iERA was invited to deliver a dawah training course and workshop on Atheism in France for the ‘Mercy For Mankind’ organisation who are conveying the call to Islam on the streets of Paris. This team are active during the weekend and usually concentrate within the tourist hotspots of the city. However, they were needed the ability to spread the word of Islam in a more effective manner, which prompted them to invite iERA for training and so outreach Specialists Imran Hussein and Murtaza Chaudhary were dispatched for the task.
Day 1: Dawah Training
iERA instructor Murtaza Chaudhary delivered iERA’s dawah training course which hones in on the important areas of initiating a Dawah conversation with a non-Muslim using iERA’s trademarked methodology “GORAP”. The acronym stands for; God, Oneness, Revelation, And Prophethood.
Day 2: Atheism Workshop
To deal with this growing trend, iERA Outreach Specialist Imran Hussein covered some very basic concepts including:
- The Foundations of Atheism
- The Foundations of Islam
- How to Deconstruct Atheism
- How to Present a Powerful Case for Islam.
Vivin’s Pendulum of Faith
After the training, the iERA team joined the Mercy For Mankind team on the streets of Paris to convey the message of Islam in the best way possible. Murtaza Chaudhary struck up a conversation with an Indian migrant Vivin, who’s been living in France for approximately two years. Vivin is an Electrical Engineer and they were able to converse coherently as he studied English during his youth when he lived in India.
Vivin was fairly critical with some aspects of French Society, pinpointing some of the social norms as deviant behaviour from his perspective. In this sense, Vivin shared a fair few common values with Islam for example such as relationships before marriage and preferred the Indian subcontinent tradition of arranged marriages.
When Murtaza asked Vivin about his faith, he best described as a pendulum between Christianity and agnosticism. Currently, he was swinging back towards Christianity again but conducted his own research between the two belief systems. Vivin’s research would range from Richard Dawkins to popular Christian preachers hence the confusion. However, he had also come across Islamic teachings on YouTube, specifically videos on comparative religions.
Murtaza found this an opportunity to speak more about Islam and answer Vivin’s doubt about the existence of God from an Islamic perspective. Murtaza noticed that Vivin’s source of doubt was the idea of infinite regress which he was able to easily clarify. Vivin criticised the information from the Dawkins books he had accumulated over the years describing it as its best as nonsensical.
Murtaza directed the conversation towards the attributes of God, more specifically the names of Allah which he seemed to agree with every point mentioned from iERA’s ‘Know God, Know Good’ booklet, that God is All Powerful, All Knowing etc.
After each fruitful dawah conversation, Murtaza ensured that contact details are exchanged for him to become a point of reference with the person he has been conveying the call to. This provides an open channel for the person who has just had an in-depth discussion about Islam to continue to have that Muslim individual within their contacts list, to aid them in continuing their journey towards finding the meaning of life.