Ibn Baaz : Using the mass-media for dawah
Fifth question: What are the successful effective methods for practicing Da‘wah (Call to believe in and worship Allah) at the present time?
Answer by Allamah Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah): The most successful and beneficial way for Da‘wah at the present time is to utilize the mass media.
It is successful, although this can be a double-edged sword.
But, as long as the media such as radio, press, and television are used for Da‘wah to Allah (Exalted be He) and to guide people to the teachings of the Messenger (peace be upon him), this is certainly a great achievement through which Allah (Exalted be He) benefits the Ummah (nation based on one creed), wherever they are. It can also benefit non-Muslims, to help them know about Islam, understand it, learn its virtues, and realize that it is the only way to success in this life and the Hereafter.
Du‘ah (callers to Allah) and Muslim rulers must participate in this as much as they can, making use of the radio, the press, the television, the speeches delivered in gatherings, and also through broadcasting the Friday Prayer Khutbah (sermon), and other means that will convey Al-Haqq (the Truth) to people in all spoken languages until Da‘wah and advice reach the whole world in their own languages.
This is obligatory upon all the scholars, Muslim rulers, and Du‘ah to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), who are able to do it until the Message spreads throughout the world and in all the spoken languages. This is the Proclamation of the Message that Allah (may He be Praised and Exalted) orders.
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) said to His Prophet: “O Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord.” [Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5: 67]
The duty of the Messenger (peace be upon him) was to convey the Message, as did all the Messengers of Allah (peace be upon them) and so should the followers of the Messengers. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Convey (what you know) from me, even if it is a single Ayah (i.e., Qur’anic verse, any prophetic teaching).”
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) delivered a Khutbah to the people, he used to say: Those who are present should convey it (this information) to those who are absent, as the informed one might comprehend it (what I have said) better than the present audience, who will convey it to him.
Therefore, all Muslims, whether they are rulers, scholars, business people, or others should convey on behalf of Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him) this Din (Religion) and explain it to people in the various living languages, in a clear way. They should explain the merits of Islam, its rulings, benefits, and truth, so the Message may reach its enemies, those who are ignorant of it, and those who seek to know it. And Allah is the One who grants success.
Finally, I advise my Muslim brothers in Pakistan, Bangladesh and everywhere to have Taqwa (fear Allah as He should be feared), act in accordance with Allah’s Shari‘ah, observe what Allah enjoins and refrain from what He forbids, avoid any form of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), whether it is small or great, minor or major, and devote ‘Ibadah (worship) purely to Allah Alone at all times and in all circumstances.
I give the sternest warning to what many people fall into, of becoming attached to or seeking the help of the dead, whether the prophets, the Awliya’ (pious people), or others, as I also warn them of becoming attached to trees, stones, idols, or other inanimate objects, because ‘Ibadah is the Exclusive Right of Allah Alone, with no partner or associate.
Allah (Exalted be He) says: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.” [Surah Al-Isra’, 17: 23]
Allah (Exalted be He) also says: “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allâh, and worship none but Him Alone” [Surah Al-Baiyyinah, 98: 5]
Allah (Exalted be He) also says: “And the mosques are for Allâh (Alone): so invoke not anyone along with Allâh.” [Surah Al-Jinn, 72: 18]
It is obligatory upon all humans and jinn to dedicate Ibadah to Allah Alone, no one else besides Him, and to fulfill all the Rights owed to Allah, which He has enjoined on them, such as Salah (Prayer) and other acts of ‘Ibadah. They also have to avoid what Allah (Exalted be He) prohibited, follow Al-Haqq and undertake it patiently. They should co-operate in piety and Taqwa wherever they are and understand their Din well.
They should also strive to recite the Qur’an, contemplate and understand its meanings, and act upon its teachings, because it is the Book of Allah, in which there is guidance and light.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Farewell Hajj: “I am leaving you that which if you adhere to it you will not go astray: the Book of Allah”
Allah (Exalted be He) also says: “Verily, this Qur’ân guides to that which is most just and right.” [Surah Al-Isra’, 17: 9]
He (may He be Praised) also says: “Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing.” [Surah Fussilat, 41: 44]
It is obligatory on all Muslims to contemplate and understand the Qur’an, and act according to it. The same applies to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They should study and memorize what they can of the Hadith and act according to them. They should resort to the authentic Sunnah to understand the Qur’an, as it is the second revelation and the second source of the Shari‘ah, which is obligatory to be referred to for explanations of what is not clear in the Qur’an and its rulings.
This is my advice to all Muslims; they should not be preoccupied with worldly life and desires or be heedless of the Hereafter. It is obligatory on them to use this world for attaining the Hereafter, and make it their bridge to the Hereafter to achieve success and enter Jannah (Paradise).
Allah is the Only One who grants success. May Allah grant us success!
May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet, Imam (leader), and master Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, and upon his family, Companions, and those who follow him in righteousness!
Ibn Baz Fatwas>Volume 27>Book on Da`wah>An interview by the Pakistani magazine: Takbir