Dawah for the sake of Allah or for the sake of your Ego?

As Islamic Awareness Week approaches, students prepare themsleves by going to dawah training courses, dawah workshops, learning how ‘to do/give dawah’; listening to Khalid Yassin’s Dawah Technique set, watching Zakir Naik, brushing up on their arguments and knowledge of other religions etc etc-Alhumdulillah, we should be prepared and know what we are doing/talking about when it comes to giving dawah.

But sometimes I observe and listen to people ‘give dawah’ and I feel a little uneasy. It comes across as if they are angry and are shouting at the poor non Muslim (or even the poor ‘non -practicing’ muslim) or as if they are just adamant on wanting to have an argument/”debate” and score a point. Sometimes it looks like a mob attack with four or so bearded dudes cornering a non Muslim( probably telling him that he’s a pig because he eats pork and that he’ll go to hell if doesn’t say the Shahadah-there and then), while the non Muslim is desperately praying for someone to rescue him from these scary Mozlems. And this is what it seems like to me-a Muslim.

Ok, maybe I exaggerate a little, or maybe not?

We need to remind ourselves how and why we give dawah. Everything goes back to the hadith of intentions reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim in which the Prophet(saw) said: “Innamal a’maalu bin niyaat”- “Verily actions are by intentions”- (I’m sure this is the first thing that is covered in dawah courses because actions are nothing without the right intention).

When we talk to non Muslims and present Islam, the Haqq to them, it should ultimately be because we want to please Allah, we want to help bring back this slave to the obedience of his Master and Creator not because we want to show off how much we know about the flaws of their religion or to belittle them. Neither are we inviting them to a particular sect or ideology-we invite them to the worship of the One true God and to the path of the Beloved(saw).

And of course dawah isn’t just given during IAW’S, we give dawah every single day. The minute you step outside your door, you are an ambassador for the deen, you are an ambassador of our Leader Muhammad(saw). When you wear the hijab and walk down the street you are doing dawah, when you smile at the man at the counter you are doing dawah- dawah isn’t only “here’s a leaflet on Islam-read it!”. It is about your behaviour and your character-Truly actions speak louder than words. If you’ve never spoken to your neighbour in the 20 odd years you’ve lived next door to them and now all of a sudden you want to ‘make them Muslim’, what do you reckon they’ll think? “This guy’s never spoken to me or invited me over and now he wants me to become one of those Mozlem fanatics?!”

We need to build relationships with these people, especially with people we work/study with on a regular basis. Talk to them, not only about Islam and why they should be Muslim, but let them know that we can hold a conversation on other things; the latest football match or global warming or whatever-just be normal. Lol

Of course this is a reminder to myself (most of what I write on here is)-give dawah for the sake of Allah, not for the sake of your ego.

Some things to bear in mind when giving dawah, me thinks:

1) Have the right intention

2) SMILE 🙂

3) Look presentable but not extra

4) Speak ENGLISH, not “man” “innit” “peng” language etc

5) Don’t shout at them-they’re non Muslims, not deaf

6) Don’t have an evil “you’re-a-kuffar” glare on ya face

7) Don’t tell them they can’t drink, eat pork or have girlfriends/boyfriends in Islam straight away-you may find the conversation ends there (for them)

8 ) Treat them with respect, be gentle and listen to what they have to say-soft and kind dawah is commanded by Allah

9) SMILE 🙂

10) Take their number/email and keep in contact

Also something else that is really important, if you don’t know the answer to their question then just say so; “laa adri”- I don’t know, but refer them to someone or someplace that does know. It’s better you do that then give them some false information about Islam. And also, don’t forget, our job is to inform, guidance is only from Allah.

A question answered by Imam Suhaib Webb on dawah to non Muslim family and a video on the Do’s & Don’ts of Dawah.

God bless and dua’s 🙂

Usma

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~ by usma on 4, February, 2007.

5 Responses to “Dawah for the sake of Allah or for the sake of your Ego?”

  1. Salaams Usma,

    A thoughtful post. You’re right, of course. Much of what passes for dawah is actually ego-inflation of one sort or another. Just because you can argue a person into an intellectual corner, doesn’t mean they’ll convert through the power of your logic. In fact, probably the opposite, because who wants to associate with judgemental people?

    This kind of approach is deeply egotistical. It suggests that a person will embrace Islam through our own efforts, when it is only Allah who guides a person thus.

    The key to dawah is, perhaps, not to give ‘dawah’ at all! What I mean is that it shouldn’t be a separate part of yourself, a kind of add-on. Being friendly, tolerant, open, respectful, and a good follower yourself, are perhaps the most important things.

    In the end though, Allah does the guiding and not us (He is al-Hadi after all).

    Great stuff, keep up the good work

    Abdur Rahman

  2. Mashallah, another great post 🙂

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    Im reminded of Shaykh Hamza in one of his talks describing dawah. Dawah literally means invitation (i.e. an invitation to a banquet or dinner) – so we must always treat the recipient of our dawah with honor and respect that a guest of a banquet deserves.

    I do have one issue with ur post – whats wrong with saying ‘innit’? lol

  3. BismillahiRahmanirRaheem

    as-salamu’alaikum,

    Indeed, the intention is extremely important.

    I’m very happy to find this blog..

    I added you to the blogroll 🙂

  4. Walaykumusalam
    Aw, jazakallah khair for all your comments.

    I totally agree with the “add on” thing, we should show those qualities in our everyday lives with everyone we meet, inshallah.

    I remember Shaykh Hamza Yusuf saying that too, and also that you have to make the invitation appealing and attractive in order for people to come.
    There’s nothing really wrong with saying “innit”, it just shouldn’t be said after every sentence, innit? lol

    Brother Yursil, thank you, I feel honoured that you find my ramblings blog roll worthy 🙂

  5. By keeping discussion in mind I will like to share a website http://zakirnaikblog.blogspot.com which is a website about great islamic scholar Zakir Naik who made a lot oif non muslims to accept islam by his speeches.

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