Are demonstrations considered to be a means from the legitimate means of Da’wah?
All praise and thanks are to Allaah, the Lord of the creations, and may He send prayers and peace upon our chief Muhammad, upon his family, and his Companions, and upon those who follow them in righteousness until the Last Day.
As to what follows:
Indeed, the concept of demonstrations is a new, modern issue. It was not known in the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), nor in the time of the rightly-guided Khalifahs, nor in the time of any of the Companions (رضى الله عنهما).
Furthermore, the chaos and disorder that is included in it make it an impermissible matter, so much so that (in includes acts like) the breaking of glass, doors, etc. Results from it, also included within it, is the mixing between men and women, the youth and the elderly, and similar to that from corruptions and detestable things.
As for the issue of putting pressure upon the government; if it is a Muslim government, then sufficient for it as an admonishment is the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). This is the best of what could possibly be brought before any Muslim. If it (the government) is a disbelieving one, then it would not even care about these ‘demonstrators’ and perhaps it would behave politely with them outwardly, while inwardly remaining upon what it was on of evil. For this reason, we hold that demonstrations are detestable actions.
As for their statements that these demonstrations are peaceful ones, then perhaps they may be peaceful in the beginning or the first time, yet then they become destructive. So I advise the youth to follow the path of those who have proceeded, for indeed Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) has praised the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar and has praised those who followed them in righteousness.
Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen
aj-Jawaab al-Abhar li Fu'aad Siraaj (Page 75)