iERA as a global dawah organisation conveys the call across all six continents of the world. As part of continuing the Prophetic Mission across Africa, November saw iERA Founder Abdurraheem Green, along with iERA’s Global Outreach Manager, Salahuddin Patel travelled to the southeast African nation of Malawi to continue the development of our base of operations there, which are managed on the ground by Sheikh Ahmed Chienda, a graduate of the Islamic University of Madinah, who is iERA’s International Outreach Specialist for Malawi.
The 10-day programme consisted of outreach training, talks, TV appearances, village outreach efforts, new Muslim empowerment and a large public conference.
iERA Trains 50 Locals To Convey The Call
From Saturday 11th to Monday 13th November 2017, Salahuddin Patel delivered iERA’s Dawah Training Course alongside Sheikh Ahmed Chienda who translated it into the local language of Chichewa for the group of local attendees in Blantyre. These attendees will form the first base of volunteers for iERA’s future activities in Malawi.
Day 1 of the training was a huge success as the participants enjoyed learning about iERA’s GORAP dawah conversation framework which they eagerly put into practice during the roleplay sessions. This framework helps people to engage in a compassionate and intelligent conversation about Islam, based on bringing people to the foundations of the religion.
By the end of the day, the participants were excited and motivated by what they had learned and were eagerly looking forward to the next part of the training.
Day 2 saw Salahuddin deliver the next part of the training, on how to welcome and empower new Muslims. This is an area of work that is sorely neglected and is needed not only in Malawi but across the world.
Day 3 of the course was focused on giving the participants an understanding of how to convey the message of Islam to Christians. Christian missionaries are rife in Malawi and across Africa so the participants welcome this specific training to equip them with the knowledge to convey the call in the best way possible.
Putting It Into Practice – Village Outreach
Following the three days of training, on Wednesday 15th November, all 50 of the locals who attended iERA’s Dawah Training in Blantyre, met up to put into practice what they had learned.
It was an exciting day as the attendees donned bright orange t-shirts which displayed ‘Conveying the Call’ at the front and ‘Sharing Islam with Humanity, Reason and Love’ on the back – a message which encompasses the values which iERA wants to share with the world!
Three minibuses were hired to take the team to three local villages in the area of Lirangwe, where we were able to convey to the entire village, including the Village Chiefs, the message of Islam.
The event began with some light entertainment as some of the team had prepared a short sketch to show the beauty of Islam in a fun and humorous manner. The villagers really enjoyed the entertainment as many of them had never heard the message of Islam before. The event then proceeded with Sheikh Ahmed Chienda and Sheikh Mohamed Kamel Eweis from the charity African Relief Limited both giving a passionate talk about the compassionate message of Islam.
The day concluded with a talk delivered by Salahuddin Patel entitled ‘Reincarnation to Reformation’. Originally raised as a Hindu, Salahuddin spoke about his own journey to Islam, and how it transformed his life, giving him a true purpose. Through Islam, he was able to develop an intimate relationship by reconnecting the correct understanding of the oneness of Almighty God.
As a result of this reminder, one of the villagers stepped forward and made the decision to accept the peaceful message of Islam and took the testimony of faith, the Shahada.
The whole iERA team were captivated at the scenes of the villagers cheering and celebrating. The team then spoke to the locals giving them further dawah and handed them the outreach materials in their native language to take away, read and reflect upon.
Village Outreach Encore!
Emboldened by the reception they received, the iERA Team returned to Lirangwe but this time, they were accompanied by iERA Founder Abdurraheem Green.
Once again, the day proceeded with light entertainment by some of the members of the 50 strong team followed by Abdurraheem Green giving a passionate speech about his own journey to Islam and how it had shaped his life.
The effect was almost immediate with three villagers making the choice to embrace Islam and become Muslim. It was a highly emotional moment as the female villagers who were preparing the food began celebrating by singing loudly with delight and joy. [watch video]
Abdurraheem Green on National TV In Malawi
On Thursday 16th November, Abdurraheem Green was a guest on the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for a special programme. The channel has a viewership of over two million viewers and Abdurraheem was able to speak about his journey to Islam and the love and compassion which embodies the central message of Islam. He also used the platform as an opportunity to invite people to join him for a public dawah conference in Newlands, Blantyre that was to take place a few days later.
Limbe Market Gets Covered In Orange
After the emotional scenes in the villages, the attendees were eager to continue conveying the call. On Friday 17th November, Abdurraheem Green delivered the bayan, the talk before the jummah khutbah in Blantyre where he woke the packed out Masjid up to the obligation of conveying the call!
After jummah, the 50 strong team, now with some experience under their belt donned their, now iconic, orange iERA t-shirts and headed to Limbe Market, one of the busiest spots in Blantyre. The response was phenomenal as members of the public were attracted by the bright orange t-shirts as the free publications, in their local language, that was being handed out.
Abdurraheem Green also had a fruitful conversation with a local named Dumisani Chakanga, who was from a Christian background but was intrigued by the message of Islam and wanted a follow-up conversation with the local team as well as requesting a translated copy of the Quran in the local language of Chichewa.
This experience strengthened the resolve of the new team to continue conveying the call on a regular basis to the Malawian people.
300 Locals Receive The Message Of Islam
Early on Saturday 18th November 2017, two large tents were pitched up in the area of Newlands in Blantyre ready for a huge public conference about Islam.
