This is an excerpt from a conversation with Shaykh al-Bouti on knowledge, learning, and da`wa. We began by asking about advice on how to convey the message of Islam to others. He replied:

“Look, my brother, in my opinion the best way in our times to reach the desired goals is discussion.

Consider what the major issues and problems are that are preventing the present generation–Muslims and non-Muslims–from seeing a true picture of Islam. Whatare these? Bring someone representative of these issues, and then let there be a discussion between you. That individual would represent those lost or far from a sound understanding ofIslam, and we should discuss with him. Don’t just rely on the way of simply having one person lecture to others. No! Discussion.

[What is the duty of a student of knowledge in the West, in their pursuit of presenting a sound message about Allah, His Messenger, His religion, and His Shariah?]

Look, before anything else, the student needs to become mature in their Sacred knowledge and intellectual understanding, particularly in matters of `aqida (beliefs/theology), and to go beyond issues of disagreement–such matters should be kept away from completely.

In our times, the call to Islam is thwarted by one means: busying away the Muslims in matters of difference of opinion–matters in which our Creator did not make us responsible for in first place. Understand?

[On this site, SunniPath, there are students of knowledge who teach the Hanafi and Shafii schools of law… Do you have any advice for them?]

This is good. We always state that madhhab-based fiqh is absolutely necessary, but on condition that we not become staunchly partisan to one madhhab against others.

[Such that it doesn’t become a source of disunity?]

Completely, completely. So if someone comes to me saying that they have difficulty in following the Hanafi school in this issue, can I follow…. [another school] “Yes, of course you can.”

[Then the Shaykh quotes Imam al-Busiri, from his Burda]

“And each of them takes from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)”

[In closing, we’d request that you not forget us in your supplications]

I ask AllahMighty and Majestic that He take you by the hand; that He guide through you;that He guide you; and that He make you in this age as the Companions and their Followers were in the age of the Righteous Predecessors (as-salaf as-salih).


End of conversation of Shaykh Ahmad Snobar and Faraz Rabbani with Shaykh Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan al-Bouti, 2006. Originally posted on the SunniPath Blog