Posted by: Dawud Israel | April 19, 2008

Reaching Not-so-Practicing Muslims

Muslims love to judge each other. If your not practicing, the practicing Muslims will treat you with contempt. And if you are practicing the non-practicing Muslims will think you are hardcore.

It’s easy to blame the not-so-religious Muslims for how they behave but is this the right attitude?

I for one sincerely believe that the practicing Muslims have a responsibility to understand how the non-practicing Muslim mind works. They know how a non-practicing Muslim thinks because they have all at some point or another been there. And it is your duty to guide them to becoming stronger Muslims.

If you are GENUINE in wanting to guide them than consider the following:

1) Do not make YOU practicing Islam an obstacle for them to overcome. This becomes an issue when you start attacking them and their behavior.

2) If you can’t help showing your Islam in certain situations than at least make them feel spiritually good. Raise their eeman because they aren’t mindless Muslims. Show them a flicker of the Divine Light and they will find it’s Source.

3) You do not have to be respected and seen as a shaykh in order to do some good. In fact, its usually much easier and more effective if you aren’t because they will note it more clearly when they see or hear some wisdom coming from you.

4) Do not trade your Dawah for their respect of you. Trade your dawah for their happiness and well-being.

5) People can pick spot arrogance and pride very easily. If it’s there–it can be seen very easily. Focus on your own tazkiya (self-improvement and self-purification).

6) Be thoughtful and sacrifice for them. Whether it is money, time or a favor do something to show you care for them. Do not go out of your way to do something haraam but show them you are a genuine friend. People know if your a real friend if you are willing to help them when they are in need, even if it is inconvenient for you. Most of these brothers and sisters are not very happy and always looking for something to brighten their day.

7) Do not expect miracles overnight–take it step by step and over time things will change.

8 ) Make 70 excuses for them and for anyone else who you may encounter doing something questionable!

9) Don’t preach and lecture. Give one little gem at a time and let them develop a taste for it over some time. Soon you will find they will enjoy it more thoroughly than you do and they will come to Islam all on their own.

10) Look at their skills and see if you can get them to put it to use for a project. If they are good at writing invite them to help write something. Give them their due respect for this and let them earn their deeds.

11) Being Muslim and not necessarily Islamic is often enough for some of these Muslims to come close to the deen. They probably have a distorted self-image so when you preach Islam to them, they will find it difficult to see a good example of true Islam (we all have mistakes). But if you openly do things peculiar to Muslims (talking in your language, dressing in a cultural dress, even saying Salam) then this will attract them closer and soon they will start coming to Jumaah which is the most distinct Muslim activity.

12) Give them good guidance in their problems. Say all the good things you know their friends will never say and be ready when they come back to you for help.

13) When you interact with them, make them feel a little special. Whether it’s a joke or a tease–give them something to remember the value of your friendship. đŸ™‚

14) And when things finally break down and they become openly hateful and antagonistic against you–you know have the greatest opportunity before you to impact them. Whatever you do now will make a mark and they will see how you behave–are you arrogant or kind to them? Keep at this and eventually when everyone disappears or when they are in real need–they’ll see you are still there to help and come all the closer to Allah through you, Insha Allah.

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


  1. […] Dawood Israel I for one sincerely believe that the practicing Muslims have a responsibility to understand how the non-practicing Muslim mind works. They know how a non-practicing Muslim thinks because they have all at some point or another been there. And it is your duty to guide them to becoming stronger Muslims. […]

  2. i love this post..a great reminder to me..but i think part of the reason why some non-practicing muslims see practicing muslims as holier than thou is because of their own insecurity as true muslims and so any small piece of advice given to them even in an indrect way is seen as coming from an ultra-religious preacher whos not at the same level rather tahn humble advice towards another one in the ummah for the pure sake of Allah. speaking of which, a non-praciticing muslim many times doesnt have much practice with doing things for the sake of Allah alone so has a hard time seeing it in that light when someone is encouraging them to do good-therfore becomes judegmental of the active muslim believing that the only reason they are ‘preaching’ or whatever is to make themselves feel higher..when in fact this is probably not the case..
    going back to the Anbiya’, looking into their lives and how they taught others caused others to ridicule and such. Remember like Prophet Ayyub (as) they thought he was a believer only cuz of all that Allah had given him..and what about Prophet Salih (as)? People of Thamud questioned whether he thought he was better than all them or not as well..Then on the flipside you see those who are indeed ignorant but with a few words from fair preaching , Allah turns their hearts of stone towards hearts of love for truth, like Umar Ibn Khattab (ra)..

    So the points you made are indeed excellent and we should take heed to them, but no matter what is said by the practicing muslims there will always be non-practicing muslims, as well as the non-muslims who will not want to listen and be judgemental themselves of the one giving the dawah..who will just have the ‘get off my case’ attitude.
    and Allah knows best..

    barakAllah feek.

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