7 tips for effective communication

7 tips for effective communication

Communication is an Art

Many arguments online between Muslims start with a lack of effective communication. Conveying our points to others in an effective manner is a skill that takes time to acquire. We are all learning and may make mistakes in the process.

It is common for us to lose our tempers, be unnecessarily harsh to each other, and label each other. But none of this benefits the ummah in any way. To master communication, we need to improve our emotional intelligence.

Here are 7 tips for effective communication:

1. Be Precise – Make your point clear and do not hide it under a lot of jargon and fluff

2. Be Concise – It is sunnah to be concise. Say what needs to be said and nothing more

3. Be Gentle – You do not know the other person’s story, trauma, and trials. Convey the message with wisdom and compassion

4. Be sincere to others – If your goal is to score points or put people down, then you are wasting time and causing unnecessary division. The goal should be to call people to the way of Allah for the sake of Allah.

5. Avoid using words or statements that can be misleading – Analyse every sentence for words or phrases that could be worded better. Do not purposely leave ambiguous statements that can be misinterpreted, causing unnecessary drama.

6. Do not communicate when angry or upset – avoid the keyboard when emotionally overwhelmed. Get back into the conversation when you are in control and can convey your point calmly.

7. Understand the other person’s perspective – Understand the other person’s perspective and story, so that you can find common ground. If you fail to understand others, you just speak past them, not to them.

We all can improve how we communicate online. These seven tips can go along way to minimizing drama and building bridges between the divisions in the ummah.

We ask Allah for steadfastness, guidance, and clear speech.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Public Speaking, 0 comments
Why extremism leads to apostasy

Why extremism leads to apostasy

Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “There will be division and sectarianism in my nation, and a people will come with beautiful words and evil deeds. They will recite the Quran, but it will not pass beyond their throats. They will leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target, and they will not return to it as the arrow does not return to its bow. They are the worst of the creation.”

Abu Dawud 4765, Grade: Sahih

The Rise of Extremism

Recently, there has been an uptick in extremist behaviour online among young Muslims. This overzealous approach to Islam comes from a good place; protective jealousy over the religion and sincerely wanted to defend it. However, it is mischanneled into fighting and hating other Muslims. The recent rise in extremism can be attributed to several factors including disillusionment with local scholars, fear of the rise of liberalism among Muslims, and especially the sensationalist propaganda of hate preachers.

In recent times, various figures rose to fame in online Muslim circles by spreading defamation, slander, and misinformation about other Muslims. They built careers around tearing others down and attempting to destroy the reputation of others. Many people see through their manipulation tactics, lies, and slander. Sadly, enough people have bought into it to produce a new generation of angry young men with Kharijite-like personalities.

The Prophet ﷺ warned us about extremist groups that will rise in every generation. These extremists spread hatred and division among Muslims, but eventually they fizzle out and leave either the movement or Islam itself. Today, my message is for those young men who may be tempted to join such movements. I want to focus on what specific phrase in the above hadith that we do not ponder over enough. The Prophet ﷺ warned us, “They will leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target, and they will not return to it as the arrow does not return to its bow.”

This hadith warns us that extremism leads to apostasy. When a Muslim embraces a hate-fuelled angry version of Islam, the result is that either they will mature and leave the movement eventually, or that they will stop practicing the religion altogether, or even apostate. This is a profoundly serious consequence that should cause you to think twice before joining such groups.

A Lost Generation

When I was young, the extremist movements of that generation were different. Their focus was on politics and war, and they made takfir (excommunicated) anyone who did not align with their political agendas. Entire Muslim countries and their populations were branded disbelievers by these groups, and they even turned to violence and started murdering Muslims in the name of the religion.

I knew many members of these groups personally and would often preach the middle path to them. Over the years, I have witnessed dozens of hardcore practicing Muslims transition into non-practicing Muslims, hadith rejectors, and even apostates. I saw an entire group of people “They will leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target,” in real-time, and they all had one thing in common; they were extremists during their youth.

Over the past decade, that group fizzled out for the most part and we assumed the Fitna was over. Unfortunately, the next generation has produced a new type of extremism. A group of grifters realized that they can attain fame overnight if they dedicate their time to manipulating the masses through slandering others. They spend hours searching for quotes to take out of context so that they can portray righteous people in the worst possible light. They succeeded in finding an audience, and that audience is that starting to display all the characteristics of the Khawarij.

