|Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov|
I’m skeptical about the “copy-and-paste Da’wah” that I sometimes see here and there.
What is Copy-and-Paste Da’wah?
When we hear a question, we immediately search for the answer from an “answer scheme” in our head and copy-and-paste it.
It’s like a typical exam in school: memorize everything, load the brain up, and unload when needed. We just spill everything out on the paper. No understanding, no internalization, and no creativity.
Most of the times, Da’wah not that simple as copying and pasting stuff we hear and read. Sometimes, copy and paste does work but, for myself at least, I don’t think that it’s wise to rely on it as the norm of Da’wah.
The reality is that we’re dealing with people, not robots. Each individual is unique; with unique personalities, unique circumstances, and unique experiences.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was a genius at this. He knew the people around him and he knew the ways to penetrate their hearts. He didn’t use magic. He built that social connection with people, before engaging them.
Once, the Prophet engaged with Rukanah – the undefeated wrestler of his time. The Prophet knew that wrestling was the “language” that Rukanah understood well so he challenged Rukanah in a wrestling match. Rukanah thought this was a joke, because no one ever beat him before. But he agreed to it.
To his surprise, the Prophet easily threw him to the ground. He lost. He was dumbfounded. That was the first time such a thing happened to him. So he challenged the Prophet to another match. The Prophet agreed, but he gave Rukanah a condition. The Prophet will fight him again and if he loses, he has to accept Islam. Rukanah agreed and the match began. Boom! He lost again.
Long story short, Rukanah then embraced Islam.
Disclaimer! I’m not telling you to go wrestle people into Islam.
The point of the story above is the importance of understanding people and speaking their language. The Prophet knew that the language of Rukanah was wrestling.
We have to understand who we’re speaking to. We have to build that connection before we send our message across.
It’s like the internet: if there’s no connection, the message is not going to go through right?