Is Dawah Counter Productive?
This is a question from Yahoo Answers which has since been deleted, but here is my reply
Is Dawah Counter-Productive?
From a Quranist point of view dawah or inviting to the path of God means revealing what is in the Quran, truthfully and not concealing it with falsehood. Islam as described by the Quran appears to be quite different from Islam as described by traditional narrations. So yes it could be said that encouraging people to read the Quran for themselves is counter productive to Traditionalist Islam, though of course not counter productive to the point of Dawah which is to invite to the path of God. Unfortunately in Traditionalist Islam, any verses from the Quran too often have to be used out of context and with lots of words inserted in brackets to try to make it fit with the Traditionalist approach, and then buried under long lists of narrations (not from the Quran) which are considered to be explanations of the Quranic verses. Though to be fair this only seems to happen once the Dawah is completed and a new convert has decided to embrace Islam, but by this point ( in theory) the new convert still has the option to decide which approach to islam they are going to take – Stick with Book A or be led away from Book A, convinced it is too holy for mere mortals to understand and directed towards the hadith collections. It’s not really a choice a new convert is encouraged to make as discussing approaches seems to be a little on the “taboo” side. Of course no-one in their right mind would recommend shiaism if they were a sunni and vice versa.
Quranist Islam or Quranism tends to view the the Quran as its own best explanation and Quranists believe the Quran is the sole divine source of islam. Inviting to the path of God by inviting them to read the Quran in context in a language they understand is not counter-productive to the Quranist vision or counter productive to anyone seeking the Truth. I am not saying the Traditionalist approach is all bad, not at all, as it seems that many Traditionalists are turning to a more Quranist-type approach anyway, albeit often by ignoring the fact that some narrations are marked as Sahih (authentic) even though they contradict the Quran. Not everything is black and white and I think there is some kind of “zone” merging Quranism and Traditionalism too where narrations that don’t contradict the Quran or that can be reasonably backed up by an interpretation of the Quran are used and people find inspiration in such statements – ones that are positive and inspire goodness, kindness and a humble attitude, and emphasise “Tawheed” the oneness of God. I don’t see anything bad about that at all.