By Yahya Abdul Rahman ( Shawn Smith )
There have been many efforts to revive the Ummah and call Muslims back to the true path of Islam from which they have strayed away from. These are all commendable actions and I personally applaud all of them. But I would like to suggest to you that we may be directing our efforts towards the wrong places. I AM OF THE FIRM CONVICTION THAT THERE ARE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE RIPE AND READY TO RECEIVE THE MESSAGE OF ISLAM WHO ARE NOT YET MUSLIM!!!!!! And I will give you another tid bit of information, we are totally neglecting the most powerful dawah tool of all, THE HOLY QUR’AN.
“But brother,” you may protest, “we need some glossy pamphlets and flashy web sites. We also need bigger mosques and more eloquent speakers if we want to attract people to Islam.”
Well, these may all have their place and we should use them, but I am still convinced that there are no more convincing words than the word of Allah. In my own personal experience coming into Islam, and hearing the testimony of other converts, the QUR’AN had more of a profound impact on convincing me and others of Islam than anything else. For me, Surah (chapter) Yusuf had the most impact of all. It was certainly not the behaviour of Muslims, or the fancy buildings, if any, nor the flashy web sites which will convince people of the truth of Islam. None of these had the slightest impact on my decision. But the QUR’AN struck a might blow to my heart and swept away the cobwebs of unbelief and filled it with the wonderful sweetness of Iman (faith). We must never forget that Umar Bin Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) entered the fold Islam as a result of hearing the words of Surah Tahah of QUR’AN and also a group of jinn embraced Islam after hearing the words of Qur’an: “Say: It has been revealed to me that a company of Jinns listened (to the Qur’an). They said, ‘We have really heard a wonderful Recital! ‘It gives guidance to the Right, and we have believed therein: we shall not join (in worship) any (gods) with our Lord. (72:1-2)”
There are several other incidents in the seerah, way too numerous to mention here, which relate the fact that people embraced Islam after hearing the message of the Quran.
The message of the Quran both touches the heart and also is filled with perfect logic which appeals to all right thinking people. How many converts have said after hearing the words of Allah that “I have always believed that but I just did not hear it like this before?” Just read the following testimony of one recent convert I know personally: “I’m just going to tell you about how I became a Muslim. When I was three years old, my parents christened me. I was a Christian from age three to twenty, but I didn’t become religious until I was seventeen.
If you want to know how that happened I could tell you later because it is kind of a long story. Anyway, even though I was a Christian I didn’t know much about Christianity. I didn’t go to church much at all.
For the next three years I began to learn more about Christianity and once I did, I knew something wasn’t right. Without knowing anything about Islam, I started questioning why I should pray to my creator Allah through another being. I didn’t do it. I started to go to church with my mother when I was eighteen. I shouldn’t have been there though because even in church I didn’t pray to, or through, or ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’. All of my prayers went straight to Allah (of course back then I said God). When singing the hymns, I did not recite the lines that basically shared any divinity with Allah.
While all of this was going on, I noticed that there was a huge rise in Islam, but I payed no attention to it because I thought Islam was a religion that believed in a different god named Allah (I didn’t know that Allah stood for ‘The God’, the same one that Christians refer to). Then one of my college friends told me that he might convert to Islam, and when this happened, along with the rise in Islam, I decided to find out what this religion al-Islam was all about.
I read an article on the internet, that compared Christianity and Islam and after that, I knew I was a Muslim at heart. I was so excited, I bought the Qur’an and read all of it in three weeks. I told my parents that I’m not going to church any more and that I will most probably convert. They didn’t like it at first but once they realized that it was not the Nation of Islam I was joining and more importantly that I am still their son, they accepted it.”
Furthermore, I receive e-mails very frequently from people who are searching and are investigating Islam on their own via the internet. What shall we offer them when they ask? The prophet Muhammad e told us that “The best speech is the book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Pbuh) ......”
I am convinced, but not sure most Muslims are, that the answer to every objection to Islam can be found in Qur’an. The objections of the non-believers towards the religion of Allah has NEVER changed throughout the course of human history - they are essentially the same! This is just another reason why the Qur’an is the most effective dawah tool we have in presenting Islam. In fact, many parts of the Qur’an are DIRECT answers to the objections of the non-believers and hypocrites.
Although the Qur’an addresses many topics, the three main components are:
Tawheed (Oneness of Allah)
If we concentrated on these three points our dawah efforts will be much more effective and closer to the method of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh).
As a final note, please keep in mind that these are the reflections of someone coming into Islam from the outside and not a scholar. I just feel sometimes that born Muslims fail to see the beauty and simplicity of Islam and take it for granted. While for us who are entering into the fold of Islam everyday means a new and exciting discovery, many born Muslims yawn and boastfully proclaim “why are you telling me this? I already knew that.” This is a great shame indeed.