ONE TO ONE DAWAH
Beyond lectures, workshops, talks and events.
One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.
“The religion is nasihah.” The people asked, “To whom?” The Prophet ﷺ replied, “To Allah and to His Book and to His Messenger and to the leaders of the Muslims and the common folk.”
[Collected by Bukhari and Muslim]
The need for the one to one interaction:
So I have this habit of asking anyone & everyone this now classic question,
How’s the da’wah?
The answers are usually this:
- I am sharing posts daily on FB
- My insta stories go out twice a day!
- The isoc is planning new stuff soon
- We are organising an event soon at our institute Insha’Allah
- I argued with atheists and Christians in various online groups..
- I told someone that this is haram/ don’t do that.
Ok, These are rewardable actions and I pray that you earn from this.
But to change the world, to emulate the Sunnah, to make an impact around us we need to add an extremely important armour to our work.
One to one da’wah / naseehah/ conversations.
‘Uncle ji factor’.. .missing
I recall that back in the 90s, in Urban Britain. In a typical British town local shops area, if any young Muslim youth were seen to be smoking or meeting a girl or getting up to no good! Then there was always an uncle ji that had a go at them! Tell them off and then out of shame and respect the youth would avoid doing something like this in public!
Not the best way to enjoin good and forbid evil but at least it was something, But fast forward decades later, where have all those uncles and elders gone?! Now it’s open season in many town centres and cities everywhere, the elders are walking past the youth and not saying anything! Not engaging in even try to give naseehah or advice!
I think this blog was a long time coming. This blog is an appeal to all those involved in all sorts of da’wah projects. Whether they help in arranging courses of all sizes, or one day workshops, lectures, events and seminars.
We have all become event coordinators/ TICKET PROMOTERS
Yes, if there’s an event which will have amazing speakers conduct a workshop or a lecture, we should promote it as much as we can. But what i have noticed is that EVERYONE IS ONLY doing this – sharing posters. What about actual conversations with non muslims or non practising youth? why have we forgotten to open our mouth? Sharing what we know with them.
Have the mindset that you will engage in deep meaningful one to one da’wah or naseehah everywhere you go and not wait for the next stall or collective activity.
Keep this up. Continue the great work. But when you are at these events. If you see someone who you may think needs da’wah or naseehah, then approach them.
Introduce yourself! If struggling with what to say or you feel ‘awkward’ then start with a simple- How did you find the event? Any feedback? Then introduce yourself, ask open questions, look genuinely interested in their life just as someone at an interview would be!
Da’wah at all times.
There are times and situations when initiating a dawah conversation may not be appropriate, i get that. Either it was a brief encounter with someone- for instance, at the mall, receptionist, shopkeeper and countless other every day examples. But where the conversation has moved on from niceties, where there’s a situation when you are going to be with this person for a few hours or half a day, perhaps ask them a question. ICE BREAKING da’wah questions have been discussed before, but there’s always usually a situation when an opportunity arises. Seize and build upon this opportunity just as a fisherman would be delighted at finding a huge swathe of fishes whilst sitting patiently for many hours! If you continue doing this, or at least bank this idea in your mind somewhere to create a dawah conversation, for days, weeks and months, you’ll see so many situations open up. Always be on standby for dawah, until your breath on earth.
Where are those people?!
I had the privilege of being around confident brothers who whenever and wherever we used to go, we engaged in some sort of DA’WAH conversation or gave naseehah. Be it the chicken shop, the guy behind the counter or fellow customers, be it on the underground tube trains, be it at someone’s dinner invite or get together. After some light small talk, always link the discussion to the purpose of life. Always!
I have seen brothers do this a lot in the late 90’s in my town of Crawley & London and then in Islamabad in the past 2010 eras. But not elsewhere, Why is that?
Why not consider the following hadith as an incentive:
The Prophetﷺ was also reported to have said: “Whoever hides knowledge by which Allah benefits people in their affairs of religion, Allah will bridle him on the Day of Resurrection with a bridle from the Hellfire.” (Ibn Majah)
Become known as the giver of naseehah
If you have built your mindset to always think about starting a conversation about the origins of the universe or about the corruption of our hearts then this will lead to a life times habit of engaging in powerful dawah and naseehah. So much so, that people will become to know you as oh..fulan flan..the one who always makes you think? and espouses beautiful naseehah? oh yes, i know him/her.
