Ruling on claiming that the Call to Islam does not need knowledge

Question:

Some Muslim brothers hold the view of the obligatory nature of calling non-Muslims to Islam upon every capable Muslim. They also believe that it is permissible for a Muslim to live with non-Muslims and imitate their way when calling to Islam. They say that the Call to Islam does not need knowledge or Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) based on the saying of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence.1 What is the accuracy of this view? Is there any special Fiqh for such a call? Is this call considered Fard ‘Ayn (Individual obligation) or Fard Kifayah (Collective duty)?

Answer:

It is not permissible to stay among the non-Muslims if a person can not express his religion. If he can express his religion, Tawhid ((belief in the Oneness of Allah/ monotheism)), Salah and acts of good, it is permissible to stay there. It is not permissible to imitate the non-Muslims even for the sake of calling them to Islam. It is not permissible to imitate them but he may call them according to his knowledge. He may say to them: Say: “La ilaha illa Allah” and teach them the meaning of “La ilaha illa Allah” according to his knowledge as well as the obligations of religion. If he has much knowledge, “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence.1 He may teach them the Qur’an.

When they become Muslims, he may inform them how to say: “La ilaha illa Allah and Muhammad Rasulullah”. They should believe in the Messenger (peace be upon him), follow him and that person should teach them the knowledge he has. But if there is someone more knowledgeable than he is, he should seek his help in order to call them properly. The more perfect their calling to Allah is, the more useful it will be for them and more rewarding; otherwise, a person should do his best.


  1. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on Prophets, no. 3461; Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on knowledge, no. 2669; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 159; and Al-Darimy, Sunan, Introduction, no. 542.  2