Category Archives: Da’wah

Tools, tips, tricks, and thoughts, and techniques related to da’wah and spreading Islam.

Say: O You Kafiroon …

Note: This is post #20 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).

In Surah Kafiroon, Allah says:

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ
لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ
وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ
وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ
لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

Translation: Say, “O disbelievers, I do not worship what you worship. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship. For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” [Surah Kafiroon]

The mushrikeen (polytheists) of Mecca tried many, many different techniques to get the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) to stop spreading Islam.

Before this ayah was revealed, they decided to make a pact with him. They said, “Look, how about this–you worship our gods for one year, and we’ll worship your God for one year.” And to sweeten the deal: “And, we’ll go first.”

And they applied the Broken Record technique. Whenever the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) would try to speak to them about Islam, they would only repeat this.

And he, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, refused.

Those of you who are wondering why–although it seems on the surface like a fair trade, it’s not. Allah does not forgive shirk, worshipping other than him; not even a single sujood, or a single du’a, none of it is acceptable.

So clearly, this is not a contract the Messenger of Allah could engage with. So he refused.

And he refused.

And he refused.

Then, the Mushrikeen said, “ok, how about this–just speak highly of our gods, and we’ll do the same for you.” A smaller compromise.

And whenever people approached them, they would say, “Well, we’re trying to compromise (like we’re the good ones in this deal–even though we kill our daughters and murder on whims and …), but he’s not agreeing.”

So the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) went to the ka’bah.

The Ka'bah, the House of Allah

Mushrikeen were there. And in front of everybody he said:

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Five Minute Dawa Speech

If you live in a western society, such as Canada, America, England, and so on, be aware that some scholars have said that, for people living in these societies, da’wa is fard ‘ayn–an obligation on each and every Muslim. But don’t be scared–because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “By Allah, if Allah were to guide one man through you, it would be better for you than a red camel.” [Saheeh Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim] Better then a shiny red Ferrari!

And, in these societies, what do people think of Muslims? By and far, they think we’re backward, oppressed, terrorists. Many of them know less about Islam then what you’d learn at one halaqah.

So what can you do about it? Be prepared. Prepare a five minute basic da’wa speech, and practice it.

Why? Because whether you go to school, work, to the mall, to the restaurant, you’ll engage with non-Muslims.

And they’ll ask you questions. Questions like why you grow a beard, wear the hijab, don’t shake hands with women, pray five times a day, eat with your right hand. All kinds of questions.

And if they do, this is your golden opportunity to explain about Islam! And you should explain tawheed, because all of Islam springs from that. And some of these people, this might be the only chance they have to learn about Islam. Take advantage of that, and explain it to them!

Your da’wa speech should go something like this:

“Well, let me tell you about Islam. We’re the purest monotheistic religion. We believe in one God, who sent many Prophets, from Abraham and Moses and Jesus to Muhammad, the last. Our book is called the Qur’an …”

Add to it, remove to it, as necessary. If they’re asking a fiqh question, you might want to mention that Allah is the law-maker, and that everything the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said or did, we take as proof–because Allah authorized him, when He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلا

Translation: O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. [Surah An-Nisaa, verse 59]

THEN you can dive into the specific details of their question–but keep it brief, and conclude it with something tawheed based.

Why is this important? In a couple of minutes, you’ve likely given them more knowledge of Islam than they’ve learned in years. You gave them the core–tawheed, belief in Allah, and following the Prophet–and also answered their question. Who can argue with that!

And don’t feel bad if they ignore your speech and focus on their question. That’s natural. But don’t worry–they heard, and the knowledge is there, lurking in their minds, until Allah makes them remember.

What other things are important to put into (or leave out of) the five-minute da’wa speech? What are some of your experiences with this? Post them in the comments insha’Allah and share the ‘ilm!

Fiqh of Da’wa, by Muhammad Alshareef.


Advice from an Older Brother: Study your Deen

From a lecture given at MIST Nationals 2006 by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi
Friday July 21st, 2006

Knowledge and Studying your Deen

“I am here in front of you today, and if I were to choose again, I would go back and do the same thing and do religious studies. I can’t even remember what courses I took when I was at UH. My main motivation for choosing to do Islamic studies was that I realized I needed to do something for the ummah. As we speak, we have a crisis going through our ummah. We all know, we don’t need to talk more about it, it is all over the news and everything. I know some of you won’t leave what you are doing, and I don’t expect you to, and I don’t want you to. This ummah needs the doctors, engineers, and lawyers. Not everyone in this ummah needs to be an ‘alim or scholar. And Allah (سبحانه وتعال) definitely doesn’t ask everyone to be a scholar. If you are not going to be a scholar, then you should at least know your religion. To me, I was ashamed that I knew so much about physics, chemistry, and mathematics compared to what I knew about my religion.

