Harsh Questions Help Newcomers to Islam
How can we use the harsh questions against our faith to help people enter into Islam?
Something amazing has been happening with our Dawah project. We can't believe it. Allah has Blessed us so much to be successful in our latest project for spreading Islam to the non-Muslims. They are actually coming to attack us, and then - all of a sudden they are making the Shahadah and entering into Islam.
I call the project, "Answering the Harsh Questions Against Islam."
People everywhere are saying and asking horrible things like:
- Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him)
- Women's Rights
- 4 Wives for men - but only 1 for the women
- Marriage to 9 year old girl
- Suicide Bombers
All of these questions and more have been coming to us in email and in the streets and over the phone on a daily basis.
So, I took it upon myself to bring about the common sense answers for these questions in plain and simple English language based on the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah (way or teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him). And it is working. This is actually helping the Muslims to do the correct Dawah. Allah has almost definitely caused us to get involved to promote the true message of Islam on the same methodology as that of the prophet, peace be upon him.
Examples of Harsh Questions - That Helped Them Become Muslims After Attacking Islam:
In London Ontario, Canada a young man stood up after my talk in a Masjid, dealing with the harsh questions. He asked,
"Why do you pray to a black box in the desert?"
Of course he was talking about the Ka’bah in Makkah. In less than fifteen minutes he understood that we do not worship the "black box" nor do we worship anything in the box nor do we worship anything in the creation at all, and in fact, we do not even worship the Creator through anything at all.
Based on this he stated that he did believe that there was only One True God, and that he wanted to worship Him Alone without any partners and that Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was the last messenger of God and that Jesus (Peace and blessings be upon him) was the messenger of God.
Then he said his "Shahadah" (bearing witness to the Oneness of God) right then and there!
Two young women wanted to ask me questions in the mosque in Melbourne, Florida after a lecture there. They were very concerned about the Muslim ladies going behind a curtain or partition and wanted an explanation about why we were dealing with women in such a manner. After spending about 20 or 30 minutes with them, they became convinced that our religion was much better than their own (Catholic). By the time I revisited the community next time, these girls had both made Shahadah and one of them was behind the very protection of the partition that she had originally complained about.
There are so many examples like this and the number of people entering into Islam through this approach has become so numerous that we cannot keep up with the count. Several every week and many on a monthly basis. And it all comes back to the same thing.
It is truly fantastic when you use this "secret combination." Although it is really no secret, for many of us it is something that is almost forgotten in the effort of inviting people to the truth of Islam. The prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) had to endure much more difficulty in his time and it should be expected that those of us who Allah has given this wonderful way of life called "Islam" should also be tested with some of the same abuse and harshness as he suffered. He was patient and Allah tells us to also be patient. This all works for the believers. We just need to learn the actually truth, prepare ourselves with the proper information and approach and be steadfast and patient in carrying the message to the people.
By the way, keep in mind to actually tell the people the message as soon as you can. After all, you do not know how long the person will stand in front of you. Simply tell them, "There really is only One God and He Alone is the only one deserving to be worshipped."
Many of us Muslims have been complaining about the fact that we have no way of communicating our message about the true Islam to the people of the world. I am saying that this is not entirely true. I will quickly admit that we do not have a single television network to broadcast around the world, nor do we have any satellites in space beaming our message down to the world's people. We will admit that there is no press or news media association for Islam and Muslims such as the UPI or AP or the BBC. But at the same time we must recognize that Allah has a plan and it is going to prevail in the end.
Prophecy Has Been Fulfilled
Our prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) told us that in the Last Days on earth that the Muslims would be everywhere on the earth, but we would be as weak and worthless as the foam on a flood. He told us that in these days our enemies would invite each other to fight and slaughter us just as people go out to invite to a big feast (an Arab tradition). When he was asked by his companions, "Would it be because we will be so few in number?" He responded, "No. You will be everywhere, like the foam on the flood." And when they asked why would we be in such condition, he told them that it would be because of "Wahn." When they asked him what "Wahn" meant, he told them that we would be in love with material things and wealth and be afraid to die.
