As a muslimah, I take my obligation of giving dawah seriously. Alhamdulillah. To those of you who are not aware of what dawah means, it simply means inviting people into Islam. It need not necessarily be an outright invitation of “hey you wanna join me as a muslim because Islam is………”. For me, it is subtle and a soft way of introducing Islam to the ignorant masses. It is an effort to bring those who have strayed, closer to God. It is an effort to bring the ones in despair into the ambit of God’s mercy.
The Prophet (pbuh) said
“Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol.4, Hadith 667)
As muslims we are blessed to have been chosen as servants to Ar Rahmaan, Ar Raheem (The Most Merciful, The Most Benevolent). We are blessed to know the attributes of God and to understand monotheism in its true sense, we have been commanded by Allah to share this blessing with the rest of His creation too. It is fardh upon us.
Ahem!..but sometimes it just goes wrong. Most of the times, I am granted this opportunity when someone asks me about Islam on their own. For example, they will ask me why I wear the hijab? On the other hand I admit, I have this habit of trying to get Islam into my conversations with non-muslims. It is not a habit, it is actually a conscious effort. So someone might be asking me, “what is your favourite apparel” and I would answer, “abaya” and then would consciously direct the conversation to modesty, lowering gaze, hijab, inter-mixing of sexes and the conversation would go on and on to perhaps end with a hadith on being kind to your neighbours! (Alhamdulillah).
If nothing works, I generally disclose (to those who don’t know) that I am a revert. This has worked 100% if the times. Everytime there is a reaction,
-“whatttttt! So your parents are..?”.
– “hindus” , *poker face*
– ” but why…?”
I am sure my face beams with happiness at this point. Just the question I was waiting for. SubhanAllah, by the will of Allah, I then begin why Islam. 😉
Back in December, my team in office decided to go for a team lunch as a team building activity. We were a team of approximately fifteen youngsters. Amongst them was a good friend Lara. Like many pretty girls, Lara loves herself. Mirror is her best friend and the camera soon follows. So much that Lara actually has a tiny mirror fixed next to her desktop in her cubicle. Alhamdulillah, Allah indeed has gifted her with a beautiful face.
As is the trend these days, no sooner did we hit the table that everyone started clicking photographs. Lara also got a few pictures clicked from my phone.
A couple of days passed and Lara did not ask for the pictures. I guessed she must have forgotten about them and since I dislike keeping pictures with me, I deleted them over the weekend. I still cannot forget the look of horror on Lara’s face when she learnt I deleted her pictures! Alhamdulillah, it was as if I had burnt her hair ;-P She checked and re-checked my phone quadruple times to ensure it wasn’t a joke. 😥
It was then that she asked me why I do not keep my pictures or put them up on social networking sites. Alhamdulillah, I grabbed this opportunity as a chance to explain her the fitnah a photo may cause. I said bismillah and only with the intention to advise her against fitnah, explained how “lowering of gaze” is such an important aspect of modesty. That womanhood has been reduced to the display of physical beauty and that is a cause of major fitnah in today’s age.
The second aspect, of not displaying your adornment is concern. Concern for those who do not possess what we do. There are people who do not consider themselves as beautiful or those who are not considered beautiful by the world. Though Allah subhana wa ta’ala tells us that we are all beautiful in His eyes, we humans have demeaned beauty by restricting it to terms and conditions like fair, slim, tall, hazel eyes etc. Then there are those who cannot afford that holiday you went to, the jewellery you sport, the lavish grand wedding you had, the amazing meal you are eating, the loving family or the awesome friend circle you have. Doesn’t our constant display of how uptown our lives are, sadden a portion of our society? We act that we are kind and considerate people, then what happens when we act so inconsiderate and desperate to show off our affairs?
Haritha b. Wahb reported that he heard Allah’s Apostle (صلي الله عليه وسلم) as saying:
May I not inform you about the inmates of Paradise? They said: Do this, of course. Thereupon Allah’s Apostle (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: Every humble person who is considered to be humble if he were to adjure In the name of Allah, He would fulfil it. He then said: May I not inform you about the denizens of Hell-Fire? They said: Yes. And he said: Every haughty, fat and proud (person). [Sahih Muslim]
The third aspect which affects us is the evil eye. The evil eye is a truth. As I told you, there are many who are deprived of these blessings, it may lead to despair, envy, hurt, anger and all this in turn might lead to evil eye. Of course, no evil eye can touch you until Allah wills. But we must tie the camel and leave the rest to Allah (a famous arabic proverb).
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amir bin Rabi’ah, from his father, that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“The evil eye is real.” [Sunan ibn Majah]
Alhamdulillah, Lara seemed to have understood. She nodded in agreement and consented that my understanding was right. I felt glad she grasped it well and healthily. She smiled and I left smiling back hoping that she takes heed of it in the coming days. Beautiful Lara!