The conference began with motivational messages by Sheikh Ahmed Chienda who conveyed inspirational messages in order to invite attendees to come and join the free hosted local event and soon after the outdoor venue began filling up and all the chairs were full with many more people standing.
Abdurraheem Green then took the stage and gave a short but powerful message about the beauty of Islam that was well received. Soon after some members of the local team again dressed in the bright orange t-shirts began performing nasheeds speaking about the loving message of Islam and to celebrate the beauty of life, a gift was given to humanity by Almighty God.
The audience took well to the stunning performance and the messages contained in the nasheeds.
The team proceeded with performing some light-hearted drama that the 300 plus audience members enjoyed watching and listening to. Lunch was then served up to the attendees and that was followed up by Salahuddin Patel who delivered the following talk: The Many Faces of Idol Worship; Idolatry and Modernity. The audience was fascinated to hear about ancient idol worship and in particular the story Prophet Abraham and how he tried to teach his community in ancient Babylon to stop worshipping idols and instead to redirect their worship to the One True God of Humanity. Salahuddin expanded further about how the ancient idol worship had been replaced by the modern day idols of pop stars, performance artists and sports stars, however Salahuddin who was previously from a Hindu Background demonstrated that the one that truly that deserves this level of love, gratitude and appreciation should be to Almighty God alone, the one who has given all these amazing gifts to humanity.
The event was a huge success as the attendees loved the variety of the performances and speeches delivered – honing in on the same message that only Almighty God Alone is deserving of our worship and that life is an amazing blessing that deserves to be celebrated. You can watch the video here.
Welcoming 70 New Muslims To Islam!
The pinnacle of iERA’s 10-day programme was to welcome 70 new Muslims to Islam with a dedicated ceremony and celebration just for them on Sunday 19th November.
The new Muslims arrived early to the venue that had been decorated and was welcomed by a huge banner that displayed the following message: Congratulations and Welcome! Prophet Muhammad (may Peace & Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) Said: “Islam Annuls What Came Before It” (Sahih Muslim).
The event kicked off with Sheikh Ahmed Chienda with a Welcome Message welcoming the New Muslims into the community, reminding them that all of humanity is one family and our brothers and sisters of each other and we should treat each other with love, tolerance and peace.
Sheikh Ahmed then spoke about the basic teachings of Islam and what it actually means to declare the shahada, the declaration of Faith to fulfilling the purpose of our creation and live a life pleasing to Almighty God and to positively contribute to the betterment of society and humanity.
Salahuddin Patel then took to the stage and addressed the New Muslims taking his own experience coming from a Hindu Background and accepting Islam. He welcomed them to Islam and reminded them that this was a great blessing and Honour as they were chosen to be guided by Almighty God from the Billions of people from across the planet.
He informed them that they have a duty to know who Allah (swt) truly is, to Love God Almighty, to submit and Obey and to Single out Almighty God for all acts of worship and to be truly grateful. He also spoke about developing a direct connection and personal intimate relationship with Almighty God through Prayers and Supplications.
He went on to inform them that they will face many challenges as New Muslims and the local Muslim community will do their best to help through local programs and personal mentorship, however, that whatever challenge they may be facing to turn to Almighty God first and foremost.
He concluded the talk by empowering them through remaining positive and to always have a positive mindset and to keep focused on the prize of Paradise by remaining firm and patient and ended with a prayer to Almighty God that they remain upon the path of Goodness and righteousness so that everyone may be reunited together in Paradise.
After this Sheikh Ahmed Chienda then presented iERA’s New Muslim packs individually to all the New Muslim attendees as gifts. The New Muslim packs contain the basics that a New Muslim needs to begin their journey including Prayer Booklets.
After the gifts were handed out to the New Muslims they were assigned New Muslim Mentors who would be assigned to personally look after and help them on their journey and to the develop their relationship with Almighty God. The New Muslim Mentors were chosen from the attendees who attended the New Muslim Support and Mentorship Training earlier in the week and now they put what they had learnt in the class and started to put it into practice by supporting local New Muslims.
The ceremony ended with the New Muslims served a Hot Meal and it served as an opportunity for the New Muslims to get to know their New Muslim Mentors. The event concluded a very successful program in Malawi with all the attendees excited and making a firm commitment to continue the work.
iERA’s Future Commitment to Malawi
This trip is the first step in continuing the Prophetic Mission, not just in Malawi but across Africa, a place that was once known as a Muslim Continent. Working with Sheikh Ahmed Chienda and his experienced team on the ground, an annual plan has been drawn up to help him continue conveying the call!
iERA Train 150 Students and Scholars in Zambia
iERA conveys the call across all six continents of the world. As part of continuing the Prophetic Mission across Africa, November saw iERA’s Global Outreach Manager, Salahuddin Patel take advantage of being in the southeast African nation of Malawi to hop over the border with Sheikh Ahmed Chienda, a graduate of the Islamic University of Madinah, who is iERA’s International Outreach Specialist for Malawi to visit neighbouring Zambia.
Organised by Moonrays Trust, iERA’s Dawah Training Course was delivered to over 150 duaat who give dawah in more than 52 local villages in Zambia, scholars and students from the boarding school housed on site.
The audience was enthralled by the iERA’s GORAP conversation framework and by the end of the course they were left wanting more! Shahid Motala who runs the facility received positive feedback from the attendees. Following a strategic meeting with Salahuddin Patel and Sheikh Ahmed Chienda, it was agreed that would work together to increase the positive outreach work in the country of Zambia and neighbouring countries.