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Sharing Your Faith Part 5 of 6: How To Transition to Islam

How To Transition to Islam

When you’re in a casual conversation with a stranger or acquaintance, how can you get something about Islam into the conversation?

Brother Chris does not like the idea of Muslims copying evangelical Christians in the way they hand out tracks (informational booklets) and get to be your friend only to tell you about Jesus Christ. He says that people are keen to these tactics, having been heavily used by Christians, and we Muslims will seem duplicitous the second we use a Christian tactic.

Rather than tracks, he proposes using good old-fashioned scrap paper to write down contact information or something about Islam a person indicated they may want to look up later or remember.

Rather than friendship evangelism, he advocates establishing relationships with people for some other reason, some other real reason, rather than only to eventually tell the person about Islam.

The prerequisite to telling others something about Islam is that the faith has to be alive in you. Practice what you want to preach so that when you preach it, it’s real and not preachy.

To answer the question, say something heartfelt about you and Islam and/or being a Muslim that stems from the faith being alive in you when it naturally fits into the conversation. Listen first, and then tie your experience to their experience with a genuine statement about your faith.

Part 6 of 6 in this series will be to reveal Chris’ idea for a hook about Islam. See our previous blog post for a longer explanation (Sharing Your Faith Part 3 of 6: How Do We Talk About Islam In A Compelling Way?) We have not yet heard from enough people to warrant revealing Chris’ hook.

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Sharing Your Faith Part 4 of 6: How To Be In Conversation

How to Be In Conversation

If you’re interested in showing the world that Islam is not the travesty seen on TV, you’ll need to engage individuals on a one-to-one basis so they can get to know a Muslim. People have very different reactions toward “others” when they know and interact with an “other” in person than when they only know about “them” from TV. Even people who complain out loud about minority populations will make an exception to the stereotype in their head if they get to know someone individually.

How to “be in conversation” as in “how to get yourself into conversation”

In order to be available for people to get to know you, you’ll have to be an extrovert naturally or force yourself to be into conversation and people if you are an introvert naturally. Engage in conversation anyplace and everyplace where you see an opportunity—but not necessarily to talk about Islam. People need to see a Muslim being an everyday person experiencing the same problems and delights as everyone else.

Whatever is normal for small talk in your neck of the woods–partake of that. In Minnesota, we talk about how the crops are doing in the summer and how cold it is in the winter.  If you’re on a bus, bring up something about the bus route. If you’re in a parent education class, say something about not being a perfect parent. Mention gas prices, local news, local weather, etc. Pay attention to how talkative people get into conversation with perfect strangers and use their techniques!

How to “be” in conversation as in “how to comport yourself when in conversation”

Components of a good attitude

  • Don’t dismiss anyone as not worthy of getting into conversation with.
  • If you’re feeling shy, remember that you have as much right as they do to be human and to be in conversation–don’t allow yourself to feel unworthy of contributing something.
  • Focus on the current conversation, not on some other aspect of life.
  • Be ready to meet harsh or ignorant comments with humor.
  • Be genuinely curious about and interested in the other person.
  • Don’t get down if someone seems uninterested in conversation.

Listen first (before talking about yourself). Be observant of things you can use in conversation.

Smile. Ask open-ended questions, not yes-no questions. Remember their name.

If you felt rapport with someone and feel like giving them a way to contact you again, write on a slip of paper instead of handing them a business card.

In the next post, we’ll tell you how to get Islam into the conversation!

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Sharing Your Faith Part 3 of 6: How Do We Talk About Islam In a Compelling Way?

How Do We Talk About Islam in a Compelling Way?

Evangelical Trinitarian Christians have a really good hook to use when talking to others about Christianity. Basically it’s “You have sinned. You are going to hell. Unless…” and then they provide the answer for how to end up in heaven instead of hell. This hook works for them when addressing any human in the world because those Christians believe in the doctrine of original sin—everyone is born into sin and will go to hell unless a blood sacrifice is made so that God can forgive the sins. So in their worldview, every human on earth needs to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior in order to get to heaven. That’s why those kind of Christians are so busy peddling their message in every far corner of the world.

Being Muslims, we know that the doctrine of original sin is false, and we know that there need not be a blood sacrifice made for our sins in order for God to forgive our sins. God may just forgive our sins outright due to his mercy. We Muslims also know that being a Muslim doesn’t guarantee one will end up in heaven and that not being a Muslim doesn’t mean one will end up in hell.

All that being so, how do we present Islam to individuals in a compelling way? In a brief and compelling way?

Brother Chris told us his idea for a brief and compelling hook in class. He had been honing it for four years! We’ll tell you what it is on this blog after we’ve heard from ten of you. Leave a comment and tell us how you present Islam in a brief and compelling way.

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Sharing Your Faith Part 1 of 6: Class Announcement

American  Followers of Muhammad, a student group at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, in partnership with Islamic Media is offering a 5-part class titled “Sharing Your Faith.” The class will prepare the average Muslim for sharing their faith in a brief and compelling way to anyone around them who asks about Islam.

Chris Hawes, a former Baptist minister who is now a Muslim, will be teaching the class. See and hear his conversion story on YouTube.

Credit union location California El Centro First Imperial Credit Union Media blog” href=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/islamicmediamn/muiw”>Subscribe to this blog to be sure to find out when we write about what we’re learning in the class.

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