It was rather cloudy with a little of light showers that day in Horsham, Victoria. Why are we in Horsham, somewhere situated almost 470km away from Adelaide, you may asked. Why would we travel that far, just to do street da’wah there? It took us approximately 4 hours from Adelaide to Horsham, and that would make it a total of 8 hours worth of travelling.
We heard a call for help.
By we, I mean me and my halaqah mates have a very big mission that Monday. We were there to help a Muslim brother, Brother Jeremy with his work, a rewarding work too, I’d might add. Street da’wah on the streets. That was a first for me, and I’m sure it was a first for everyone else on that trip too. I’ve heard of the idea before, and I’ve seen people doing it through Youtube. Little did I thought that I will be actually going outside and doing it for real. Talking to random people, about my own religion, about Islam.
And why Horsham? It is because the Islamic community is growing there albeit it’s small for now and Horsham is situated on the way between Adelaide and Melbourne, so you can stop at the mosque to refresh yourself while you are travelling. It’s a win-win situation I’d rather say. You have a new town full of Muslims, a brand new mosque (soon, InsyaAllah) and a place to stay just in case travelling was taking a toll too much on you.
Street da’wah? Have you heard of it before? It’s basically doing dakwah on the streets, to random people. It’s quite challenging at first but once you get used to it, you’ll see how rewarding it will be for you in the near future. I know I was nervous at first. Nervous that they would say something offensive. Nervous that they stare right though me. Nervous that they will push me or might gave a punch or two, I might be overreacting but the chances are there. But there was Brother Jeremy. He enlightened us with stories of Prophet Muhammad pbuh. How the people in those days used to shun away from Prophet Muhammad. How they threw stones and laugh on the sight of Prophet Muhammad pbuh. And how the Prophet Muhammad pbuh never stop for once.
It made me wonder a little bit. Brother Jeremy had only embraced Islam for 7 months, and yet he knew so much, enough to calm our nervous hearts before carrying out our mission.
So, after we had our lunch (jazakumullahu khair for those delicious kebabs!), Brother Jeremy and us went to the town center to start our operation right away. On our way there, he greeted lots of people, as if he knew everyone. Now I know that knowing people is a step in doing dakwah.
He strikes to me as a someone who is really cheerful and friendly. It was no surprise there on why he greeted people so easily and people often greeted him back with a big smile. A big personality coming from a big heart, I guess. May Allah swt bless him always.
With phamplets about Islam in our hands, we march our way and spread out throughout the whole town center. Before we head out, he did asked about whether we knew about the contents of the phamplets. He added that “You must know what you’re giving to people or else how you are going to answer their questions?” Something to ponder, especially us and those people out there who are actively participating in doing da’wah to others. You must have something in order to give that something. Meaning, you must know what you want to preach before actually preaching about it and remember to actually practice what you are preaching about.
The reaction that we got from the people varies. Some were indifferent. Some were just nodding. Some walk away just from the pure sight of us walking with phamplets, while some curse at us for bothering us with the phamplets.
There was this one guy who accused Muslims as terrorists, citing 9/11 and other terrorism acts. I wonder if there are actual terrorists out there that would greet someone with a big smile and asked them whether they have heard of Islam before? I pray to Allah that the guy will find somewhere in his heart to embrace Islam soon.
Brother Jeremy told us not to falter when facing other people’s attitude, especially those who were sceptical.
“The prophet didn’t stop and that is why we are Muslims right now, so why would you stop?” He told us.
So what did we learn here? We learned that doing dakwah to random people was quite difficult especially to those who were acting hostile in the mention of the word Islam.
Difficult yes, but not impossible.
It is a rewarding experience for all of us. Rewarding in the sense that it will help equip us better in facing people. It is rewarding as well to help spread Islam for the sake of Allah swt. It is definitely rewarding to see people are interested in asking about our religion. May Allah swt guide them to the right path one day.
As for you Brother Jeremy, I pray to Allah swt that you are given the strength that you need to be steadfast in this path that we all have chosen, insyaAllah.
Muhammad Akmal bin Abdul Ghani
Ketua Biro Penerangan
ISMA South Australia
Pelajar Tahun Akhir,
University of Adelaide