Posted by: Dawud Israel | December 17, 2007

DLR: A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam

This is arguably the most common piece of Dawah Literature out there. And one that is just asking to be critiqued. See their website.

The good things about this:

  • It attracts people to pick it up
  • It’s ridiculously pretty
  • It’s glossy
  • It’s a full book
  • Draws on correlations with Christianity and Modern Science
  • It can be found very easily
  • It’s edited by an all-star cast of Shuyookh

The bad things about this:

  • The pages are yellow…not white.
  • Most people don’t read it…they INSTANTLY pick it up because it looks pretty, and just as fast they forget to read it.
  • It starts of with EVIDENCES for the Truth of Islam and it isn’t until Chapter 3 (!) that you get the basic information on Islam! The big problem with this is the message of Islam itself is enough to convert a person and I speak from experience. The scientific miracles are the least successful Dawah tactic because they only work on scientists and people who are actually knowledgeable about these things–not your average Joe who gets by knowing and doing as little as possible. I personally feel that these scientific miracles were something meant more to make Muslims more comfortable and confident in Islam–which is good but at the same time, indicative of our sad reality.
  • Uses Islamic Arabic symbols such as for whenever Rasulullah SAAWS is mentioned, rather than the PBUH acronym and in this respect this book seems to be meant more for Muslims.
  • According to reknown Daiee Shaykh Kamal Mekki, (How to get a non-Muslim to give Shahadah in 10 minutes) he has not met a single person who has come to Islam as a result of this book.
  • In my own experiences, I have met non-Muslims who agreed with everything in Islam and wanted to convert…but the section on clouds and mountains in this book confused them and they decided to not accept. I told him that this is indeed true in science and I can show him using the original textbooks and he still wouldn’t accept!
  • This book seems like it was written more to

Now all that said, it is still Dawah Literature and is very common and because of that it is used by many Muslims. Can I say that no one will come to Islam because of this? No! There is still that chance someone will be guided, Allahu Alaam. But this book needs a new edition.

How this book could be improved:

  • Reorder the chapters with the basics of Islam
  • Eliminate the chapters on miracles of modern science as this is something that only works for those who have eman or knowledge. Also when you quote a non-Muslim scientist who says, “It’s amazing that this is in the Quran 1400 years before it was discovered”–the fact that this person is still a non-Muslim says lots!
  • Have a personal approach rather than a textbook-ish approach
  • Not quote the Bible as this sends conflicting messages–Muslims believe the Bible is changed but still quote it?
  • Ask for the Shahadah (i.e. convert!)
  • Test it out on non-Muslims by doing Dawah to them using this and see if they will convert

Now all that said, I have notified their website of this review so perhaps they might think of changing things up, Insha Allah!

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdik ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk. Ameen.


Responses

  1. Good review. I definitely agree with your point about eliminating the parts on the Qur’an and science because this is not effective in actually helping someone in their quest for the Truth. A few reverts I have spoken to have told me that the significance of the scientific accuracy in the Qur’an only really sunk in after they became Muslim and had time to study the deen. This is when it added to their already existing belief in Allah and His power over all things.


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