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Jamat and Dawah Work: Invention or Sunnah?

Q: I am very much intersted in jamat and dawah work but recently i have heard scholars like Zakir Naik and few more saying that it is not in the seerah of Rasool of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) nether in any hadith or Quran to go for jamat from city to city or counrty to counrty or for the weekly dawah (gusht) to the house of people to invite towards islam and nowhere is it written to go for 3 days or 40 days or 4 months in jamat. They also said that in the books like fazail-e-amal there are many zaeef (unauthentic) hadith so we must read only authentic hadith like sahih muslim and bukhari. Is it true? So I wanted to know is the work of jamat just a mere invention in islam or it is sunnah and recommended. Please give me hadith which supports your answer.


A: In matters of deen we are commanded to refer to qualified ulama who posses sound understanding in deen. Zakir Naik is recognised as an authority in comparative religion. Being an authority in comparative religion does not make him an authority in the various sciences and branches of Deen. Hence, he will not be consulted in this regard (i.e explaining Masaail and issuing Shar’ee verdicts in Deen). 

As far as the dawah work is concerned then everyone agrees that it is fardh for every Muslim to learn correct Aqaaid (correct beliefs), Ibadaat (righteous and correct actions), Muaasharat (social etiquettes), Muaamalaat (mutual dealings and transactions) and Akhlaaq (good character and mannerisms). The Madrasahs, Khaanqahs and the Jamaat aim towards acquiring these values and goals. However the method that each one has adopted differ. We all understand that in a Madrasah this object is acquired through following a set curriculum (regarding the various Deeni courses that are offered) designed and completed over a specified period of time (e.g. three years, five years, etc. and each year comprising of three semesters, three examinations and the holiday period). No one regards this to be an innovation in Deen or a bid’ah. Instead it is and effective way of acquiring the desired objective and goal. Similarly the Khaanqahs have their own method of imparting this knowledge and acquiring this goal. As far as the Jamaat is concerned, they have seen that most people do not have the time to take admission in a Madrasah or spend lengthy periods of time in a Khaanqah. Hence, they have adopted this method of imparting Deen which has proven effective in changing the lives of many thousands around the globe. 

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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