Archive for category Da’wah
Shaykh Omar Suleiman said:
“Has anyone ever thrown stones at you?”
Those were the words of my teacher to me once when i was complaining about how tired i am traveling and teaching. The point being that truly our jobs are super easy. We fly in comfortable airplanes, stay in comfortable hotels, etc. The most we have to deal with is an annoying person or a cranky TSA agent. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam), the greatest of creation, was spit on, cursed, slandered, pelted with stones, and slept on a bed of branches.
If Allah has blessed you to be involved in Islamic work in any capacity, never show except the highest amount of gratitude and dont ever allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself. Whether you are a volunteer, organizer, speaker, etc. just be thankful that Allah is using you for good without making you go through what others who were far better than you had to withstand.
With that being said, the true soldier in my family is my wife mashaAllah tabarakAllah. She deserves all of the duas and appreciation.
I think everyone remembers the first time they gave a halaqah or a lecture. And if you haven’t given one, mark my words inshaaAllah you will remember your first one.
For those of you who are about to give one for the first time, I pray the following advice benefits you. Again, one of the reasons I really wanted to put a resource out there for guidelines in regards to giving a halaqah or a lecture is because I had previously tried to search for this information on my own, and I did not find much. I don’t claim to be an expert, and all of the following are just from my own personal experiences.
If anyone has anything to add to these points, please post in the comments section below :)
1. Check your sincerity.
An action that begins with a sincere intention is sure to be fruitful, bi’ithnillah. And keep a close-eye on your intention. It doesn’t hurt to pause every once in a while and silently make dua to Allah to make you sincere.
Begin with the Khutbatul Hajja and any du’a such as the du’a of Musa (Rabbi ishraH lee Sadree…)
2. Don’t try to “wing” it!
A friend of mine was about to give her first halaqah. I spoke to her the night before and she expressed frustration, and said “I was thinking of just going in there and winging it.”
I probably reacted somewhere along the lines of “NOOOO!”
Do not do that. You’re setting yourself up for failure. This is not an audition for the school play. It is the dissemination of sacred knowledge and sincere advice.
Prepare your halaqah in advance, and read over it often. Give it to someone to check, just in case. Practice giving the halaqah, and do it enough times so that you won’t have to keep looking down at your paper, because this can lead to a break in people’s attention. (See point #8)
Practicing beforehand will also help to avoid that “first-time-monotone.” You know what I’m talking about? It’s when someone feels so overwhelmed with nervousness, that their voice loses any sign of emotion, and they begin to sound like a robot reading off a piece of paper.
3. Don’t welcome questions/comments during the halaqah.
If it’s your first time, a simple question could side-track you and make you lose your train of thought.
When you are about to begin, just mention to everyone to “please write down questions during the halaqah if you have any, and we will try to go over it at the end; if I cannot address the question, I will get back to you inshaAllah.”
Similarly, a simple comment could leave you flabbergasted and wondering how to continue with your halaqah. People love discussions and enjoy chiming in with their own reflections, and inshaAllah as you begin to give more halaqaat, you will become skilled at hearing a comment or a question during the halaqah, addressing it warmly and correctly, and then moving along smoothly.
4. Pick a single topic – don’t bombard them.
Pick a single topic and let it all revolve around that topic. It can be a very general topic such as “Relationship with Allah,” or “Righteous Companions,” etc. but don’t go in there with the idea of just giving “General Pieces of Advice” and then bombard them with 15 pieces of seemingly disorganized and unrelated “advices.” If you have a lot to say, find a way to make it fit into a single topic, so that it is easier for others to follow.
We may think to ourselves, “This may be the only time I see these people, I should make sure they hear everything!”
To this I say, “If you want them to come back, give them something they can enjoy and easily digest — if you give them heartburn, you probably won’t see them in your halaqah again.”
One topic that I enjoy for a First Halaqah is “Righteous Company” because I see it as a way to encourage them to attend future halaqaat and Circles of Remembrance. There are many other benefits to making this a first-time topic.
5. Make it relevant and applicable
Da’wah is always tailored to suit the audience. Find out the general description of your audience, and prepare accordingly. High schoolers are addressed differently from University-goers.
