بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Which of the two is better? Seeking of knowledge or dawah to Allah – Glorified and Most High – because I hear some of the groups saying: “Ad-dawah (to Allah) is of greater benefit than the seeking of knowledge”
Seeking of knowledge is first because it is not possible for a person to call to Allaah except if he has knowledge. As for if he does not have knowledge then he is not able to call to Allah, and if he (does) dawah he makes mistakes much more than he is correct. So it is conditional for the caller to be upon knowledge before he commences Dawah due to the statement of Allaah:
Say (O Muhammad), “This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me” (Yusuf:108)
There are (however) obvious issues where it is possible for a common person to call (to Allaah), such as commanding with the prayer and prohibiting from its abandonment, commanding with the congregational prayer (for men), commanding the children with the prayer- these affairs are known to the common person and the beginner student of knowledge. However the affairs which require understanding and knowledge of the Halal and Haraam, and the affairs of Shirk and Tawheed, then knowledge has to be acquired (regarding) these (affairs). And (generally) those who say that dawah is more beneficial than studying, they are the jamaat at-tableegh and this is a misguided innovated Sufi group.
[Al-Ijaabaat Al-Faasilah Alaa Ash- Shubuhaat Al-Haasilah’ page 20]