“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.” (Quran 3:104)
The next week was the Christmas to New Years week and so I combined my leaves to have a long fifteen days getaway from office! Lo behold… little did I know that I would have to come with a shield :’)
– “dude what did you tell Lara?” , Khushi came somewhat worried.
*me looking gawk eyed*
-“what did you tell Lara, she was crying!”
*Me still in the ‘aing’ mode.*
I was trying to recall a friction, a heated argument, a taunt, a blow, a box etc. In fact, I was on leave for two weeks, what could I do?
– “Lara has been going to every person in the office and crying profusely. Yes, to each and every person asking if her photos cause sadness and evil eye because you told her so!”
Anger. Pity. Sadness. Confusion. It was an overwhelm of emotions I felt. Anger because she told me she understood and smiled with acceptance when I told. My words were moulded behind me, and presented wrongly. I have never refused to a healthy discussion/ debate over what I speak. So why not show disagreement on my face? Confused because I was wondering why cry seven days after the incident and what was there to cry? Pity and sadness for the means used to blow such a general conversation out of proportion. A photograph!
Weird as my mind is, I was imagining Lara’s crying face and the voice of Pamper baby. Since, I have actually not seen adults boohooing in public this way.
It took me a while to figure out how I was supposed to react. I concluded, it is okay. Whenever someone has given dawah, he has always earned enemies. Even our Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) was hurled with abuses when he went to spread Islam. Was he not called a magician, a mad man, liar or poet? Was he not pelted with stones by the people of Taif? But all the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) ever did for them was to make duaa.
The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah. Certainly He does not love wrongdoers. (Surat Ash-Shura, 40)
I must admit, it took me longer to let go the matter and figure out what Lara had in her heart. As I sat in my workstation, Lara came with absolute warmth and welcomed me. She spoke to me, sat beside me and in fact when we were deciding teams for a mini project, she volunteered to be in my team rather than other more experienced colleagues.
She sure had me going in ‘aing’ mode all the times. At times I wondered whether she was actually doing the crying and asking each person over the week because here she was more than normal with me.
The topic was quite a wildfire in our circle and I decided against giving any explanation. In all this, I was having shaytaan’s waswasa through various ways to stop giving dawah and stop telling people about Islam, to maintain a protective shield from people and not mix freely with colleagues. This incident got me thinking about where probably I could have gone wrong? I try to ensure the best tone whilst giving dawah and if anything harsh comes from the other side I seek protection from Allah “Audhubillah”. I have spoken about Islam and its aspect to so many people, never has anyone interpreted it this way or used it wrongly.
Alhamdulillah, I decided to ignore waswasaa. I thought about the many brothers and sisters who avoid giving dawah in workplaces or schools because of the fear of what people will say. Trust me, nothing happened. My seniors in office still loved and respected me because I have been a good performer by the will of Allah.
“Therefore do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage (men’s) affairs.” (Qur’an 88:21-22)
Your job is to deliver the message with wisdom and beautiful preaching. (Quran16:125). Your job is not to convert people. A Muslim CANNOT force anyone to embrace Islam. You are supposed to deliver the Truth of Islam. The rest is up to them whether they accept or not.
People who speak will always speak. One day the topic for Lara was Mona and Shona, so the next day it was me. I wasn’t surprised when a few days later Lara came to me cribbing how difficult marital life is, especially when parents in law are around! Allah protect us from gheeba (backbiting). I realised that it was not hurt but rather the habit of Lara to involve herself in gheeba.
People who are composed and mature, always welcome others’ ideas. Though, they might not agree but they still take it positively. Respectful people understand that the hearts of majority is nice, and who is not flawed in habits?
My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, we do not do it for ourselves, because what will we benefit by anyone accepting tawheed (Oneness of God)? Always remember that we do it to please God (Allah subhana wa ta’ala), we do it to help people out of shirk. We must understand that they are ignorant and they are not aware of the virtues of goodness. They are not aware that the best deed is to stay away from shirk, else from whom will you seek reward of your good deeds? (You never even turned to Him in your lifetime!). When they try to harm you, realise that it is shaytaan using them to discourage you. Imagine that one person, who will be guided by your words and that one person who is in need of Allah. Will we deprive him of the greatest Mercy because someone told us something? Where would we be if our Rusool Allah (salallahu alayhi wasallam) stopped when he was hurled with hurtful words?
So, correct your intention, and carry on with your walk as a Muslim. The world will follow. The next day I was back with Reha, Shreya and Pratiksha
– “blah blah blah…… by the way, I have chosen my faith. I am not a born muslim….”
Pop came the awaited reaction, “whyyyyy Islaaaaaam!!” 😀 😀 😀
“Let there be no compulsion in religion:Truth stands out clear from Error:”(Quran 2:256)