Our position should be that we are going to try to understand what is going on around us, and then use the truth of Islam to bring about the true light of understanding to the people. Allah has caused all these things to happen around us for a reason. And he has placed us in the exact places that we are in for a reason.
Think about it.
Most of the entire world's population today knows that there is a religion out there called Islam. Right?
The problem is that they have been given some wrong information. Right?
Then more events are being published and publicized to make Islam really look bad. Right?
And now Muslims all over the world are helpless to do anything about it. Right?
We are not helpless. Allah is the One who will support the believers.
Allah is the One who created us and He created what we do (He said that in the Quran).
This is a real test for the believers from Allah.
We must understand that in the past Muslims have not really been actively pursuing their responsibility in sharing the message of truth about Islam. All too often we have been content to say our prayers, fast one month out of the year and pay some charity when we felt like it and maybe do the pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj), but with little or no concern about those around us who are not aware of the message.
And that is exactly the condition of the Muslims today.
Now all of that has come to an end. We cannot hide any longer.
The word is out.
Allah has made sure that the people all over the earth know there is something called "Islam." But He has also given us another chance to share the truth about what Islam actually is and what it is not. This may well be our last chance too. Maybe the Last Day is just around the corner and this is a way for us to wake up and do our job before it is too late for us.
Let me give you a brief synopsis of how we have already delivered the message to others and how Allah used it to guide them, insha’Allah.
First thing is after they give their "harsh question" we say:
"Thank you for asking about my religion. It is my honor and my duty to tell you as much as I can, but I must also tell you that there are a few things that might help you understand what is really going on and what Islam is all about."
Then we mention to them:
"Islam is based on absolute truth. So it means that I cannot and must not lie about it. The Quran tells us that believers must always tell the truth and stand firm for justice even if it is against ourselves and our families. The prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) told us that if anyone is a liar then he is not a believer. So you can be assured from the beginning that I must either tell you what I am absolutely sure of or else tell that I will try to find the answer for your question and then get back to you as soon as I can."
We then mention to them that Islam is all about believing without any doubt that there really is only One God, He alone is the creator and sustainer of the universe and as such, He alone is the only one worthy of worship and devotion. He will only accept worship that is exclusive for Him alone without any partners. Or more simply said, "Worship the Creator and not His creations."
Then we mention what "Islam" really means. We say that "Islam" does not actually mean "peace" as so many others may have stated.
Muslims have already used this and in many cases have further confused the issues. We go to the source of the word in the Arabic language and then actually give them a little mini lesson in Islam.
We break down the word "Islam" into the Arabic root; "s" "l" "m" and tell them that immediately stemming from this root comes the word "surrender" and it of course implies the total and complete surrender to the Will of the Almighty One God. The other words logically follow such as; "submission" and "obey" and "sincerity" and finally, "peace." So we see that the word "peace" is in Islam, but it is not the main focus of the word.
Because the main focus in Islam is always "Allah."
He Alone is the One who created everything and He, Alone is the only sustainer of all that exists. And the concept is that if a person is going to make the free choice to worship or praise or thank or pray to anything or anyone, it can only be the One true God and most important it must be on His terms and not on our terms. This means that there can be nothing innovated nor made up by human beings.
All of the concept of worship cannot be made by the one who is created, but can only come from the One who is to be worshipped. This is actually a matter of simple logic. If you are trying to please someone or make them happy, you must do something that they like and not something that they don't like or something that they did not ask for.
Simply said, Islam means:
"The total surrender, in complete submission and obedience to the One True God in sincerity and through that comes peace. The peace that can only come when the created one (us) has surrendered to God in total compliance and submission."
The next thing to do is to make sure that they understand that "Islam" first came as a verb or action and that anyone, any place, anytime could submit to God on His terms and would of course be a Muslim. But with the advent of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) it became known as a noun or the name of the religion of Muhammad, peace be upon him. It does not change the meaning at all but it allows for a name to given to our religion without incorporating something from the creation as in other religions. In other words, although we say our religion is "Islam" anyone can submit and be a follower of Islam right then ad there.
Next believe or not, it is important to tell them that the word "Muslim" comes from the word "Islam" itself.