This generation of Khawarij are obsessed with the faults of others, especially people of knowledge. They spend hours online gossiping, arguing, debating, declaring takfir, and spreading hatred of others. They neglect their own souls in the process. They have become a gang of bitter angry young man hiding behind anonymous social media accounts, the way previous generation hid behind their kunyas.

As An Arrow Leaves Its Target

I understand that these young men have genuine concerns and frustrations. Every extremist movement in history started with genuine frustrations that pushed people over the edge. If you find yourself tempted to join these outrage movements, take a moment to reflect on why extremists eventually “They will leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target,” It lies in the heart of the matter, the actual spiritual heart of the believer.

Islam is a religion that emphasized purification of the soul, and constant self-reformation. A believer can never be confident in his own piety and status. Repentance and daily spiritual improvement are necessary to grow closer to Allah. But the extremist’s focus is external, not internal. He is obsessed with the faults of others, to such an extent that he becomes oblivious to his own faults. He spends so much time searching for the mistakes in others, gossiping, backbiting, and stirring hatred in his own heart, the consequences of this is that he neglects his own spiritual growth. The human heart is fragile. If we are not working on purifying it, then slowly it is being corrupted without us even realizing it.

Consider the following two scenarios and the results of each. Young Man A embarks on a journey of self-reformation. He meets a righteous scholar, studies the religion, makes time daily for zikr and istighfār, and is focused on improving his relationship with Allah. This young man spends the rest of his life trying to attain Ihsaan and serve the ummah. Over time, he grows into a humble, gentle, loving, spiritual soul whose very presence attracts others to Islam. His very existence becomes a form of Dawah as people can feel the spirituality emanating from his soul.

Imagine now if he had a twin brother. This brother, around the same time, also decides to become a practicing Muslim, but he chooses to spend his time watching 4-hour long videos about the faults and mistakes of other Muslims. He is so angry from watching these videos that it begins to consume him. His anger needs an outlet, so he spends his time on social media badmouthing the righteous and spreading slander. He has no space in his heart for the remembrance of Allah, because it is consumed by hatred and anger. He stays up late to watch a 5-hour livestream of others like him badmouthing the righteous, then spent hours arguing about what he heard on social media. He falls asleep late and misses his Fajr. Slowly, this becomes a habit.

Eventually, he stops going to the Masjid because he sees all the Imams as deviants and sell outs. He says he will pray at home, but he is so distracted by his online debates that he rushes his prayer and rarely concentrates. Slowly, he starts to miss prayers more regularly without even realizing it. Piece by piece, his faith is chipping away without him even realizing it.

A decade later, the first brother has a happy family, a good reputation in his community, and remains firm on the path to Paradise. Unfortunately, the second brother has burned out. His family have long abandoned him because they could not handle his extremism and constant anger. His friends have either left the movement or left the religion altogether, and the community ignores him as some kind of weirdo.

He abandoned the community when he abandoned the Masjid, and overtime has lost his faith through spiritual neglect. He no longer finds joy in gossip and slander and has become numb to hatred and fighting. Burned out and alone, he is at a dangerous fork in the road.

If he is sincere and humble, he realizes the error of his ways. He repents, reattaches himself to the ulema, spends a lot of time writing to the various scholars he slandered asking for forgiveness, and begins his journey back to Allah.

However, if he is arrogant then he refuses to see how any of this is his own fault. He blames his community. He blames the Ulema. He blames Islam. Bitter, lonely, and refusing to shoulder any blame for his own choices, he eventually stops practicing Islam altogether, or even apostates. Never to recover or return. A fulfilment of the prophecy, “They will leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target, and they will not return to it as the arrow does not return to its bow.”

A Message from The Heart

The above scenarios are not completely hypothetical. I have witnessed this happen to dozens of people a decade ago. My dear brothers who have bought into slander and hatred, you are in danger of walking down this same path. Take some time to reflect and make your next choice wisely because this concerns your Afterlife.

My advice is simple; there is no benefit in spending your time obsessed with the (perceived) faults of others, gossiping about them, and spreading hatred. If you find a specific scholar questionable, then find yourself a different scholar to attach yourself to and study under.

Take time to learn Islam from righteous ulema, not from internet personalities who prey on your jealousy for the religion. Avoid these types like a plague because following them will make you a bitter angry person, and this will impact every aspect of your life, especially your spirituality. Focus on learning your religion, spending time in the company of the righteous, building beautiful families, and serving your communities. Do not wait for ten or twenty years to pass before you realize it is too late, and you end up another statistic of this prophecy.

