By Abrar Ahmed
Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim
Salaamalykum wa rahmatullah
Dawah = Inviting people to Islam.
Here are a few suggestions on how to begin a conversation, and key points to remember when talking about Islam in any setting. Remember these are all flexible where using your own style of talk is encouraged!
Following are a few *must-have* pre-requisites for a rewarding and safe conversation with people before giving Dawah:
1. Begin with sincere intentions and Dua (supplication)
2. If at a dawah table, make sure to be in front of the table; trust us, it makes a big difference (sisters don’t have to do this; in fact, other girls, esp. on Bruinwalk, feel more comfortable talking at the table. (Our guess? “ we’re the only guys there¦we need more sisters to participate!)
3. Handing out pamphlets, cards”esp. about “God” or “Islam””are really good ways to begin conversation. Surveys also work as a great tool.
We usually say quick phrases such as:
a. “Here is some info. on Islam”
b. “Interested in Islam?”
c. “Learn about Islam”
d. …or anything that comes to your mind to catch their attention…
4. Always try working in pairs.
*Dawa Tip* If there is more than one person, try to separate the group and talk to ’em individually; that’s working in pairs helps!
Okay, here’s what we do to talk to someone about Islam:
Simple ways to begin conversation about Islam
Muslim: “Really quickly, if I were to ask you about Islam, what would you say?”
Potential Muslim, iA: “Ummm… not much… Muhammad… 5 pillars…etc”
Compliment them; tell them how much they know about Islam, and how they’re not ignorant. (they feel really happy!)… but direct their thinking towards Allah.
Ask them: “Who do you think Muslims pray to?”
Potential Muslim, iA: “….don’t really know…Allah? Muhammad?…”
*Dawa Alert* Remember the magic words, Tawheed! Tawheed! Tawheed! Always stick to the Oneness (and description) of Allah. Islam is different from other religions because of our understanding of God.
Muslim: “Wow! Good job! Really close… but we don’t pray to Muhammad…or anybody else for that matter, except God alone… When we say God or “Allah,” (always try using the word “Allah” in the conversation) we refer to the One who is the Creator of all that exists, the One who is incomparable…The One Jesus prayed to (if you can tell they’re Christian)…and that there is nobody like Him…
…Great thinking with Muhammad (saw); but, he was just a messenger, a servant of God who came with this message to all of us…the message that removes our worship of any creation, ideologies, desires, people, etc…towards the Creator. That in a nut-shell is Islam”
Potential Muslim, iA: (At awe!)
Muslim: Does any of this make sense, or resonate with what you believe?
(From this point on, given what they say or believe, different conversations are required. Either way, we always channel our conversation to Tawheed)
*Dawa Alert* regardless of what they say, always compliment them …be sure to use “behavior flexibility”; remember we have only couple moments of their time so don’t let them leave without the correct understanding of Allah.
*Dawa Tip* In any conversation, keep the talk simple. Please, don’t get into philosophical discussion as to why we believe this, its significance, and how it affects us…etc. It’s a waste of time, and frankly, many don’t care. Our job is just to talk about God, in reference to the context they come from.
*Dawa Tip* CAUTION! STAY AWAY FROM POLITICS when talking about Islam!
…don’t talk about the injustices of the world, even though it’s tempting. If they insist, let them know politely”yet, firmly”that we deal only with Islam, and not what’s happening around the world. (Trust us, it gets ugly and even if they agree with us on political issues and leave without listening to Prophet’s (saw) message, it won’t do any good.)
5. Try to emulate the Prophet’s (saw) character as much as possible:
1. Never get angry
2. be patient and nice.
3. Always : )
4. Don’t debate…end the conversation if it doesn’t go anywhere.
If they stay to talk more or seem interested”you’ll be surprised how many people want to hear more!”that’s another email. Basically, make sure to find out their religious views (esp. about God) early on and stick to Tawheed (oneness of Allah) accordingly.
Be sure to attend the “Calling to the Way” Da’wah workshop this sat, Feb 7th, 2009, with Yusha Evans, a former youth minister and now a big Dai’ (caller to Islam) for Muslims in America, where we’ll learn more tips and ways to give Da’wah¦
¦and check out the “10min. Shahada” online lecture posted on the ucla-for-islam google group.
(there…that’s all”if not less”is what we need to begin a conversation: talk about Allah and our Prophet (saw), and we’ve conveyed the message and done our job regardless of who they are… if they have to go, take their contact information and give them ours, thank them for the conversation and tell them to look into this message “ you can send them an email later, if needed.)
UCLA Da’wah Team