What does Dawah mean?
Dawah Is An Obligation Upon Us All. The Arabic word Da'wah means a call or an invitation. In Islamic context, it means to strive for the propagation of Islam.The obligation of Dawah has been made clear in the Qur'an.
Dawah: A Guide for Activists
First begin with Basics Of Islam.
Here are some important points to keep in mind:
As Muslims we cannot lie about anything, especially about our religion.
Islam has the proof for everything that it teaches. Our sources are authentic and original. They are:
- The Quran
- Teachings of our prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Also, keep in mind while talking with people and answering their questions, sometimes "questions" contain misinformation. We must qualify what it is that someone is saying against what they mean.
Take special care in offer your answers. Keep your replies simple and to the point. Do not wander from subject to subject while answering a question.
Another important point is to remember that patience is an important part of the character of the Muslim and that you must not become angry or outraged at what people say to you or by the questions that they are asking. If you feel that it is too much for you to deal with, then simply walk away.
Also, don't try to be funny or sarcastic. This is distracting and not appropriate. Very often while giving the answer, we hear the person we are talking to saying something like, "I didn't know that." Or they might say, "This is actually something good." When this occurs we ask them, "Are you ready to rethink your position? Are you prepared to worship your God and your Lord without any partners?"
After all, isn't this what Islam is really all about? The most important subject is the worship of Almighty God, without any partners or associates or "gods" besides Almighty God.
Dawah is a word in Arabic that means "to invite" or "to offer to share." This is a very important part of being a Muslim and it can be somewhat difficult at times. Yet it is not impossible. The fact is that sharing Islam is a very simple concept. The difficulty comes in when you are trying to communicate the idea to others, especially when they have already been predisposed to believe in something else and to believe that Islam is something bad.
Keep in mind at all times that you are on a special mission to deliver a message of inviting people to worship Allah according to the way that He wants to be worshipped. You are to call them to know the truth and how to follow it. You do this with both your kind words and correct actions.
Your words are used in lectures, sermons, books, tapes and dialogs. These words help people to understand the truth of Islam.
Your actions are observed by others through your behavior and manners. You become the role model for what Islam is all about.
Both methods (Dawah by words and actions) were used by the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) when delivering the message of Islam. He was the perfect example of what he was calling the people to do. A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that if you would like to see a living example of the Quran walking, then simply look to Muhammad, peace be upon him. His life was the best example of the noble teachings and principles set forth in the Quran.
Muslims are supposed to advise everyone by using a gentle and simple approach to attract the hungry souls to the Way of Allah. For sure today more than ever, people need to know about Islam and be able to put it into practice. We all need an example to follow.
Actually, the problem is not so much calling or inviting to people to the message of Islam, as it is the way that we go about it. The way that we present ourselves and the message is most important and unfortunately, something that many of the Muslims are not taking into consideration these days.
Some have actually ruined the image of Dawah due to the rigid methods, mistakes and misunderstandings they are applying. This gives a very negative impression about Islam and the Muslims in general. Considering all of the detraction and negative media against Islam and Muslims occurring in these days, it is vital that we approach our Dawah with wisdom, kind invitation and logical discussions.
One example of negative Dawah is the false concept that so many Muslims have today about debating the Christians about their Bible. This is very incorrect and not a part of the teachings of the Quran or the way of Muhammad, peace be upon him. While there are a number of things that we might be able to share with them about what we believe that is similar to what they might find in their Book, it is not correct to try to attack their Book, their beliefs nor their understandings. A wise man once said, "Debates bring a lot of heat, but not very much light." Leave the idea of debating and do not attend any functions where these types of activities are taking place. Pray for the Muslims to wake up to the dangers of this as a tool for Dawah before it is too late.
Another thing to stay away from is the so called "miracles" about the Quran and Islam that are not mentioned in the Quran or in the Sunnah of the prophet, peace be upon him. One example of the idea of some trees in Germany that are twisted around to spell, "La Ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasulullah." This is not true. The picture is a fake and anyone can easily prove this is not real. So where would you be if you had insisted that this was a "proof" that Islam is the right religion?
Other fake "miracles" include; a fish with "Allah" written on it; a tree bent toward Mecca in prayer; a pumpkin with "Bismillah Rahman Rahim" on it. Please verify this by visiting our website page on these stories at: http://www.IslamTomorrow.com/pumpkin.htm
Another area to avoid is the misconception about the "miracle of numbers" in the Quran. The stories are many and all of them are false. There is no miracle of "19" in the Quran; this not the occurrence of the word "day" and "night" 365 times (the Muslim calendar is 354 days anyway); the words "angel" and "devil" do not occur the same number of times; and all of the mathematical equations mentioned about the earth and the water are worthless to someone who is trying to understand about Allah and Islam. So please stop this propaganda and DO NOT FORWARD these messages to everyone on your list.
That is NOT Dawah. That is a waste of time and energy. The fact is that this will turn people away from the truth and destroy the pure message of Islam.
When we are going to talk with folks about Islam, we should first begin with the word itself. Let people know that there is a difference between the word "Islam" and what some people are doing.
Visit our page on this subject of the explanation of words before you try to discuss Islam with anyone: http://www.IslamTomorrow.com/word/
"ISLAM" - Explain to them that "Islam" can be understood both, as a verb and as a noun. As a noun, it is the religion that was completed by Allah for all human beings 1,400 years ago. The message came with Muhammad, peace be upon him, in the Arabic language.
As a verb, the word "Islam" means the surrender, submission, obedience and peace in sincerity with Allah.
Next, explain to them that the word Muslim comes from the word Islam itself. And the Arabic uses a prefix to the verb rather than a suffix to indicate the one who is performing the verb or action. So instead of being an "Islam-er" we are "Mu-islims" (Muslim).
Remember: K.I.S.S. (Keep It So Simple)
Next you might logically break down the word "Allah" and let them know what it comes from and how it is the perfect word to describe and represent the Lord of the Worlds, The Only Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
"Allah" comes from the root "ilah" and the plural is "Awliha." When the article "the" is placed in front of "Ilah" in Arabic, it becomes "Al-lah." In this state the word can no longer be made plural, nor can it be associated with gender. That is to say, that "Allah" can actually be used to represent the meaning of "One only to be worshipped, never plural, always singular and never man nor woman."
"Quran" is another word that you might explain to them. Let them understand that the Quran is not a book and that it is actually "alive" today in the hearts of over nine million (9,000,000) Muslims around the world. This is a real miracle. There is no other book like it. No book can compare to it and no other major religion today has their original preserved in the original language by so many followers of the religion.
For instance, you might ask the person, "Did you know? - Over NINE MILLION Muslims Memorized the Entire Quran. 9,000,0000 + Muslims living today have memorized the entire Quran in the original Arabic language. But surprisingly over 75% of all Muslims are not Arab. In fact, the largest number of Muslims today are in Indonesia. And did you know? That every Muslim in the world, over 1.5 billion have all memorized some of the Quran and each of them desires to memorize it entirely?
"Prophethood" in Islam is also an area that brings people to a better understanding of Muslims and what Islam is really about. Let them know that as much as we love and honor and respect all of the prophets from Adam to Abraham and Moses and David, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all, we never worship them. As a matter of fact, that is where people begin to go the wrong way, by over praising something or someone in the creation. All praise and worship is due to Allah, alone.
You might like to read and share the messages about Muhammad, peace be upon him, and Jesus, peace be upon him, from the Muslim perspective. You could print these pages out and share them or ask them to visit the links online if they can.
"Muhammad" - "Jesus"
"Human Rights" is a favorite of mine to talk about. And then rights in general in Islam. Of course it is Allah, who has the first and most exclusive right, that of being worshipped alone without any partners.
"Women's rights" There are areas to discuss and in particular of great interest today, is the rights of women. Also, you could mention that today more than ever before, women are coming into Islam in greater numbers than men. This is a fact.
There are many areas to open up the dialog, but always keep in mind that the message is to call people to worship Allah, Alone without any partners.
Make the clear distinction between what "Islam" teaches and what some "Muslims" do. Ask them to consider some of the bad people in history who were supposed to be Christians, yet what they did does not represent the Christians or Jesus.
"Islam" is not what some Muslims do. It is what all Muslims are "supposed" to do.
So all in all, you need to adopt gentleness and politeness in presenting your arguments. Allah Almighty addresses His Prophet, saying:
"Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." [Noble Quran 16:125]
The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: "Indeed, gentleness adds more beauty to the atmosphere it reposes therein."
Actually, nothing is more needed now, in making Dawah, than correct knowledge, gentleness and wisdom. The reason for this is to dispel all the superstitions and lies spread against Islam. All this needs wisdom, patience and perseverance, and such polite methods brings quick results and has rapid effect on the audience.
Consider the wife of Abu Sufyan, Hind and her saying to Muhammad, peace be upon him, after she came to Islam; "I never wanted to see anyone on the face of the earth to be put down more than you and your family. But now, I do not see anyone on the face of the earth more honored than you and your family."
This is a clear example of the prophet's effect on people's hearts and minds through his behavior and manners. Callers to Islam must follow this great example in their efforts to share the message of Islam instead of turning them away.
Always consider your audience and who it is that you are speaking to. If the people are not familiar with the Arabic language, then there is no real need to speak Arabic or make all of your quotes in Arabic and then try to translate everything to English. This is silly and could turn people away. Remember to keep everything on their level and not try to talk above them or talk down to them.
Visit our page on this subject and then write back to me with more questions:
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