In Barcelona, Spain, a budding group of Muslims, inspired over many years by the work of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) arranged for a team to fly out to deliver dawah training, and help expand their community outreach efforts.
Our one-day dawah training course, which teaches our trademark GORAP conversation methodology, was for the first time ever professionally translated into Spanish and was very well received by the attendees. Unbeknown to the team was a well known international daee from Kuwait who sat through our course and was very impressed with our dawah methodology. He made the team promise him that they will visit him in Mexico, and gave us his full support with a view to setting up a long term dawah program in Latin America.
Following the training, the attendees were eager to put what they had learned into practice and so they headed to the 30th edition of the ‘Festa al Cel’ Barcelona Airshow 2015, which took place at the Playa del Varador in Mataró (province of Barcelona).
The weekend air show attracted scores of families, relaxing at the beach, watching the displays. As a result of this relaxed atmosphere, there wasn’t time or space for people to stop or have conversations because everyone was in a rush yet the team still managed to give out all their Spanish dawah materials. What the team found was that people were really willing to take the material, read it, and overall they got a very positive response from the public.
The interesting thing the team found, was that even though Spain has a rich history of Islam, the majority of Spanish people have no idea what the teachings of Islam are, and even the history of Islam within Spain itself. Our team were based in northern Spain and historically, Islam did not really take a foothold in this region, but still they have Arabic words within their common vernacular, for example ‘kameez’ is an Arabic word for shirt in this is this also Spanish word.
One notable incident was when the team were joined by a blind brother from Morocco named Yasin, who came out with his walking stick and was handing out literature with the team.
Subboor Ahmad who was at the Playa del Varador said: “This was a really pivotal moment because it goes to show that nobody has any excuse not to get involved, even someone who is blind knows the obligation of dawah and even if they don’t know the obligation, they might know the reward, so it’s really empowering to see an individual spend time conveying the message of Islam even though in their everyday life they face a difficulty which most of us could never understand.”
The head of the local team in Barcelona is a Mexican convert to Islam named Monica Pedraza Elizondo. She reverted to Islam 20 years ago and since has been conveying the message of Islam to her friends, family and to members of the public. In the past, she facilitated two international dawah campaigns about Islam including the ‘Who Do You Love?’ and ‘What’s Your Goal?’ campaigns. She is someone who is going to be a part of the dawah in the long term, not just in Spain but in Latin America as well insha’Allah.