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Tips for Da'wah (Dawah)

Tips for Da’wah

 

· Know what you have to convey: Make sure you have the correct knowledge about an issue or point in Islam. Practise explaining different key aspects of Islam to yourself, so that when you actually have to do the explaining, it comes easily.

 

· Know who you are talking to: ‘Seek first to understand and then to be understood’ is one of the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Successful People’ as detailed in Steve Covey’s book. Listen to people carefully to understand their background and what they know already. Then you will know better where to start. Once we had some Jehovah’s Witnesses round for tea. I was talking to the lady trying to prove to her that Jesus (Peace be Upon Him) never asked people to worship him…he always asked people to worship God and he himself worshipped only God etc. She was agreeing with me..later I found out that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t worship Jesus (alaihis salaam)! A little bit of background research on my part about JWs would have been useful.

 

· Use terminology that people understand: Depending on if they are atheists or Christians etc, you have to use the language that will convey to them the message in the best way. Some people find religious terminology off-putting as it reminds them too much of a concept of God they have already heard of. So use words like: the ‘Creator’ or ‘the Source of Creation’ (instead of God), ‘communications from the Creator’ (for the books and scriptures that God sent), ‘extraordinary individuals who were given a message by the Creator’ (for the Prophets) etc. Be easy to talk to.

 

· Never underestimate the value of your contribution. Every good thing you convey, even a smile or helping someone is valuable. Think of a persons coming closer to Islam as a puzzle. Each Muslim they meet causes a piece of that puzzle to click into place until eventually they can have a whole picture. You are a piece of that puzzle.

 

· Chat to people in public places. Sometimes they think we can’t speak English or that we don’t want to talk to people. Open the doors to conversation and smile! (At people of the same gender of course).

 

· Be willing to talk to anyone. If anyone wants to talk to you, be willing to engage with them. If you don’t have time, make a date. If it is a member of the opposite sex, answer the most important questions they have but try to refer them to a brother or sister for long term da’wah.

 

· Be clean in your appearance. We should be clean and smart. Not showing off or trying to attract attention, but just smart.

 

· If someone asks you something about an issue don’t go on the defensive…sometimes people genuinely just need a full explanation and just want to understand.

 

· Acknowledge mistakes that Muslims make and show people that Muslims don’t always do what Islam tells them to. Tell them not to judge Islam by the actions of Muslims because Muslims are fallible and don’t always follow Islam.

 

· Don’t water Islam down when explaining something….say the truth and try and make it easy to understand. Allah will help you insha Allah. For example when talking about polygamy…some people say …’oh but you have to ask the first wife’s permission’….or ‘it’s better to have one wife’. Just explain it as it is and show them the benefits.

 

· Keep your composure at all times, don’t get angry or thrown by anything. Have tawakkul. You don’t have to address all issues there and then. If someone puts something to you that you don’t know how to explain, tell them you will get back to them on it.

 

· Be positive and measured in your response: be understated and in your language…not full of anger and emotion. Be confident because you know the straight path.

 

· Be calm and not a hothead: ‘The strong person is not the one who wrestles and wins, the strong person is the one who controls himself when he is angry.’ That is a paraphrased translation of a Hadeeth.

 

· Do da’wah along with another Muslim for support: if you forget something, they may remember and vice versa.

 

· Deconstruct the argument and appeal to common sense.

 

· Give gifts to people as a genuine token of good will towards them. We can even give zakah to people who are close to Islam.

 

· Utilize scientific evidence and statistical evidence: Back Islamic teachings up with scientific findings if possible.

 

· Obtain consensus as you go along. Get the persons agreement on a point before moving on. Sometimes just leave them with one point and let it sink in over time.

 

· Offer the Islamic solution or proposition: at some point you have to present Tawheed and Islam as the answer. Reach a balance between not being too pushy, and not too reserved in da’wah.

 

· If lost for words to explain something: quote a Qur’anic aayah or Hadeeth...they are the most eloquent.

 

· It’s sometimes easier to write a letter to someone than to talk face to face.

 

· You could write articles or letters to editors of newspapers.

 

· Have a website or blog: any sort of web presence is useful, even if it is just to stick articles up on it by other people, because if someone does a search on an aspect of Islam your blog may come up as one of the hits. Otherwise they may find some dodgy website.

 

· You could produce or distribute leaflets & literature about acpects of Islam. Some books like: ‘From My Sisters’ Lips’ by Na’ima B Robert, or ‘Enemy Combatant’ by Moazzam Begg explain a lot about Islam and may be suitable to give to different types of people even people who are not interested in religion.

 

· Radio phone-ins. You could contribute to Radio phone ins. (See the ‘Guidelines for Radio Phone-in Da’wah’ article.)

 

· Hold exhibitions or open days or coffee mornings. This could be at your local mosque...or even at your home for a few Muslims and non-Muslims to meet and chat.

 

· Arrange to visit a school and give an assembly on ‘What do you know about Islam?’.

 

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