Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra
So there is a guy I know who is a highly religious Hindu. For the past couple of weeks, I have had the urge to ask him to convert, but I don’t know how to. We have never met as we don’t live in the same place. I really want him to convert, but I don’t know how to convey my message to him.
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
Our Intention in Da‘wa
Firstly, it is very commendable that you have concern for your brother in humanity. We want everyone to come to the way of truth that will benefit them in this life and for eternity in the Hereafter. This is not to “win” a point for Islam or to get others to switch identities or “teams”. It is sincere love that makes you want for others what you want for yourself.
Of course, coming to guidance can only happen by Allah’s will, and in the world of means, it is only by a person’s free choice and willingness. It cannot be forced or pressured on anyone. This is why Allah says in the Quran that “You do not guide whom you love, but rather, Allah guides whomsoever He wills.” [Quran, 28:56]
Secondly, it is commendable that you reached out to ask for advice on this matter before rushing to try to proselytize to your friend. Da’wa (calling others to the truth) is a very sensitive matter and can often be rejected when done incorrectly or hastily.
The following is my advice, and not a religious ruling per se:
1) Never ask someone to “convert.” The answer will almost immediately be a rejection because most people are not looking to change identities and religions. The language of “conversion” implies that we see religious identities like currencies exchanged for another. The word and concept are deeply loathed in some parts of the world, especially those most affected by missionary work in the past.
2) Do not push your beliefs on him. There is already a stereotype that Muslims push their beliefs on others to get them to leave their ancestral faith. Those who are looking for truth will ask and seek. Those interested will inquire. Instead, through your beautiful character and impeccable mannerisms that anyone in your society can admire, show him the example of Islam being practiced holistically. This draws hearts nearer to the truth than any amount of preaching.
3) Seek knowledge yourself and learn about Islam on all levels. There are many courses at SeekersGuidance for you to learn about Islam holistically. This will make what you say grounded in authentic knowledge and truth and make your calling to the truth more logical and enlightening. If you speak before you have sure knowledge and wisdom, you run the risk of someone rejecting your argument prematurely and thereby potentially rejecting Islam out of ignorance. It will be difficult then to get him to consider it for a second time without bias.
4) Make mention of God much (or use the term “Creator,” “Lord”) and invoke His mercy and greatness to see if the person is receptive to speaking about Him. Remembering Allah in front of those who are heedless of Him is itself a form of inviting others to the truth. If he responds in kind, then you can open a gentle and light conversation about the worship of God alone, over time, after developing a relationship of trust and mutual respect. This requires the investment of character and generosity as well.
5) Most of all, pray for your brother in humanity to be guided, treat him with the utmost kindness, and show him a good example. Do not be preachy, but instead, if he shows interest, then share more about the Oneness of God with him. If he shows more interest, contact us for recommendations on suitable reading material.
[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.