Points from Sheikh Khaled Yasin’s lecture at the Muslim Youth Convention on May 4th 2011 in Minneapolis
1) People who do Dawa have a personality, although themselves not personalities. They are neither born as Da’ees nor is it in their genes. They are dedicated beings, who love for others what they love for themselves.
2) Oftentimes when we think of Dawa, we make it seem as if it’s rocket science only for the elite. And in seeking out to be ones, we eventually get lost in the sauce [in so much specialized knowledge and science of Islam]. Fact is, that when one is thirsty, they don’t need Pepsi, all they need is something basic like ‘water.’ So, keep that in mind. It’s not the complexities of this religion that attract people to it, but it is the simple common sense of Islam that does.
3) Having ‘ Iman’ means having “morality” and being “obedient” to the commands of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (saw). Morality means you know what to do and what not to do, and stick to it. Iman without morality and being obedience to the commands of Allah (SWT) and his Prohet (saw) is abstract, castles in the sky. How do you know what is right and wrong? You know it in your heart and through common sense. Plus Allah (SWT) has given you a book of guidance, the Qur’an, and the living example of the Prophet (saw). Umar ibn Al Khattab said, “This religion [Islam] is a religion of obedience.”
4) Your morality has be correct. You have to be a legal Muslim. You have to be a Muslim within bounds/rules. If you’re a Muslim who is driving 85 on a 65 mile highway, you are out of bounds; you are illegal. It is NEVER right even if you are rushing to congregational prayer in the Masjed on a Friday. You are illegal, you are not following the rules, you are out of bounds. The end does not justify the means. The means are just as important as the ends–they are inseparable.
5) Our religion has a system of knowledge [the Qur’an, knowledge of the Sunnah, Tabi’een, the Fuqahaa etc]. If you don’t know much then you shouldn’t be talking much. You can only give as much as you know, if anything this gives you an incentive to be learning every day. The Prophet (saw) said, “If you want this world then you should acquire knowledge; if you want the Hereafter you should acquire knowledge; and if you want them both then you should acquire knowledge.”
6) Our religion has a system of identity: you have to be in the right place/status in the right uniform. Imagine wearing sleepwear to work, it would be unacceptable, right? So, why is it acceptable to be in a position to speak for Islam, when you aren’t wearing the uniform? So, the right uniform in the right place, not just in the Masjed but outside of the Masjed where it counts the most.
7) You have to be a role model, not just inside the Masjed where you have a natural disposition because you are among Muslims, but where it counts the most and where you spend most of your time, i.e. outside of the Masjed. As a Da’ee you gotta walk the walk and talk the talk where it matters.
8 ) Your personality and character should be so desirable that everyone who comes into contact with you should want a part of it, or want to imitate it. Your reputation precedes you, before people actually see you and how you dress. In other words, your personality/character/morals have a ‘fragrance’ [figuratively speaking] about them—they are identifiable. So, polish your character. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
10) Islam is a common sense religion, so if you don’t have common sense then everything you say or do will be Greek to people around you as the saying goes.
11) Be real! Don’t be a fake. Don’t be a Munafeq, aka a hypocrite.
12) Know that when you take this road [the road of Dawa], you can go from Zero to Hero! You have to be ambitious; it’s what gives you life. Allah (SWT) says, “O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life.” [Qur’aan 8:24]
14) Learn to give Dawah. Turn those stumbling blocks to stepping stones.
15) Make up your mind, do you want to be a soldier of Allah or that of Shaytan? A friend of Allah or Shaytan? There’s no middle ground, no neutral, no undecided. On whose side are you? Then show your allegiance.
16) Seek Tawbah [forgiveness] as Shaytan always makes you feel you are not good enough but Shaytan is doing what he has been given permission to do by Allah (SWT).
17) Seek good company, you can’t do it alone.
18) Make up your mind to excel in whatever you are doing. Don’t ever settle for passing grades, but rather strive to excel.
19) Come back to the deen [come back to Islam]. If you are out of bounds, come back and be within the bounds of Islam.
20) Attach yourself to a Masjed.
21) Get away from crime. And most of us will say Alhamdullilah, I am in no way close to any crime. But that is not the case. Considering this a “steal” , that is buying from someone selling and passing an iphone for $50 as a real one, instead of questioning that it may be fake, or may have been obtained through illegal means. Yes, it’s a steal literally and guess what? You’re involved! Don’t deal with I-CLONES!
22) Say, farewell to welfare. It deprives you of your dignity. You can’t be living on people’s tax dollars and expect them to respect you. A Muslim works hard and never settles to live off of others. A Muslim works hard and relies on Allah (SWT). A Muslim is responsible and productive.
23) Don’t estrange yourself from your parents–know that the best of deeds after prayer is kindness to parents. Respecting them, and being their best allies [except of course obeying them in what displeases Allah but even that with kindness].
24) Be decent, dignified, and respectful not just among your family and friends, but in society at large. Remember the Prophet (saw) before he became a prophet was known as Al Ameen, the trustworthy one.
25) Dawah is like a vehicle, so learn to drive. You could look cool in a car, but when you can’t drive and commit a traffic violation it ain’t gonna fly when you hear the “woot woot” of the police car! You’ll be out of bounds and thrown in jail, no matter how cool are you. Your tools have to qualify, and have to be tested before use.
26) Have a genuine desire to change for the better, even to the best. Allah (SWT) says, “Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [Quran 13:11]
27) Respect other people–you cannot call them to Islam if you don’t have any respect for them. This is not in just in your actions, but genuinely make it your natural disposition to do so for Allah (SWT) says, “And indeed We have honored the Children of Adam. . .” and that includes all of them, regardless of their religion.
28) The biggest fools are those who fool themselves, so own up to your mistake and face them. That is the first step towards reforming yourself.
29) Set your priorities, for the Prophet (saw) says, “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.”
Know that your life is a factory where you assemble all that you have been blessed with to SERVE Allah (SWT).