Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some ideas on how to dawah our not yet Muslim family

No Hard and Fast Rules

Every family is different. There is no particular way to dawah our family members. It took me a long time as I did not know where to start. Then I began attending classes and after listening to the uztaz repeat and repeat so many verses and hadiths over and over again I got a bit familiar and confident with sharing.

Share Correct Information

Actually we do not need to know a lot but we need to be sure what we learn is the correct information. In other words, lets make sure there is dalil or evidence. That way we will have confidence that whatever we share is correct and not misleading.

It will also create a negative impression when we have to admit that we misinformed them. Some people may think we deliberately lied to them.

Find the right moment to share

Once we are sure of certain information, we need to find the right moment to share that information. Its not so appropriate to suddenly, in the middle of a family dinner, to talk excitedly about some hadith that relates to punishment or war.

Give Positive Information

Its better to talk about something that is related to the occasion or conversation . Offer pleasant information, not news that upset people.

Take your time to share.

Just because we learnt something it doesn't mean we need to share it with our family. Too much information will irritate them or turn them off. They will think we are fanatic because they do not understand that we are trying to help them.

Be the Best Muslim within your ability

Share bit by bit. The most important form of dawah is to be the best Muslim and best person in the family.

Insha' Allah they will notice the change in us and soon they will come to depend on us and not on our brothers and sisters. Its good to help our family and it creates bonding.

Do not be Stingy or Selfish
Rezeki is from Allah SWT

Any money you spend on them is charity and also in the way of Allah. I used to tell my mother that my money was her money as she was my mother. I may not have much to give but it gives her a sense of appreciation and comfort.

Let our family know Muslims are commanded by Allah maintain ties of kinship

When I do something special for them, I tell them the truth- that normally I may not even consider doing it but only because Allah want us to treat our family well. Let them be grateful to Allah for our efforts.

Let them know parents are honoured in Islam

They may not acknowledge it but it will sink in gradually.Do not sound arrogant or rude, let them be happy with your efforts. Parents do not need us to patronise them.

Like Christians, Muslims must learn to share the good news to others. Do not frighten people off. Islam is beautiful and punishment is always only a deterrent for the protection of the community.

When we do something good, tell them we are following the sunnah (tradition) of our Prophet saw

Tell people about our beloved Prophet saw. Tell them about his kindness, his patience and compassion. Learn some hadiths that talk about his kindness and humility.

Purpose of Life

Talk about the wonderful delights of Paradise. Share with them all the rewards of Jannah. Explain little by little the purpose of life - to be grateful and to serve and worship the Creator as the one and only diety worthy of worship.

Explain that Prophet Muhammad was only human and the final messenger of Allah. Tell them the names of all the other messengers.

Conduct friendly discussions, not arguments

When people feel positive then they may be open to more information. They too have some questions to ask. Better to let the questions come from them.

Talk about the similarities and the chain of prophets. They may probably criticise Islam about the controversial topics like polygamy and child brides.

Learn your facts before you answer. Do not argue to win. You will lose your objective and turn them away. Always keep your cool and good manners.

Good manners is good dawah

Be moderate and take your time. Patience and good manners is good dawah. Be generous with your wealth as it is from Allah. He will give us more when we spend on the welfare of others.

Be inclusive, let your family meet your friends

One important turning point for me is when I brought my mother to join me and other sisters. The warmth and love they showered on all the mothers made my mother feel love for them too. She felt included and not just watching us as an outsider.

Do not inconvenience your family. Make it easy for them

Bring your friends to your home and pot luck is good. Ask your friends to eat with your family and do not trouble your mother to prepare any special food. Do not give your family stress but let them feel the generosity of fellow Muslims. That will open doors insha'Allah.

Bring them along for gatherings

Invite them to our silatul rahim gatherings. Bring them when we meet for lunch or dinner. include them when we have iftar. We had done that with our parents and even if they did not accept Islam, they become more tolerant.

