The title of this post may alarm some, as we typically do not draw a link between dawah (sharing the message of Islam) and Ramadan, however, a little reflection over the ayah (verse) below will allow us to understand how important, rewarding, and engaging dawah can be during this beautiful month.
“It was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed as guidance for mankind, clear messages giving guidance and distinguishing between right and wrong. So anyone of you who is present that month should fast, and anyone who is ill or on a journey should make up for the lost days by fasting on other days later. God wants ease for you, not hardship. He wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him for having guided you, so that you may be thankful.” The Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 185
As mentioned in the ayah, it was in this blessed month that the Quran was revealed. It was sent down from the Preserved Tablet to the lowest heaven. Additionally, it was revealed to the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) piecemeal over a period of 23 years. Specifically, it was sent down on a very special night of Ramadan, which is referred to as “The Night of Power” (Laylatul Qadr), which Allah explicitly states in chapter 97 (Al-Qadar), verse 1:
“Behold, We revealed this (Qur’an) on the Night of Power”
It is for this very reason that the month of Ramadan is also known as the month of the Quran. Hence we are encouraged to increase in the recitation of the Divine Book. However, we aim not only to recite the Quran in Arabic, but to engage with it, ponder its meanings, and draw guidance from it too. What better time to seek the guidance of the Quran than in Ramadan? Reflect over this for a moment, at the very beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah, the second chapter of the Quran, Allah says:
“This is the Book! There is no doubt about it—a guide for those mindful ˹of Allah˺ (muttaqeen) ” The Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 2
Although the Quran is indeed a guidance for the whole of humanity, Allah informs us that it is the people of taqwa (those mindful of God) who truly benefit from its guidance. Hence our aspirations are to become people of taqwa. Taqwa and its link to Ramadan is important since it is also outlined by Allah as the objective of fasting;
“O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you—as it was for those before you—so perhaps you will become mindful ˹of Allah˺.” The Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 183
Here, Allah clearly highlights that fasting has been prescribed for us so that we can become people of taqwa. Is it not amazing that the month in which the Quran was revealed is also the month in which we can attain taqwa? It being the key to unlock the guidance of the words of God! We should indeed thank Allah for this blessing and benefit from this opportunity, however, we do not limit the guidance and blessing of the Quran for ourselves alone.
In the ayah quoted at the beginning of this post, does not Allah give us an insight into what the Quran is? That is, it is a guidance for humanity, for everyone. If it is a guidance for all people then should not our benefit from this guidance be shared to our brothers and sisters in humanity? Is this not what the prophets of Allah including the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did? If we want to follow in the footsteps of the prophets then we should also engage in dawah. So, why not start in this blessed month? Here are some more reasons that may encourage us to take part in this noble work.
Rewards upon Rewards
The prophet (pbuh) informed us in a narration found in Bukhari:
“…(Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.”
This along with other such narrations signify the immense rewards of doing good in this blessed month. Here, in particular, we learn that Allah multiplies good deeds carried out in this month by ten times! Now, when it comes to the work of dawah, we know the rewards can be great, for example; The Prophet (ﷺ) said to ‘Ali (May Allah be pleased with him),
“By Allah, if a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than a whole lot of red camels.”
Interestingly, the reference to red camels is used to signify the enormous reward for the one who by Allah guides another to Islam. Now, imagine engaging in dawah, potentially one of the most rewarding, if not, the most rewarding action in this blessed month of Ramadan, in which the reward for good deeds are already multiplied tenfold!
The prophet (pbuh) also said:
“Whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action.”
What if you guide someone to Islam? Say, only one person was to become Muslim through you, every good action they do, you also get the reward for it. It would be as if you have been given an additional life to live! It gets better, now imagine that this individual became the means of guidance for others, such as their children. That is, if they have children that are raised as good Muslims engaging in good, you too gain reward for the actions of their children and their children and their children. This cycle of rewards is continued till the day of Judgment, can you even begin to imagine how much reward you can end up with? Glory be to God, the one who has presented us with such an opportunity in the blessed month of Ramadan!
Dawah Unlocks a Third of the Quran
So, it is the month of the Quran, you are more eager than ever before to understand the words of Allah, you open the Quran every day and study its translation, and you begin to enjoy the whole process. However, every so often, you come across passages you understand, yet frustratingly cannot connect with, how annoying is that?
