My parents, brothers, and sisters are lax in their Islamic practice and they commit a lot of sins. They listen to and watch un-Islamic programs. I have repeatedly spoken to them about this but to no avail. How can I properly give da`wah to my family?
Allah gives us the answer to your question when He says: “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 125]
From this verse you can recognize the means and approaches that are most needed for you to achieve your objectives. Allah says that we must call people with wisdom. This requires that before we can call others to the truth, we must first acquire the knowledge needed to do so. We have to know exactly what is lawful and unlawful. We also need knowledge to recognize the condition of the person to be called and what suits him in order to advise him properly and effectively.
Beautiful preaching includes being kind and polite and avoiding harshness and rough treatment. Allah likes kind treatment and rewards it more than harsh treatment. Whenever kindness enters something, it beautifies it, and whenever kindness is absent from something, it will become ugly.
In order to argue in ways that are best we must present our arguments in the most proper manner with the strongest evidence. We must do so without exhibiting the least misconduct. Misconduct on our part would merely push the other person to become more resistant and arrogant. ultimately, he might spurn and ridicule what we are calling him towards.
Whenever we intend to guide people to righteousness and advise them, we must employ wisdom, beautiful preaching, and arguing in the best and most gracious manner. When we do so, we will find ourselves more sincere in our efforts. This will naturally make us more patient. It will help us to avoid getting angry and keep us from desiring revenge if we are abused by those whom we are calling.
Likewise, the person we are calling will feel that he is being respected and kindly treated. He will be more likely to abandon arrogance and relate to the caller. He will be able to see that the caller is only concerned with guiding him and showing him the truth. He will feel less pressure to have to maintain the upper hand and defeat his opposition.
You should know, may Allah increase your knowledge, that being kind to people is the most effective way in steering their hearts in a positive direction. So be good to your family in all possible ways. This includes offering a good word, a smile, assisting them in their needs, and giving them gifts.
Be careful not to feel despair because of the misconducts and wrong deeds of your family and do not abandon them. You have the right only to leave their company in the place where they gather to see or practice something forbidden, but do not do so elsewhere. You can only abandon the place but not the people. This is particularly so in your case, since you are talking about your closest relatives. It is a well-known principle in our religion that abandoning people is not preferable if it does not have a positive affect on them. If abandoning them will only increase their resistance and their engaging in misdeeds, then they may not be abandoned.
Your one or two unheeded attempts at advising them should not cause you to lose hope. This is what Satan would inspire you to feel. On the contrary, this should merely make you reconsider the way you are conducting your efforts. Maybe it is your failure to call them properly that is causing their unresponsiveness.
Look for some lawful alternatives to replace the wrong things they are doing, such as Islamic programs or other permissible programs that are available at bookshops. This is a successful way to help people who usually find no other way to fill their time.
May Allah guide you in your efforts.
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital