Mar 8, 2011

A Hijabi in Pursuit of Daw'ah

by Khadeejah Islam
This is not about my journey to hijab, but since daw’ah is closely related to hijab, I thought of writing this. Alhamdulillah! It has been almost two years since I started practicing Islam and subsequently, two years of daw’ah. I am not a scholar, but a simple practicing hijabi who has been learning and simultaneously disseminating the true message of Islam through blogging, e-mailing, Facebook, writing and engaging in one-on-one conversations, purely for the sake of Allah. With this article, I wish to share some of the lessons learnt through my experiences. Da’wah is more flexible and varies from person to person undertaking this duty. So there are no rules really.

The real challenge of da’wah is to talk to people in private. Given the struggle, I believe it is more rewarding too. Unlike Facebook discussions where most of us copy and paste, a private one-on-one conversation requires greater patience, effort, knowledge and wit. I had an encounter with an atheist sister while shopping. So my first request would be to take on this kind of da’wah as seriously as online da’wah because not everyone uses Facebook or Twitter. Reach out to friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, employees and yes, your hair-stylist too! Everyone has the right to know and we should not exclude anyone from our da’wah.

Alhamdulillah! Internet has undoubtedly opened up new ways to approach people and it has made knowledge available to us at our computer screens. However, it has also opened up gates of riyaa (showing-off) and insincerity. Some are now more interested in “becoming an admin” or “the creator of the largest page.” Some boast about the number of “certificates” they have gathered or “conferences of renowned Sheikhs” that they have attended. Some turn a discussion into a battlefield devoid of any beneficial words and they think they are doing a great service! There is no harm in being an admin or owning a large page, but your intention should be to give sincere advice irrespective of the position you hold and irrespective of the number of fans in the page. So you can advise others even if you are a member and even if the page has barely fifty fans. One way of counteracting riyaa is to do things anonymously. So promote a page without telling the admin or write an article for a site anonymously. Seek rewards from Allah and not the praises of people.

Do not be so busy with webinars, Facebook daw’ah, lectures, etc. that you trivialize other duties such as visiting the sick, praying or simply embracing your parents. The real success is to balance it out and prioritize among the duties.

Be an exemplary demonstration of Islam. Practice what you preach. Those who are absolutely new to Islam tend to identify Islam with our actions. So give them the opportunity to see how Islam has affected you – for the better. You cannot afford to light up the paths of others while remaining in darkness and ignorance yourself.

Do not abuse other religions! Your duty is to call others to the beauty of Islam first and foremost. If the other person criticizes Islam, only then should you opt to reveal the fallacy of other religions (you are still not allowed to abuse!). Some people start with “porn in Bible” and similar things. This incites hatred and puts off others. Instead, be friendly, gain a common ground (perhaps through the similarities) and be more vocal about what Islam has to offer. Islam is the solution right? So give them more of the solution. Make a fun and easy approach. Besides spiritual topics, talk about important worldly issues such as raising breast cancer awareness. Remember that Islam is a way of life and not a religion of monasticism.

Be gradual and selective in your approach. Do not overwhelm others with everything that you know. Speaking about the existence of God to atheists is more appropriate than telling them about the Sunnah of Hajj. Of course, there can be exceptions whereby the atheist might be interested just by reading about hijab. So you really have to know what is appropriate for whom. It is better to talk about prayer to a non-practicing Muslimah than to talk about the ruling on shaping eyebrows. Try to identify the problems of each individual and make da’wah accordingly. I know a sister who has a problem of backbiting, so I try to inform her more about this particular issue. You can also choose to be indirect if the other person is not welcoming your direct approaches. I know some sisters who are delaying hijab, so I share an article related to that on my Facebook profile without tagging them to make it appear as if it is for everyone in general. Remember that truth has to reach everyone, whether directly or indirectly. In any case, you must emphasize more on making da’wah about the basics of faith.

Keep it short and this goes for bloggers. Due to the hustle-bustle of life, majority of the people do not read long articles. So if you are copying and pasting an article, make sure to read it yourself and then copy-paste the important points only or post it in parts.

Always be sure of what you say, written or post. For this reason, seeking knowledge from authentic sources is obligatory. Do not confine yourself to just one site or one scholar. Explore and know the different opinions of scholars but be careful to stay away from misleading sources. Reading a lot of books and yes, your newspaper too will help you to gain collective knowledge. That way, you can give more and more real-life examples. Avoid relying on Google. Instead, ask Allah to help you, consult other sisters and read Qur’an and Sunnah to differentiate the authentic sources from the misleading ones. If you are not a good speaker, try distributing authentic books. There are numerous ways of doing da’wah. You have to choose ways which are suitable for you.

Lastly, maintain hijab and remember that hijab is also about the way you speak and walk and it is applicable online as well. So refrain from idle speech and futile argument. Always remember that you want the person you are advising to be with you in Jannah! If you don’t, there is something wrong with your intention. If someone starts a tirade against Islam, answer precisely to the questions, but ignore all the personal attacks that he/she may have made on you. Da’wah is a test of your patience. Do not incur any sin in this process which will not only negate your hijab but your overall scale of good deeds too.

For all the hijabis who have not yet embarked on this journey, I remind you that da’wah is obligatory. There are many ways of doing da’wah and it does not require you to have extra-ordinary qualities. Do not care about the response as long as you are carrying out your own responsibilities.

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)


Great advice and a wonderful reminder! Thank you.

Jazakallahu khair sister was amazingggg..May Allah subhanwata´ala accept it frm u n keep all of us steadfast ..n make us of the servants whom he lovess....:):)

Masha'Allah. I like how the idea combined talking about the obligation of da'wah with hijab...we don't always link the two together but its important to remember hijab is the way we 'speak and walk' and it would affect the way we present ourselves when we give da'wah. May Allay reward your efforts abundently. :)

masha'Allah sister! Jazakallah Khair SO MUCH for this awesome, much-needeed article! It was absolutely beneficial-I have been trying to search for ways that sisters can do da'wah and you have listed a lot of them! Thank you for the reminder about people trivializing good deeds in favor of the internet (i fall into that trap myself a lot). Love your reminder about intention and everything! Do you have a blog or something? Can you please post the link?

MashaaAllah TabarakAllah a wonderful reminder
Jazak Allah hu Khairan....I normally tell people we give dawah everyday from the jihad of wearing the hijaab and by our actions.

Wa iyyaki sister Shiney. At the moment, I do not have a blog, but you can find my articles here (at Habibi Halaqas) insha'Allah :)

masha Allah!..i thot this piece was lovely..i found it beneficial..pls could u email me this blog, perhaps i might earn reward by spreading this msg to others as well..perhaps it might benefit them as much as it benefitted mail addy is

barakallahu fek yaa ukhtee

 JazakAllah khayr for appreciating!

Please feel free to share or e-mail this article (send the link of this article)!

MashaAllah. excellent article...JazakIllah .waiting for more like this

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