Praise be to Allaah.
What you mention about the
activities of some missionaries and their patience in travelling and making
sacrifices is something that is well known. If this is their state even
though they are promoting falsehood and striving for the sake of falsehood,
then how about the Muslim whom Allaah has blessed with guidance and taught
him the path of truth? Undoubtedly he, of all people, should be striving and
making the effort, sacrificing that which is most dear to him, in order to
spread the religion of Islam and teach and guide people, whether they are
Christians or others. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said: “Advance cautiously, until you reach their open space, then
invite them to Islam, and tell them of their duties before Allaah. By
Allaah, if Allaah were to guide one man through you, that would be better
for you than having red camels.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3009) and Muslim
The path of da’wah (calling
others to Islam) is the path of the Prophets and Messengers, because they
were the most compassionate of people towards people, and the keenest of
people to guide people. But it is a path that needs provision, namely
knowledge, patience and certainty of faith. You have done well to ask about
the way to specialize in debating with the Christians, because some people
indulge in this field without preparation, and that may lead to his putting
his opponent off or making him cling more steadfastly to his falsehood, or
it may lead to him becoming weak himself and being filled with doubts.
Hence the one who wants to
strive for the sake of Allaah and call these people to Islam and debate with
them should pay attention to a number of matters:
1 – Studying sound ‘aqeedah
from reliable sources, directly from scholars if possible.
2 – Acquiring shar’i
knowledge which will correct his worship and interactions with others,
because learning this is an individual obligation, and it takes precedence
over the duty of calling others.
We have previously
explained the program that the seeker of knowledge should follow and the
most important books that he needs at the initial stage. Please see question
3 – Paying attention to
Islamic sources which deal specifically with calling Christians to Islam and
discussing their situation and their specious arguments. There are many such
sources, among the most important of which are: al-Jawaab al-Saheeh li
man baddala Deen al-Maseeh by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah; Hidaayat
al-Hayaara fi Ajwabah al-Yahood wa’l-Nasaara by Ibn al-Qayyim; Izhaar
al-Haq by Shaykh Rahmat-Allaah al-Hindi (available in English);
Manaazirah bayna al-Islam wa’l-Nasraaniyyah by Shaykh Muhammad Jameel
Ghaazi; al-A’qaa’id al-Wathaniyyah fi’l-Diyaanah al-Nasraaniyyah by
Muhammad Taahir al-Tanneer; Muhaadiraat fi’l-Nasraaniyyah by Shaykh
Abu Zahrah; al-Mawsoo’ah al-Muyassarah fi’l-Adyaan wa’l-Madhaahib
al-Mu’aasirah; al-Nasraaniyyah min al-Tawheed ila al-Tathleeth by
Dr Muhammad Ahmad al-Haaj; Muhammad fi’l-Kitaab al-Muqaddas by Prof.
‘Abd al-Ahad Dawood [available in English under the title Muhammad in the
Bible]; Diraasaat fi’l-Adyaan: al-Yahoodiyyah wa’l-Nasraaniyyah
by Dr. Sa’ood al-Khalaf; and Rasaa’il wa Manaaziraat by Shaykh Ahmad
Deedat [Shaykh Ahmad Deedat’s booklets and videos are widely available in
You can also benefit from
websites that specialize in this topic, such as the following (in Arabic):
4 – He should strive to
debate in a polite and fair manner, and look at the one who disagrees with
him in a compassionate manner. So he should be keen to guide him and strive
to convey the truth to him, like a sympathetic doctor treating his patient.
So he should not mock him or laugh at him, and he should not act superior or
arrogant, rather he should call him to the way of his Lord with wisdom and
beautiful preaching, and respond in the way that is better, as Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“And argue not with the
people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that
is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islamic
Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong; and say
(to them): ‘We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to
you; our Ilaah (God) and your Ilaah (God) is One (i.e. Allaah), and to Him
we have submitted (as Muslims)”
Al-Qurtubi said in his
Tafseer: It is permissible to argue with the people of the Book in the way
that is better, in the sense of calling them to Allaah and pointing out the
sound evidence and proofs, in the hope that they may respond to the call of
faith, not by way of proving them to be wrong and treating them harshly.
Many Christians, when they
hear the arguments of the Muslims and realize that what they were following
is wrong, believe and are guided, and they succeed and prosper. Using good
methods in calling people has a powerful effect in that regard.
We should re-emphasize at
this point the importance of arming oneself with shar’i knowledge and
studying this matter in depth, which has become a branch of knowledge in its
own right nowadays, before indulging in it, because if you indulge in this
matter before preparing yourself and studying enough about it, your weakness
and incapability will backfire against the religion which you want to
promote and defend.
Strive to make contact with
people in your country who are specialized in this field, and whose
religious commitment and knowledge can be trusted, to help you with this
matter and guide you to what you need.
We ask Allaah to help and
And Allaah knows best.