Is it a sin for not doing Dawah? Are the people of Tableegh the “Chosen” people?

Allah Ta’āla mentions in the Holy Quran,

ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة

Invite (people) to the way of your lord with wisdom and good counsel.1

ومن أحسن قولا ممن دعا إلى الله وعمل صالحا وقال إنني من المسلمين

And who is better in utterance than the one who called people towards Allah, and acts righteously and says, “I am one of those who submit themselves (to Allah Ta’ala).2

From the above mentioned verses it is clear that Da’wah is of utmost importance and a duty of every Muslim. Furthermore, everyone is responsible to do Da’wah to his personal capacity. See the following Hadith.

أَلاَ كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ فَالأَمِيرُ الَّذِي عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ وَمَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ عَلَى أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ عَلَى بَيْتِ بَعْلِهَا وَهِيَ مَسْئُولَةٌ عَنْهُ وَالْعَبْدُ رَاعٍ عَلَى مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُ أَلاَ فَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ

Nabi (ﷺ) said: “Indeed each of you is a shepherd and all of you will be questioned regarding your flock. The commander who is in authority over the Muslims is responsible and he will be questioned regarding his responsibility. The man is responsible over the inhabitants of his house and he is the one who will be questioned about them. The wife is responsible in her husband’s house and she will be questioned about it. The slave is responsible regarding his master’s property, and he will be questioned about it. Indeed each of you is a shepherd and each of you will be questioned about his flock.”3

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Whilst engagement in Tableegh is praiseworthy, the presentform of Tableegh conducted by the Tableeghi Jamaat is not theonly form of Da’wah. It would be incorrect for anyone engaged in the Tableegh Jamaat to feel they are alone in fulfilling the obligation of Da’wah.

Tableegh in its literal meaning refers to “to convey” which could be fulfilled:

By means of a pen i.e. writing articles, posters, books, writing Islamic verdicts. This could also be done by the means of electronic media as well.
By means of the tongue: i.e. giving lectures, giving adhan.
By means of the hand: i.e. distributing leaflets and flyers.
By means of teaching: Ulama teaching in a maktab, or any other institution or even just having an informal gathering and giving advice, holding Islamic courses on various topics.
By means of social and welfare activities: i.e. helping the less privileged, holding youth camps, assisting addicts, visiting prisoners, creating an Islamic website, running an Islamic blog, marriage counselling, SendDa‘wah messages by mobile to the general public or by email to mass mailing lists as reminders for religious occasions or lectures, mediation and arbitration. The above could be achieved by radio stations as well.
Anyone involved in any of the above will be considered to be doing work of Tableegh. Shari’ah has not mandated a particular format for Da’wah work. Each of these methods is unique and each one has its methodology and structure. Shari’ah is flexible in terms of Muslims discovering and creating methods of propagation as long as these methods do not conflict with the principles and dictates of Shari’ah.

Tableegh is not confined to its present form, rather it encompasses all forms in which conveying is found whether on an individual basis or in a collective effort.

Every work of deen holds as equal importance as the other, whether be it the present day ‘Tableegh’, or Khanqah or Madarisetc. Each effort is need of the other in achieving its ultimate goal. No one effort of deen holds superiority over the other. It is improper to despise an effort of deen whilst being engaged in another.

Furthermore, people engaged in Tableegh ought to conduct themselves with love and care. If people in your area dislike them, it is possible they are doing something incorrect. That does not mean the work of Tableegh is wrong.

Apply wisdom and approach them how people feel about them with the intention of correcting them.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Huzaifah Deedat

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.