New-to-Islam vs. Not-New-To-Islam
Married vs. Single
Recently started practicing vs. Been Practicing
You get the point, inshaAllah.
6. ‘Aqeedah first
Always be wise in your da’wah and include clear messages regarding ‘aqeedah, as this always comes first.
Even a topic like “Righteous Companions” – you can easily bring `Aqeedah into that.
If you’re unsure how to do this, leave a question inshaAllah.
7. “Sorry guys, this is my first time”
Is this something you want to say? I don’t know… maybe, maybe not. I’ll leave that up to you.
(I personally wouldn’t say it, only because it may make you more nervous, and make them more aware of your “first-time-ness.”)
8. Eye contact is important.
And you need to make sure you know what’s on your paper so you can make eye-contact for long periods of time. Try to meet everyone’s eyes, not just a couple of people. Let each of them feel like they are being addressed personally.
That is all for now, again please add to this list, and I will also see if anything else comes to mind.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Allaah and the angels, and even the ant in its nest and the whale in the sea will pray for the one who teaches people good things.”
(Reported by al-Tabaraani from Abu Umaamah; see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1838)
This past week I came across a new hijabi face, which is unusual nowadays. Being on the same campus for years, and being that it is the end of a semester, I was quite surprised and delighted to see this sister whom I had never seen before. She was clearly an older adult, but it is not uncommon to see sisters with husbands and kids attending college. Smiling at her, I approached her to give my salam and to make some small talk. My shoes were slippery with sand and dust so I almost slipped, but I caught myself and began talking to her while laughing behind my niqab at how I almost fell.
I talked to her for just a couple of minutes, or maybe even less. Then I began to tell her about the MSA on campus. I first mentioned the clubroom to her and told her that she can pray there. She listened and politely responded at the appropriate openings. I was about to continue on but she interrupted me and said, with her arm on mine and with a smile on her face “By the way, I’m a professor here.”
That was my initial reaction. But as I keyed into her body language (the fact that she had already began to turn and walk towards the elevator) and her facial expression, I realized that this is the reaction she was expecting. I was supposed to stop after she said that, perhaps even offer an apology of sorts. But you know, I’ve never been one to take hints. (lol) So upon realizing this fact, I continued on and let her know that that doesn’t matter and that she can still come to events. At this, she stated that her students keep her up to date with all of this, and this made me happy because it meant that there were Muslim students out there doing their jobs. I showed her my approval at this, and gave her my hearty salam.
Point of Benefit: If your job is to give da’wah to the Muslims, everyone is fair game. (Just keep in mind the restrictions and dangers in a sister giving da’wah to a male, or a brother giving da’wah to a female.) You’ll find some MSA workers who become like scientists as they closely inspect the prospective person from afar, peering at them closely, as if looking for a neon sign in their hand that reads: “Yes, I am Muslim and I’m looking for the MSA room. Please help me.” Some sisters who work with MSA’s may think that they should only approach hijabis, or that they should not approach a Muslim who is standing with a nonMuslim friend. Or some may think that if the Muslim is a professor, that it is actually considered rude to tell him/her about Islamic events and activities on campus.
If you find yourself ever thinking thoughts like these, honestly ask yourself: Are these whispers from Shaytan? Then seek refuge with Allah swt and continue on with the message, because regardless of who it is, you never know when you will be the catalyst for change in that person’s life, bi’ithnillah.
If you are ever struggling with your sincerity to Allah swt during a speaking or a teaching situation, this is for you:
A thought to ponder upon for all bloggers, halaqah-givers, teachers of Islamic knowledge, etc…
Ask yourself, what if they [the blog-readers, halaqah-goers, and the ‘students’ in front of you] benefit from my words, and I don’t? What if this is saves them, but destroys me?
A sobering thought…
“He (Muhammad saws) never worked on structures. He worked on the hearts and minds of people, until he created men and women who changed the landscape of history. Men and women who were heavy in the scales of Allah swt.”
“This is the sunnah of Allah. Allah never judges people by their numbers. He judges them by their quality and substance.”
