ISLAMIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION
FOUNDER: Dr. ZAKIR NAIK
Da’wah is a duty
Most Muslims know that Islam is a universal religion, meant for all mankind.
Allah (swt) is the Lord of the entire Universe, and Muslims have been entrusted
with the duty of conveying His message to all mankind. Alas, most Muslims
today have become callous towards this duty! While accepting Islam as the best
way of life for ourselves, most of us are unwilling to share this knowledge with
those to whom the message has not yet been conveyed.
The Arabic word Da’wah means a call or an invitation. In Islamic context, it
means to strive for the propagation of Islam.
The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Ah! Who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they
have from Allah? But Allah is not unmindful of what ye do!”
Twenty Most Common Questions
In order to convey the message of Islam, dialogue and debate become
inevitable. The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord, with wisdom and beautiful
preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most
In conveying the message of Islam to a non-Muslim, it is usually not sufficient to
highlight only the positive nature of Islam. Most non-Muslims are not convinced
about the truth of Islam because there are a few questions about Islam at the
back of their minds that remain unanswered.
They may agree with your contentions about the positive nature of Islam. But,
in the same breath, they will say - “Ah! But you are the same Muslims who
marry more than one woman. You are the same people who subjugate women
by keeping them behind the veil. You are fundamentalists, etc.”
I personally prefer asking the non-Muslims upfront, with their limited
knowledge, whether right or wrong, from whichever source it may be, what they
feel is wrong in Islam. I encourage them to be very frank and open and convince
them that I can take criticism about Islam.
In the past few years of my Da’wah experience, I have realized that there are
barely twenty most common questions that a common non-Muslim has
regarding Islam. Whenever you ask a non-Muslim, “what do you feel is wrong in
Islam?”, he poses five or six questions, and these questions invariably fall
among the twenty most common questions.
Logical replies can convince the majority
The twenty most common questions about Islam can be answered with reason
and logic. A majority of non-Muslims can be convinced with these answers. If a
Muslim memorizes or simply remembers these answers, Inshallah he will be
successful, if not in convincing non-Muslims about the complete truth of Islam,
then at least in removing misconceptions about Islam and neutralizing the
negative thinking about Islam and Muslims that the non-Muslims have. A very
few non-Muslims may have counter arguments to these replies, for which
further information may be required.
Misconceptions due to media
The common misconceptions about Islam arise in the minds of a majority of
non-Muslims, because they are constantly being bombarded with
misinformation about Islam. International media is mainly controlled by the
western world, whether it is international satellite channels, radio stations, news
papers, magazines or books. Recently the Internet has become a powerful
medium of information. Though it is not controlled by anybody, one finds a large
amount of virulent propaganda about Islam on the Internet. Of course, Muslims
too are utilizing this tool to portray the right image of Islam and Muslims, but
they are far behind as compared to the propaganda against Islam. I hope the
efforts by the Muslims will increase and continue to be pursued.
Misconceptions change with time
The most common questions about Islam are different in different periods and
eras. This set of twenty most common questions is based on present times.
Decades earlier, the set of questions was different and decades later too, the
set of questions may change depending upon how Islam is projected by the
Misconceptions are the same throughout the world
I have interacted with people in different parts of the world and have found these
twenty most common questions about Islam to be the same everywhere. There
may be a couple of additional questions depending upon the locale, the
surrounding or culture. For instance in America, the additional common
question is - “Why does Islam prohibit taking and giving of interest?”
I have included among these twenty most common questions, certain questions
more common among the Indian non-Muslims. For instance, “why do Muslims
have non-vegetarian food?” The reason for including such questions is that
people of Indian origin are spread throughout the world and constitute about
20% i.e. 1/5th of the world population. Thus, their questions become common
questions asked by non-Muslims throughout the world.
Misconceptions of non-Muslims who have studied Islam
There are many non-Muslims who have studied Islam. Most of them have only
read books on Islam written by biased critics of Islam. These non-Muslims have
an additional set of twenty common misconceptions about Islam. For instance,
they claim to have found contradictions in the Qur’an, they contend that the
Qur’an is unscientific, etc. There is another set of additional replies clearing
these twenty misconceptions among non-Muslims who have studied Islam from
distorted sources. I have also given the replies to twenty additional less
common questions among the non-Muslims in my public talks and book on
“Answers to Common Questions about Islam by Non-Muslims who have some
knowledge about Islam”.
Edited by Tariq - 09 May 2008 at 1:56pm