So a complete dawah mission took place at the area where the inventor of the Television used to once live!
Yes the very first inventor lived and worked here many decades ago! This was the one famous thing I found about Ilford, just to start off in a unique manner! 🙂
So this suburban area which is actually a part of the county of Essex & not East London as many would think! witnessed a superb dawah training session & a few hours of street dawah.
There actually is a regular 2 man dawah stall, who participate in a few of hours of dawah once a week, but as is the usual case in this day and age, the daawah needs strengthening. It needs highly motivated, quality, academic and knowledgeable duaat. So to fulfil this the iERA team organised a 3 day mission which included a motivational lecture, a full day of training and a session of street dawah.
The motivational lecture undertaken by Subooor was fantastic! His pitch, content and delivery was spot on. He kept it short but succinct. Using the amazing analogy of ‘washing the dishes’ in explaining that when we give dawah, we increase our Emaan at the same time! This lecture was part of the first day of the mission.
The dawah training took place on day 2. Imran spoke his heart out and in his very smooth laid back style spoke eloquently about why it is a privilege to work for Allah. He made use of stories, all true, to inspire the trainees to be involved in dawah. He gave a very solid GORAP session. He emphasised on the connection to Allah.
He also mentioned how we have been ‘recruited by Allah’ to do his work for him. Very powerful points.
On the 3rd and final day of this mission, we came out onto the streets of Ilford. We joined the regular stall there for a few hours of street action.
I spoke to around 6 people.
All of these and many others i had no issues in stopping. Mainly because of my cavalier, joking style. I for one do not believe in just thrusting a dawah card in someones face in all honesty! Others may differ in style but i get excited when interacting with members of the general public. This is something inherent within me! especially for the fact that i am calling people to Allah!
The kind of fun lines that i used and duaat around the world could use are:
1. “ Oh hey, did you want to chat now or later?”
2. (Me to someone walking along ) “So lets chat..
( ”Oh no, I’m so sorry i can’t I’m in a rush..
(Me) oh its ok i forgive you!!!
3. (Me) “ You look just the type of guy that would chat about the purpose of life…am i right?!’
(Guy) but i am in a hurry..otherwise would have stopped!
(Me) oh don’t worry, I’m only going to take 5 hours of your time (!) ..
Works on the streets?!
and many other witty lines were used!
In almost all cases, they actually stopped. More than anything , i hope i left a very good impression that muslims are jovial bubbly and friendly people and are up for banter and a chat.
But once they have stopped, then after some intros, the conversation naturally gets serious.
One punjabi sikh lady I spoke to followed an unorthodox version of sikhism. Although when i discussed with her about the nature of God we were in complete agreement but then She believed that We have prophets alive today! and so believed in a certain swami. When pressed as to the reasons why she believed in his ‘divinity’, she replied ‘ because of his immaculate manners and his presence” . I countered by saying no doubt he sounds like a noble man with high morals, but anyone can claim prophethood and claim divine powers.I can also point out towards countless people alive today who also have a high standard of manners, but that doesn’t quantify them as having claim to prophethood! after a while of chatting, She agreed to take a few booklets for further research.
..I spoke to a young teenage 17 year old polish guy. The teenage guy was actually impressed and seemed inspired about what the purpose of life should be. I think we had good banter because for the first 5 minutes all i did was have a laugh with him, joked around. So i felt this style of a’ lead in’ would open him up. Unfortunately he had to leave and was in a hurry (who isn’t?!). But took the booklet ‘Is life just a game’ with him.
Then I moved into a chat with a polish builder , which turned out to be a much more serious affair.
He didn’t believe in a creator & after i presented a few arguments that he does indeed exist. It seemed at first he agreed. But then for some reason after the discussion ended he resorted back to his original belief. After this discussion i pondered over this discussion in general and thought about perhaps we could improve our :
Communication techniques in Dawah
I feel that when engaged in an intense chat about the universe and the purpose of life. Us duaat perhaps speak too quickly and become in a preaching mode. When this happens, we don’t listen as much. We need to massively improve this. Additionally i feel a summary of sorts should also be a part of the discussion. I say this because although the person you’re chatting to may nod and seemingly understand what you’re espousing, it is not always the case. The nod doesn’t mean agreeing , So slow down & obtain as many vital agreements as possible.
Though the sunnah is to keep as positive as possible, i would like to highlight some negativity and pray we can work on this. I blog out of passion. I blog so i can perhaps explain my thoughts and feelings to the Ummah. The negative aspect was the severe lack of young bros attending the training and coming out for street dawah AND the amount of Brothers that walked past the stall. I was surprised at the lack of encouragement they could have given to those at the stall. Or make duas for us or even a salaam!Let alone taking an interest in joining us! I am sure they have their reasons, but i don’t see how you cannot just stand with those who are calling to Allah for a few minutes. Even if you have fiqhi differences with a certain organisation, how can there be a difference over engaging with the public to try and save their souls (with the permission of Allah)?! I really cannot fathom this. Where are the youth of Ilford? Of London?! This is actually a major Muslim populated area. So to see such a dearth of a turnout and a huge lack of enthusiasm for dawah, is surprising. Those of you reading this blog, id be glad to hear your thoughts on this!
Back to the mission…!
Nevertheless, We went out and established a team. Maybe some khayr will come out from this. A lot of us will continue what we do best.
Our motivation ?
And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.”
A short fun video was also made. The main aim was to show that as street duaat, be as informal as possible and actually enjoy a bit of banter with the public. This will breakdown negative images in the minds of the public about Muslims, would increase stopping rate & help you continue and look forward to the Da’wah for years to come!