ever-responsive to gratitude.” [35: 29-30] ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمۡوَٰلَهُم بِٱلَّيۡلِ وَٱلنَّهَارِ سِرّٗا وَعَلَانِيَةٗ فَلَهُمۡ أَجۡرُهُمۡ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ وَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ “Those who spend their possessions [for the sake of Allah] by night and by day, secretly and openly, shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.” [2:274] مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنۢبَتَتۡ سَبۡعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنۢبُلَةٖ مِّاْئَةُ حَبَّةٖۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُضَٰعِفُ لِمَن يَشَآءُۚ وَٱللَّهُ وَٰسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ “The parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of Allah is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for Allah grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and Allah is infinite, All-Knowing.” [2:261]
There are many other verses in the Qur’an that encourage spending in the way of Allah. The following are also Ahadeeth of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that exhort spending in the way of Allah: «ما من يوم يصبح العباد فيه إلا ملكان ينزلان، يقول أحدهما: اللهم أعطِ منفقًا خلفًا، ويقول الآخر: اللهم أعط ممسكًا تلفًا» ‘Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says: ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your cause’, and the other [angel] says: ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser’.” (Bukharī: No. 1374) وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «قال الله: أَنْفِق يا ابن آدم أُنْفِق عليك» رواه البخاري ومسلم Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has said, ‘Spend (on charity) O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The companions, may Allah be pleased with them, understood these meanings correctly and worked upon them, causing their stances to be a beacon of light that guides whoever follows their path. Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, gave all his wealth to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ upon which the Messenger ﷺ asked him: ‘What did you leave for your family?’ He said: ‘I left Allah and His Messenger for them.’ ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) equipped the army of al-‘Usra that the Messenger of Allah said «ما ضر عثمان ما فعل بعد اليوم» “Nothing shall harm ‘Uthman after what he did today”, and bought the well in Madinah from the Jewish man and endowed it to the residents of Madinah. Abu Talha gave in charity his most beloved property Beeruha’ (garden) to the Messenger of Allah and told him to spend it wherever he likes after he heard the verse of Allah (swt): لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيۡءٖ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٞ “But as for you, O believers,] never shall you attain to true piety unless you spend on others out of what you cherish yourselves; and whatever you spend – verily, God has full knowledge thereof”. [3:92]
Suhayb gave up all of his wealth for the sake of following the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to Madinah. The companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to race in exertion, generosity and spending in the way of Allah, albeit a little, they were very eager over fulfilling this goodness because they knew and were certain that whatever they spend will be preserved for them with Allah (swt). The strength of their concern over this path of goodness made the poor amongst the Sahaba complain to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that they do not find anything to give (in charity), and that the rich people preceded them with reward. Muslim reported that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “أن فقراء المهاجرين أتوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقالوا: ذهب أهل الدثور بالدرجات العلى والنعيم المقيم، فقال: وما ذاك؟ قالوا يصلون كما نصلي، ويصومون كما نصوم، ويتصدقون ولا نتصدق، ويعتقون ولا نعتق، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أفلا أعلمكم شيئًا تدركون به من سبقكم وتسبقون به من بعدكم؟ ولا يكون أحد أفضل منكم إلا من صنع مثل ما صنعتم، قالوا: بلى يا رسول الله، قال: تسبحون وتكبرون وتحمدون دبر كل صلاة ثلاثًا وثلاثين مرة” “The poor from amongst the Muhajirun came to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and said: The wealthy people have all the rewards; they pray as we pray; they fast as we fast; and they have surplus wealth which they give in charity; but we have no wealth which we may give in charity.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Should I not teach you phrases by which you acquire the rank of those who excel you? No one can acquire your rank except one who acts like you.”
They said: “Why not, Messenger of Allah?” He said: “Exalt Allah (say: Allah is Most Great) after each prayer thirty-three times; and praise Him (say: Praise be to Allah) thirty-three times; and glorify Him (say: Glory be to Allah) thirty-three times.”
If the Da’wah carrier became accustomed to giving in charity, albeit a little, in times of poverty and need, especially in times of adversity and crisis, during which the Da’wah’s needs increase and demands for more sacrifice, he will elevate his soul and will purify it from being attached to the Dunya. The door of spending on Da’wah that will return glory to the Muslims and return their sovereignty in this life once again is one of the best doors of goodness, and combines all goodness by the will of Allah.
