“Call them to the path of your Lord with wisdom and words of good advice; and reason with them in the best way possible. Your Lord surely knows who strays from His path, and He knows those who are guided the right way.”
~ Holy Qur’an 16:125 (Ahmed Ali)
Dawah is a very important aspect of Islam. We need to show others what Islam is about. Indeed, many of the problems we, as Muslims, face, are precisely because we haven’t been doing our duty, letting people know the truth about Islam. How are people in wider society going to know Islam is a religion of peace, that Islam teaches us to be kind, compassionate, educated, and overall, better human beings, if we do not demonstrate this, through our example and work?
If we do not do our duty, all people will be left with, is the confusion of the mainstream media and the lies of religious fanatics… However, how we give dawah is crucial, so as not to aggravate an already bad situation…
Some people do their dawah work almost like fire and brimstone breathing televangelists… While this may affect a certain audience, for the most part, it tends to put most people off… Nor is this a traditional Islamic approach. Let us not forget, the Arabic word ‘dawah’ means ‘invitation’, i.e. like inviting people to a party, not putting the fear of death in them! @_@
By far the best form of dawah, and the one most practiced by our Prophet, peace be upon him, and those who have lived most closely to his noble example, is through living Islam, in our day to day lives, showing people love, kindness, compassion, concern, caring, honesty, dignity, etc. This is by far the best form of dawah, as actions always speak louder than words.
Speeches, debate and discussion do play an important role too. When approaching these, consider your audience, it’s important to use wisdom, bestowing “words of good advice; and reason with them in the best way possible.” as Allah SWT advises us in His Holy Qur’an, and not being so long winded as to tire your listeners. Keeping them engaged is vital to getting your ideas across, indeed any message, not only religious ones.
Bearing this in mind, it’s important to stay current, relate Quranic teachings to situations people face, in their day to day 21st Century lives; this being especially true for children and young people. We should use every modern technology and communication method available to us. After all, if we don’t, brothers and sisters will still use them, but they will have less access to good content.
May Allah SWT support our collective noble efforts in this most important of endeavours, and guide us all in the best of ways.
Salahuddin Abu Sophia