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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.
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We live in Britain, where we see
many of the Muslims committing a
lot of sins and deeds that could lead
to doom, such as shirk. We see
some of them hanging up amulets
with black cloth on the rear-view
mirror of their car for fear of the
evil eye, and similar actions. There
are others who do not offer the five
daily prayers, and there are people
who sell what Allah has forbidden.
All of these people, in addition to
those who are not Muslim in the
first place, need to be called and
reminded of Allah. Hence some of
the brothers were thinking of using
some advertising billboards on the
main streets to put up some
posters, whether they are calling
the Muslims and reminding them of
Allah, or calling the non-Muslims.
We intend to do this, based on our
conviction that Allah will ask us on
the Day of Resurrection about these
people and what our role was in
calling them to Him. Therefore we
want to take some measures so that
we will have discharged our
responsibility before Allah, may He
be exalted. But the question is:
What is the best message that can
be given? We thought of focusing
on the obligation to worship Allah,
and to turn back to Him and fear
Him, and stating that He is most
merciful and accepts repentance.
This is for the Muslims. As for the
non-Muslims, we want to tell them
that we believe in Jesus (‘Eesa) as a
Messenger, and so on. What you
think of this idea? We also intend to
put a link to your website as a
reference to which people can go to
find out more about the religion,
but I wish that you would set up a
separate section for non-Muslims,
dealing with Islam teachings on
non-Muslims, and some other
da‘wah topics, so as to be of greater
benefit. But using these billboards
will cost money. Therefore we
thought of using a more widely-
used method, which is to publish
flyers and leaflets. But if we resort
to that, there is a problem that we
will face and we do not know how to
deal with it. As is well known, the
leaflets will contain some Qur’anic
verses and other religious texts, and
will be distributed to all kinds of
people, and some of them will
undoubtedly be thrown away. In
that case there will be a kind of
disrespect. What can we do to avoid
this problem? I hope the brothers in
charge of the website can offer
some advice. Please rest assured
that if we had known the proper
way to deal with these matters, we
would not have bothered you with
questions, because we know how
busy you are. Thank you for your
advice, and may Allah reward you


Praise be to Allah.

We praise Allah, may He be exalted,
for enabling you to take an interest
in calling people to Allah (da‘wah)
and in the guidance of people in the
Western country in which you live.
We ask Him, may He be glorified, to
bless your efforts and to make you
guides and callers to His religion and
to that with which He is pleased,
may He be glorified.
With regard to your questions about
da‘wah (calling people to Islam),
what we think is that billboards do
not serve the purpose in the best
manner, even if you could afford to
cover the financial costs.

Nevertheless, you could use them in
an appropriate way, to give a brief
message that can be read quickly by
anyone who sees it, which will help
him to review his situation and
what he is doing, and include
information on another place where
he can meet people who could
explain Islam to him, and he can
learn correct information about the
faith; or the message could tell him
about some written material,
pamphlets that you have prepared,
or a translation of the meanings of
the Qur’an, and so on. The point
here is that when it comes to
billboards, the messages should be
very short, because they are going
to be read very quickly. Thus they
may serve to alert the reader or
make him shocked about how he is
living his life.

As for flyers, publications, books,
audio tapes, and video tapes, they
are more likely to be of benefit and
more effective in conveying the
message according to the people’s
situation and what they need to

You should have two different types
of these da‘wah publications:
The first should be suitable for
Muslims who live in that country, to
encourage them to maintain their
Islamic identity and not to be
heedless about any aspect of it, and
they should raise their children to
be proud of this identity, and make
them aware of the dangers that
face the Muslim with regard to his
religious commitment when he is in
that country, such as the dangers
of desires that surround him
everywhere, and the dangers posed
by specious arguments and corrupt
beliefs that may shake his faith.
The second type of these
publications should be addressed to
non-Muslims in that country, to
explain people’s need for religion in
general, and the need for Islam in
particular; to explain to them briefly
and clearly the basic beliefs of
Islam, and the beautiful
characteristics of this religion, and
how it may nourish their hearts and
souls which are thirsting for this
pure light.

With regard to your question about
the possibility of these flyers and
pamphlets being thrown away, you
can reduce this problem – as much
as possible – with a gentle
reminder, telling the one who does
not need these pamphlets any more
to give them to someone else,
instead of throwing them away, or
to put them in a special place that
you have set up, or to give them to
the nearest mosque or Islamic
centre, and other ways of making
use of them.

But if it so happens that the one
who takes these pamphlets does not
do any of these things, and he is
going to throw them away, then the
interest served by publishing and
distributing them outweighs the
problem of them being thrown

Having said that, we should point
out that with regard to the verses
and hadiths that have been
translated from Arabic into your
language, if they are thrown away
the matter is much less serious
than if they were written in Arabic,
because the translation does not
have the same sanctity as the
verses that are written in Arabic.
Taking into account the fact that
there is nothing wrong with
allowing a disbeliever to read a book
or publication in Arabic even if it
contains Qur’anic verses, we
nevertheless should not allow him
to get hold of the Mus-haf (Arabic-
only Qur’an).

The Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) sent to the ruler
of Byzantium, who was a Christian,
a letter in which he called him to
Islam, which contained verses from
the Holy Qur’an:
In that letter, he said: “In the name
of Allah, the Most Gracious, the
Most Merciful. From Muhammad the
Messenger of Allah to Heraclius the
ruler of the Byzantines. Peace be
upon those who follow true
guidance. I invite you with the call
of Islam. Become Muslim and you
will be safe. Become Muslim and
Allah will give you a twofold reward,
but if you turn away, then upon you
will be the sins of the peasants
(your subjects). ‘O People of the
Scripture, come to a word that is
equitable between us and you - that
we will not worship except Allah and
not associate anything with Him
and not take one another as lords
instead of Allah. But if they turn
away, then say, Bear witness that
we are Muslims [submitting to
Him]’ [Aal ‘Imraan 3:64] .”

Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have
mercy on him) said, discussing the
lessons learned from this hadith:
From it we learn that it is
recommended to start a latter with
the words Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ar-
Raheem (In the name of Allah, the
Most Gracious, the Most Merciful),
even if the letter is sent to a
disbeliever. We also learn that it is
permissible to travel to the land of
the enemy with one or two verses
and the like, and that that may be
sent to a disbeliever. Rather what is
prohibited is for a traveller to take
the entire Qur’an or some parts of it
to the land of the enemy. That may
also apply if there is the fear that it
may end up in the hands of the
disbelievers. We also learn that it is
permissible for someone who is in a
state of minor impurity, or a
disbeliever, to touch a few verses if
they are quoted in a page other
than Qur’an. End quote.
We hope that you will use all
permissible means available to you,
according to what you are able to

There is nothing wrong with writing
verses or hadiths in publications
that are to be distributed to
disbelievers, especially if they have
been translated into your language.
The matter is easy, in sha Allah.
And Allah knows best.


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