Some characteristics of the Prophets’ عليهم السّلام Da`wa (Call to Allah)

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Among the comprehensive characteristics of Islam are: the unification of hearts, the unity of opinion and the goodness of relationships. These great fundamentals are among the characteristics of the Prophets’ Da`wa (call to Allah). They dispraise divergence and dissension in religion and call to love and union for the sake of it (religion). Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُوا﴾ [آل عمران: 103].

The meaning of the verse:

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur'ân), and be not divided among yourselves﴿ [Âl-`Imrân (The Family of `Imrân): 103].

Allah عزَّ وجلَّ also said:

﴿وَلاَ تَكُونُوا مِنَ المُشْرِكِينَ. مِنَ الذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَِهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ﴾ [الروم: 31-32].

The meaning of the verse:

and be not of Al-­Mushrikûn (the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, idolaters, etc.), of those who split up their religion (i.e. who left the true Islamic Monotheism), and became sects, [i.e. they invented new things in the religion (Bid`ah), and followed their vain desires], each sect rejoicing in that which is with it﴿ [Ar-Rûm (The Romans): 31-32]. He عزَّ وجلَّ also said:

﴿وَلاَ تَكُونُوا كَالذِينَ تَفَرقُوا وَاخْتَلَفُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ البَيِّنَاتُ وَأُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ﴾ [آل عمران: 105].

The meaning of the verse:

And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment﴿ [Âl-`Imrân (The Family of `Imrân): 105].

Allah عزَّ وجلَّ also said:

﴿فَاتَقُوا اللهَ وَأَصْلِحُوا ذَاتَ بَيْنِكُمْ﴾ [الأنفال: 1].

So fear Allah and adjust all matters of difference among you﴿ [Al-Anfâl (The Spoils of War): 1].

Many reported hadiths warn against divergence and disunity and call to love and harmony. Unity cannot be fulfilled unless it is based upon sharia. The sharia is indeed based on two great principles:

The first: to worship Allah Alone, without ascribing partners to Him.

The second: to worship Allah with what He legislated to His Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم. This is the meaning of Lâ Ilâha Illa Allâh, Muhammad Rassûl Allâh (there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger). So, following the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم and obeying him is like obeying Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿مَنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللهَ﴾ [النساء:80].

The meaning of the verse:

He who obeys the Messenger صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, has indeed obeyed Allah﴿ [An-Nissâ' (The Women): 80]

So, only this religion brings together hearts, unifies the opinions and strengthens the relationships between people. However, the foundation of religion, its base and its pillar is the fact of sticking to the Book and the Sunna and, going for judgment to them in states of divergence and disputes, refer to them in all things, whether small or big and be pleased with them and submit oneself to them. That is what the Salaf (Predecessors) of this Umma (nation) have agreed upon. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ المُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَنْ يَقُولُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ المُفْلِحُونَ﴾ [النور:51].

The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His Words, the Qur’ân) and His Messenger صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.”And such are the successful (who will live forever in Paradise)﴿ [An-Nûr (The Light): 51].

Allah عزَّ وجلَّ:

﴿وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلاَ مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً مُبِينًا﴾ [الأحزاب: 36].

The meaning of the verse:

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error﴿ [Al-Ahzâb (The Confederates): 36].

Allah عزَّ وجلَّ also said:

﴿فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا﴾ [النساء: 65].

The meaning of the verse:

But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission﴿ [An-Nissâ' (The Women): 65].

Mâlik reported in his “Muwatta'” from the hadith of Ibn `Abbâs رضي الله عنهما: “The Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم made a speech during the Farewell Hajj, he said: “I left with you something that if you hold fast to, you will never go astray: the Book of Allah and my Sunna”(1).

So, sticking to the Book and the Sunna and acting according to them is the greatest grace Allah has bestowed upon this Umma. In this respect, Sheikh Al-Islâm Ibn Taymiya رحمه الله says: “One of the greatest favors Allah has bestowed upon them, their sticking to the Book and the Sunna. Among the bases that are agreed upon between the Companions and their Successors who followed them in a good way is that it is not accepted for anyone to oppose the Qur'an, whether with his opinion, his taste, his reasoning or his liking as it is proven by irrefutable proofs and clear evidences that the Messenger صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم has come with the true religion and with guidance and that Qur'an guides to which is most just and right”(2).

In addition, the Book and the Sunna warned us against dissension and ordered us to follow the Jamâ`a (community) according to the religion and to accomplish the latter. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿شَرَعَ لَكُمْ مِنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلاَ تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ كَبُرَ عَلَى المُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ، اللهُ يَجْتَبِي إَلَيْهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ يُنِيبُ﴾ [الشورى: 13].

The meaning of the verse:

He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion (Islamic Monotheism) which He ordained for Nûh (Noah), and that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), and that which We ordained for Ibrâhîm (Abraham), Mûsâ (Moses) and `Îsâ (Jesus) saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically), and make no divisions in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion). Intolerable for the Mushrikûn (polytheists), is that (Islamic Monotheism) to which you (O Muhammad صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) call them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance and in obedience﴿ [Ash-Shûra (The Consultation):13].

Divergence in religion and dissension are called by the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم the shaver that shaves the religion and not the hair(3). Indeed this Umma has been afflicted by weakness and divergence because of its negligence to stick to the Book and the Sunna and because of its remissness as regards the Oneness of Allah and following His Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم. It is by asserting belief in the Unicity of Allah that results the unity that will be the basis of the Umma, and by which the nation of Islam prospers. Ibn Taymiya said: “The holders of this principle are: Ahl-As-Sunna Wal-Jamâ`a (People of the Sunna and Community), and those who are out of it are people of divergence, and the essence of the Sunna is: obeying the Messenger, that is why the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said in the authentic hadith reported by Muslim in his “Sahîh” from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه: “Verily, Allah likes three things for you and He disapproves three things for you. He is pleased with you that you worship Him and not to associate anything with Him, that you hold fast the rope of Allah, and be not scattered; and that you give good counsel to the one to whom Allah gives command over you”(4)(5).

The callers to Allah follow this straight path with thorough knowledge till the coming of the Hour. Whereas, the other ways are satanic and scattering.

Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿وَأَنَّ هَذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتََّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِِ﴾ [الأنعام: 153].

The meaning of the verse:

And verily, this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path﴿ [Al-An`âm (The Cattle):153].

The entire salvation is in following the first Predecessors, the advocators of guidance, merciful advisors, to abide by their path and creed, and to follow in their footsteps and avoid the ways of passions and perishment and the ways of temptation and blindness.

May Allah turn duly the Muslims back to their religion.

Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.


Algiers: Rabî` Al-Awwal 15th 1426
Corresponding to: April 24th, 2005

(1) Reported by Mâlik (hadith 1628), Ibn Nasr in “As-Sunna” (68), Al-Hâkim (1/93), and judged as Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in his comment of “Al-Mishkât” (hadith 186).

(2) “Majmû` Al-Fatâwa” by Ibn Taymiya(13/28).

(3) Reported by At-Tirmidhi in the chapter of “The description of the Day of Resurrection” (hadith 2699), Ahmad (hadith1446), from the hadith of Az-Zubayr Ibn Al-`Awâm رضي الله عنه. It is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in “Ghâyat Al-Marâm” (hadith 414),and judged it as Hassan (good) in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi`”.

(4) Reported by Muslim in the book of “Judicial decisions” (hadith 4087), Mâlik (hadith 1833) and Ahmad (hadith 9034). It is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in Sahîh Al Jâmi` (hadith 1895).

(5) “Majmû` Al-Fatâwâ” (28/51).

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