In many cases, this happens because we simply have not experienced what is being said. You see, our first-hand experience of a thing leads us to connect with it in a new way. Imagine for a second that you have never tasted sugar, now you may be convinced and understand via other means that sugar is sweet; however, could you compare this type of understanding to the type of understanding you would attain if you had tasted sugar for yourself? Your experience enriches your understanding in profound ways.
How does this all relate to dawah and connecting with a third of the Quran? At least a third of the Quran is about the stories of the prophets and their stories primarily deal with one specific topic; dawah. The question now arises; how do we have a meaningful connection with the passages that address the struggle of the prophets, their trials, and their victories, if we don’t give dawah ourselves? We may “understand” how Nuh (as) called his people by night and day for 950 years, but could we truly appreciate his struggle, effort and commitment unless we have spent some time calling people to Allah ourselves? How can we even try to connect with the spiritual, emotional, and psychological state of Musa (as) when Allah sent him to give dawah to Pharaoh, unless we ourselves step out of our comfort zone to give dawah, regardless of our fear of rejection and ridicule.
Be Generous and Share the Quran
The Prophet (ﷺ) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) then used to be more generous than the fast wind.
Can you even begin to imagine how generous the prophet (pbuh) would have been in this month? The increase in the prophet’s generosity here is linked directly to the nightly revision of the Quran with Gabriel. Are we not also trying to engage in regular recitation of the Quran in this month? Should that then not make us more generous than we normally are? It does indeed. All thanks and praise belongs to Allah, as we donate and give more in this month than any other month of the year. That is indeed a great blessing, however can we not extend the generosity further to non-Muslims? Wouldn’t you say that one of the greatest acts of generosity a Muslim can partake in is sharing the Quran with those that are not yet Muslim? Isn’t this the right of the Quran upon us that we share it? Wasn’t this the lifelong mission of the prophet? May we all incorporate some type of dawah activity, along with all the other acts of giving.
The Ramadan Curiosity is a Dawah Opportunity
If you are working during Ramadan then you have probably already realised that people at work are curious, as they ask questions on why you are not eating or drinking. This can be taken as an opportunity to give them dawah. If, for example, during lunch, your work colleague asks “why are you not eating?” Do not just give him a quick answer and be done, rather acknowledge him, tell him about fasting and link it back to who Allah is, and why He created us. We can extend our dawah opportunities for those outside of work too; maybe when it is time to break the fast, you can share food with your curious neighbour, who every evening picks up on delicious smells emanating from your kitchen and wants to know why there is a party at your house every day! This is a perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation and tell them about Islam. Ultimately, connect with your colleagues and neighbours by sharing your experience of Ramadan and the reason for why you do it.
Time off? Time to do Dawah
If you have taken some time off work during this month, then why not use a portion of your day giving dawah? We all know the day flies by quicker when active instead of sitting around. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the companions would remain active during the days and never waste time. Giving dawah is an amazing form of worship, which not only makes your days productive but also becomes a means of great reward.
Between Reading and Implementing
Our engagement with the Quran in this or any other month is not be limited to reciting it, but instead, we are to recite, understand, and implement it. Whenever the companions of the prophet (pbuh) would learn a new passage of the Quran, they would not move on to another set of verses, until they fully understood and implemented what they learnt. The latter is related by Abdullāh b. Masʿūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said: “When a man amongst us learned ten verses [of the Quran], he would not move on [to the next verses] until he had understood their meanings and how to act by them.”
Shouldn’t we also follow the practice of the companions of the prophet (pbuh)? So that when Allah says: “Invite ˹all˺ to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and kind advice…” We not only read the ayah; we understand it and implement it by getting involved in dawah.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said,
“Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.”
What have we been doing since last Ramadan?
By the mercy and will of Allah we shared the beautiful message of Islam in over 40 countries and hired 25 new outreach specialists; bringing up the total to 35. We distributed over 290,000 books, leaflets and dawah cards to 100 countries around the world. We also delivered 75 exhibitions, 625 lectures, 232 dawah events, workshops and seminars and created 61 dawah teams who are carrying out this noble work. As a direct result of this noble effort, 3750 people embraced Islam. Imagine you being part of this amazing work? Well, you can – click here to get involved.
On a closing note, let’s make the most of this blessed month as it will be over very soon. I pray your days are full of good deeds, including sharing the goodness of Islam with others and dedicating your nights for the worship of your Lord alone. May Allah allow us to be among those who are forgiven in this month and make us of those he is pleased with. Amin.