An examination of the issue of the Majaal (place of focus) of the Da’wah

The following is the translation of an Arabic article, the original has been included below.
 

The Majaal (place of focus to bring the change) of the Da’wah is a prisoner to the capability of carrying it and to where the Mana’ah exists, whilst it is not a prisoner to any particular land. Therefore, any land that does not possess the Mana’ah or it possesses it but it is not possible to carry the Da’wah within it, is not valid for any group to limit or restrict its Majaal to it. This represents a Hukm Shar’iy which is obligatory upon every Jamaa’ah (group) to adhere to. It does not fall under the category of evaluation and examination or the category of deciding by examination the designation of the Majaal of the work. Rather, it represents a Hukm Shar’iy which can be understood quickly by the one who reads the Seerah of the Nabi ﷺ before the establishment of the state.

That is because, when Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla dispatched the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in Makkah (i.e. with the mission of Prophethood), Makkah was the state that he carried the Da’wah within. Makkah, at that time, was from the strongest states of the Arabian Peninsula and therefore it possessed the Mana’ah (protective force), and he was established with the capability to carry the Da’wah within it. He remained in it until the death of his paternal uncle Abu Taalib. Then when his uncle died and Quraish were able to afflict him in a manner that they were previously unable to, and oppressively harassed him and his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, he left Makkah seeking another land to carry the Da’wah in, like he had been carrying it within Makkah.

The following was recorded in the Seerah: “And when Abu Taalib died, the Quraish afflicted the Messenger of Allah ﷺ with harm in a way that they had previously been unable … And so, he departed for At-Taa’if seeking An-Nusrah (support) from Thaqeef …” Al-Haakim related in his “Al-Mustadrak” upon the “Two Saheeh’s”, from Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to present himself to the people at Al-Mawqif (a place) and say (to them): “Is there a man who will take me to his people, for verily Quraish have prevented me from conveying the speech (Kalaam) of my Lord?”. He said: A man then approached him from Bani Hamdaan and said: “I will”. He ﷺ then asked him: “And do your people possess Al-Mana’ah (protective force)?” He replied: “Yes”. He then asked him where he was from and he replied: “Hamdaan” …”.

Therefore, the Messenger ﷺ was carrying the Da’wah within a society possessing “Al-Mana’ah” (protective force) and in which there was the capability to convey, even if there were some obstacles within it. Then when it was not possible to carry the Da’wah like it had been, he resolved to depart from this land to another land possessing “Al-Mana’ah” like the land he was intending to leave. And all of his questions and research related to the new Majaal (place of work) was concerned with two matters: Al-Mana’ah (possession of a capable protective force) and the capability to undertake the conveyance (of the Da’wah).

As such, he went to At-Taa’if seeking these two matters there and when he returned from At-Taa’if he used to seek these two matters from all those whom he had heard that they possess order and standing, during the Hajj season. There is no need here to present all of the narrations related to that as they are from the most evident matters within the books of Seerah. His insistence upon these two matters indicates that they represent the condition in respect to the Majaal. Therefore, any Jamaa’ah (group) striving to establish the Khilafah is not permitted to be restricted or limited in its efforts, to a land that does not possess Mana’ah or a land that possesses Mana’ah but it is not possible to carry the Da’wah within it.

It is possible here, at this point to take note of the issue (Mas’alah) of An-Nusrah (the support). That is because the meaning of the Nusrah, within the Seerah, is not as some have suggested, in that it means be occupied with the people of power in a particular land to overthrow the ruling system within it. Rather, its meaning, is searching for a Majaal other than the Majaal (area or field) that the Da’wah had been carried in. That is very clear from the statement of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: “Is there a man who will take me to his people, for Quraish have prevented me from conveying the speech (Kalaam) of my Lord?”. The ‘Illah (reasoning) here is very clear and the meaning of seeking the Nusrah is even clearer.

Consequently, the departure from Makkah, which was the Majaal, was only because its people had prevented him from conveying and had not provided support to him. The seeking of support (Talab un-Nusrah) means searching for a new Majaal which possesses Mana’ah (capable protective force) and where the Da’wah can be carried within it. His departure to At-Taa’if was only based upon this understanding and it did not represent a new kind of action which had not already existed amongst his actions ﷺ.

That is because the Messenger ﷺ was seeking the rule before that and the evidence for that was his statement to Quraish whilst making Tawaaf around the Ka’bah when they were winking (in a disparaging manner) at him: “Know that verily I have come to you only with slaughter”, his statement to his uncle Abu Taalib: “O uncle, if they placed the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, for me to leave this matter, I would not leave it until Allah makes it prevail or I perish in its way”, and his statement to Abu Dharr: “If or when the news of our prevalence reaches you, come to us”. All of that indicates that he ﷺ used to seek the rule in Makkah before what has been called the seeking of Nusrah.

And the fact that the people of Seerah regarded a particular incident to be the Talab un-Nusrah (seeking or request of support), that doesn’t mean that what came under this heading or title, was the request or seeking of the rule or preoccupation with the people of power to overturn the ruling system in a particular land. That is because they did not say that and all that has been mentioned under this heading of title (i.e. of Talab un-Nusrah) was related to the searching of the Messenger ﷺ for a society other than the Makkiy society to carry the Da’wah in it, just as he had been carrying it in Makkah, and no more than this i.e. he was looking for a new Majaal.

In addition, there is nothing in the speech or action of the Messenger ﷺ indicating that what he undertook in what was called “Talab un-Nusrah” represented a new action which he had not been undertaking prior to that. His act of going out from Makkah to another land can virtually be reasoned with a Shar’iyah ‘Illah due to his statement in the previously quoted Hadeeth about the person from Hamdaan: “… For verily Quraish have prevented me from conveying the speech (Kalaam) of my Lord” in addition to his statement ﷺ made to those whom he was inviting to from the tribes: “That you provide security (safety i.e. Amaan), support me (Nusrah) and provide protective force (i.e. Mana’ah) to me”. All of these were matters which were understood to the people of Makkah and were well-known, whether the Messenger ﷺ (explicitly) stated them or did not, and the war against him conducted by the leaders was for no other reason except because it was well-known to them what this matter was leading to (i.e. the rule).

Also, what is the meaning of his statement: “Until Allah makes it prevail or I perish upon its way” and how could the Quraish possibly have understood his statement ﷺ: “Know that verily I have come to you only with slaughter”? The necessity of Al-Imaan (belief) and An-Nusrah (support) were matters that the people of Makkah fully comprehended just as those who became Muslim with him understood. That is because they went forth to provide support to him naturally with the capability that they possessed and even without being commanded to do so, which indicates that is had been an obvious matter for those whom the Messenger ﷺ was calling to Islaam, just as it was natural for the Messenger to make that clear to the people who were not aware from him and were not his people in origin, when he went outside of Makkah. However, this clarifying does not mean that it was a new action but rather the need for that clarification was only due to the fact that he was addressing different people and due to their ignorance of the matter of the person inviting them.

When the Messenger ﷺ was undertaking his search, he would go out sometimes outside of Makkah and on other occasions he would present himself during the Hajj seasons to the emissaries of the states which would come to the Hajj. He invited Banu Kalb, Banu Haneefah, Banu ‘Aamir Bin As-Sa’sa’ah and others, probing for the Mana’ah and capability to undertake the conveyance. That is indicated to due to the Majaal being a prisoner and dependent upon these two matters and when he used to invite any of them he was not insistent or resolved upon undertaking the work amongst them. By there mere refusal or rejection, that was enough for him to leave them and to continue the search for others, until Allah facilitated the Ansaar, all of which confirms that the Majaal is a prisoner to (or dependent upon) these two matters alone.

Probing and looking for these two matters does not mean the prohibition of carrying the Da’wah in a land which does not meet these two requirements. Rather, it means that is necessary for there to be at least one land which meets and fulfils these two conditions. This is what makes the Jamaa’ah fulfilling of its obligations whilst it is permissible for the Da’wah to be carried in other than it, because the Messenger ﷺ carried it to people who did not meet these conditions.

Based upon this, it is obligatory upon the Jamaa’ah (group) to continuously probe and inquire about a land that meets these conditions and to not limit itself to a matter that is (merely) named the Majaal, and to do exactly what the Messenger ﷺ did in terms of carrying the Da’wah to the people, whilst focusing on probing for and detecting these two conditions wherever they were to be found. Then if these two conditions were found in a particular land, then the Da’wah is focused upon it, exactly as the Messenger ﷺ did, when he focused upon Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah.

In addition, the Mana’ah is not a set defined matter which is evaluated once and that’s it. Rather, it refers to the capability of the land to protect itself from the present and anticipated dangers in the circumstance of the establishment of the authority of Islaam. It represents a matter connected to the international and local (or regional) circumstances and it is necessary to be attentive to it always. There could be a relatively major state which does not possess the Mana’ah today because it is not powerful enough to repel a potential aggression or attack, whilst there could be a relatively minor state which possesses the Mana’ah in other circumstances because it is not expected to be exposed to any dangers … and so on. In this way, the matter returns back to an evaluation based upon defined or specified circumstances. However, it is not valid to base this evaluation upon imaginative perceptions or wishes. Rather, it is necessary to base it upon facts and truths which are actually are really present existing upon the ground reality.

That is because knowledge about the land which meets these conditions cannot be known except by carrying the Da’wah within it and then knowing the extent of the response of the people to that Da’wah. This means, that the Da’wah is carried in every land which is thought or believed to possess the Mana’ah to discover the extent of the positive response of the people with it. If they respond positively to it (or harmonise with it) then that is what is required and if not, then it is necessary to look for another land to carry it in, even if the carriers of the Da’wah are compelled to look for that land within the lands of the disbelievers. This is what the Nabi ﷺ did, and so no land is exempted from the search, because the Messenger ﷺ did not exempt apart from the lands which did not meet the conditions.
Sheikh Abu Islam Yusuf Shaqeero, Palestine

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