The Third Provision: Wisdom
The Caller must invite to Allaah with wisdom. And how bitter is wisdom upon the one who doesn’t have it.
Da’wah (the Call) to Allaah must occur with (1) wisdom, then with (2) fair admonition, then with (3) debating in the best of manners against someone that is not oppressive, then with (4) debating in not the best of manners against someone that is oppressive. So there are four levels.
“Call to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition. And debate them in a way that is better. Verily, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path and He knows best those who are guided.” [Surah An-Nahl: 125]
And Allaah says:
“And do not debate with the People of the Scripture (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) except in a manner that is best – except for those who are oppressive amongst them, and say (to them): ‘We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted.’” [Surah Al-‘Ankaboot: 46]
Wisdom means: Treating affairs with accuracy and precision, rather it means placing matters in their due place. It is not from wisdom to rush things and expect people to change from the condition they are in to the condition that the Companions were upon overnight. And whoever expects this then he has a foolish mind, and he is far removed from wisdom. This is because the wisdom of Allaah is not like this.
What proves this is that Allaah sent the Qur’aan down to Muhammad, the Messenger of Allaah, in stages so that it may become firm and settled in the souls.
The prayer was made obligatory during the Mi’raaj, three years before the Hijrah. Some say it was a year and a half, and some hold that it was five. There is differing amongst the scholars about this. But in spite of this it was not made obligatory in the manner that it is performed today. When the prayer was first made obligatory, it used to be two rak’ahs for Dhuhr, ‘Asr, ‘Ishaa and Fajr. And the Maghrib prayer used to be three rak’aat, so that it could be the Witr (odd-number) for the day. But after the Hijrah and after the Prophet had spent thirteen years in Makkah, the prayer of the resident was increased, and so it became four rak’aat for Dhuhr, ‘Asr and ‘Ishaa. And Fajr remained the way it was (i.e. two rak’aat) because the recitation of the Qur’aan is prolonged in it. And Maghrib stayed the same because it was the Witr of the day.
Furthermore, Zakaat was made obligatory in the second year after Hijrah. Or (some say) it was made obligatory in Makkah, but that it was not assigned its final estimate in terms of its dividend and obligation. And the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not send out envoys to collect the Zakaat until the ninth year after Hijrah.
Therefore, the development of Zakaat progressed in three stages:
1. In Makkah: “But pay its due (i.e. Zakaat) on the day of its harvest.” [Surah Al-An’aam: 141] However, its obligation was not clarified nor the amount that was mandated to give for that obligation. This matter was left entrusted to the people.
2. In the second year after Hijrah, Zakaat was clarified with its rightful dividends.
3. And in the ninth year after Hijrah, the Prophet started to send envoys to the people of yields and profits to collect Zakaat from them.
So look at the careful consideration that was given to the conditions of the people with regard to Allaah’s legislation. And He is the best of judges.
The same goes for fasting, as there was a stage-by-stage development with regard to its legislation. What was first made obligatory, was that a person had a choice between fasting or feeding a needy person. Then fasting was prescribed specifically, and feeding needy people was only allowed for those who weren’t able to fast for numerous consecutive days.
Therefore I say that wisdom denounces that the world change over in one night. There must be endurance and tolerance. Accept from your brother whom you are calling what he has from truth for today, and proceed with him step by step until he is able to eventually free himself from falsehood. And this is so that you may see that people are not of equal standing. So there is a difference between one is ignorant and one who stubbornly rejects.
Perhaps it is proper that I now mention some examples of the Da’wah of Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
The First Example:
A Bedouin man once entered the masjid, while the Prophet was sitting down with his Companions. The Bedouin man then urinated in one area of the masjid, so the people reprimanded him, meaning they scolded him angrily using harsh words. However, the Prophet, who was the one whom Allaah gave wisdom, forbade them from this. So when the man had finished urinating, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered that a bucket of water be thrown over his urine. So the harm was removed and Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) called the Bedouin to him, saying to him: “Indeed it is not proper to have any harmful object or filth in these masaajid. They are only for prayer and the reciting of the Qur’aan.” Or it is as he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said. So the Bedouin’s heart opened up to this kind treatment. This is why I have seen some of the scholars quote this Bedouin man as saying: “O Allaah, have mercy on me and Muhammad and do not have mercy on anyone else besides us.” This was because the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) treated him in such an excellent manner. But as for the Companions, they rushed to remove this evil act, without having properly weighed the condition of this man, who was (obviously) ignorant. 
