International Dawah – Mostapha Hijazi (USA)
The need for new dawah trainers is of the utmost importance for Dawah to continue. The 9-day specialist dawah training course uncovered many Gems, one of the attendees, Mostafa Hijazi, delivered an outstanding dawah training course in New York City.
Although Mostafa is an experienced da’ee, the training that he undertook in London with iERA has taken him to another level. He will now train the public in how to present a compassionate, warm and intelligent case for Islam.
Mostafa Hijazi held the Level 1 iERA Dawah Training at MCMC: The Muslim Center of Middlesex County in Piscataway, NJ. The primary focus was geared towards building confidence, motivation, and presenting Quranic methodologies in calling others to Islam, including the standard iERA GORAP method.
The workshop was highly interactive and fruitful discussions were established. Also, there was a strong focus on the characteristics of the da’ee with emphasis on how to implement them accordingly. Preliminary role-playing before presenting the GORAP method proved to be effective in bringing out the shortcomings of du’ats today falling into an endless cycle of questions.
The role-playing was both entertaining and educational for the trainees. After learning the GORAP method, the trainees understood what it entails and how to apply it with confidence in real-life dawah scenarios. Role-playing was again implemented after GORAP was taught to assure the trainees understood it thoroughly. Per the coordinator of the event, strong feedback was provided, and the workshop was an overall success.
Trainees expressed how the workshop significantly increased their interest, confidence, knowledge, and aspiration in the field of dawah. The trainees were of different ages and backgrounds with born Muslims (some involved in dawah and others being their first time attending a dawah workshop) as well as reverts to Islam seeking an interest in becoming a da’ee.
One of the trainees, Mike Lecetti, is originally from a Jewish upbringing, where later in his journey he leaned towards Atheism and then finally found Islam. Mike took his Shahadah in 2015 after receiving Dawah and took it upon himself to be involved in Dawah where he wishes to call others to that which Allah has blessed and guided him upon. Mike stated that this was his first dawah workshop and that it was highly beneficial. He was articulate and seemed to have been formerly involved in Dawah. He was asked near the end of the workshop: “Are you in the dawah field?” His response was “Following this workshop, I am now!”
Giving Dawah to the culturally rich City of Oxford
Uniting against Hate
Susan had a Christian upbringing and is of Irish descent. When conversing with her I did not overwhelm her with over mentioning “God” but rather had a nuanced discussion of bringing Susan to think – what Muslims stand for as a whole.
She spoke a lot about people and the way values have changed so much in recent times. She noted the youth feel unsafe in the streets with high levels of crime and violence. She was in agreement that Muslims should unite with other communities – with all humans – to fight against these social ills.
As an Irish Woman, she was able to empathise with the racism Muslims receive in recent times and believed in co-operation with Muslims to fight any common threats such as vices, crimes etc.
Forming a new Dawah Team
I arrived at Oxford with a determination of motivating the native Muslim Oxfordians to continue their dawah efforts in the area after the iERA Outreach had come and gone. One of our attendees from the UK Dawah leaders 3-day training, Faris, enthusiastically took it upon himself to undertake regular dawah efforts within the Oxford area. My primary objective during my visit was to communicate to the resident Muslims, about the efforts of the newly formed Dawah team and encourage them to join. From the get-go, I met a Muslim businessman and spoke about iERA, where the bulk of our conversation mainly centred on the topic of giving dawah and how to give it. I invited him to join the team, and he responded enthusiastically by committing to join Faris on the noblest of ventures. Details were exchanged, and alhamdullilah it’s good to see this team growing on a weekly basis.
As the day was dwindling down, a well-spoken gentleman stood upright beside the stall and intriguingly asked a few questions. Lawrence was a Christian ex-teacher in his 60s. Lawrence spewed out his laundry list of typical and cliched questions in regards to; the Prophet peace be upon him and the Jewish tribes, the verses in the Quran which prescribed fighting, whether Christians can preach the Bible in Saudi Arabia and so on and so forth. I was able to provide him with comprehensive answers to each one, but he seemed to, albeit very politely jump to one question after another, after the umpteenth question it dawned on me what was happening here!
Lawrence charmingly asked all the typical questions which orientalists and newspapers regurgitate about surrounding the topic of Islam. His questions perked the ears of the Oxford dawah team members who surrounded us, where they began to chime in. Therefore, unable to satisfy his insatiable desire to answer I opted for a more tactful approach and went on the offence by asking him questions such as; the nature of Allah’s concept of love in Islam, the Prophet’s peace be upon him amazing and deep compassion and integrity. Lawrence smiled and declared that myself and the other Oxford dawah team members as the politest Muslims he has ever encountered. So I think the lesson for us as duaat is always to bring the conversation back to the roots of Islam and not always be on the defence! May Allah guide Lawrence to the truth of Islam.
Lastly, my “dawah lines” of the day were dedicated to the cyclists (Oxford is famously popular destination for people who enjoy pedalling bicycles). I would ask the cyclists, do the brake’s work? A few stopped and practically showed me that they did and I promptly handed over them the KGKG booklet!