Our communities are in need of scholars though. We see it in our communities often, where we have an imam who is from another world practically and doesn’t understand what we are going through. It is true, they are from another world, because they haven’t grown up here. We need to stop importing imams because our communities can’t respect them. We see it in our communities that these moulvis and maulanas give fatwa and people don’t respect them, and we can’t blame the imams nor can we completely blame the community. There is a big gap between them, we need homegrown scholars and students of knowledge to bridge this gap.

Like I said before, not everyone here is going to be a scholar, and nobody expects everyone here to become one. The least everyone should do is learn your religion. Each and every one of you can read a book a month–it’s not that hard and it only requires you to make some time for it. All you need to do is cut back on some of the things we do. I know all of us have things that we can cut back on. I am not saying stop hanging around friends, or going to movies, or whatever it is you do. All I am saying is cut back on some of the things to make time for learning your religion. Our elders came here for whatever reason they came here for, we are growing here, we understand the psychology of Americans, but if we don’t have knowledge of religion how are we going to make them understand our religion? How are we going to make da’wah to them and call them to Islam? There is a need for homegrown scholars and fulfilling that need starts with you.

How to study your religion?

  1. Study the Qur’an – If you can memorize US History and the 50 States in alphabetical order, then surely you can read the book of Allah (سبحانه وتعال), you can understand what the book of Allah (سبحانه وتعال) is saying. Make sure you pull the Qur’an down from that shelf for 10-15 minutes a day and read it. If you don’t read Arabic, then read the translation at least. The Qur’an is the most blessed thing to read there is so much barakah in it. It is so blessed; it is the Speech of Allah.
  2. Book of Hadeeth – The best statements were the statements of Rasoolullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم). Riyadh As-Saliheen is a very good book for everyone. Read at least one or two hadeeth a day. The book is written for the laymen and thus it is very easy to understand.
  3. Study basic theology. We all need to study a little bit of aqeedah. Each and every Muslim needs to know what is the Islamic belief or creed. We need to know the difference between us and them. We need to know what is the difference between God and Father.
  4. Another very important area of Islam that we need to study is fiqh. Each and everyone of us needs to know how to worship Allah (سبحانه وتعال). How many of us can list the factors that break your wudoo. Forget the differences of opinion, just know at least one opinion from the madhabs–what it is, and how to do it. This is the least everyone should know.
  5. Basic Laws of Islam that govern our everyday life or that determine our everyday decisions.

As the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “Learning knowledge is obligatory on each and every Muslim!”

This the least we need to do, and with everything else we do, it isn’t that hard at all. Allah (سبحانه وتعال) doesn’t require you to become a scholar, but at least learn your religion a little bit, and this way you will learn to respect the imams and ulemaa. And form personal experience, let this knowledge come to you from someone who is older then you, but not too old.


Da’wah to Atheists: Five Minutes

When you give da’wah to atheists, give them five minutes of your time, then move on. If you can’t convince them in five minutes, you won’t be able to in five centuries.

As proof that you should focus your da’wah on other then atheists, consider the Qur’an. How many verses did Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) reveal to the Jews and Christians (People of the Book)? Countless. To the mushrikeen, the polytheistic Arabs? Dozens upon dozens. To the atheists? Three to seven.

Think about that. Three to seven verses only. Subhanallah. Why? Why so few?

Belief in Allah is self-evident. It’s part of the fitrah, the natural inclination of every human being. Someone who denies something so self-evident is not terribly intelligent, and definitely not worth spending effort on. (How long would you debate with someone who tells you, while outside on a sunny day, that the sun is not shining on them? Two seconds?)

Turn your purposes to more productive purposes and inshaAllah you will see more benefit from your actions.

May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) purify our da’wah and accept our good actions, ameen.


Yasir Qadhi. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Light of Guidance. University of Toronto, Toronto. March 2006.


Seek Knowledge from the Best Sources

When you seek knowledge, seek from the best sources–the most authentic, and those closest to the source.

The companion Abdullah ibn Zubayr (رضي الله عنه) was 10 years old when the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) went on his farewell Hajj. Abdullah ibn Zubayr went, too, and witnessed the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam)’s hajj first-hand.

After the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) passed away, Abdullah ibn Zubayr became the definitive source of the fiqh of Hajj–starting at age 10–until he passed away at 73.

Why? Because he witnessed the Hajj of the prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) first-hand. He saw it all himself.

The same thing happened to ‘Aisha (رضي الله عنها), the wife of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم). In matters that deal with and around family life, her statements are taken as the source. So if what she says conflicts with another companion’s statement, her statement overrides.

We don’t all have companions or shuyook to teach us. So seek knowledge wherever it may be–those who have learned from people of knowledge or students of knowledge can pass on what they know. And share what little you know.

And remember, it’s fard for Muslims to seek knowledge about their deen, at least with the basic obligations and prohibitions.
May Allah allow us all to fulfil the obligation of seeking knowledge. Ameen.


Muhammad Alshareef. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Conquest: History of the Khulafa. University of Toronto, Toronto. November 2005.


