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Inviting Non-Muslims to the Right Path (part 3 of 3): Inviting Family, Friends and Colleagues

Description: A brief look at ways to educate friends and family about the beauty of Islam, with an emphasis on acting in the best possible way.

By Aisha Stacey (© 2015 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 09 Feb 2015 - Last modified on 10 Feb 2015

Printed: 27 - Emailed: 0 - Viewed: 2835 (daily average: 3)

Category: Lessons > Acts of Worship > Various Recommended Deeds


Objectives:

·       To understand that we call to Islam by conveying the message but it is Allah who truly provides the guidance.

·       To understand the importance of  perseverance and never giving up hope.

Arabic Terms:

·       Dawah - sometimes spelt Da’wah. It means to call or invite others to Islam.

·       Sunnah - The word Sunnah has several meanings depending on the area of study however the meaning is generally accepted to be, whatever was reported that the Prophet said, did, or approved.

·       Du’a - supplication, prayer,  asking Allah for something.

The aim of inviting people to the right path is to convey the message; we are not accountable if they do not convert. As mentioned earlier it is Allah that provides the guidance and the desire to accept Islam. Remember that whenever we intend to convey the message we must do so with wisdom, eloquent speech and in the most gracious manner. Arguments and heated discussions are not the best methods of dawah.

One who has accepted Islam must convey the message to those nearest and dearest to him. Once a person has tasted the sweetness of faith it becomes impossible not to desire that for all family members and friends. Calling family members must be a first priority but sometimes it can be the hardest work of all. Sometimes when you are the first member of your family to heed the message you plunge the other members of your family into a state of shock; especially if they do not mix with any Muslims in their daily lives.

Your family needs a little time to accept the reality. Make sure you have a supply of easy to read small books or pamphlets. If you live at home you could leave them lying around, if not keep a supply in your bag or car. People often want to know this or that and sometimes you simply do not know the answer to all those questions. You are often just learning yourself so don’t be tempted to make up an answer. Perhaps you could look it up together remembering to always emphasis the Oneness of Allah, the Creator of all that exists.

Your family and close friends will be watching closely and this is when your behaviour will play a big part. You have probably given up a lot of big things such as alcohol, parties, free mixing with the opposite gender, and pork and pork products.  However, you have also added lots of little things; more kind acts, generosity, eagerness to be helpful, more gracious manners and a desire to establish strong unbreakable family ties. Showing kindness and observing high moral standards is possibly the best way to introduce someone to Islam. Good manners and courteous behaviour is also a very good form of dawah. You are a role model for what Islam is all about.

Prophet Muhammad’s behaviour attracted others to Islam. His beloved wife Aisha called his character a living example of the Quran.[1]  He was kind and courteous to everybody and even his enemies could not help but praise his noble character. This is the behaviour we must endeavour to emulate and the people that will benefit the most are our family and close friends. A kind word, a smile, a gift, or help of any sort, will showcase the beauty of Islam.

Be particularly careful not to despair when you see your family or friends engaging in behaviour that you now consider misconduct. Do not abandon them because of their ways. You can leave their company if they are drinking alcohol or acting in a non-Islamic manner - abandon the place, or the situation, not the person. Invite them to your house and to your events so they can see that fun and happiness can be found without alcohol or distasteful entertainment.

Conversations at your workplace are also a way to spread the message of Islam. Handing out pamphlets probably isn’t going to win you any friends or influence people but your mannerisms and ways of dealing with people will. Remember however that your colleagues are likely to be as shocked as your family. If you have recently converted to Islam don’t expect fanfare and congratulations but do expect curiosity. Again don’t give unqualified answers to things you are not sure about. The one thing you are sure about is the Oneness of Allah and His right to be worshipped.

Never give up hope. You may not see the people you love entering Islam and it can be a source of great disappointment. However it is wise to remember that it is Allah that guides a person to the right path.  Your role in that process might be as little as being a friendly face in an otherwise bleak day. Hope is something that Muslims have in abundance, so make small efforts and lots of du’a for the people you love and those around you.

Spreading the message and calling people to the right path is the work that was carried out by all of Allah’s messengers. Each one called his own people to the One God, Allah.  Prophet Muhammad however was sent to all of humankind; he gave the good news to the believers of immense reward in the Hereafter, and warning the unbelievers against a severe punishment. Prophet Muhammad expected all of those who follow in his footsteps to call others to the right path. He said, “If Allah guides one man through you, this will be better for you than possessing red camels.[2]” 

“The Messenger of God is an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in God and the Last Day and remember Him often.” (Quran 33:21)

In conclusion we find that if we follow the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad we will present Islam in the best way possible and there is no better way of inviting others to the right path.



Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Muslim

[2] Red camels were the most precious form of wealth to the Arabs at that time.

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