Wisdom and Admonition
Taken from Friday NasihaAl-Nahl (The Bee) - Chapter 16: Verse 125
"Call to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation; and reason with them in ways that are best and most gracious. Indeed, your Lord knows very well those who have strayed away from the way as He knows well the rightly guided."
The message of the verse is to call to Allah's path with words that penetrate the heart (hikmah), in the spirit of an admonition (mawizah) said with extreme sincerity in an objective style (al hasanah). And, if the discussion leads to debate, then, it be conducted in a civilized manner, without hurting the opponent's feelings (billati hiya ahsan).
Wisdom implies that one should be mindful of the sensitivities of the people being addressed, have an understanding of their backgrounds, beliefs and ideas, and employ the most appropriate and effective methods and channels of communication. It is evident that all noble Prophets of Allah employed a variety of methods for sharing Allah's message, but with wisdom.
Admonition should be administered in such a manner as to show sincere sympathy, compassion and concern for the addressee. Nothing should be said or done to create the impression that the admonisher is looking down upon him and taking pleasure in his own feeling of superiority.
In the present day context, the new information and communications technologies and the mass media can be employed as tools for advancing the Islamic message in society. Novel styles, manners and techniques must be developed so that views based on Islam can be presented effectively and have an impact. There is, therefore, ample room for innovation and creativity in this area.
It may be that the preacher sometimes says to himself, "What is the use of teaching these people? They have made up their minds, or they are obstinate; or they are only trying to catch me out." Let him not yield to such a thought. Who knows how the seed of the Word of Allah may germinate in people's minds? It is not for man to look for results. Man's inner thoughts are better known to Allah.
"Tafsir Ishraq al-Maani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, Vol 6, pp. 287-290
"Building A New Society" - Zahid Parvez, pp. 135-137
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, vol. 4, pp. 375-377
"The Holy Quran" - Abdullah Yusuf Ali