- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The Purpose of Dawah Work
The purpose of dawah work or ‘calling people to God’ is to awaken souls from their slumber. It is to put a lost person on to the right path leading towards God. It is to awaken man’s insight so that he begins to see glimpses of God in the signs of the vast universe. It is to unveil the Creator in the mirror of His creation.
The aim of calling man to God is that, while still living in the world, he may become an inhabitant of the hereafter. He will thus discover God’s greatness in the greatness of the world. He will start experiencing heavenly blessings in worldly comforts, while worldly hardships will remind him of the torment of hell fire.
The target of this work is man’s realization of God. He should discover his powerlessness in comparison with God’s immense power. He should ‘see’ God before the veil of the unseen is removed. Before being directly confronted with Him, he should have the experience of realizing God indirectly.
He will be able to see glimpses of the realities of the hereafter in the beautiful scenes of the world of nature. This is the true aim of dawah , and the preparation of such individuals is the true measure of the da‘ees’ success. It is said in the Quran that God created man in ‘the best mold’ and then ‘cast him down to the lowest of the low.’ The process of dawah is to bring the individual back to his original state, to help him to gain entry into Paradise once again and to bring him under the protection of the Lord’s blessings.
The example of a man who is away from God is like a fish which has been taken out of water and thrown in the desert. Such a fish, completely out of its element, will soon face extinction. The best way to help it is to return it to water again.
In the same way, man is also an inhabitant of Paradise. He has a tremendous urge to find an unknown ideal. Every man is running after this unknown ideal. Over and over again, he leaps towards some worldly success or the other. He hopes that this is probably that unknown ideal for which he has been striving all along, but without any success. Finally he leaves the world without having found his ideal.
This is the place where a da‘ee (the one who calls people to God) has to perform his task of dawah, that is, to tell man that the ideal for which he has been searching for is none other than Almighty God and His Paradise. It is God alone who can enable him to find his ideal and it is only by his finding God that this can happen. It is only after reaching Paradise that man will be filled with bliss, as he will find there the world for which he has been striving all along.
In this way, every man is the target of a da‘ee (the one who calls people to God). A da‘ee has to reach out to every individual. He has to remove the veil from every eye. In other words, if the world has a population of about 7 billion, the da‘ee has the same number of tasks to perform. He has to strive to make all the people reach their heavenly abode. The name of this guide of humanity is da‘ee —the one who calls people to God.
A da‘ee is like a beacon standing by the roadside as a divine guide for the wandering caravan of humanity.
Source: Dawah Made Simple