By Dr Fayaz Ahmad Bhat
February 2, 2018
According to Collins Dictionary Dawah means ´the practice or policy of conveying the message of Islam to non-Muslims”. Quran reading.com an online school registered in the state of Maryland USA, limits Dawah to “religious matters only like oneness of God, reading the Holy Quran in Arabic, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) being the last Prophet, believing in prophets and day of judgment, offering Salah etc. rather it is the complete package of advocating in favour of what is good”.
Yusuf Estes, an American preacher argues that “the fact is that sharing Islam is a very simple concept. The difficulty comes in when you are trying to communicate the idea to others, especially when they have already been predisposed to believe in something else and to believe that Islam is something bad”. He further maintains that’ Muslims are supposed to advise everyone by using a gentle and simple approach to attract the hungry souls to the Way of Allah”. Needless to repeat that Yusuf Estes, is considered a model by many self-proclaimed Daees. He has laid important condition for inviting people towards Islam. The person should be should “hungry soul to the way of Allah”. Historical evidence and the biography of Prophet Muhammad (May peace by upon him) reveal that, Dawah is not every body’s cup of tea and there is a proper way and methodology to be followed strictly while inviting people towards Islam. However, in our times there is Derridian deconstruction in the whole philosophy, theology and methodology of Dawah. At pubs, cinema halls, streets, bus stops, railway stations, tourist destinations, public places anywhere so called Daees, rather Maleducated lot after going through some pamphlets of Islam, science and comparative religion or watching some videos invite you to Islam rather insult your sentiments, faith, belief, and emotions throwing into the winds the philosophy of Islam and teaching of the Prophet (may peace be unto him).
Forget about non – Muslims they even invite Muslims to their version of Islam, thus creating sectarian divisions by entering Mosques, claiming only their version of Islam is pure and authentic, even they label great religious scholars of Islam Mushrik (idolatry) and what not?
After a long time I visited Masjid to offer Maghrib (evening) prayers, I was just coming out from Masjid a friend of mine who was killing the winter chill in traditional Hammam (A Hammam is a room adjacent to Masjids in Kashmir in which thick, hand-hewn rectangular slabs of limestone are laid over a hollowed-out floor which are heated beneath during winters) asked me to company him for some time. A young lad from locality who is a student of literature said me “Sir, we want to organise a programme in this Masjid with collaboration a volunteer Dawah Organisation”. He further added that they had a one week Dawah campaign in Gulmarg and they invited many non- Muslims to Islam and he started to give me a lesson on Islam, science, and comparative religion and repeated that Islam is the only and true religion which stands by the test of science. Though I asked him some basic questions about science which made him mum but I was shocked to observe that an “educated” person that too student of literature can be infected. The memories of a video circulated on social media networking site were afresh in my mind in which a self-proclaimed Daee in a railway station in Kashmir was inviting a Sikh brother to Islam rather harassing him.
After returning home I was upset, tied and tired and cursing myself for going to Masjid, in the meantime I started to browse some pages online on Dawah, I was numb to observe that this street Dawah has turned a dangerous trend across the globe and number of young Maleducated “Muslims” are harassing people everywhere streets, markets, airports, railway stations and where not?
The most agonising and shameful was to learn that some Maleducated lads aggressively approaching people on the streets, following everyone irrespective of their sex, age and state. Not only this, woman were not only approached but asked very vulgar questions. “If they enjoy dressing, “sexy” for boys or because they do so for themselves”? If they know anyone who was had been raped? These are the few question rather vulgar remarks which self-proclaimed Daee posed to women on streets. This is not only wrong but a major sin according to version of Islam which I have been taught and learned since my childhood.
It really a time to ponder where we are heading on the one hand it is the responsibility of Muslim community to see where their wrong ones are heading and on the other hand we have to pause and rethink whether Muslim children are radicalised in Madrasas or in modern schools.
Dr Fayaz Ahmad Bhat is a social activist, a student of Sociology presently teaching Sociology at the Department of Sociology University of Kashmir, India