Instead of using the suffix "er" as is done in the English language to name the one who is performing the actions; such as: talk-er, walk-er, think-er, etc., the Arabic language uses a prefix on the word to show you who is doing the action or the verb such as, Adhan = mu-Adhan, Salli = mu-Salli, Safr = mu-Safr, Islam = Mu-slim. It is important that they know that being a Muslim means that we are attempting to do God's Will on earth instead of our own.
Setting the Stage for the Answer and Preparing Him for Allah's Guidance (insha’Allah)
After that we make this statement about their particular question:
"If after I give you the answer from the Islamic perspective and if you say that you like the answer, and if you say that you did not know about these things or if you say that this is actually something that you admire, then are you prepared to rethink your position. Are you prepared to believe in the One True God; and most of all are you prepared if you like this answer, are you ready to worship Him alone without any partners?"
You should see the faces of these people. They are not ready for this. They came with all the intentions in the world of attacking us and destroying Islam. But after they here this introduction to the answer they look at you in a totally different way.
Now the next thing that we do is to decide whether or not we can provide them with a strong and sufficient answer based on the Quran and the Sunnah as understood by the early Muslims.
If there is any hesitation or doubt then we refer them to our Internet website to direct their question to be answered by a scholar of Islam. This usually impresses them even more.
Then we offer them a free tape or CD about the basics of Islam, like our tape called "Islam EXPOSED!" or the CD with the same material on it called, "What Is Islam?"
There are a few other tapes and CDs that also work real well that also have helped a large number of people enter Islam up to this day. The basis of the presentation is to show the connection to monotheism all the way back to Adam, peace be upon him; the true brotherhood of mankind and the reality of God and the continuation of the only true form of worship, which is Islam.
Other tapes that have been helpful in bringing non-Muslims to Islam include:
"Common Sense of Islam"
Every one of the non-Muslims there made Shahadah -- and a few of the Muslims stood up and renewed their Shahadah as well.
Yusuf Estes - One of our best tapes to prove that there is God. Christians have actually used this one themselves.
"Daddy, Tell Me About God"
The best way to teach what it is that we believe about God and His existence and it is told in very simple English terms.
"Does Islam Equal Terrorism?"
Very positive and it has also helped people to enter Islam.
"God - Is There Proof?" (two parts)
Excellent proof for the existence of God.
"God - Why Bother?" (I did not make the title of this one)
The professor of the seminary college for the Methodist Church dialoged with me and in the end he admitted to the basic principles that are known to be correct in Islam and that he even was a Methodist Minister only because of the influence of his parents and how they had raised him. At the end one of the students there at the program stood up and took Shahadah.
"Evolution? Creation? Or Both?"
This one is part of a series that we did in a university in Ohio to convince the atheists there that there must be a God. And Allah made it work. All of them became believers in the One True God.
So let them come to us with their "harsh questions" and "hateful statements" -- We will be patient and calm while they are attacking us and our beliefs. At the same time we will politely explain to them the truth and reality of Islam and expose the lies and falsehoods they have been exposed to on a daily basis.
After they have the truth, it is up to them to accept it and then we will watch them all entering into Islam, insha’Allah. After they come to Islam, they can help us present the true message of Islam. Ameen.
Now we come to the part that is most important of all.
It is your turn to do something.
You already know that the Quran is a miracle from Allah and you realize that it is our duty to communicate the message of Islam.
So let us get started.
First, pray to Allah to accept whatever we do to be for His sake alone and without any showing off or pride from our selves.
Next, be sure to familiarize ourselves with the basic answers to the harsh questions that they are asking.
Now we need to begin by practicing in front of a mirror or with someone to help us go through the motions of talking with others about Islam.
Next we have to make sacrifices and personal effort so that this work will be correct and will continue to be something for generations in the future to come, insha’Allah. We have got to get this message out to the people.
All of this is possible and we must try our best, insha’Allah.
You can start now - forward this email to all the Muslims you know, insha’Allah.
Jazakum Allahu Khayran was Salam Alaykum,
Sheikh Yusuf Estes