Salam Dear Alaeddine,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
Your goal is very noble! With the correct intention and a concerted effort, Allah may use you to spread His light around the world.
It is because of this effort of dawah (inviting to Islam) that Allah has made the nation of Muhammad the greatest of all previous prophetic nations, saying:
You are the best of the nations raised up for [the benefit of] men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah; and if the followers of the Book had believed it would have been better for them; of them [some] are believers and most of them are transgressors. (Quran 3:110)
Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Whoever invites towards guidance (hidayah) and virtuous deeds, his reward will be equivalent to the rewards of all those people who follow him, without diminishing their reward in any respect.” (Muslim)
He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said:
“He who speaks the truth and people keep acting upon it after him, Allah the Almighty and Majestic continues his reward until the Day of Resurrection, then he will be given his full and complete reward.” (Ahmad)
In other words, whether you invite towards guidance in the form of calling people from disbelief to belief or from bad deeds to righteous ones, you receive the same reward from Allah.
Call Muslims to Islam, Too
For this reason, it is imperative that Muslims living in Muslim lands not forget their Muslim family, friends, and neighbors who may have left some or many of the required practices of Islam.
They must not focus all of their attention on dawah with non-Muslims.
Those who have tawheed (faith of monotheism) in their hearts have a greater right upon us. Furthermore, their coming back to Islam will automatically have a positive effect on non-Muslims and their opinion of the religion.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard converts to Islam saying, “I’m glad I accepted Islam before I met many Muslims, because otherwise, I might not have converted.”
The Key To Powerful Dawah
In reference to your situation, the most important factors in your da`wah are your intention, level of sincerity, and concern for this person’s eternal well-being.
Moreover, if a person calls to Allah while forgetting himself, Satan has deceived him. Our striving for the sake of making Allah’s word supreme is the source of our own guidance, for Allah says in the Quran what means:
And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good. (Quran 29:69)
I should also remind you that most scholars urge a lot of caution in calling members of the opposite sex to Islam.
Purify Your Intentions
Satan can very easily get in the middle of the dawah efforts, as he will no doubt try. Even if he doesn’t succeed in causing bad deeds to take place, he will, nonetheless, work on changing the intention of the one calling to Islam.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said in a famous hadith:
“Actions are [judged]by intentions and there is for every person only that which he intended. So he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger, then his migration was for Allah and His Messenger. And he whose migration was to attain some worldly goal or to take a woman in marriage, then his migration was for that which he migrated.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
This hadith is directly applicable to someone doing dawah with a member of the opposite sex.
If a person’s intention during this auspicious activity changes to a desire for marriage (or even something unlawful, which, unfortunately, does happen), then he or she instantly offsets the great reward that he or she could have earned as we mentioned above.
Muslim scholars have explained that even if one’s intention is 99% pure and only 1% for something other than Allah, it is still not acceptable before Allah.
Proceed with Caution
As such, I urge the utmost caution in your interactions with this girl, because we all know how smart Satan is.
I strongly suggest that you do not let your interaction with her go beyond being pen-pals. Furthermore, if she becomes interested in conversion, you should find some good sisters in her locality to help her continue the process.
Each person requires a personalized presentation and explanation, because we all think and consider facts differently. Therefore, you know best how to approach this girl because you know her.
Have Compassion on Her
In terms of general rules, however, I suggest that you not scare the person away through pushiness and insistence, but rather present the reality of Allah to her gently and with compassion. Your compassion should reflect the horrible fate that awaits a person who dies without iman (belief) in Allah.
Imagine the level of concern and compassion you would have in speaking with a person who faced an imminent physical danger. You must reflect that same sense of urgency with this person, but you must also temper it with tact lest you scare her away.
Consider Her Culture
Speaking from experience, Westerners often have a preconceived distaste for anyone who openly preaches a religion. This is primarily because they have not experienced a phenomenon like Islam that is designed to affect a person’s entire life and society.
They often consider religion to be best confined to a small percentage of one’s day or week. Because of this, someone who actively calls to God (Allah) in a normal conversation could easily be perceived as “fundamentalist”.
While you should not downplay the all-inclusive nature of Islam and its importance in an average Muslim’s daily life, you must keep in mind this girl’s culture and mindset when you attempt to call her to Islam.
Finally, I don’t suggest using “Bible-bashing” (an aggressive attack on the Bible) in your dawah unless she brings up the subject. Otherwise, taking the offensive against Christian scripture and beliefs will–more often than not–simply harden the heart of the person whom you are trying to call to Islam.
Never forget: dawah is 40% words and example, and 60% dua (supplications and prayer), particularly at night. Without this latter dimension, a person has neglected his chief ally in this effort—Allah.
Without Him, how can one ever be successful?
I hope this has answered your question. Thank you and please keep in touch.
This is from Ask About Islam’s archives and was published earlier.
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