The Second Example:
One time Mu’awiyah bin Al-Hakam, may Allaah be pleased with him, came while the Prophet was leading the people in prayer. So one man sneezed and said: “AlHamdulillaah.” (Note:) If one of you sneezes while in prayer then he should say AlHamdulillaah, regardless of whether he is in the standing position or the bowing position or in prostration. This man (in prayer) said “Al-Hamdulillaah, so Mu’awiyah responded: “YarhamukAllaah.” But this is considered speaking and it invalidates the prayer. So the people began to stare and look at him. So Mu’awiyah said: “May my mother be bereaved of me.” This means for the mother to be lost. This is a statement that is said but for which it’s meaning is not intended. Then Mu’awiyah continued to pray. After he finished praying, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) called him. Mu’awiyah said: “By Allaah, I did not see a teacher better at instructing than him.” May Allaah send His peace and blessings on him. He said: “By Allaah, he was not harsh with me nor did he scold me, he only said: ‘Speaking to people is not correct while in the prayer. It is only for tasbeeh (saying SubhaanAllaah), takbeer (saying Allaahu Akbar) and reciting of the Qur’aan.’” Or it is as he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said.
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) even said it to Mu’aadh bin Jabal when he told him: “Shall I not inform you of what controls all of that?” He (i.e. Mu’aadh) said: “Of course O Messenger of Allaah.” He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Restrain this on yourself.” And he took hold of his tongue, saying: “Restrain this.” So Mu’aadh said: “Will we be held accountable for what we say with it?” He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “May your mother be bereaved of you O Mu’aadh. What else will cause the people to be dragged on their faces – or he said on their noses – into the Hellfire except for the harvests of their tongues.” Look at the da’wah that is beloved to the souls, which people accept and by which the hearts become open.
We derive from the Fiqh point of benefits of this hadeeth that: Whoever speaks while in prayer, while not knowing that speaking invalidates the prayer, his prayer is still valid.
The Third Example:
A man came to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I am ruined!” So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked: “And what caused you to be ruined?” He said: “I had intercourse with my wife during Ramadaan while I was fasting.” So the Messenger of Allaah ordered him to free a slave, but he said: “I cannot find one (i.e. unable).” Then he commanded him to fast two consecutive months, but he said; “I am not able to.” Then he commanded him to feed sixty needy people, but he said: “I am not able to.” At this the man sat down. So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) brought some dates to him saying: “Take this and give it away in charity.” But the man became desirous of the Prophet’s generosity, which was the greatness of kindness shown towards creation. This was since the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was indeed the most generous of people.
So the man said: “Am I to give this to someone poorer than myself O Messenger of Allaah? By Allaah there is no family poorer than mine between the two lava plains of Madeenah?” At this, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) laughed to the point that his molar teeth became visible. This was because this man had come in fear, saying: “I am ruined” but yet he left successful. So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said: “Feed your family with it.” So the man left peaceful, prosperous
and joyful with this religion of Islaam and with this ease from the first Caller to this religion of Islaam, may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him. 
The Fourth Example:
Let us now look at how the Prophet dealt with one who had committed a sin. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) once saw a man that had a gold ring on his finger. So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) seized the ring from him with his noble hand and threw it on the ground. And he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Would any of you intentionally tale a coal of fire and place it on his hand?” So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not treat him the way he treated the people in the first examples. Rather, he snatched it from his hand and threw it at the floor. So when the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) left, it was said to the man: “Take your ring and benefit from it (i.e. by selling it).” The man said: “By Allaah, I will never take a ring that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) threw away.” 
Allaahu Akbar! This was the magnificent way the Companions would execute the Commandments of Allaah and His Messenger.
So what is important is that the Caller to Allaah must invite with wisdom, because the one who is ignorant is not like the one who has knowledge. And the one who rejects is not like the one who readily accepts. So for every place there is a saying and for every position there is a condition.
 See Saheeh Muslim (Eng.: Book 2, no. 559)
 See Saheeh Muslim (Eng.: Book 4, no. 1094)
 See Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (Eng.: vol. 3, no. 158) and Saheeh Muslim (Eng.: Book 6, no. 2457)
 See Saheeh Muslim (Eng.: Book 24, no. 5209)
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Provisions for the Caller to Allaah – Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen