Da’wah, which in Arabic means an invitation to Islam, is one of those words that many members of the Muslim community turn a blind eye towards. Many people acknowledge its importance but at the same time fear it because they wrongly presume it takes lots of knowledge. The reality is far from the fact. Anyone who knows Surat Al-Ikhlas (The Purity), or even just knows what Tawheed is (the Oneness of Allah) can give Da’wah. Many people new to Da’wah are surprised to know that once they begin talking to people, they uncover lots of knowledge about Islam which they didn’t really know they had.
Yet people forget that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave Da’wah his entire life. This was his purpose on Earth, to call people to Islam. And in the Qur’an, we are commanded by Allah:
“Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious” [The Qur'an 16:125]
Yet even though this is an obligation upon every Muslim, many people neglect it because of fear of speaking with strangers. However the model of Da’wah that Muhammad (pbuh) used was to first start with speaking to his family about Islam. Later, he gave Da’wah to his friends. Soon after that, Allah commanded him in Surat Najm (The Stars) to give Da’wah to the public and this is when he made his first recitation to the tribe of the Quraysh (the tribe that Muhammad (pbuh) was born into and the tribe whom persecuted him for 23 years). Therefore by following the model of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in giving Da’wah, we can successfully gain comfort in the way we speak to people about Islam and at the same time gain knowledge about our own faith and others’ faith.
Many of us may fear giving Da’wah to strangers because they not be as welcoming as friends or family. So start with your family and friends. And as you gain comfort, move on to giving Da’wah to strangers. Just remember that no one will ever have every bit of Islamic Knowledge. But if you start out with Tawheed, I guarantee you will always succeed. So please do not delay this commandment from Allah, and share your religion with those deprived from it!