We ask Allah for sincerity, righteousness, steadfastness, and moderation. And we ask Allah to silence to slanders completely and to protect our youth from being led astray by them.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, 0 comments
July Sale Extended

July Sale Extended

Alhamdulillah, we now have over 1000 students enrolled in the History of Islam Online Course.

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About The Course

#1 Bestseller 2022 – Over 1000+ students currently exploring their history!

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In this course, Shaykh Ismail Kamdar will take you on a journey through the past 1400 years, starting with the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), through the eras of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the Umayyads, Abbasids, Ayyubis, Mamluks, Ottomans, all the way into the 21st Century.

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Why You’ll Love This Course

This course offers the kind of one-stop learning environment that benefits you both during and after the completion of the course in a multitude of ways:

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Whether it’s work, academia, family or other constraints, the course allows you the flexibility to learn at your own pace without pressure.

About the Instructor:

Shaykh Ismail Kamdar is a graduate of a traditional Alim program (Talimuddin, 2006) and also holds a Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies (IOU, 2014). He has studied Islam in both traditional and modern settings and has been a student of Islamic Studies for over two decades.

He began studying Islam full-time at the age of thirteen, began preaching at the age of sixteen, and wrote his first book at the age of twenty-three. Over the years, he has taught multiple courses and seminars around the world and has worked with multiple leading Islamic organizations across the globe.

He served as faculty manager at the International Open University for ten years, from 2010 to 2020. He currently heads the book publication department at Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. His books are currently available in three different languages, and sold across five continents, in twenty-five different countries.

Student Testimonials


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July Promo still available in August 2022.
Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, Leadership, 0 comments
8 Tips for parents for raising teenagers

8 Tips for parents for raising teenagers

1. Treat them like young adults and they will grow up faster

2. Slowly, increase the level of responsibility and independence that they have. Give them more tasks and responsibilities, and as they grow competent, increase it. This will ease them into adulthood.

3. Your role needs to become more like a mentor to them. Have open communication with them and allow them to ask deep questions and challenge your ideals. They need these conservations to reach Yaqeen in their faith.

4. Do not expect perfection from them. When they mess up, guide them back to the paths of repentance and righteousness. They are still learning how to deal with nafs and shaytaan and will make mistakes along the way, just like you.

5. Include them in family discussions on important matters, so they gain experience in the ups and downs of being an adult. These discussions will prepare them for the challenges of the adult world.

6. Allow them space to explore their own ideas and plans (within the boundaries of halal) and give them space to make mistakes and learn from their mistakes. For example, if your teen has a bad business idea, let him start his business and learn from the experience.

7. Have a strong Islamic Studies curriculum for them to study that is age-suitable. Focus on things like morality, chastity, modesty, responsibility, and purification of the soul. These aspects of Islamic Studies are essential at that age.

8. Finally, never stop making dua for them. Do not give up hope in Allah’s Mercy and pray for your children’s guidance every day.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Leadership
10 Forgotten Principles of Dawah

10 Forgotten Principles of Dawah

Dawah on social media has become a mess. People with no training or qualifications are put on pedestals and promote Islam in the most vulgar and harshest of manners. Their self-serving methods create a toxic culture of sectarianism, hatred, and cults of personality.

Dawah is not a free-for-all, in which anyone can say anything however they wish to say it. There are principles that govern Dawah. These principles are derived from the Quran and Sunnah and include the following:

1) Focus on the pleasure of Allah. Results, numbers, and conversions are secondary. The pleasure of Allah is everything.

2) Mercy and compassionate should be your standard approach. The foundation of Islamic Dawah is to be merciful and compassionate in your interactions with people. Harshness should be the exception and only when wise to do so, not the norm.

3) Seek to understand before presenting your position. You cannot reach people and guide them back to the straight path, if you do not understand how they reached their current ideas.

4) Do not write people off. Anyone can be guided back to Allah if Allah wills. Do not write people and claim that anyone is beyond guidance.

5) Always give people hope of a way back to Allah. No matter what sins or wrong ideas people have fallen into, there is always a way back. Find ways to guide people back, and do not write them off.

6) Call people to Allah, not to yourself, your sect or your channel.

7) When you do not know, then state that you do not know. Do not answer without knowledge

8) Mockery, slander, and verbal abuse does not produce any positive results.

9) Be clear and honest, but also wise and compassionate in how you present your message.

10) If you find yourself out of your depth, then take a step back and leave it to the experts.

A lot needs to be done to move away from this modern toxic culture that has developed online, but grounding our Dawah in the above principles is a good first step back towards the Sunnah methodology.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam