A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Women and Dawah Continued..|
|03/19/02 at 11:05:24|
|Building SUCCESSFUL Da'wah Programs|
There are conditions that must be met for women's da'wah
work to succeed and achieve its expected outcome. Many of
the items in the following discussion are god to consider
at all time, but it is always important to be in touch with
the specific environment one is working with, study it and
design all programs to fit the specific reality and needs.
First: Important Guidelines
The fact that we stress the importance of women's role in
Islamic da'wah should not lead us away from keeping the
women's creation, nature and priorities clear in mind.
There are important points that should be used as
guidelines when planning or doing da'wah work:
1- Typically, the woman's main role and job is at home.
This is clearly stated in Qur'an and Hadeeth. Allah
says, "And stay in your houses." [33:33] Of course women
can go out for salah in the masjid, participate in any
other activities she may need and to do da'wah. However,
none of these activities should conflict with her essential
duties at home as wife and mother. In many cases, it is
this balance between the woman's essential duties and the
requirements of da'wah work, that have caused problems and
misunderstandings in families and communities. "Women may
find ways to fulfill their da'wah obligations at home, such
as engaging in office work for an Islamic organization,
answering telephones, or any other number of possibilities,
depending on the skills and interest of each woman, " she
2- There are special injunctions regarding women, and the
mixing of men and women, that must be observed in any
da'wah activity and under any circumstances:
a) Proper hijab between men and women must be observed at
b) Women cannot travel without a male companion who is her
c) Women cannot intermix freely with men who are not
directly related to her.
d) Women cannot exit from their homes except by permission
of those who are in charge of them and care for them, i.e.
their husbands or fathers.
3- The enemies of Islam usually exploit these injunctions
and use them to defame Islam as demeaning to women. Some
dou'at get affected by these allegations and they are
thereby led to be lax and unmindful. The true dou'at guided
by the Sunnah must watch out, lest they be affected by the
lusts and whims of society.
4- Men have the original right in da'wah activities to take
the lead as was the case in the age at the Prophet,
sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, and the excellent generations
that followed. Women's role in da'wah work is undeniable,
provided the appropriate guidelines are adhered to.
Second: Objectives of the Program:
As the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, saw a need to
set aside a specific time to address the needs of women in
his community, so organizations should try to tailor their
da'wah work to the women and issues of the communities. Any
da'wah program directed towards women should strive to, at
least, serve the following ends:
Strengthening the Emaan: This comes about by increasing
worship, remembrance of Allah (thikr), and reflection on
Allah's names, and His power and creation in ourselves and
in the universe. There is great power in reflection. And
its positive impact on one's heart and emaan is almost
limitless. This however, would not be possible without the
inculcation of the right understanding of certain issues
related to our aqeedah; the emphasis has to be on Tawheed.
Increasing knowledge: Without it one cannot achieve much.
Special emphasis has to be put on the basics of Islam and
on subjects that the da'iyah needs in her environments.
Knowledge should be spread about deviant thoughts, ideas,
groups and sects. Awareness must be raised concerning those
who do not like to see the spreading of Islam and who are
gaining grounds in the hearts and minds of people.
Building of the da'wah personality: Da'wah requires
sacrifices and therefore women must be prepared to bear the
burdens of calling to Islam. This comes through awakening
them to the conditions of the Muslims and the endeavors of
the enemies of Islam. Leadership, responsibility and
individual initiative should be taught. Theoretical and
practical educational faculties must be nurtured. The
da'iyah must be taught the necessary social skills and the
importance of da'wah through good example and conduct. They
also must be taught the value of time, its management and
how to use halal fun activity during their times of
Building up immunity to sin: This includes recognizing the
ills of sins, particularly those relating to women, and
blocking the way to them by shunning the means leading to
them and the places where they exist.
A- On the theoretical side of this step, preparation may
need to consider these aspects:
1- Educational preparation through providing a good
presentation of appropriates materials. Islam gave women
the rights to education. The knowledge meant to be
attained, is that which is helpful to women in da'wah, like
the shari'ah branches and the disciplines leading to
understanding them. But seeking knowledge should not be a
barrier to giving da'wah, as is the case with many today.
Balance must be maintained.
2- Psychological preparation by ensuring that the women
callers have faith in Allah sincerity, hopefulness,
coverage in truth, pride in Islam, patience, and knowledge
of the conditions and environments of those they are
addressing. This is a very important aspect of
preparedness, because the preacher is tied to the people,
who have different characters and inclinations.
3- Social preparation by having the women da'iyat live an
Islamic life in the family and society in a practical
application of Islam. They should abide by the ethics of
Islam and of the da'wah. Capping the elements of social
preparation is the feeling that the da'wah is a right to
all people that must reach them with sincerity, generality,
honesty, gentleness and meekness.
B- Adequate practical training and preparation is must:
This involves training female callers in speaking and
writing to be able to bring Allah's religion to the people
through speeches, lessons, lectures, and writing. These are
the methods of addressing people with the da'wah and they
complete the theoretical preparation and ensure that it
bears fruit. This aspect has largely been neglected
resulting in severe shortcomings in the da'wah.
Da'iyat delivering lectures, seminars, sermons, etc. should
be able to persuade the listeners by addressing their minds
through proofs and evidence. They should also be able to
arouse their passions, emotions, and feelings. Those making
speeches and addresses must be well versed in the art and
its importance, and should also practice delivering
speeches to women in mosques, schools, or other places
where women gather. They should also watch over and guide
women trainees, and gently correct their mistakes.
Writing and publishing must not be neglected in an age when
people are easily reached by and engrossed in all sorts of
books, booklets, newspapers, and articles. Writings should
both be eloquent and convincing, through sincere, sound and
documented arguments. Writing is the form of da'wah which
is in many ways one of the most appropriate and important
means for women. They can write at home and thus make use
of their spare time. They can in this way reach all classes
AREAS of Da'wah for WOMEN
The educational field: These are related to the ennoblement
of the spirit and the purification of the soul through
faith. The minds and souls can thus be touched. These
fields are to be found in mosques, schools, associations,
da'wah groups, and others.
The social field: These relate to bodily and psychological
health as well as to social development and interaction
between people that reflect positively on the realization
of spiritual education and the formation of Muslim
Both sides, spiritual and physical, are tied together and
they should both be fulfilled in balance. To give the upper
hand to the soul would be asceticism, and to the body would
be hedonism. Fulfilling the physical needs has often been
cause for many people embracing the guidance of Islam.
Preachers of Christianity today, concentrate on this
approach. It is difficult for the hungry, the naked, or the
sick and homeless to listen to sermons.
More specific example of what women can take part in as
1. The Home: This is surely the most fertile and most
effective channel. Allah has ordained both husbands and
wives as nurtures for each other and the family. The mother
shares with the father the responsibilities of educating
and nurturing in all physical, moral, psychological,
social, and external aspects each other and their children.
Members of the family are gathered together in the home for
many hours and this creates harmony among them as well as
affords an opportunity for presenting good examples and
2. The Muslim Community: Charity, advice, and direction can
be offered to relatives, neighbors, and the needy.
3. The Islamic School: Educational activities and
curriculums can be used for the guidance of girl students
as well as women teachers and staff.
4. The Masjid: Women should be allowed to go to the masajid
to benefit from the lessons held there. The masjid is a
suitable place for some of the women activities like Qur'an
study groups and other training.
5. Hospitals, Prisons, and Social Welfare Institutions,
Women's Colleges or Universities. "Women-only conferences
can also be incorporated into an already scheduled major
conferences, thus providing them with someone to travel
with," Dr. Hamdan says.
"Also, da'wah work can be done on an individual level; such
as with friends, families, peers, particularly those who
are not Muslims, "said Dr. Hamdan. "Many women who have
converted to Islam have families who are non-Muslim and
this is a prime, although challenging, opportunity to do
What the Qur'an and Sunnah Said:
Muslim Women, Callers and Called
Certainly, the injunctions of Islam, from the Qur'an and
the Sunnah, cover and apply to both males and females. Male
pronouns were usually used mostly, only because that is the
custom of the language. Nevertheless, there are certain
injunctions that are exclusively meant for men. And at the
same time, Allah has enjoined things upon women only. This
shows that they have a character and a personality
independent of men. This stresses the need to address women
with the da'wah, education, reform, and guidance, in a way
that is specific to them. They should not be ignored. It
was on account of this that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe
wa sallam, addressed women specifically, especially after
addressing men, and that he fixed a special day of the week
on which he taught them alone.
