17. A Call to the Du'aat and the Imaams of the Masajid
O inviters to Allah's path, strive towards beneficial knowledge and righteous actions and do not forget to set good examples with fine character for actions speak louder than words.
The people most likely to be affected by you, are your parents, the people of your household and your children. (1) Is this influence found in you or not? Look at your behaviour and your character, and compare it to the behaviour of the true, sincere teacher, acting upon his knowledge. Until when, my respected brother, will you continue energetically giving da'wah to the people, yet forgetting your family and children? Until when, may Allah have mercy upon you, will you pursue giving da'wah, going here and there, then return back late at night, only to sleep. A person in your situation should not neglect the saying of Allah swt:
"O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern and severe, who disobey not, from executing the commands they receive from Allah but do that which they are commanded". (66:6)
Do not undertake giving lectures and lessons without thorough preparation, as your role is one of great importance, so don't take it lightly. Is it not sad to see that a da'ee (ie inviter to Allah's path, one who gives da'wah) goes to his lecture not knowing what he will say?
Do not hasten to give fatawa without verification, for passing rulings without knowledge is a great sin and its punishment is severe.
Do not relate a hadith unless you know that the people of knowledge have ruled in favour of its authenticity.
As for you, O Imams of Masajid, everybody's eyes are on you, so act in accordance with the responsibility you have been given, in knowledge, action and da'wah having patience upon any harm the people may cause you. Certainly, a cause for grief is that an Imam recites the Book of Allah swt, not being proficient in the rules of Qur'anic recital. It is sad indeed that an Imam who has been designated solely to lead the Prayers, having no other occupation but this, fails to master his work!
How do you spend your spare time that Allah swt will soon ask you about?
How can you be pleased with praying in a manner other than that of the Messenger of Allah (saw). So for example, you prostrate, leaving the space of two hand spands between your feet. Is it not to your advantage, may Allah have mercy upon you, that you take some moments out of the hours that you trifle away and learn that the Prophet (saw) used to "join his heels together" (at-Tahawi, Ibn Khuzaymah, Hakim declared it authentic and adh-Dhahabi agreed) in prostration?
Is it not an obligation upon you to spend some of your time in knowledge in order that you
may answer the people's questions? Enough of answering questions with general texts, to conceal your ignorance of the proofs and your lack of understanding of most issues, may Allah guide us all.
It suffices you to say "the religion is ease", and under this banner you pass rulings which are just not permissible.
(1) Maybe some of them are not affected by you because of being taken over by desires, or because of heedlessness on their part, but what I am alluding to here is that the manners of the inviter to Allah's path should not be a cause in averting his loved one's and his relatives, as far as he is able to prevent that.