Forms of Da’wah:
There are two forms of Da’wah: (i) live and direct without any media and (ii) indirect through means of media.
DIFFERENT MEDIA OF DA’WAH:
The media through which Da’wah can be done is broadly divided into four categories:
i) Print Media
iv) Electronic Media
Print Media can be further classified into non-periodical and periodical:
i) Non-periodical print media consists of literature: pamphlets, booklets, books, etc.
ii) Periodical print media consists of newspapers, magazines, newsletters, etc. which are published periodically – either daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, annually, etc.
The popular audio media today are:
i) Audio cassettes
ii) Audio compact discs
iii) Digital Audio Tapes (DAT).
The audio media can be used at different levels:
i) A person can listen at fixed places like home, office, etc. with the help of desktop audio equipment.
ii) While travelling in cars, buses, trains, planes, etc. with the help of audio equipmen fixed in the vehicle.
iii) While walking, moving or any of the above situations with the help of portable audio equipment.
Audio media can be used to convey the message to a group of family members, social and cultural gatherings, functions, meetings, etc.
c) Public level:
Audio media can be utilised to reach a multitude of people through radio broadcast.
The popular video media today are:
i) Video Cassettes
ii) Video Compact Discs – VCD
iii) Digital Video Discs – DVD
Video media too, like audio media, can be used to convey the message to an individual or to a group of people. It can also be used to convey the message to the public via Cable T.V. Networks, T.V. Stations and Satellite T.V. Channels.
4. Electronic Media:
Electronic Media or Computer Media is another media that can be used to convey the message to an individual or a group of people. It can also be used at a public level through the Internet by way of web sites, homepages, bulletin boards, e-mail messages, etc. Electronic Media can be stored on hard discs and on:
i) Diskettes or floppies
ii) Compact Discs: Read Only Memory – CD ROMs
iii) Digital Video Discs – DVD
Effectiveness of Different Media – Impact and Retention of Media:
1. Retention levels of different media:
Research has shown that different media have different percentage of retention of the message conveyed.
i) Print media – 10% retention:
An average person when he reads any material he remembers approximately 10% of what he has read.
ii) Audio – 20% retention:
An average person when he hears any message he remembers approximately 20% of what he has heard.
iii) Visual – 30% retention:
An average person when he sees anything he retains or remembers approximately 30% of what he has seen.
iv) Video (Audio Visual) – 50 % retention:
If an average person sees and hears a particular message he remembers about 50% of what he has seen and heard. The maximum retention is in the case of audio-video media since both the senses of sight and hearing are involved in grasping the message conveyed.
These first four types of media i.e. the print media, audio, video and electronic media, are mainly modes of one-way communication, i.e. conveying the message in one direction only without interaction and clarification from the person who receives the message. It is more of a monologue than a dialogue. A very minute portion of these media can be converted into an interaction or a dialogue, for e.g., a question and answer column in the periodical of the print media or a live question and answer session via the telephone on the radio or television channel or live chatting on the internet.
The major disadvantage is that it is one-sided, i.e. a monologue, rather than being both sided, i.e. a dialogue or a two-way interactive communication.
Requirements of Da’wah:
Basic knowledge and understanding of Islam and Comparative Religion is required for doing Da’wah irrespective of what the media is. However, to be effective in Da’wah, specialisation is required for which different media require different techniques, strategies and specialised exposure and training.
While being effective in print media requires one type of technique, to be effective through the audio, video and electronic media requires different techniques.
As far as this Da’wah training programme is concerned, we will not be dealing with indirect Da’wah done through these four media.
In this Da’wah training programme, we will concentrate on live and direct Da’wah without any media which may incorporate a few points of audio and video media.
LIVE DA’WAH – WITHOUT MEDIA:
Unlike Da’wah done through media, live and direct Da’wah is more of a dialogue than a monologue. It is interactive and involves two-way communication. Only in a few instances where a talk or a lecture is given to an individual or a group of people without allowing interaction or a question answer session, it becomes a monologue.
Live Interactive ‘Da’wah’ can further be classified into:
i) Individual level i.e. Personal one to one basis.
ii) Public level i.e. to groups or to audiences
DA’WAH AT AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL:
The techniques and strategies of ‘Da’wah’ on a personal one to one basis besides depending on the category of person to whom Da’wah is addressed, differs depending on the availability of time
Da’wah can be done to strangers as well as to known people.
1. Da’wah to strangers e.g. co-passengers while travelling:
i) In a local train or bus you may have 10 – 30 minutes.
ii) In a plane, you may have a few hours.
iii) In a long distance train or bus journey, you may have a few hours to a couple of days.
These categories of people to whom Da’wah is done while travelling may be once in a lifetime opportunity for you. You may never meet the same person again in your life. In short, it consists of strangers whom you are not familiar with or known to
2. Da’wah to known people:
i) Friends and acquaintances, whom you meet once in a while.
ii) Schoolmates, colleagues, co-workers in offices, businessmen, etc. whom you meet almost daily and will be in contact with atleast for a few years.
iii) Neighbours and relatives whom you meet regularly, and will be in contact with for several years to come
3.Initiating the process of Da’wah:
Initiating the process of Da’wah is a very important technique especially while doing Da’wah on Personal, one to one basis.
a) It can be done by asking simple questions like:
i) Why are you wearing a cross? What is its significance?
(Topic: Was Christ (pbuh) Crucified?)
ii) Why are you wearing a Teeka, Vermillon or a Mangalsutra?
(Topic: Status of Women in Hinduism)
iii) During Christmas season: What is the significance of Christmas?
(Topic: Is Jesus God? or Can God be born?)
iv) If stuck in a traffic jam during Ganesh Chaturthi procession: who is Ganesh?
(Topic: Concept of God in Hinduism)
v) Since India is a multi-cultural country, there are several festivals thereby giving opportunities to initiate Da’wah by asking simple questions on these festivals
Carry an attractive eye-catching booklet on Islam and Comparative Religion, while travelling or going to school or office. On many occasions, people around you may request you for the book. Whenever a booklet on Islam is given to Non-Muslims, it is preferable not to give it away for good. He may never read it. Ask him in how much time will he return it giving you anopportunity to interact with him at the end of the period or to remind him if he has not read it. Even if you have to give the booklet for him to keep, take his telephone number so that you can clarify any of his misconceptions on the telephone.
c) Statements or remarks to initiate ‘Da’wah’:
Only a few non-Muslims will willingly give you a hearing if you say that I want to talk to you about Islam. Instead of you asking him to give you time, you should instigate him to ask you to give him time for conveying the message of Islam.
i) Also helpful and effective are leading statements such as “without some men being allowed to marry more than one woman, all women cannot live with modesty”. The Non-Muslim would not agree and would ask for a clarification. Grab the opportunity and say that you can clarify it if he has 10 minutes to spare. Since he is asking you a question he will give you full attention and time to listen to the answer.
ii) If a Non-Muslim friend or acquaintance teases a girl, which is a common act in colleges and universities, ask him a simple question, “what would you do if someone teases your sister?” (Topic: Hijaab in Islam)
d) Instead of saying a thousand good things about Islam to a Non-Muslim it is preferable to ask him what he feels is wrong with Islam. (Topic: Replies to Most Common Questions asked by Non-Muslims about Islam).
Da’wah at PUBLIC LEVEL:
i) Giving talks and lectures on Islam to a Non-Muslim audience. It is always preferable to have a question and answer session after the talk.
[Source: “Forms of Da’wah” by Dr. Zakir Naik]
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