Initially some will refuse because they are uncomfortable. We assure them that other parents are also joining us (make sure they are). Tell them they can also make friends with the parents who are not Muslims. They can dress in any way they wish. Let them feel at ease and welcome.

Practise some our our traditional customs

Invite our parents for tea drinking, Chinese lunches or Indian lunches etc. Assure them Muslims have not rejected their culture. Bring them to meet our Chinese Muslim friends from China.Tell them their children have not suddenly turned into Malays. Ha Ha its a big joke to us but not to them. Yes, please use some tact, do not chat in Bahasa Malaysia amongst the Chinese converts. It only reinforces the misconception. We are partly to blame.

Be proud of your own culture.

And remember to wear our own tranditional clothes when we are with them or when we visit. Its more effective than wearing baju Melayu, songkok, sampin and all. "My son has become a Malay! Arrrrgh!!!! No offence meant to our Malay brothers and sisters. We just want to make sure people get the facts right.

Hostile parents need different approach

In the case of hostile parents, we need the help of elderly brothers or sisters who can speak their dialect and find the right moment to get them together. They may not want to meet our friends nor do they want to listen to us. In that case we let things quiet down a bit.

Carry on being good and cheerful. Call them often and buy gifts for them. Just keep on showing your love and attention.

Parents still love us even if they are so angry

Parents still love us but can chose to hurt us badly, by rejecting us or scolding us or even hitting us. They are angry and they hurt so much that they do not know what else to do. Forgive them and keep on making duaa for them. May Allah soften their hearts.

Be humble and admit it if you are not sure of the answer

If you do not know the answer, admit it and say you prefer to verify the facts. Its ok not to know everything. Always speak the truth.

If we can just follow one or two of the above that would already be a very good start. Remember do not bore them or act as if we are better than them. Do not hurt the feelings of people unnecessarily.Very often it is our actions that influence their impressions of Islam.

May Allah SWT guide us and help us in our effort to help our friends and family members.


  1. Salam sis.

    I recalled the first time I entered the office. Clad in baju kurung and hijab, I was an instant "attraction".

    So as the sole Muslim in the entire company, I felt compelled to enlighten my not-yet-Muslim family (yes, family. :)) about Islam, particularly rectifying their misconstrued interpretations.

    Mum, initially felt horrified as she thought my faith in the deen will be easily swayed in the company of not-yet-Muslims. However, Alhamdulillah, the decision to make that transition only strengthened my faith and over the years I learned to implement most of the da'wah methods you have listed down.

    Honestly, it is not easy when you are being referred as the sole reference point, but Alhamdulillah they are more tolerant and receptive now. Masha'Allah, I have had some asking for the Qur'an, wanting to see me pray, asking me to pray for them and etc. And my mum has stopped worrying. Nowadays she just asks; who asked you about Islam recently? :)

  2. Alhamdulillah! Its so nice to hear the positive side of things. Its not easy when all eyes are on the sole Muslim. But then we have the chance to show them real Islam.

    Better to learn from us than getting the wrong impression from others who pick and choose what to follow. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Precisely sis. One thing I keep emphasizing to them is, there are times when I may not follow Islam due to my weaknesses, so if they ever find me doing something against what I have told them, or I am not doing something Islam asks us to do i.e. praying, then they have the right to remind me. Alhamdulillah, they do that from time to time. Maybe too efficient at times i.e. asking me to pray zuhr when it is not even time yet! lol~

  4. Assalaamu'alaykum,

    Mashaa Allaah.

    I sometimes feel such a failure because I am a weak human being, and sometimes do things that may make my family/parents/etc see no change in me as a Muslim.

    To be honest, I have no idea what they think of me, or whether they see positive changes in me ever since reverting to Islam.

    I am also scared to talk to them about Islam, as they would think I was trying to "gong yeh sou!" lol! I remember I was afraid of my Christian friends and relatives telling me about Christianity!