Redefining and Refining Da’wah

Photo by Umar Mita

On Facebook, I came across a video by Shaykh Usama Canon about Da’wah (link to the video) and I highly encourage everyone to watch it.

Then, I scrolled down to the comment section to read a few comments. Usually, this is a bad decision on my part because 8 times out of 10, the comment section (be it on Facebook or Youtube) is filled with disappointments.

But Alhamdulillah, I am glad that I scrolled down to that particular comment section because I found gems upon gems of honest views from honest people, about Da’wah. I want to share those views with you all here:

Person #1

I don’t think I understand bringing people to Islam, that seems pushy and semi forceful. The attempts of some people doing dawah is to challenge a person’s faith and practices; to bring the other down. That is inflicting a trauma on another human being. That is oppression.

I wonder if dawah could be explained in a different way?

Say perhaps, wanting for another human being to feel a safe and contented trust that they are not alone, that love is with them, and that there is always a way for things to improve.

The question of who are you really giving dawah for, is a good one. Sometimes, well intended Muslims who start to become passionate about giving dawah take a literal approach to ‘spreading’ Islam, and then it becomes a challenge, with the passion more focused on having someone ‘surrender’.

But, is it truly wanting a surrender (opening oneself to feel God’s presence and love) to God with the intention/motive above? Or, is it an ego problem? Or, is it a problem of patience – it takes lot’s of love and patience to be truly accepting and open to accept people as they are.

The beauty in finding Islam and connecting with God is a sensational feeling.

Person #2

Many of us do only concentrate on increasing the quantity of the ummah rather than concentrate on helping the individual increases the quality of his/her life.

We scream takbeer upon hearing someone say the shahada but then walk away from them completely feeling accomplished and confident that we brought “someone into the club” and collected our “points”.

It is a shame because da’wah has become really watered down and conducted in an almost business like manner and what’s worse, more and more people end up leaving the deen because they are abandoned.

May Allah guide us all. Ameen.

Person #3

Things that get called “dawah” tend to not be dawah, because if you’re really doing it then there’s no real need to throw a label on it.

That pamphlet can’t solve my problems, that website is only going to answer so many of my questions, and did you really think I would walk into the mosque to strike up a conversation with the “Dawah Committee”? Explaining who we are isn’t going to be done at tables, it’s going to be done smiling at the workplace and enjoying ourselves outdoors and having outstanding business values and contributing to the community.

The only thing that brought me to where I am today is that I was blessed enough to have beautiful people around me. If they hadn’t been real people, if they hadn’t invited me to dinner, if they didn’t constantly greet each other, all of the essays and arguments and lectures in the world wouldn’t have brought me in.

And I don’t think that I’m an exceptional case.

“If what you’re doing is really attractive, you don’t need to sell it.” (Usama Canon on Revisiting Dawah)

1 thought on “Redefining and Refining Da’wah”

  1. Wanted to add something to the last bit. When, during Omar's caliphate persia was conquered, Al-Hurmuzan, the Governor of Tustur and Ahwaz in Persia hid in his fortress, and as the army came closer he shot arrows and killed a number of sahabi, among them Al Baraa' ibn Malik (Anas ibn Malik's brother), even though the country had surrendered.

    He was brought to Omar.

    He told Omar that he wanted some water, and would not drink it until Omar promised him safety until he completed his drink. After Omar's promise, he kept the water down and did not drink it. Omar got angry at Al-Hurmuzan's treachery, and said that he would kill him immediately.

    A brother of Baraa' ibn Malik (who was killed by Al-Hurmuzan) reminded Omar of the importance of the oath, and that he was a witness that Omar should follow his oath. Al-Hurmuzan immediately accepted islam, and he said,

    “I have never seen anything like what I saw today. A man, who's brother I killed, Bears witness for me, a witness that saves me from my death.

    Because of these acts, people have accepted islam.”

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