Da’wah is to invite a person to the true teachings of Islam, to call them to the worship of one deity. It is a duty placed upon our shoulders and an extension of the Prophet’s work. It has become a common misconception, that one must be ‘professionally trained’ in order to carry out the task. The reality is, as long as you speak the truth and pair it with good character, you are sharing Islam.
So here are some tips to help you reach out to those near and far:
1. Return to Tawheed. It’s easy to get lost in webs of conversation, but always focus on Tawheed. By getting carried away, one forgets to share the principle of worshipping one Lord alone.
2. Be Patient. Yes, it is difficult, especially when we gauge our success on the results we see. If we think it through, it is only Allah who guides, our task is to merely convey. Noah called to his people for 950 years!
3. Akhlaaq. Actions speak louder than words! Be a role model, others will follow you, they will look up to you and you will gain a worthy reputation.
4. “I don’t know”. Sadly, egos drive individuals to claim they know all. Many become the Grand Mufti in a matter of minutes! Don’t shy away from admitting that you don’t know something, but reassure that you will try to find out.
5. Equip yourself. Expect awkward questions, and research; knowledge is at the click of a button. Hollow speech is a bad trait, know what you are talking about.
6. Empathize. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes: what thoughts would pass through your mind. Give breathing space, and do not ‘grill’ the person.
7. Be consistent. Every now and then, check up and be open with them. Remind them, but be gentle, perhaps invite them for dinner. Everyone loves a good meal! Allowing them to see you demonstrate Islamic principles, throughout all aspects of your lifestyle, is the best reflection.
8. Be creative. Conversations and lectures are not the only means of conveying the message. Vary the techniques; ensure they are appropriate to your audience. Gifting, poetry, blogging and Vlogging are ways to share the deen.
9. Get involved. Know the activities in your local area, and volunteer. Speak to others to broaden your horizon. Sometimes the community may be able to provide resources.
10. I can’t think of a tenth one….perhaps you have your own you’d like to add?