This should be reputation vision. Be known to always impart beautiful words.
Always call to Allah SWT
When you die, people remember you not as the Gold medalist student, the one who became a motivational speaker, a scientist an author or even someone who owns a land of land and estate! But better than this, would you not like to be fondly remembered as the dais. If you’re name is Javed, saeed, Muhammad, Saira, Hoda or Janet, be known as Janet?! oh the sister that used to engage in dawah? or Muhammad the brilliant hard working caller to Allah?! That’s the legacy you should leave, the legacy of the saver of lives in the akhirah…with the permission of Allah SWT, The one who always called to Allah
Taxi/ Uber/ Careem.
They are usually very chatty and are always looking for a chat, so spark up something! The “ world is such a mess, the Govt doesn’t care ..” line gets them going. Once you’ve indulged in this topic for a while, bring it back to our own emaan, our graves, Tawheed, our worship, our diseased ridden hearts..
Dinner with guests
During Dinner with the guests…i mean, think about it..how much silly small talk can one do!? After explaining to Uncle ji, what you’ve studied and how much you earn or to aunty ji, all the marriage related talk, what then? why not through charm and craft, take the conversation to a higher level? literally into the heavens, the universe and lead them towards thinking about the Throne of Allah swt! Above everything!
Find someone At a wedding and open a profound dawah conversation there. Why not?! what will you lose? will you be thrown out of the wedding because you’ve begun a light hearted chat about man, life and universe?! Of course not, people are always looking for an interesting conversation, so even at a setting like this, they could become inspired.
Funeral: ideal place.
Why not At funerals? Have you not noticed that after the initial ‘duas’ and ‘afsos’ , people resort to worldly talk! When really this is prime time to discuss death and afterlife! The discussion on death, the punishments of the grave is far more beneficial than vain small talk!
Rather than always commenting on various public figures pages and risk becoming an annoying troll, who is always complaining and ranting, why don’t you try engaging people in the inbox? comments debates and arguments are almost totally a waste of time. An online comments battle is akin to two people falling down a deep dark well..and rather than trying to team up and work out how to save themselves from their predicament, they are still arguing viciously! What a tragic waste of time and life!
University/ college/ school.
Ok so you’re not allowed to have an Islamic society or arrange events. Fine.So is that it? The DAWAH stops? No..
Do you not meet and greet fellow students, Do you not talk to each other, Do you not have ‘gup shup’ & communicate, In the corridors, the canteen, at the gates or the lawn?! Of course you do! So now in a subtle manner, espouse beautiful advice and bring about discussion about the purpose of life and discussing existentialist topics.
Recruiting for Allah
Other than always starting a dawah conversation with other humans, you could also add another ‘dawah tool to your ‘armour’. That is to recruit for Allah! What i mean here is that always ask people if they are involved in any kind of dawah project? this gets people curious and then you could excitingly talk to them about iERA, YC..DM perhaps! Everyone could play role in the dawah. Always be on the lookout for someone with a particular skill that could strengthen our campaign. the campaign of calling people to the worship of Allah, the campaign of saving humanity from the deep burning fire that is raging and waiting for us! There are in this world, headhunters for tech companies and startups, but what about ‘dawah startups’?! There is deep blessings in this work! oUR OBJECTIVE is the pleasure of ALLAH, TO SEEK HIS FACE..but the amazing spin offs and bonuses are that our own life in this world gets a facelift! it will improve! This has happened to me and many others i know! so don’t just call to Allah but encourage calling to Allah! Have a one to one conversation with someone over coffee and present this amazing job, which has nobility in abundance.
Imagine we all did this. The Ummah!
If everyone gave everyone else najeebah, sincere advice, with warmth, intelligence and wisdom, would you not think that perhaps this may lead to removal of corruption within the hearts?! and if that happens, then we may have more principled people in the world. Good, strong upright , just principled men and women, some of whom may become future leaders of countries or CEO’s of multinational companies.
There’s a short video that accompanies this blog. Do have a watch after you’ve read this.