How to talk to strangers about Islam

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Faith IQ

Channel: Faith IQ

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Episode Transcript

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You know, the idea of religion, politics is a sensitive issue in VR, especially like in a work environment, right? Like you're not supposed to be discussing religion or politics at work, because it goes against HR get you fired,

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especially if it makes people uncomfortable. And in most cases it does. At the same time, I guess a university setting is a little bit different. On one hand, people are more open to discussion, but it's less discussion for the sake of

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education, but more for the intellectual exercise of hey, let's engage and discuss you believe what you believe, I believe, but let's intellectually spar, how do you determine what is an appropriate place for Dawa in relation to preaching? Like, because on one hand, it's layer before you start preaching to anybody, maybe you want to consider building a relationship with them before you tell him what to do, right? What about strangers, they're about to drive off a cliff, and they don't know the likelihood of you being able to intercept them. It's hypothetical, my point is even with strangers, right? So let's, let's take a few steps back.

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The word preaching I don't like and it has some connotations. And that's not really what I had in mind or have in mind.

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Okay, a couple of things. Number one, if the setting that you're in is not wise, and that's why I said, obviously, with wisdom, the prophetic strategy, if it's not wise to give someone even a statement that is problematic in terms of the work, corporate environment, whatever it may be, yeah, obviously, if you're going to get fired, it's going to affect you in some way. That's not what we're referring to. We are referring to scenarios in everyday life in which people think that religion should not be discussed at all with strangers, because we have no relationship. And I can give countless examples of stories personal and with many of my teachers, and many of my colleagues and

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many friends in the community. Yeah, random, random Uber ride to the airport, from the airport, how's your day going? How are things going? And eventually, what are you traveling for? I'm traveling for this bring up religion, I talk about this, advocate for rights, take care of people, so on and so forth. We talk about religion, and they end up being some of the most fruitful conversations. I've sat on planes, next to people with the the most stark differences possible. Yeah, and I don't want to mention any specific references, but the most, like the complete opposite political views, even religious views in terms of atheism, and so on, and so forth. And I've had

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some of the best conversations and 100. In many cases, a lot of cases, we ended up having good like connections afterwards. In many cases, people like who became Muslim, became Muslim, because a conversation was sparked in a place in which somebody else might have thought this is not appropriate. Maybe a more appropriate question in this regard is how do you break the ice for the stranger?

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That's it, that's a skill. That's a skill, a lot of people don't have the appropriate tact with.

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Sure. And I don't think that I can, if somebody doesn't already know, I don't I don't think I can explain that. Like, if you don't already know, it's lesson surely.

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And also, not just socially, in terms of the culture that you are a part of, yeah. How to bring up conversations in a casual way. I don't know. Maybe it is something that can be concretely explained. But I don't know that aside from seeing a number of examples and hearing examples that there is a way that you would just know theoretically, obviously,

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like being casual being socially engaging, being coming off with a smile being very kind, not being very preachy. Sorry to use the word preach. I don't like that word. No, people are some people are very preachy, right? Even in the aspect. I mean, the question is, how do you build rapport with people that you don't know? Yeah. So start off with something that you I mean, we're flying to this place, or some guy literally sat next and on the plane is like, so you go to Miami? Like I hope so. Are you going to like Tampa? I hope so. Like I was flying to Tampa for a lecture. I'm like, we're going to the same place. And he started laughing. He's like, Oh, I'm sorry. I meant to ask, Are you

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going home? So he messed up? I'm like, don't worry. I understand. I started laughing. So it started off the conversation. ice was broken. In other cases, people ask Are you going home? Are you flying home? Are you flying to your order something or you got your drink or your snack or something? Oh, that's really good. I tried it with that. Ice is broken. What do you do for a living ice is broken, it could be anything. So find something the weather that's the most that's the most obvious easy example. Wow, it's really hot here. Wow, it's really cold here. Wow, it's really bright here. Wow, these things are everyone's wearing masks. It could be anything. Start start off with something

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that's really casual, insignificant, and then build your way towards later on. Maybe not even intentionally, but hopefully subconsciously building towards something more meaningful. Like really try to establish a meaningful conversation with this human being and naturally what you believe will come out naturally like it's not hey, if you don't become Muslim, you're going to hell

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That's not an approach that we're taking in most cases. And I know that some people will be triggered by that statement that I just made and say, Well, what if that's true? It's not about what's true. It's about the receptiveness of the person and how you're delivering the truth to them. Because, yeah, ultimately, it is an art and it is, there's a methodology and the art of Dawa, coming to you soon, inshallah. We'll do it. We'll do it eventually. Inshallah. I guess, I guess maybe the other day, maybe a small point you want to close off with is? Okay, so maybe the, it's, it's not that hard to break the ice, objectively speaking, right? Because of all these so many surface level

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things that we all have report on? The How do you transition from the small talk to meaningful?

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Or how do you do it? What's your so in many of my conversations, I guess, okay, so maybe this was easier for me. Because usually people would ask, why are you traveling? Or are you traveling to what do you do? And because a lot of my work deals with religion, philosophy, or social justice causes, it comes up. And that's that's perhaps much easier to bring up because it's relevant. However, I would say that even if someone's not actively doing so,

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you could find a number of transitions between what whatever it is that broke the ice to you asking them, What are they traveling for? When they ask you, you can bring up something that somehow somehow touches on religion in some way touches on your faith in some way. Obviously, if it's a hijabi sisters, obviously, she's Muslim already, may last Pattana, protect our sisters and reward them. And if it's a brother, that appears to be a Muslim, males have to reward them as well. But transition to something that you're doing something you're traveling for a book that you're reading, perhaps carry a book with you some people, actually a lot of muscles do this, they will carry

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something with them, just to spark a conversation with the person next to them or in an Uber or Lyft to spark some kind of conversation. I'm reading this really great book. And I feel such and such and such religion is brought up immediately. It's right there. Morality is brought up in some way. Sometimes it's also about what's happening socially. I wish I wish society was doing better. I wish there was less conflict. I wish people respected each other more. That's a very generic statement that most people agree to regardless of their views and what they think you're referring to the likely agree and sometimes that opens the door to morals and sometimes politics, sometimes religion,

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but find something that that can spark a conversation and they might require you to ask them the first question and they might ask how about you