On a hot sweltering August day, something that has made me very emotional took place.
What took place was something I’ve been yearning for a long while now. What took place was a bunch of young London based brothers ( 16-22) converge onto Central London & engage in da’wah. Not just Dawah, but street da’wah!
I exclaim in this way, because those who are involved in the da’wah, especially in the U.K. , will appreciate that getting youth to be involved in active da’wah is extremely difficult. This is the age where most youth want to watch speaker corner debates and arguments, become youtubers and entrepreneurs and only focus on charity work. Very rarely you’ll see huge enthusiasm for street da’wah and da’wah projects.
But alhumdulilah, through networking the last few months, these brothers insisted on experiencing street da’wah.
We met at East Croydon station. I had my son with me too. Around 9 of us converged onto Leicester Square.
Because this is their first ever time engaging in da’wah, we had to do a mini training and brief. In this briefing I went through the Niyyah, sincerity, why dawah, some stopping styles and what sort of message we Want to convey. Insha’Allah real and longer training will be done another day.
Masha’Allah the youth, although their first time, engaged with people from the get go. This was so pleasing to see.
On a personal level, I handed out perhaps around 20 odd booklets. And had 3 meaningful conversations.
Here they are:
So after a year of no street da’wah, my stopping lines were a bit scratchy. It’s like starting up a sports car after being shut inside a garage for a long time. Takes some time to get its verve back again.
After praising Allah and asking for his help, I went forth in the blazing sun that was shining down upon central London. I see a couple of young guys, English white guys, I call out to them and shout:
So how long have you been supporting Arsenal FC?!
They both stop in shock. They are shocked because that is their team they support. I can’t recall their names but they were both brothers. The older brother said, that’s freaky, I non chalantly reply with, “ah nothing new for me. “ Although in my deepest of minds, even I thought ok, ajeeb! Qadr Allah, they actually are Gooners. So After the usual ‘getting to know’ I exclaimed that you guys seem like highly intelligent guys ( although they didn’t say much to be fair, but this made them feel good). I asked what do you think of Islam, your honest opinion. The older retorted he doesn’t believe in anything and the usual ‘ respects all religions.’ Vibe. The younger one said, I think I believe in a higher power. I latched onto this and said, how about if I give you a rational reason to believe in a creator and then after that you go and do your own research . So went through a brief version of the origins of the universe argument, no objections and then advised them to check out a few websites..
And off they went, seed sown. Let’s see what happens on the day of judgment.. did they accept Islam a few years down the line? Who knows..
Second discussion was with a guy who had the branded T/shirt “Guess who”. So I approached him from afar and said loudly that “let me guess” .. he was surprised and said.. what?! I said.. I’m
Just following your Tshirt.. and my guess is : You’re an amazing human being! 😎😅. This not only made him laugh but stop and put away what he was smoking. It turned out he was a Turkish Muslim and this was more of a naseehah discussion. We spoke briefly about Salah, before a phone all took him away.
The third interaction was with a highly confident and cheeky Christian. Whilst a few of us were talking amongst each other, a Christian guy walks up to us. And I do have to admire the boldness. This is the kinda bold approach I want our duaat to adopt. He asks are you guys Muslim and we all nodded. He asked why and each brother was justifying their reason. Now I can see this guy had an angle, I can feel it coming, and behold.. a little later he brought up atonement and redemption. I won’t go into the details of the discussion but a few points came out which may help this blog.
He insisted that blood sacrifice was essential for the good of mankind. At this I asked, so Jesus died for Jews too? He said yes? For hindus, Buddhists and atheists.. everyone. He said yes. Even Muslims? He said yes.
Then I said, ok so with respect, then we don’t need to do anything. We can all relax. Because the sacrifice has been made! Now that did make him think for a moment and whilst he was thinking of a retort, I quickly asked bros around me, tell this gentleman how beautiful Allah’s mercy and forgiveness is.
Tawbah in Islam et al. Brothers recited ahadith, a Qur’anic ayah and so forth. To show which is more profound and makes sense. The Christian view of sin and redemption or the Islamic view..?
I also, with respect and a calm manner , asked him, by your theology, all babies are not born pure? Born with original sin. So a baby born today at a local hospital is already sinful? And then I said but have you ever studied the concept of fitrah in islam? Where in it’s the complete opposite! Humans are born pure and then their original belief gets corrupted and so forth..
As usual, he kept jumping to other questions. But the exchange was pleasant and chilled. It ended with me asking him what does he know about our prophet. He said actually the Prophet comes across as a great man and leader. And then I pressed him on the claim of him being a messenger of God. He said, he believe LS that the prophet was sincere but sincerely confused. He didn’t say it, but he was implying delusion. I cited references of Non Muslim orientalists who testified to the Prophets truth and eliminate the possibility of delusion or being crazy.
A bit of Dr William, some Gibbon and Messers Watt and Alfonse. He went back to his reason that the prophet was a profound man, but we can’t be sure he saw angel Gabriel in the cave.. I insisted that his claim was delusion, and again citing prophecies coming true, insisted this cannot be an option.
In the end we ended on a stalemate and he seemed happy with the discussion and I did ask him, if he had heard some
Of the content I used today and he denied this. So I suggested that he researches this. He seemed like a nice genuine fellow.
So.. after these conversations..
We prayed salaah. Br AbulNur, the Leicester Sq veteran Daee gave us refreshing lemon juice. Really helpful in the sweaty heat.
The young crew and myself went to shake shack around the corner to do a debrief and all said it was a wonderful experience.
Planning on future dawah training with these young budding duaat.
Watch this space.
For those who took time to read the blog. In the comments below, do share what tips you have picked up, if any from this blog.