…Among the characteristics and morals which the daa’ee must possess is acting upon his own da’wah, and he must be a good example of what he is calling to. He shouldn’t be someone who calls to something and then leaves that thing himself. Nor should he be someone who forbids an action and then does that action himself. This is the condition of the losers, and we seek refuge with Allah from this.
As for the successful believers they call to the truth, act upon it, eagerly seek it, and hasten towards it. They also keep away from those things that they themselves forbid.
Allah, the Most High, says in the Qur’aan,
| O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do. Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do. [Surah as-Saff (61):2-3]
And who is better in speech than he who invites (men) to Allah, the Most High, and does righteous deeds and says I am one of the Muslims. [Surah al-Fussilat (41):33]
This magnificent verse clarifies to us that the daa’ee must be one that acts righteously calling to Allah, the Most High, with his tongue as well as with his actions as it is specified in the Qur’aan, “…and (the one who) does righteous deeds.”
So the daa’ee must call the people with his tongue and with his actions, and there is no-one better in speech than these types of people. They are those who call and direct the people to Allah through their pure speech, actions, and whole conduct which make them become righteous examples.
Similarly the Prophets, ‘alayhimus-salaam, gave da’wah through their speech as well as their actions and indeed through their whole way of life. Thus many of those who were being called, benefitted more from their conduct than from what they actually said, especially the general people and those deficient in knowledge. So these people derived benefit from this virtuous lifestyle, and their behaviour and their actions, to a greater extent than from mere speech which they may not necessarily have understood.
So truly the most important task for the daa’ee is that he must have a righteous lifestyle, he must be righteous in his actions and possess a righteous character so that he can be emulated in his words and actions…
Taken from ‘Al-Istiqaamah’ magazine (Issue No.4, p.3) being a translation of some of the wasaayah given by Shaykh Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen to the brothers in England:
…O my brothers, da’wah (calling to Islaam) is to be done by your actions, as you are commanded to do it with your speech. However, da’wah through actions will be more effective than da’wah which is merely done with speech. So I say again, that those who practice Islaam in a wrong manner, they will create a false understanding of Islaam in people’s view. Allah – the Most High – has said about those who invite to what is correct, but do not practice themselves:
|“O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do. It is most hateful to Allah that you say that which you do not do.” [Surah as-Saff 61:2-3]