“There are two ways of looking at Islam. 1) What can Islam do for me? and 2) What more can I do for Islam?” – Dr. Israr Ahmed
“Does the deen need any help? For as long as the answer to this question is ‘yes’ you should not enjoy your food, buy extra clothes, expand your property…” – Dr. Israr Ahmed
“It is one thing to say that, but it’s another to do that [and he did]… ‘Forget about everything else, the deen needs your help,’ that was his calling” – Nouman Ali Khan
Oh Allaah, benefit me by that which you have taught me
Author: Al ‘Allaamah Ash Shaikh Saalih Al Fawzaan – hafidhahullaah
Source: Explanation of Buloogh al-Maraam – Vol. 6 Kitaab al-Jaami’; Chapter: adh-Dhikr wad du’a. – Pg: 347-348
Translator: Abu Fouzaan Qaasim
Original Source @ http://www.salafyink.com
1565: On the authority of Anas ibn Maalik (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to say
O Allah! benefit me with what you have taught me, teach me what will benefit me
and provide me with knowledge that will benefit me.
[Collected by an-Nasaa’ee in al-Kubraa: 7868 and al-Haakim: 1:510]
1566: at-Tirmidhee has a similar hadeeth on the authority of Abee Hurayrah (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) where the Messenger (sallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) says at the end of it
“And increase me in knowledge. All praise is for Allaah in all circumstances and I seek refuge with Allaah from the condition of the people of Hell.”
[Saheeh at-Tirmidhee (3599). Authentic excluding “all praise for Allaah…..” unto the end]
“Oh Allaah, benefit me by that which you have taught me…”
This is because) a person could have knowledge of something but not gain any benefit from it and his knowledge (would then) become a proof against him. He would become like a donkey carrying books, carrying around knowledge but not receiving anything from them
So the intent is not merely to gain knowledge. However, the intent is (to gain) knowledge and action, the knowledge that benefits (its possessor
As for knowledge that isn’t beneficial, then this doesn’t aid the person at all. Rather, he will be from the foremost to be roasted in the Fire on the Day of Resurrection as it is authenticated in the hadeeth.
“Teach me that which will benefit me…”
Because if Allaah doesn’t teach an individual, he will not learn anything. Just as the angels said
“Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us.” [2:32]
So you are asking Allaah to teach you what will benefit you and benefit you by what He teaches you
“And provide me with knowledge that will benefit me.”
He (sallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) didn’t just say “knowledge” only. Rather he said “knowledge which will benefit me.” Knowledge that is of no benefit will be a proof against the one who has it
So in this (hadeeth) there is a very important regard for (beneficial) knowledge and that the Muslim should ask Allaah to teach him what will benefit him and to make his knowledge beneficial for him and not a proof against him
And in this hadeeth proves that knowledge is connected to action. So there is no benefit in action(s) without knowledge instead it will be a cause for misguidance. And likewise there is no benefit in knowledge without action. Rather that would enrage Allaah, Glorified be He and Most High
This is why we supplicate daily
“Guide us to the straight path. The path of those whom you have bestowed your grace upon.”- 1:6-7
They are the people of knowledge and action
“Not the way of those who earned your anger.” – 1:7
They are the people of knowledge without action
“Nor those who are astray.” – 1:7
They are the people of action without knowledge
Hence there isn’t any benefit in knowledge without action nor action without knowledge. They must be united with one another
“And increase me in knowledge…”
This comes in the Qur’aan
And say: Oh my Lord increase me in knowledge.” – 20:114
No matter how much a person attains of knowledge he is still ignorant. That which he is ignorant of outweighs that which he has knowledge of by far. So no one should have the audacity to say: “I’m finished (seeking knowledge), I’ve gained an abundant amount of ‘ilm.” No, let him ponder over the statement of the Most High
But over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allaah).” 12:76
So (in this du’a) you are asking Allaah to be increased in beneficial knowledge
“All praise is for Allaah in all circumstances and I seek refuge with Allaah from the condition of the people of Hell”
This is praising and exalting Allaah in all situations. Therefore the Muslim praises Allaah in all situations. In good times he praises Allaah and in bad times he still praises Allaah, and he seeks refuge with Allaah from the condition of the people of Hell.
- Word-Word by-Word Study Chart of the Supplication for Gaining Knowledge – PDF
Designed and translated by Aboo ‘Imraan al-Mekseekee, Daar-ul-Kutub Publications