Sheikh Khâlid al-Sayf, professor at al-Imâm University
Many of us have contact with people of other faiths in our daily lives. They might be friends, acquaintances, or
leagues. However, some of us find it difficult to approach them about Islam. We wonder: What can I possibly say? How can I tell him that his religion is wrong? This bewilderment causes us to fail to teach these good people about Islam.
As Muslims, we should naturally desire to teach others about Islam. We know that this was the work of the Prophets. Allah says: “Say: This is my way; I call to Allah upon clear knowledge, I and those who follow me. Glory be to Allah! And I am not of those who engage in polytheism.” [Sûrah Yûsuf: 108]
We know that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to `Alî b. Abî Tâlib: “I swear by Allah! That Allah guides by your hand a single person is better for you than all the finest camels.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2724) and Sahîh Muslim (4423)]
The following are just a few points of advice for those of us who wish to approach this noble effort:
1. Make sure to pick an appropriate time to bring up the subject of Islam.
Make sure that the other person is n the right frame of mind to talk about it.
2. Avoid things that will make the other person uncomfortable.
You should be gentle and accommodating in your attitude and approach various issues and questions as a seeker of the truth.
3. Never criticize or attack the other person’s beliefs.
That is a very indiscrete and unwise thing to do. This might make the other person more adamant about his beliefs as well as spoil the good relationship that you have with him.
4. Avoid getting into discussions about secondary issues.
No matter how much the other person insists upon doing so, stress to him that essential matters and principles should be discussed first and it is not going to get us anywhere to delve into secondary matters when the primary issues are not fully understood.
For example, it is wrong to talk about why the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had the number of wives that he had before discussing the concept of prophethood and what it means for him to be a Prophet.
5. Get acquainted with the standard misconceptions about Islam that are being circulated and how to answer them.
Many of these misconceptions are well known. If he is Christian, acquaint yourself with the claims about Islam being circulated by Christian groups to their followers. Many of these misconceptions have been around for generations.
6. If the person is from the People of the ******ure, it is often good to start with the topic of the earlier Prophets and how we know that they are Prophets.
Talk about Moses (peace be upon him) and the other prophets of Israel. After that, bring up Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and discuss how his prophethood is established in the same way that theirs is. Once it is accepted that he is a Prophet, then it follows that everything that he says about God is true.
This is far better – in my opinion – than trying to argue concepts like the Trinity, especially with people who are not well-versed in their faith, which is the case with most people today.
And Allah knows best.