Islam Mission Statement – Rib’ee ibn ‘Amir

“Allah has sent us to deliver whomsoever chooses, from the ‘uboodiyyah of men to the ‘uboodiyyah of Allah, from the narrowness of this world to the vastness of this world and the Hereafter, and from the tyranny and oppression of (false) religions to the justice of Islam.”

So said Rib’ee ibn ‘Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) to the Persian general Rustum, before the battle of Qadisiyyah. An explaination of the core of Islam. And notice it doesn’t take a two-hour speech to explain Islam, but a single, albeit long, sentence.

Whenever you give da’wah, no matter what angle, tie it back to tawhid–and if you can, plug this in. It’s our flagship, our mission statement.


Muhammad Alshareef. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Conquest: History of the Khulafa. University of Toronto, Toronto. November 2005.



Often, non-Muslims question us about aspects of our faith. “Why do you wear hijab” or “why don’t you eat pork” or “why don’t you drink or date”.

And we get defensive and mangle our explainations. “Well alcohol’s not good for you” or “pigs are dirty” and so on. Which is not correct.

The answer to all these questions is very, very simple:

Because Allah or His Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said so.

That’s it. Done. Finished. Best of all, your reasons can never be negated–for example, one might say “well, pigs are no longer as dirty and viral as they used to be.” Then what are you going to say?

Speak the truth!

And, when you finally reach that level of “well what are some of the benefits we extract from this”, then you can peer into the wisdom behind the ruling and learn a few of the benefits, but in a limited way. Often times (for example, masseh–wiping over the top of your socks for wudoo, not the bottom) we simply don’t know the reason for the ruling.

Allah alone knows best.

May Allah help us to accept and understand His rulings, ameen.

If you know any good examples of non-obvious rulings, comment them in inshaAllah. Jazakumullahu khayr.


The People of the Ditch (13): Your Purpose on Earth

The king asked the boy to renounce his religion, to which the boy refused. The king said “take him to the highest mountain and if he doesn’t renounce by the time you reach the top, throw him off.”

Why not saw him in half? Because the boy’s useful. He has influence among the poeple. People love him, and if he joins the king, many will follow his example.

So they took him up, and the boy said “O Allah, suffice me against them in whatever way You please”. So the mountain rumbled, and everyone fell off and died. Except the boy.

Sincere dua, immediate response. The boy had yaqeen.

He walked back to the king.

The king said “What happened to your companions?” and the boy said “Allah sufficed them”.

Now, the king’s at a cross-roads: he can realize this boy is special, and follow him, or refuse. And out of arrogance, he refused. His arrogance led to more crime. He ordered another set of soldiers to take the boy to the middle of the sea, and if he didn’t renounce by that time, drown him.

Same thing happened, same du’a, they all drowned except the boy.

He walked back to the king.

Why did he go back? Why not just run away, or go to another land? Because he realized his purpose–to give da’wah to the people, no matter what.

So ask yourself: How can I best serve Allah? Find your purpose on Earth, and stick to it. Don’t run from it.

The boy knew it, and he did exactly that.

Related Posts: The People of the Ditch (14): Belief


Ibrahim Hindy. “People of the Ditch.” UTM MSA. University of Toronto At Mississauga, Mississauga.


Make Time For Yourself: Avoid Burnout

When you get involved in da’wah, don’t forget yourself.

We see many examples of this–people join the local MSA, and spend 40 hours a week to keep it alive. And the next year, you see them in the bar, with their girlfriend or boyfriend. Or others spend months putting together The Biggest Conference Ever, and while it goes on, they miss all the lectures and mill around outside with their friends, or out in the parking lot arguing about lunches.

If you don’t make time for yourself, you’ll eventually burn out, and be worse off then before you started.

Don’t let it happen to you. Make sure you always spend time to learn and grow, even if it’s a little bit of time compared to all the work you do.

May Allah help you along your way and protect you from an evil end, ameen.


Fallout From Not Practicing Islam Properly

Familiarize yourself with Ar-Rajal, companion to the fake prophet Musaylimah.

Many people believe that when you don’t practice Islam 100%, you’re not hurting anyone but yourself. But subhanallah, if you look at Ar-Rajal, how many people did he misguide by not practicing Islam? Howmany tens or hundreds or thousands joined Musaylimah because Ar-Rajal endorsed him?

If you work or attend school, look around you. How many “Muslims” do you know who don’t wear a beard, don’t observe hijab, they drink, they go clubbing, they have a girlfriend or boyfriend. And then you tell your boss “Sorry, I can’t come to the bar with you after work, I don’t drink” they say “What! But all my other Muslim employees drink!” or “Ya professer, I can’t attend your lectures because of all the nudity in the content” they say “What! But no other Muslims in the class complained!”

Subhanallah. Consider it a grave reminder for those of us who do not practice to the full extent we should, or who disobey Allah in public.

And remember, even when you think nobody is watching, Allah is watching. And His angels are taking notes.