Qur'an tells us that man is responsible for his home and
family, "O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and
your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones,
over which are angel stern and severe," [66:6]. And the
Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, also said, "The man
is a shepherd of his family and he is responsible for his
guardianship." (Bukhari and Muslim) In another hadeeth, the
Prophet's, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, told of a double
reward for the man who teaches well, cultivates and then
frees any female-slave he has. (Bukhari) This surely
stresses the need for the education of and care for women.
On the other hand, there are many evidences from the Qur'an
and the Sunnah that testify to the fact that women are also
obligated to do da'wah work:
1- There many verses in the Qur'an that obligate Muslim men
and women to do da'wah, and enjoin good and forbid evil.
For example, Allah says, "Let there arise out of you a
group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam),
enjoining good and forbidding evil. And it is they who are
the successful." [3:104]
2- Women have been expressly addressed with the duty of the
da'wah because Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, says, "O wives
of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you
keep your duty (to Allah) then be not soft in speech, lest
he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire,
but say that which is Ma'roof (good)." [33:32] Ibn Abbas
understood Allah's injunction to the Prophet's wives,
to "say good," to mean that they have to enjoin what is
good and forbid what is evil. This can be taken as a
general address to all Muslim women. Allah also says, "The
believers, men and women are Auliya (helpers, protectors)
of one another, they enjoin the good and forbid the evil,
they perform salah and give away zakah and obey Allah."
[9:71] It is clear in this verse that women are addressed
with this task, just as men, whenever they are capable of
discharging it. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam,
said, "The woman is a steward of her husband's home and
children and she is responsible for them." A steward here
is a person entrusted with what has been put in his charge,
cherishing and preserving it.
Furthermore, the following points, when properly put into
perspective, also lead to the understanding that women are
as responsible for carrying out da'wah as men are:
a) Because Islam prohibits the free intermingling of men
and women, and the maintenance of hijab, it becomes vital,
as well as practical, to have qualified women to do da'wah
work among women in the community.
b) Some of the shari'ah rulings were reported from the
Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, only through women
c) Sometimes, it is difficult for the male-dou'at to carry
out all that the da'wah among women requires because women
have some private conditions that they may not feel
comfortable revealing to men, and would rather convey them
only to other women.
What We Sow We Reap
1. Banishing ignorance, increasing intellectual broad-
mindedness, and the creation of qualified women da'wah
cadres. These results have a lasting and beneficial
influence, not only on women and the Muslim community, but
also on the whole society at large.
2. Rectifying conduct and restitution of many erroneous
practices that have come to be social phenomenon in many
3. Da'iyat will develop maturity and show more disciplined
characters. This in turn will result in stronger
relationships between men and women.
4. Women's place and status in Islam would be highlighted
and Muslim women would attain a better awareness of their
rights and duties.
5. Efforts would be geared toward the cultivating of our
young people, in order to ensure the Ummah, virtuous
Muslims in the generations to come.
6. A sense of belonging to Islam would be fostered, and the
key Muslim rite of enjoining good and forbidding the evil
would be upheld.
7. An important financial tributary for da'wah work would
be secured; i.e., women's charitable spending.
It is time that Muslims who profess to follow the Sunnah
rethink the issue of dawah among women and by women. We
should remember Khadijah, Aisha, Sumayyah, and many other
Muslim women throughout our history, and what they did for
Islam and learn from it. We also have to realize that mere
talk and emotionalism are useless. We need to do something
about our immediate situation now. Education, preparation,
and qualification of women will be the key to our future
success. Throughout history, the yardstick used to measure
the well being of any society has been the condition of its
women. Let us therefore, strive to improve the
intellectual, spiritual and emotional condition of the
Muslim woman by allowing her to fulfill all the God-given
abilities and responsibilities made incumbent on her.
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board