As a new decade begins and the passing one becomes history, I want to learn from past mistakes and look for an even better future for Muslims in general and Muslim youth in particular. Most of all, I want to spread Allah’s message to whomever I can. Allah says in the Qur’an, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and debate with them in ways that are best” (16:125).
Da’wah is a responsibility of all Muslims. But it requires patience, a sound knowledge of Islam, and the ability to deal with people in ways that are best and most beautiful. As a Muslim youth living in a society which is not friendly to Islam, I want to be knowledgeable about my religion in the best possible manner and be able to practice what I know. I think that non-Muslim youths in this country are confused and with out direction. Through my own convictions and dedication, I can, with help from Allah, show them the path to salvation. The more we successfully invite Americans to Islam, the better our lives will be in this country. As far as Muslim youths are concerned, I want to tell them that there are organizations and groups where they can learn about Islam, socialize, and engage in games and sports. Local mosques and Islamic centers should be helpful in providing relevant and accurate information about the deen and in providing programs for youth.
By joining hands, Muslim youth and non-Muslim youth can have an opportunity to participate in positive sports and extracurricular activities. Who says we can’t have fun?! It is important to note here that all our actions can be ibadah (worship) if they conform to the commands of Allah. As Muslims, it is necessary that we tell our non-Muslim friends about tawheed and Islam, about jannah and jahannam, about prophets and the guidance from Allah SWT that they brought to mankind, and about the accountability for our deeds. Since da’wah needs close interaction, we should make friends with non-Muslims, even invite them to dinner at our homes, and at the proper time and within the context of discussion, explain to them why they should consider Islam. We must tell them why we abstain from alcohol and drugs, etc. We should also encourage them to bring their parents so that our parents can get to know them and can do their part of da’wah.
When we succeed in our efforts and anon-Muslim friend converts to Islam, we should always help him get through his initial difficulties in making wudu, performing prayer, reading Qur’an, and so on. We should remember that when a person becomes Muslim, in many ways he leaves a world behind: he oftentimes leaves his non-Muslim friends and abstains from doing things that contradict Islam that he did before, and, in many cases, he faces a negative reaction from his parents, friends, and neighbors. To help him overcome the difficult transition, we should offer warmth, love, and Islamic brotherhood so that he does not feel that there is avoid in his life.
In the ’90s, we have a great opportunity to improve ourselves and spread Allah’s message. If we try hard with sincerity, there is no reason why we won’t succeed. Allah has already promised His help to those who make efforts on His path. “O you who believe! If you help[the cause of]Allah, He will help you and make firm your steps” (Qur’an 47:7).