The end of the year saw iERA return to Asia to build on the initial training and empowerment delivered by Salahuddin Patel at the tail end of 2017. Over the busy Christmas period, iERA’s Head of Education, Sohail Arshad travelled to the vibrant city of Hong Kong to support and empower the various local organisations that came together to share the message of Islam under the campaign: ‘Muslims Love HK’.
This campaign entailed four days of direct engagement with the general public, a series of public motivational talks, a community BBQ event, a blood drive campaign, feeding the poor and as well as other outreach activities in key locations throughout the bustling city.
As part of the “Muslims Love HK” campaign, a whole day was dedicated to sharing the message of Islam across the city. To prepare the volunteers in conveying the call, Sohail Arshad delivered a short speech to 70 volunteers to inspire, motivate and give them an overview of iERA’s Jesus Campaign.
This was followed by having teams set up in three iconic locations across Hong Kong to convey the call to the general public – something unprecedented amongst the local organisations, as they had never conducted a simultaneously coordinated dawah effort on the same day.
In Causeway Bay, a team of approximately 15 volunteers handed out leaflets and spoke to the locals about Islam and Jesus peace be upon him.
In Tsim Sha Tsui, the regular dawah stall was set up; this location is next to the Kowloon Mosque and an area that is known for visitors to Hong Kong.
In central Hong Kong, approximately 40 volunteers set up a stall and handed out leaflets. This location is where most of the local volunteers gathered during the public holidays and obviously, it was swarming with people! The volunteers spread out, handed out literature and spoke to many groups that were sitting down enjoying their day off. Interestingly, the majority of people were from Indonesian Christians, so the belief in Jesus peace be upon him was at the centre of discussion.
I was going to accept Islam… but did not know any Muslims..
As leaflets about Jesus peace be upon him were being handed out, Sohail Arshad noticed a woman, Annisa, looking at the literature on Jesus hoody he was wearing. He offered her a leaflet and told her that their intentions were to spread the wonderful message of Jesus in Islam. Annisa replied “I know about the Muslim belief. I used to work in Dubai for over 4 years”. Sohail then asked her what she thought of Islam and she responded: “I was going to become a Muslim but I did not have any support or friends there”. Sohail introduced her to a few female Indonesian volunteers at the stall and told them Annisa was going to accept Islam but did not know any Muslims – but now she does! After a 30 minute discussion, Annisa took her shahadah alhamdulillah. During the course of the campaign, three individuals in total accepted Islam with over 1,500 people given literature.
Good Muslim Neighbours encouraged me to learn about Islam…
Sohail Arshad witnessed another amazing occurrence on his trip. During a taxi ride to the ‘Feed the Homeless’ campaign, the taxi driver, Banyu, a Buddhist, noticed that the team were setting something up at the drop-off point – Sham Shui Po. He inquisitively asked what the team were doing and they informed him that they were from the local Muslim community and were coordinating a feeding the homeless campaign. Banyu was so impressed and happy with the activities, he went on to tell the volunteers that many Muslims live near him, describing them as extremely kind neighbours and who reveal the good side of Islam. Due to their excellent moral conduct, it motivated him to learn about Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Banyu left us with a message for the general Muslim community – ‘that we should all continue to show the beauty of this religion of ours.’
iERA continues the Prophetic Mission all around the world. To invite us to help empower and grow your activities, simply get in touch by going to iera.org/request.