One day, my friend and I decided to attend a Christian event on campus. I am not going to lie. I was a bit nervous because we did stand out from the crowd. Were we going to be judged? Will they ask us a lot of questions? These were the thoughts racing in my head.
As soon as we walked in, friendly students greeted us. The event began with a band singing songs about faith, God, and hope. Although I was not used to the singing, it was nice seeing a bunch of students coming together in the evening for the sake of strengthening their connection with God.
Afterwards, a student volunteered to share a heart-warming story about how she reverted to Christianity after going through a dark time in her life. Then, a preacher came and gave his weekly sermon. He spoke about anxiety, and although I did not agree with some of his viewpoints, I felt that the talk was just as impactful as an Islamic lecture.
I really enjoyed my experience, and wanted to share it with my Muslim brothers and sisters because not only did I learn about the Christian faith, but I actually learned more about our Muslim community. A lot of us tend to just hang out with Muslims, which is fine, but how do we expect to teach others about our faith if we ourselves do not go around actively seeking the faiths of others’? In Surah an-Nahl, it states “Invite to the way of your lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.” (Qur’an, an-Nahl:125). If we do not make the effort to communicate with others outside of our faith, we will never be able to showcase through our words and actions the truth behind Islam.
Giving dawah means inviting someone to Islam, or simply sharing the teachings of our faith with others. I know some of us, including myself, feel like we do not have enough Islamic knowledge to teach others about Islam, but even sharing the little information that we know and why we follow Islam can be enough.
Attending events held by other faiths, including interfaith programs, is a good place to start. Do not be anxious or afraid to do so just because it is not an Islamic lecture, or because the audience will not be predominantly Muslim. In fact, these lectures strengthen our faith even more. It forces us to ask questions and seek answers about any doubts that we may have. We can learn about the similarities between our religion and others, make new friends, and most importantly, change people’s perception of Islam. May Allah (SWT) help us increase our knowledge and help us spread our faith. Ameen.
“If Allah (SWT) guides a person through you, it is better for you than all that is on Earth.”
–Bukhari No. 2783