As for sacrificing time, just as it is vital for the Da’wah carrier to allocate some of his time for the Da’wah day and night, and to allocate the best of his time to fulfill this trust (amanah) that he chose to carry, believing in it as the way to the Ummah’s salvation from what it has suffered from of narrow life, the distance from Allah and the enemies’ dominion over it. The Da’wah carrier’s sacrifice with his best time for his Da’wah, and making it on top of his priorities and life’s affairs, seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt) in return, sacrificing his rest and sleep, and maybe even sacrificing some of his job’s time for carrying the Da’wah of his Lord, believing that Allah (swt) is preserving for him this sacrifice for a Day in which no money nor children will be of benefit, and will bless his time and all his actions and sustenance. His certainty that his sustenance will reach him and will not decrease a size of a mustard seed – whether he worked 20 hours or 8 hours, or more or less, because his sustenance is written for him and he will not die before he possesses it all.
It is this belief that drives the Da’wah carrier in carrying his da’wah during all hours of his day, wherever and whenever he is: in his workplace, at home with his family, children and neighbours, in his town and area, he speaks the truth, enjoins the good and forbids evil, dividing his time between his work, his general and focused studies, visiting contacts, and performing all that the Da’wah requires of him. He is always ready to do what he is asked to do without hesitation or delay. High-spirited and enthusiastic, has a heart full of mercy to people, loves goodness for them, keen on their benefits and interests, and keen on transferring them from a condition that displeases Allah (swt) to a condition that pleases Him (swt). He likes for them what he likes for himself and to pass onto them what Allah has granted him of understanding and clarity in vision.
These hours and minutes that we live in this world are our life-span; we have to fill them in the obedience and pleasure of Allah (swt), not waste it in pleasure, even if it is permissible, and not overlook what Allah has enjoined upon us. Every human being has to set up a daily schedule for his work (and especially the Da’wah carrier) to hold himself accountable for his shortcomings before he is held accountable. Rectifying any shortcomings in this life is possible, but in the Afterlife, there is no work, only regret and agony over delinquency, and indeed, regret then will be too late.فعن أبي برزة نضلة بن عبيد الأسلمي رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «لا تزول قدما عبد يوم القيامة حتى يسأل عن أربع: عمره فيمَ أفناه؟ وعن علمه فيمَ فعل؟ وعن ماله من أين اكتسبه؟ وفيمَ أنفقه؟ وعن جسمه فيمَ أبلاه» رواه الترمذي. Abu Barzah al-Aslami radi Allahu anhu reported that Allah’s Messenger salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The two feet of the servant will not cease (from standing before Allah) on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about four things: on his life and how he spent it; on his knowledge and what he did with it; on his wealth and where he earned it and how he spent it; and on his body and in what way he utilized it.” [Saheeh, reported by At-Tirmidhi] وعن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لرجل وهو يعظه: «اغتنم خمسًا قبل خمس: شبابك قبل هرمك، وصحتك قبل سقمك، وغناءك قبل فقرك، وفراغك قبل شغلك، وحياتك قبل موتك» رواه الحاكم بالمستدرك. Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death” . [Narrated by Al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak]
It is clear and noticeable that Allah (swt) blessed the times of the truthful scholars; they were able to do what is difficult to imagine in material calculations, and He (swt) blessed their words, deeds and books, so they reached a level of benefit and effect that did not occur to them, and they greatly sacrificed their time. The consequence of sacrifice in all its forms and the efforts made is reward, benefits and guidance that do not occur to the person, and only Allah (swt) knows its extent, as the Messenger ﷺ said: «من دعا إلى هدى كان له من الأجر مثل أجور من تبعه، لا ينقص ذلك من أجورهم شيئًا» “Whoever calls to guidance will have a reward similar to those who follow him, without detracting from their reward at all.” وعنْ أَبِي مسعود الأنصاري رضي الله عنه قَالَ: قال رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: «مَنْ دَلَّ عَلَى خَيْرٍ فَلَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ فَاعِلِهِ» Abu Mas’ud Al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “Whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action”. وقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لعلي رضي الله عنه يوم فتح خيبر في حديث طويل: «فوالله، لأن يهدي الله بك رجلًا واحدًا خير لك من أن يكون لك حمر النعم» Messenger of Allah ﷺ said in a long hadeeth, The Prophet ﷺ said to ‘Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) on the day of conquering Khaybar: “By Allah, if a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than a whole lot of red camels.” This is not specific to ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), but it is general to the whole Ummah of the Prophet Mohammad ﷺ.
Finally, since the Da’wah is based only on sacrifices, then each Da’wah carrier is aware of what he must do.
Oh Allah, we ask you to grant us consciousness of what is right, rectitude, elegance in speech and action, and make us of those who listen [closely] to all that is said, and follow the best of it, make us keys to goodness and locks to evil, and bestow on us by Your Favor, Goodness and Generosity a Righteous Khilafah on the method of the Prophet, Oh Lord of Might and Glory. Our final prayer is Alhamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Aalamin, and may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Mohammad, and upon all his family and companions.