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Reflections from Akademi Dakwah Muslimah


Alhamdulillah, I'm back after 6 months!  Completing my final year studies and finishing all the projects on time did really acquire me to make some sacrifices, my blogging time is one of it. Nevertheless, I've successfully graduated from UTP since the last two months and here I am now, back in Perlis.

Frankly saying, I think this is the longest period of my stay at home since I started my degree studies 5-years ago. Most of my semester breaks were spent doing SRC works, couple of Minggu Aluan Siswa (MAS) weeks and study related matter. For now, It's kinda payback time. 😂

Alhamdulillah, last weekend I attended Akademi Dakwah Muslimah at Tasoh Lake Resort, organized by Jabatan Mufti Perlis. The 2-day seminar covered 6 topics which I found to be very attentive and practical as a Muslimah. Being a student not from Islamic Studies background did give me the chills at first, however after a couple of hours listening intently to the speakers, I've gotten a good kickstart Alhamdulillah. Guess what, I managed to stay awake and focused all throughout the program (selalunya ada waktu downtime). Indeed, having a good rest after my Final Year did reignite my thirst of knowledge.

So what did I learn here and what can we reflect upon?

The seminar featured three speakers, each presenting two slots that were essential to the whole program.

The first one is Dr. Roshimah Shamsudin (USM), she presented her papers on the Basics of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah and Importance of Hadith for Muslim Da'i. From here, I learned the forms of da'wah which can be done via speech, writing and action to call for people to do good and avoiding transgressions (amar makruf nahi munkar). The responsibility lies on all of us, not a selected few. As a woman, we have an equal role just like men to bring some sense back to the community, by making a constructive effort by teaching or any means that is possible. By doing so, then we can collectively move forward for a better Muslim society and a better humanity.

In seeking for reference, the hadith is our second source after the Quran. A da'i should have a sense of integrity in ensuring the credibility of sources used in talks, speeches and discourses. The advances of ulum-al-hadith (Studies of Hadith) have produced numerous students and scholars that are performing the arduous task of checking the credibility of hadith. It's a challenging job, but somebody has to do it right? 

As a public member, our job is to be critical in becoming a good audience. It is actually not wrong for us to politely ask on the references used by our speakers. At least, you'll get extra knowledge. I found this talk by Dr. Zahiruddin Zabidi on 'Cara Orang Awam Berinteraksi Dengan Nas Agama' to be very useful, click here . 

The second speaker is Dr. Sakinah Saptu (UKM), she presented her research on the Concept of Tasfiyah (Purification) in Da'wah and the Da'wah Methods of Ummahatul Mukminin. Al-Tasfiyah is a process of purifying Islam from unnecessary acts (it can be rituals, customs, rules etc) and to return it to the original form propagated by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. This method is highly essential for us Muslims in order to identify which acts actually belongs to our religion and which are not. In order to do so, surely we need to seek for knowledge and with matters regarding our religion and faith, our main references will be the Quran and the Hadith.  

With Dr. Sakinah Saptu.

On the methods of da'wah used by Ummahatul Mukminin (Wives of the Prophet), there are two main methods :
1) Manhaj 'Aqli (using thoughts) - how to make dialogues with other people and make them think in accepting what we are suggesting. No spoon feeding here! The people that we are corresponding shall understand the reason why he/she needs to do it. In the Quran, there are numerous verses encouraging us to observe and ponder upon His creations (for example, Surah Az-Zaariyat verse 20-21). 
On the other hand, this method also requires us to think first and have a good reasoning before conveying our messages.

2) Manhaj 'Atifi (using our heart, feeling and soul) - this method will need us to be gentle and to reduce confrontations. Make effort to understand  the situation of the mad'u first, then we can analyze and respond to them using the best way possible. Personally, I found this method to be very constructive as we will try to make the best approach to motivate the mad'u without making them feels like a lesser being.

Dr. Sakinah also shared with us on the uslub of da'wah which are:
1) dakwah bil-hikmah (using knowledge to convey the truth)
2) mauizhah hasanah (conveying good advices and glad tidings)
3) qudwah hasanah (showing good examples - in form of actions)
To know which method is the best, we need to be able to make a good judgement based on knowledge and experience. But nonetheless, it is actually easiest to start with ourselves (by showing a good example), especially in our homes.

Getting ready for day 2.

Lastly, the third speaker Dr. Hamidah Mat (OUM) shared her thoughts on Women's Jurisprudence (Fiqh Wanita) and Effective Presentation Technique. I personally love this slot the most as the way Fiqh Wanita was presented is such an eye opener. Pernah tak terfikir kenapa kita asyik membincangkan topik darah, haid, istihadhah bila mana topik ini dibangkitkan? There is actually a lot more to explore. In order to face the global changes, we need to be able to position our Muslim women by giving them exposure towards Islamic Jurisprudence and also to encourage them to embrace their roles and potential so that changes can be made altogether.

‘Aisyah radiallahu ‘anha berkata :

نِعْمَ النِّسَاءُ نِسَاءُ الأَنْصَارِ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَمْنَعُهُنَّ الْحَيَاءُ أَنْ يَتَفَقَّهْنَ فِي الدِّينِ

Sebaik-baik wanita adalah wanita Ansar. Sifat malu mereka tidak menghalang mereka daripada mempelajari agama. [Sahih Muslim]

Short notes from Dr. Hamidah's lecture.

As a da'i, having a good grasp on this matter will be really helpful as these involved with our daily activities. Being able to give a mature and practical respond is imperative as we need to ensure that our mad'u is not burdened which in turn will cause misunderstanding of religion. Islam is easy and we need to be able to promote and make people understand how easy our religion is. For sure, this will need us to make some effort in understanding the Fiqh of Priorities (Fiqh al-Awlawiyyat) and Maqasid as-Syariah (Purpose of Syariah). 

Ustazah Nor Faezah with Dr. Hamidah 

Being a woman, we need to see 'Fiqh Wanita' from a new dimension (as per suggested by Syeikh Yusuf Al-Qardhawi), which can be done by :
- promoting women to understand the syariah as a way of life.
- encouraging women to reflect on our roles and potentials.
- making balanced judgements using our minds and emotions.
- to contribute for Islam

As a conclusion, we need to understand that all of us bear the responsibility to convey the messages of Islam. It's going to take a lot of learning to built our credibility, but the first step starts now. Perhaps we have been thinking to say something to our family members, friends or neighbours. It doesn't necessarily be in a form of speech, it can be anything. In a way, da'wah is actually an art. What's importance is to have the realization inside us and to do it, gently.


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