iERA’s Street Dawah team visited several locations over the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, below are a couple of insightful interactions we had with members of the British public:
A case of classic British Weather – Nadeem Ashraf
In East Croydon we faced non-stop torrential rain but the sort of rain that was beneficial!
The rainy atmosphere brought about an energy within the team. A determination to engage with the public no matter what the weather. Allah placed within me a surge of motivation which pushed me to approach people and hand out our ‘Know God, Know Good’ booklets. This energetic approach brought about a few extremely fruitful conversations, alhamdulillah!
The first conversation was with a Christian who’s on the verge of studying a degree in Psychology at the University of Lincoln. When probed what her main reasons were in studying such a degree, she replied that there’s a lot of mental health issues within her family. This led me to discuss how Islam encourages counselling in the form of sincere advice (naseehah) and some examples of how the Prophet peace be upon him was highly psychological in his approach to teaching the people. The biggest surprise which arose from our conversation was when she admitted that as a Catholic, she believed that the Bible was corrupted and cannot be divine. I congratulated her on her sincerity and got her to think about the Quran, which has an astounding claim of being preserved/consistent throughout the ages. We exchanged email addresses so I could continue the discussion, may Allah guide her, she had immaculate manners and seemed very sincere and open.
My second conversation was with a South Indian Mathematics lecturer who was observing my unique approach towards the locals and was quite amused. I began a conversation with him, this was a chance for me to practice the Prophetic truth argument. In this instance, I spoke about the Prophecies, more specifically the hadith about ‘barefooted Arab bedouins’ competing to construct tall buildings. It felt highly satisfying that I went through the argument slowly and not rush it. Usually, what tends to happen in a street dawah situation is that we rush through our content hoping people would understand it instantly. Not only was he listening but seemed surprised and confessed he did not know about such Prophecies, towards the end of our conversation, I asked the Maths lecturer that he should research this further.
Getting over the hill at Harrow
After a rather sluggish start, I began to have extremely fruitful conversations. For me, the amazing experience was with a guy named Louie. He loved the booklet we handed out. At first, I presumed he was a Muslim. But soon after he spoke about his background was Christianity, but instantly he said that it had let him down and that he was looking into Islam. Straight away, after a few basics, I asked him frankly to embrace Islam. Just testify verbally which he believed in his heart. He even admitted to listening to ‘Mishary Al Afasy’ recital of the Quran to gain peace, SubhanAllah!
So what’s the issue? Well he said, he wants first to stop sinning, e.g. the lifestyle, women, drugs, music etc. and then take the shahadah. I explained that death could come at any time, so there is no wisdom in delaying. To sin is human and that we are all on a journey. Work on all that but get the foundation right for now…!
Louie seemed very eager and asked for my number, as well as for a photo together, and then himself offered to buy me coffee! In essence, one of the approaches to conveying the call we want to promote, which is to buy people interested in Islam a cup of coffee to further the conversation, he offered to do that! It was all him!
So make dua that Allah’s opens his heart and he embraces Islam! I will be keeping in touch with him and will take him up on his offer of coffee! Watch this space!
Another equally inspiring moment was when a Hindu mother and her young son stopped by the stall. He was probably between 5 to 6 years old. She looked like a practising Hindu, and we spoke briefly about the 99 names of Allah. When I mentioned the word God, the young boy exclaimed “God?!” I said replied in the affirmative. He then said “The one above the skies” and pointed upwards with his index finger! At which point, I said SubhanAllah, she then had to leave, but I just stood by watching the little boy walk away and made dua in my heart that Allah guided him because he truly seems to have a ‘live’ fitrah!
A ‘No Brainer’ Dawah Conversation – Murtaza Chaudhary
Jack Nolan was one of the most engaging and amiable young individuals I’ve met for a while. He immediately came over to my location whilst the rain was coming down quite heavily. Although I did not manage to enquire much about his exact religion, I discussed a wide array of topics with Jack. Firstly, He was very down-to-Earth and open-minded, he has some Muslim friends as well as more friends from other religious circles. He understood a lot about Islam, from subjects such as Adam being the very first Prophet to Allah being the guiding force in one’s life. Jack possesses admirable values such as being kind, co-operating for the greater good and so on, he was also well read in Philosophy. Discussing the problem of ‘evil and suffering’ was a no brainer and he knew the argument well, he has a positive perspective about Islam. We left as newly found friends, exchanging mobile numbers to continue our conversation. Jack did mention it would be good to meet up another time to discuss Islam in more detail over either a coffee or meal! May Allah guide Jack, ameen!
The last few days of these blessed days of Dhul Hijjah seemed to bring about remarkable conversations during our street Da’wah campaigns. It goes to show that people will stop. People will engage, and people are genuinely interested in Islam. So we just need to be out there constantly and become part of God’s plan!