Qualities of a Da’ee
Q- What are the essentail qualities that a caller to Islam must possess? And can I become a caller to Islam, even though I have not memorized the whole Qur’an?
A – One who invites to Islam has to know what he is ordering and what he is inviting to.He has to be gentle and patient.But he doesn’t have to be one who has memorized the Qur’an in its entirety, nor does he have to be thoroughly acquainted with the fine details of any branch of knowledge. What is required of him is that he has learned the obligations and prohibitions of the religion that he is inviting others to. Thereafter, he should learn the proofs that are convincing enough to those he is inviting.It is also befitting for him to learn the methods of oration, and how to make the listener understand and appreciate what is calling to.
– Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Verdicts; Fatawa Islamiyah, vol. 8, no. 46
Bid’ah in religion
Q- What are innovations in religion and what does it mean?
A – This comes from the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Beware of newly invented matters.” (Ahmad, 4/125) It refers to every innovation people do in the religion of Islam, whether that innovation is in belief or worship, which is neither from the Book (of Allah) nor an established Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Yet these things are considered religious practices and beliefs. People worship Allah through them, claiming that they are lawful when they are not. On the contrary, such acts are prohibited innovations. Examples include calling upon the righteous, whether they are dead or living (far off) and not present. They also include taking graves as places of worship, making Tawaf around them, and seeking help from the people buried therein, or the belief that they can intercede for them with Allah, or plead with Him on their behalf in order to have their requests granted or to relieve them of their troubles.
Honoring the birthdays of Prophets and righteous people as holidays and celebrating them (are also part of such innovations). They perform these deeds thinking it will bring them closer to Allah. There are several such deeds, too numerous to mention, whether innovations or superstitions for which Allah has revealed no proof and which have not been confirmed by the Sunnah.
Some of these (acts), like seeking help from the dead and swearing oaths to them, are Shirk. Others, like building over graves, are innovations that do not reach the level of Shirk.
– Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Verdicts; Fatawa Islamiyah, vol. 1, pg. 110