Some Reflections on Dawah, Conversions, and Gatekeeping

A new problem that I see among the younger generation of Muslims is that they do NOT want people to convert to Islam UNLESS these people already share the same beliefs and ideas that they do.

It does not help that many of these young people are clinging to liberal ideas, and only want people of similar liberal leanings to be Muslim. But there are other factors here that are baffling.

Until this generation, it was normal for Muslims to be excited if any celebrity, no matter how corrupt, expressed interest in Islam or converted to Islam. This is because we view Islam as a transformative force that could CHANGE that person and make them better.

We now have youngsters who see Islam as an IDENTITY and do not want to share that identity with people they disagree with. So they actively hope that some people DO NOT convert to Islam, because their identity is more important to them than the guidance of humanity.

We need to revive the proper understanding of Dawah and Conversion. We should do Dawah to ALL disbelievers, believing that anyone can change when the light of Islam enters their hearts. We SHOULD be excited when anyone converts to Islam because we are happy that a brother/sister in humanity has discovered the truth and will be transformed by it in shaa Allah.

We should also give converts time to learn to the religion and grow spiritually. A new convert should not be platformed too much, especially on deeper topics. My advice to converts in general is to avoid the public eye for the first few years and to focus instead on learning the religion, purifying the soul, and growing spiritually.

After a few years of transformation and growth, and once faith is firm in the heart and they have firm knowledge, then it may be beneficial to publicly be involved in Dawah and Islamic discussions.

In summary:

1) Islam is for humanity, not only the people you agree with

2) We should be happy when anyone converts to Islam and make dua for them

3) We should see Islam as a transformative force that can change the worst of people into the best of people

4) We should give converts space and time to learn the religion and work on improving their spiritual state, instead of throwing them immediately into the spotlight.

I ask Allah to guide every sincere seeker of truth, to keep every believer firm on the truth, and to soften and guide all our hearts.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar

Ismail Kamdar is the Founder of Islamic Self Help, author of over a dozen books, research manager at Yaqeen Institute, and a freelance writer.