The recent coverage of iERA’s five-day Specialist Dawah Training Course with Imams and Scholars from Canada inspired another community leader in Ireland, Ali Hamou, to reach out to iERA to arrange a programme of training for his local community.
After very little back and forth, iERA Outreach Specialist Murtaza Chaudhary travelled to the beautiful Irish city of Cork to deliver a series of lectures and workshops, both at the Cork Dawah Centre and at University College Cork.
The trip commenced with an interactive talk at the Cork Dawah Centre entitled ‘Proof Of God’ and was attended by a mixture of mosque attendees, all keen to learn.
The talk covered the ideas of self-evident truths – these are special things in life which do not require a proof. It then moved on to the ever so important concept of the fitra (the innate, natural disposition of mankind) and how humans all are born believing in the One, All-Powerful Creator or God. One of Allah’s names ‘The Truth’ (Al-Haqq) was discussed in detail towards the end of the talk.
The following day, the iERA dawah training course took place at University College Cork which was ranked in 2015 #1 in Ireland and #16 in Europe out of a ranking of 750 universities. The training was attended by a mixture of local and international students all excited to learn how to convey the call.
After explaining the definition of dawah, motivations and rewards we moved on to the easy to use, yet powerful “GORAP” approach. This stands for God’s Existence, Oneness, Revelation and Prophethood. Periodically throughout the training, the students paired up to role play this conversation framework for future real-life dawah experiences.
The third and final day of the tour saw Murtaza lead a motivated team of local Cork residents to the ironically named ‘English Market’ (city centre) to engage in some well-needed outreach activities. Armed with copies of iERA’s Jesus – Man, Messenger, Messiah book and a table to put it on they got to work.
In his role as facilitator and mentor, Murtaza showed the team how to engage people in friendly discussions about Islam. He engaged with a number of locals and had model conversations that the team looking on could learn from.
One of these conversations was with Jack who didn’t ascribe himself to any sort of religion and wasn’t sure about God. They had a long and interesting conversation about who is Allah? What is life about? What do Muslims believe? All these topic areas were explained and Jack was enthralled. He gained a clear understanding of the Islamic worldview. He asked a question about women in Islam: are they equal to men?. Murtaza explained that yes men and women are completely equal yet different in their biology and makeup. In general, all rulings and rewards which apply to men also apply to women. There are some specific differences in rulings, but these do not lead to any injustice or any kind of oppression towards women.
Another conversation was with John, a Christian who ironically had a confession to make – he could not understand the Trinity! Murtaza explained that in Islam, God can only be One. He cannot share in his divinity with any other thing whether created or uncreated. John was amazed. Murtaza went on to explain that even in the Qur’an God states “do not say three” when referring to the Trinity. John was overcome with interest and was gifted with a copy of the English translation of the Qu’ran.
The objective behind members of the Cork Dawah Centre reaching out to the community in this way was to not only dispel myths and suspicions but to share a warm, friendly and loving message of Islam with their neighbours.
The trip concluded with a commitment to bring further innovative outreach activities to Ireland including iERA’s Interactive Jesus Exhibition in the near future.
Are you looking to start positive outreach activities in your community?
Simply get in touch today via iera.org/request and one of our Outreach Specialists will help guide you in getting things off the ground.