If your dawah is to exclusively call people to Islam and focus on “tawhid” in exclusion of enjoining in good and forbidding evil, then you can’t really call your dawah “Prophetic”.
It has been unanimously agreed upon and is an indisputable fact that the greatest call of ALL the Prophets (peace be upon them) was to call people to the worship of Allah (swt) alone without associating any partners to Him.
However, a natural and inevitable manifestation of that call (Tawhid) was the Ambiya (as) enjoining in ALL that is good and forbidding ALL that is bad – from a worldly and spiritual perspective.
This includes addressing social injustices and oppression, as well as the private decaying of worship and spirituality.
Whilst calling to the worship of Allah (swt) alone, didn’t the following Prophets (peace be upon them) ALSO do the following as mentioned in numerous Quranic verses and authentic Prophetic narrations:
– Hud (as) addressed the people of ‘Ad’s pride and arrogance. They used to build very high buildings and felt they were untouchable, as well as not believing in resurrection.
– Lut (as) addressed the people of Sodom’s criminality, the normalisation of rape, robbery and homosexuality in society.
– Shuaib (as) addressed economic problems pertaining to unfair trading and interest.
– Musa (as) addressed the prevalence of magic, and the oppression of Bani Israel under the dictatorship of Pharaoh.
– Isa (as) addressed the corruption of the Rabbis, the synagogues becoming centres of financial corruption, and the spiritual and political decline of Bani Israel.
– Muhammad (saw) addressed the burying of baby daughters, unfair trading, nationalism/tribalism, and the unjust treatment of orphans and women.
It has also been agreed upon by the classical giants of the past like Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Imam Nawawi, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Taymiyya, Imam Ghazali, Imam Suyuti, Imam Qurtubi, Imam Subki (may Allah be pleased with them) amongst many others, that ALL the Prophets challenged the prevailing diseases of their time (in addition to calling to Tawhid), and in nearly ALL the instances, there was a struggle between the Prophets (as) and the dominant power structures of the time, which Allah (swt) refers to as “al Mala” in the Qur’an. In addition to this, we also know from the famous hadith that one of the best forms of jihad is a word of truth to an unjust ruler [Musnad Ahmad].
My dear brothers and sisters in the dawah circuit, please do not secularise the religion of Allah (swt) by exclusively calling people to Islam, whilst intentionally ignoring what is happening around you, then making out what you’re doing is “Prophetic” – this is untrue, unjust, and you are actively contributing to the pacification of the Ummah.
Similarly, my dear brothers and sisters in the activist circuit, please do not make this religion of Islam all about worldly affairs, in the absence of improving your worship, strengthening your relationship with Allah (swt), and continuously undergoing some level of tarbiyya and spiritual grounding to strengthen your activism.
Both the above are a direct result of an Ummah that has been intellectually, culturally and physically oppressed for the best part of two centuries, if not longer.
Some may argue that it is more of a case of “priorities” when identifying problems and solutions. But what I am noticing from my limited observations of leading Muslim organisations and figures is not a case of “prioritising” and “identifying” problems and solutions, rather, it is the wholesale redefinition of what “dawah” and Islamic activism was and should be today.
Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “You are the best nation to have been raised [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” [3:100]
RasoolAllah (saw) said: “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then let him change it with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then hate it within his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” [Sahih Muslim]