• Competing to Good Deeds: Abu Dujana and the Prophet’s Sword

    Before the battle of Uhud, when the Muslims were preparing and such, the Prophet, peace be upon him, lifted up his sword and said “who will fight with my sword?” And all the sahaba were like “me, me”, like “pick me”. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) put down his sword. Their emotions were raised. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) raised it again and said “who will take my sword and give it the haq (right) due to the sword?
  • The People of the Ditch (13): Your Purpose on Earth

    The king asked the boy to renounce his religion, to which the boy refused. The king said “take him to the highest mountain and if he doesn’t renounce by the time you reach the top, throw him off.” Why not saw him in half? Because the boy’s useful. He has influence among the poeple. People love him, and if he joins the king, many will follow his example. So they took him up, and the boy said “O Allah, suffice me against them in whatever way You please”.
  • The People of the Ditch (9): Honouring vs. Prophetic Miracles

    The boy healed the blind and the lepers–the same miracles given to the prophet ‘Isa (Jesus), on whom be peace. Was he a prophet? No, he was not. The difference is: Allah gave the boy karamah, a less intense form of mu’jizah. In a way, karamah mimics mu’jizah, but to a less intense level. The boy’s powers mimiced the miracles of ‘Isa (alayhi salaam), to a lesser level. And while ‘Isa (alayhi salaam) could resurrect the dead, the boy could not.
  • The Best Use of Your Skills for Da’wah

    If you have multiple skills and multiple interests, how can you determine the best use of your skills for da’wah? Try this method inshaAllah. Skills: List all your skills. Ummah: Prioirtize the needs of the ummah (i.e. your community). Map and Prioritize: Tie each skill to an action, and prioritize according to need. For example, if your skills are writing, graphic design, and drama, and your ummah needs youth involvement and education, you may decide to:
  • Make Time For Yourself: Avoid Burnout

    When you get involved in da’wah, don’t forget yourself. We see many examples of this–people join the local MSA, and spend 40 hours a week to keep it alive. And the next year, you see them in the bar, with their girlfriend or boyfriend. Or others spend months putting together The Biggest Conference Ever, and while it goes on, they miss all the lectures and mill around outside with their friends, or out in the parking lot arguing about lunches.
  • Benefits of Sacrifice

    In Surah Nisaa, Allah says: وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ أَوِ اخْرُجُواْ مِن دِيَارِكُم مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ مِّنْهُمْ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُمْ وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتًا وَإِذاً لَّآتَيْنَاهُم مِّن لَّدُنَّـا أَجْراً عَظِيمًا وَلَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ صِرَاطًا مُّسْتَقِيمًا Translation: If We had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their homes, very few of them would have done it. But if they had done what they were (actually) told, it would have been best for them, and would have gone farthest to strengthen their (faith).
  • Storytelling: A Fundamental Da’wah Technique

    Storytelling is a fundamental da’wah technique. It effortlessly communicates a message in a memorable medium. Storytelling is so powerful that you see it in the Qur’an (Surah Baqarah and Surah Yusuf, for example), in ahadith (The People of the Ditch). Among the benefits: storytelling communicates a message without spelling it out. Human beings recall stories more easily then they recall other forms of teaching. With a story, you can continually extract lessons and benefit from it.
  • Gender Interaction: Professionalism

    The key to gender interaction (aka gender relations) is professionalism. During the lifetime of the Prophet, peace be upon him, ‘Umar said to one woman sahaba in Abysinnia: “We have more right to the Prophet then you”. She said (to the effect of) “nope”. She approached the Prophet and narrated the incident to him, and he said “‘Umar was incorrect. You (Abyssinians) made hijrah (migration) twice, you get double the reward.
  • The True Measure of Leadership

    The true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, and nothing less. When you can influence people, you’re a leader, even if nobody recognizes you. And when you can’t influence people, you’re not a leader — even if the masjid says so, or the organization says so, or your friends say so, or your car says so. And remember the command of the Prophet, peace be upon him: Do not covet leadership, for it entails blame, regret, and punishment on the Day of Judgement — except for the just ruler.
  • Train Leaders, Not Followers

    If you want your Islamic work–your project, or organization, or masjid, or whatever it is–to survive you, you need to train leaders, not followers. When you train followers, they work well, for a time–a month, or two, or a year, or ten, or 20–but without a leader, the project collapses. Instead, train leaders, who in turn train followers and other leaders in your absence, and the cycle perpetuates inshaAllah. This is also part of what you need to transform your project from a mom-and-pop-style business to an independant self-existing entity.