This blog is written by Areeba Amanat (currently based in Rawalpindi Pakistan). She is a senior DM member and one of the pioneers. She has done BS in Psychology (with a training in Rehabilitation Psychology and an inclination towards research and psychometrics) & MS in Speech-Language Pathology/Therapy (experience working with pediatric and adult population in both hospital set up and special needs center).
The principles of psychology and behavior are a hallmark in Dawah, in any of its forms.
Conveying the message of Islamic Aqeedah & Tawheed is an art itself. It is a massive job. It is a responsibility and a noble cause.
Would it not be better to be able to have tools and tricks to enhance the quality of Dawah? Yes?
THAT’S EXACTLY WHY WE HAVE COMPILED IN THE FOLLOWING POINTS!!!
1. INTENTIONS (THE LITMUS TEST)
Litmus tests are used to measure and to know about the indicators. Did you think that there’s no litmus test for the Dawah?
Voilà! There is one for Dawah too. Here it is:
- Dawah should be solely for the sake of Allah
- Whatever you learn about Dawah Techniques & Islamic Knowledge should be implemented
- The Dawah should be continuous, every day, everywhere, for the rest of your life.
That’s it! Easy and simple
2. CREATIVITY IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Be creative. Think outside the box.
Have a pen and paper and go into the nitty-gritty details and come up with creative ideas, you’ll be surprised with what your own mind will conjure up with
And one of the best ways to do it is as a #team.
It’s the game of the brains and the mind, the more, the better!
Don’t hesitate to use attractive probes; use your unique ways to engage people in a dawah situation.
3. FORMALITY? WHAT IS THAT?
Talk to people in a way that they can relate with you. They should have a feeling that they know you already. Be informal! Be lively! Have fun and enjoy the conversations. Introduce yourself! Get to know them!
4. FEAR FEAR GO AWAY!
The most important mindset to have here is to forget about what anyone will think about you. Focus! What is the worse that could happen?
Katherine Diggory, in one of her articles, stated some remarkable ways of overcoming fear. She recommends to:
- First “analyse the nature of fear,”
- Then “prioritize the potential benefits of what you are doing,”
- After that “learn to live with a certain level of uncertainty in life,”
- And finally “stop thinking that “doing nothing” is an option.”
She also said:
“Action gives us confidence, forces us to learn and keeps us moving forward in life. Actively decide to be courageous.” 1
As a D’aee, you have to be friendly, comfortable, cheeky, open, with the best attire. Show the world that you are not some stubborn, strict and boring religious person.
Instead, you are just a normal, fun, cool, everyday person!
The research concluded that the first impression positively influences relationship development, which impacts the nature of future interactions and relationship development. 2 Therefore, we want them to take a high standard and good impression of practicing Muslims.
Your personality will be impressed by your character and ikhlaq instead of some hocus pocus deep theories. People yearn for ‘the human touch’ these days…
6. MANDATE – WHO AM I? WHY AM I HERE?
Being in a surrounding where the majority are non-practicing/non-Muslim, especially when they have “strong opinions” can be overwhelming.
Just push the pause button and think!
Why am I here?
Who has a higher mandate? Me or them?
Your reason to be there is both meaning and powerful than anything or anyone out there. Your message of calling to Allah swt is more profound and powerful than anything else.
7. RAPPORT BUILDING – MAKING THE FIRST MOVE!
Rapport building is a crux of an effective conversation. In an article of KnowledgeCity, the author said something wonderful, i.e.
“Building rapport helps to create and develop avenues of mutual trust, friendship and affinity with other individuals. Therefore, rapport is an essential skill to hone.” 3
The key thing to remember in a Dawah situation is to have exceptional “listening skills.” Remember that a Dawah conversation is not about giving lecture to the other person, rather it’s about building a good connection with them and to get them to listen.
Another important aspect of rapport building in a Dawah scenario is to think of things that can act as an ice breaker. E.g. start the conversation with humor, compliment people (people love compliments) etc.
The overall gesture, that we as Daees project, is very important as well. Be welcoming (shake hands). Be passionate! Impress them! Grab their attention with good articulation and charm.
And don’t forget to smile! 🙂
Psychology can be included in dawah in many ways as long as it is within Islamic principles’ confines. We, as Muslims, and on top of that as D’aees, should do everything with the highest standards.
- Katherine Diggory. The Power of Overcoming Fear. Everything you need to know about fear and how to overcome this feeling. 2018. https://www.explore-life.com/en/articles/the- power-of-overcoming-fear
- Human, L. J., Sandstrom, G. M., Biesanz, J. C., & Dunn, E. W. (2013). Accurate first impressions leave a lasting impression: The long-term effects of distinctive self-other agreement on relationship development. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4(4), 395-402.
- By KnowledgeCity The Essential Art of Building Rapport. January 14, 2020. https://www.knowledgecity.com/blog/essential-art-building-rapport/