by Raiiq Ridwan
For many people, Dawah seems to be a very difficult job. Some people just fear the backlash. Others fear being judged. Some others also fear not being able to answer properly. Some people have told me that they lose their words when in conversation.
Having run a small dawah organization for about three years and being involved in the dawah, I can truly appreciate all of the sentiments mentioned above. However, dawah need not be that tough! We need to remember that Allah doesn’t expect us to know everything, and that we do not need to know everything before being able to give dawah.
The most critical aspect of dawah is to let the person we are giving dawah to know who Allah is and what Islam is. That is the crux of dawah. Whatever question we might get, we always need to take the reasons and the understanding back to Allah.
So keeping that in mind, I would like to give an example of how one can explain Islam to a non-Muslim in very easy language within about five minutes. This is somewhat of a template I use in conversation with anyone, to give them a brief breakdown of what Islam is.
“Do you have some time? Could I ask for five minutes to explain the basic understanding of Islam? Then all other things would make sense.
“The basic message of Islam, and that is the underlying theme behind every rule, every belief is that God created us, and He has created us to serve Him. There is God, and there is me, and my purpose in life is to try and please Him, to try and get closer to Him.
“Ultimately, this life will come to an end, and I will be held accountable for what I have done. Worship in Islam is any good deed that is done sincerely for the pleasure of God and it is something that He loves! So, smiling is an act of worship, helping someone else is an act of worship, doing charity is an act of worship and so on. There are of course a few ritual acts of worship too!
So how do we know what God wants of us? Because our aim and purpose is to seek nearness to and earn the pleasure of God, we need to know what it is that He wants. Our belief is that God sends some men in various times to let us know about what His word. He communicates his message to these men.
“We call them Prophets. As Muslims we believe that among all Prophets, the last of Prophets was Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. He came us to show the way of God, and God communicated through Him a book, that we call the Quran. Is the Quran the word of God, and is Muhammad truly a Prophet? Those are more deeper issues that we can talk about later!
“So, coming to the faith then. Islam is not just any faith. It is a way of life, full of guidelines, just like how a hospital would be like. The hospital has rules which, if followed, the system will run smoothly. Otherwise, there will be chaos. The organisational structure is what makes it successful. Everything is interlinked, and for the sake of everyone, guidelines must be followed. Not everyone coming to the hospital carry germs, but all staff must wash their hands before they enter a ward, for the benefit of the patients.
“Islam answers the question, what is the purpose of us being here. Life is a test, and we will be judged by our morality, character, and how much we followed the guidelines set by God. Then there is an afterlife, where we will be judged. Can you imagine that someone like Hitler will not be held accountable for the crimes he committed? There must be an accounting if we believe there is fairness, and it’s complete justice that there will be a Paradise and Hell.
“That, in a nutshell, is Islam. Would you have any more questions? I would be glad to answer them if I know, and if I don’t then please pardon me.”
Beautiful conversations like these are free, and available to us all. We have the ability to change the perceptions of others about Islam, just by sharing the little we know. We might even show someone else the path to the light by sharing the message that Allah has blessed us with. Dawah is something that every Prophet did. I hope this will help every reader to follow the footsteps of Prophets.
Please share your thoughts about the conversation template. It is a human endeavour so it can always be improved. Can you give us some tips on improving it?
Join the Understand Quran Academy and learn to read and understand the Quran. Nothing is better in dawah than the Quran itself. And a good understanding of the Quran makes for a good daee!