As Muslims, we know each one of us has a duty in calling people towards Allah and Islam. We are surrounded by friends at school/college or co workers at work along with neighbors of different faiths. While some may have a good knowledge about Islam, others might be clueless about our faith and its principles.
If you’ve ever wondered how you can present Islam to others without sounding preachy or boring, read on.
1. Know your audience
This is crucial and goes without saying. However, while giving Dawah to others, we often tend to overlook who we are talking to. Analyze the person/audience to see where they are coming from, what their beliefs are, how their upbringing was, what they feel is acceptable and what isn’t, what their educational background looks like, their financial status, etc.
Once you have done your homework about these aspects, it will be much easier to present Islam to them. Remember, what works for one person/group may not work for another. Assessing your audience will lead to an engagement that’s productive and fruitful.
2. Know when to say what
There is a time for educating others about Islam and there is a time to remain silent rather than react. As much as you would like to tell people about Islam, there is a time and place for everything, so before you go overboard and get too excited, assess the situation at hand and the people you are surrounded with before giving Dawah. Remember, if what you are going to say will bring more harm than good to the situation you find yourself in, it is always better to choose silence over anything else.
Just because you’ve given Dawah does not mean that someone will come running over to utter his/her Shahadah. It does not always work like that. Patience goes a long way in bringing fruitful results. There are countless stories of reverts who’ve spent decades trying to give Dawah to their parents or siblings but have seen them refuse to accept Islam. Nuh AS gave dawah for 900 years but only had a handful of people accepted his call of Tawheed! Patience and perseverance are two essential qualities of a da’ee. Most importantly, your job is only to convey the message – not force others to accept it.
4. Dawah doesn’t depend upon you
The outcome of your Dawah depends on Allah. Your job was only to deliver the message, so don’t take it personally if someone refuses to see your point of view.
5. Your character is crucial
Sometimes, how much we speak about Islam and its teachings does not matter. What matters is our character and conduct. The best form of Dawah is through action. Your character, how you carry yourself in front of others, how you react to different situations that life throws at you, how you treat your parents, spouse, children or neighbors, how you complete your work at office or how you manage to control your anger and respond with kindness will have a direct effect on the people around you.
These little acts of yours on a daily basis can leave a much greater impact. Non verbal forms of Dawah are just as powerful as verbal dawah. Most of the time, what you *do* is more important than what you say.
You may also like: Jannah Described in the Holy Quran
6. Be knowledgeable
Non Muslims have many questions about Islam that require good knowledge backed with evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. In your free time, make sure to learn more about Islam, about the Seerah, about the lives of other Prophets and their nations. Dig deeper to see how the Sahabas and the later generations dealt with various issues that were surfacing in the Muslim Ummah.
Most importantly, study the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in depth, for his actions, behavior towards others and how he dealt with differences can equip you with the much needed wisdom and knowledge you need while giving Dawah to others.
Non Muslims know we hold Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in high regard but most of them wonder why. Don’t just give them vague facts and figures which they can find on Google or Wikipedia. Bring his character to life by emulating what he said and what he did. With each step that you take on this planet, let others know that you are trying your best to follow the footsteps of the greatest man ﷺ that ever lived on Earth. Through your actions, make his teachings come alive.
7. It’s not speech alone
When we talk about Dawah, we often imagine ourselves standing with pamphlets or CDs in marketplaces and calling random strangers who are walking around…asking if they have some time…and then going ahead to speak about Islam. But you know what…. there are many ways in which you can give Dawah. Speaking to strangers or on a public platform may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Some may not even be comfortable talking to their far off relatives!
Therefore, talking to complete strangers or giving speeches in public may not be a feasible option to consider for many. However, you can always show people what Islam is about through your actions. You can write and post about Islam and its teachings on social media for non Muslims to read. You can make animations to tell a story or teach others about the virtues of Islam. The choices are limitless.
8. Stay close to the Quran
When Aisha RA was asked how the Prophet ﷺ was, she said he was like a walking Quran – meaning …his actions, character, speech and behavior were a complete reflection of the verses mentioned in the Quran. Therefore, the closer your relationship is with the Quran, the more amazing your character will be. After all, a beautiful character can win millions of hearts and have a much greater impact on the society as opposed to sugar coated words that are not followed by meaningful action.
Over to you…what are some of the important things to keep in mind while giving Dawah? Please list them in the comments section below.