When we think of the month of Ramadan; we often think of Fasting, extra prayers at night, and delicious food. Let’s add to that list, the noble act of educating others about Islam, dawah.
Why dawah in Ramadan?
- Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an. The Qur’an was revealed in this month as guidance for humanity, “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the humanity” (Qur’an 2.185). The Qur’an, Ramadan and Dawah go together. This guidance of the Qur’an is not just restricted to the Arabs or the Muslims, but is for the entire humanity and we (Muslims) are given this responsibility to share this guidance.
- Higher Reward for good deeds. The Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887)
- More time to do dawah. Alhamdulillah, we are blessed to have Ramadan during the summer time because the schools are off and the days are longer, which means we have more time to share Islam.
- Curiosity about Islam is at an all-time high. According to the YouGov/Huffington Post Poll, March 2015, 39% of Americans would like to learn more about Islam. This translates to about 120 million Americans willing to give their ears to you when you discuss Islam. This increase willingness can be seen from the increase in the volume of calls at GainPeace dawah phone line to ask questions about Islam, the increase in the attendees of the Masjid open houses and in the request for the free Qur’ans.
How to do dawah in Ramadan?
- Have a well-defined goal. I often set my goal to reach at least one new person a day, about 30 for the entire month of Ramadan; you should similarly set a goal for the number of people to reach and make it achievable.
- Don’t hide your fasting. Also, don’t hide your Muslim identity. We don’t want to impose our Islam on others but at the same time we want to be identified as Muslims in our looks and actions. When your colleagues, neighbors and classmates find out that you are fasting, it can generate curious questions which can initiate dawah conversations, insha Allah.
- Carry and share brochures or one minute cards. After discussing the concept of Ramadan and Islam it is wise to pass out a brochure which can provide more details including website and phone number.
- Host open houses in the Masajid. Many of our fellow Americans (90% according to Time 2010 Poll) have never been to a Masjid and they hold many misconceptions as to what happens inside it. I have seen open houses in the Masajid for our neighbors to be extremely effective breaking the ice and having a friendly discussion about Islam.
- Give Ramadan gift to colleagues and neighbors. Last year, my wife and I went to a sweets store after the Eid prayers, grabbed two boxes of sweets and came back home to give these gifts to our two neighbors. Our neighbors were thrilled to meet us and obtain these gifts. They invited us in and asked us more details about this happy occasion. I would recommend you to make custom gift packages with candy, brochures and one minute cards which can to be effective in breaking the ice with our neighbors and colleagues, insha Allah.
- Invite neighbors to your home. I have seen this done very effectively by many Muslims. A sister in Chicago sent out invitation to her neighbors in her apartment complex and 5 neighbors showed up to meet their Muslim neighbor and enjoy a good meal. This is very beneficial in the light of the fact that 62% of our fellow Americans have never met a Muslim (Time Poll, 2010).
Thus, increasing our dawah efforts this Ramadan will not only help us fulfill our obligation of dawah, but it will bestow us an increase reward in their auspicious month and will provide a clear and true narrative about Islam and Muslims, insha Allah.