Let me start with thanking you for the immense service you are doing to the Ummah through this Q&A channel of communication. May Allah grant you with khair and reward you for your efforts to the fullest. May Allah allow us all to utilize these opportunities to understand the Deen better and become closer to him and seek His pleasure. Ameen.
My question is with regards to giving da’wah to a non-mehram.
I have a female christian friend who is inclined towards deen. We used to talk quite often earlier but this has reduced considerably due to me becoming more aware of Deen myself. Alhamdulillah, I have cut off most contact, be it text/calls/meets, with non-mehrams over the past year or so and intend to keep on this path till death, In Sha Allah.
My friend, through her own admission, rejects the concept of trinity and accepts monotheism. However, she doesn’t know much about Islam itself nor the life of the Prophet (SallalahuAlaihiWasallam).
Please guide me on what should be the best course of action from my end to let her know more about Islam. Alhamdulillah, I often do Dua for her hidayah, but am often confused if that is all I should be doing. Can I still maintain contact with her or anyone else for that matter with the intention of Dawah? Also, could you suggest good English translations of the Qur’an as well as recommended books of Tafsir/Seerah/Islamic History etc. (in English) that I could read as well as suggest to people who want to understand Islam themselves.
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Brother in Islam,
May Allah reward you for your kind words.
There are two issues at hand: The need to give dawah and the limits of contact between opposite genders.
Dawah to Islam is an act of great virtue. It is a means of a person’s eternal salvation. Furthermore, Dawah was one of the fundamental missions of the Prophet SallallahuAlayhiWasallam. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an
قل هذه سبيلي ادعوا الى الله على بصسرة انا ومن اتبعني (سورة يوسف: 108)
Translation: This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me.
(Surah Yusuf: 108)
The Prophet SallallahuAlayhiWasallam advised Ali RadhiyallahuAnhu during the battle of Khaybar:
وعن سهل بن سعد رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لعلي رضي الله عنه : “فوالله لأن يهدي الله بك رجلا واحدا خير من حمر النعمواه البخاري: 4259)
Translation: The Prophet (ﷺ) said to ‘Ali (May Allah be pleased with him), “By Allah, if a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than a whole lot of red camels.” (Bukhari: 4259)
Dawah is a means of removing peoplefrom darkness to light, planting goodness in the place of evil and truth in the place of falsehood.
While there is great virtue in Dawah, it should be understood that a human being is naturally attracted to the opposite gender. If the contact between genders is not limited, it will lead to immorality. Allah States in the Holy Qur’an:
ولا تقربوا الزنا انه كان فاحشة (الإسراء: ٣٢)
Translation: And do not even draw near to fornication. It is truly an indecent act. (Al-Israa: 32)
Furthermore, prophet SallallahuAlaihiWasallam has stated:
قَالَ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَتَبَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ حَظَّهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا، أَدْرَكَ ذَلِكَ لاَ مَحَالَةَ، فَزِنَا الْعَيْنِ النَّظَرُ، وَزِنَا اللِّسَانِ الْمَنْطِقُ، وَالنَّفْسُ تَمَنَّى وَتَشْتَهِي، وَالْفَرْجُ يُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ كُلَّهُ وَيُكَذِّبُهُ (رواه البخاري: ٦٣١۵)
Translation: Abu Huraira ‘narrated from the Prophet (SallallahuAlayhiWasallam)who said “Allah has written for Adam’s son his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it
It is precisely for this reason that Shariah has prohibited mixed gender gatherings.Shariah has made segregation of sexes and laws of hijab compulsory.
You enquire whether you can maintain contact with the girl in reference or any female for the the purpose of dawah.
While it is important and virtuous to do dawah, it is equally important to safeguard yourself from sin. As stated above, segregation of sexes is important to safeguard oneself from evil and immorality. Our nafs cannot be trusted. Initially, one may have contact with the noble intention of dawah, however, gradually, the nafs may takeover and eventually fulfill itself in a wrong way. Essentially, no person can trust their nafs. The great scholar Allamah Muhammad Ibn Saeed Busairi has allocated a chapter in his QaseedahBurdah in regards to avoid the desires of the nafs. He states in one place:
من لي برد جماح من غوايتها
كما يرد جماح الخيل باللجم
Translation: Who is there thar can restrain my wild Nafs from its rebellion like restraining a reblious horse through its reins?(QaseedahBurdahpg 92)
Furthermore, we have been made responsible by Allah to use the correct means. The result has been ultimately left in the hands of Allah. Speaking to her directly is only one of the means that can lead her to accept Islam. There are many other permissible means that you can consider. Whilst you continue to make dua for her hidayat, you may contemplate on the following options.
We advise that you consider referring her to one of your female relatives. Should your female relatives have any issues dealing with her, they can consult you directly and advise their friend accordingly.Furthermore, some masajid have services to deal with individuals that are interested in Islam. You may refer her to them as well. Alternitavely, you may refer her to a female scholar.
You may also refer her to reliable literature and websites that will give her the correct understanding of Islam.
Good translations of the Qur’an are The Noble Qu’ran by Mufti TaqiUsmani Saheb muddazilluhum and Qur’an Made Easy by Mufti Afzal Hussain Rahimahullah.