How Can I Invite Atheists to Islam?

07 February, 2018
Q How can I invite atheists to Islam?


Short Answer: If we live in a world of cause and effect, there must be an original uncaused cause. The first step in da’wah with atheists is to convince them of the existence of Allah. This we can do by appealing to their reason. Also, the person inviting them to Islam must be sure to maintain his or her sincerity at all times.


Asalamu Alaikum Hasnet,

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Your question is of the utmost importance.

As vicegerents of Allah on earth, we Muslims have been charged with the most auspicious of responsibilities – which calls the human race to the purpose of our existence.

Allah has said in the Quran in Surah (chapter) 3, verse 110:

{You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) mankind; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah.}

Similarly, Allah says in Surah 12, verse 108:

{Say [Muhammad], ‘This is my way: I call to Allah, I and those who follow me with sure knowledge; and glory be to Allah, and I am not one of the polytheists.’}

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Our spending just a moment calling others to Allah is more rewarding than the world and all that it contains according to some traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

However, it should be stated that our objective is to sway the listener, not merely transmit the message to no effect. Thus, Allah has instructed us in Surah 16, verse 125:

{Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner; surely your Lord best knows those who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who follow the right way.}

Tact, compassion, concern, and certainty of belief are key in our da’wa (inviting to Allah). With these Qur’anically-derived concepts in mind, we begin our discussion.

The First Step: Reason

As there is no point in talking to atheists about the commandments of Allah, the first step in da’wah with them is to convince them of the existence of Allah. 

This we can do by appealing to their reason. Here too, as in all other cases, Allah gives us guidance in the Quran. He says in Surah 2, verse 164:

{Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand.}

This verse speaks to our reason – we are asked to observe and ponder over the phenomena of nature around us. What do they point to?

The universe is a text, but are we able to read it?

It’s as if there’s an extremely important manuscript in front of us. Some people focus on the letters and printing of the script, though they remain illiterate throughout their whole lives.

They benefit nothing from the manuscript no matter how many years they spend looking at it.

Others are able to transcend the external aspects of the text and benefit from its message. These are the successful. 

If we open our eyes and carefully study the workings of nature, we see regularity and order in all things – the rising and the setting of the sun, the waxing and the waning of the moon, the changing of the seasons, and so on.

We see the same regularity in the birth, growth, and decay of living creatures. 

In short, we can very clearly observe that everything in nature follows a carefully-crafted and delicately-balanced order.

This naturally requires a well-coordinated plan behind it. As such, if there is a plan, mustn’t there be a planner?

Intelligence & The Laws of Nature

If we live in a world of cause and effect, there must be an original uncaused cause. 

Our reason and our experience teach us that a plan can come only out of intelligence. When we look at the grand design and perfect balance of the universe, the unerring order and pattern in nature, how can we call this mere coincidence?

In a world of random events, the sun could suddenly go out of its orbit and fly off at a tangent; the seas can become boiling acids, etc. There will be no law; no order. 

But ours is a universe of order, it is a cosmos and not a chaos. There is a reliable order, or a predictability and stability (instead of randomness) of laws governing the workings of the universe.

Hence, scientists are able to do experiments and discover what they call the laws of nature or the laws of science. 

The foregoing considerations lead us to the inevitable conclusion that behind the operations of this universe there is a grand design or plan which must have a posteriori come out of an intelligence and vision which transcends and comprehends all the spheres of our knowledge, understanding, and experience. 

Furthermore, we find that the unity and the uniformity of the laws of nature unerringly point to the Unity of the Power behind the universe too. 

This is why Allah says in Surah 29, verse 44:

{Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth; most surely there is a sign in this for the believers.}


This line of argumentation is the best starting point for dawah with an atheist. Such is the approach that Allah takes in the Quran.

That said, the da’i (inviter to Allah) must be sure to maintain his or her sincerity at all times. Shaytaan (Satan) will try to turn one’s da’wah into vicious argumentation in order to please one’s own ego.

A person often loses his or her concern for the guidance of the other person in order to win the argument. This will ultimately result in a net loss of imaan (faith) and no returns in the next life. 

Furthermore, our utmost concern should be for the eternal well-being of the invitee; our most basic intention should be for Allah’s pleasure for our time spent in His Path.

And as they say, at least 50 percent of da’wah is our du’a (supplication).

We ask Allah to use us as a means of spreading His Light, ameen

Thank you for your question, and please stay in touch. 


(From Ask About Islam archives)

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