GROUP ASSIGNMENT: A SURVEY ON THE NON-MUSLIM SOCIETY TOWARDS ISLAM (A FOCUS ON NON-MUSLIM YOUTH) Introduction Da’wah is compulsory on every Muslim in world. This activity has been done over a long time ago by our Prophet and his Companions. As a Muslim, it is made obligatory upon us to continue this journey by inviting others (non-Muslims) to Islam. This report presents the information about the Perceptions of non-Muslims to Islam. This survey was conducted on April 2013. The purpose of this survey is to investigate the views or opinions of non-Muslims and how deep is their understanding on the teachings of Islam.
The data was collected from non-Muslims by giving them questionnaires relating about Islam. There are 5 questions to be answered. The respondents are mostly young adults from different walks of life, different culture and religion. They are mostly respondents from the area of Klang Valley. We purposely choose the following respondents from the city area as to study how well educated these people are on the teaching of Islam, given the fact that they have many access to know more on the religion. Literature Review Most Common Questions About Islam
Dr. Zakir Naik The book, “Most Common Questions about Islam is written by Dr. Zakir Naik who is a medical doctor graduated from the University of Mumbai. He is recognized as an expert in comparative religion and has dedicated his life since 1991 towards missionary works (dakwah). This book expounds interesting debates and dialogues with the non Muslims. Indeed Islam is a religion of peace and was sent as a mercy to all Mankind. Nevertheless, Islamophobia which is a deep and fear or hatred against Islam is at a worrying state.
Hence there is a dire need for the Muslims to address this issue positively towards the non Muslims. This book aims to clear the misconceptions and negative thinking that may arise among the non Muslims. It attempts to explain Islamic concepts and interpret their meanings in contemporary debates . I believe that the book strives to enhance one’s understanding on the Islamic concepts and teachings. In the Quran it is stated in the following verse of Surah an-Nahl “Invite all to the way of your Lord,with wisdm and beautiful preaching,and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious! (16:25) It is not sufficient to convey only the positive nature of Islam to the non Muslims but it is also our responsibilities to answers some of their questions that have lingered around at the back of their minds. And some of these questions can be actually answered with logical replies . It is believed that With due respect to the author, Dr. Zakir Naik, this book has been divided into the 20 chapters , each chapter dedicated to issues commonly asked by the non Muslims . One of the questions commonly asked are: All religions teach people to be righteous, then why follow Islam?
To answers this question the book begins by stating the major differences between Islam and other religions. It is indeed true that Islam share the same characteristic whereby it upholds righteousness eschew evil. But Islam goes beyond that. Islam provides guidelines towards achieving righteousness and eliminating evil. Islam is portrayed as a comprehensive religion where it has practical solutions to for the problems of mankind. Thus Islam is a best way of life because it is a practical and universal religion not confined to specific tribe, ethnic group or nationality.
As such, the book has successfully answered fundamental questions on certain prohibitions in Islam. For instance, the author gives room for the readers to ponder upon his logical debates on the prohibitions as he included the rationale of prohibition both from the Islamic perspective and logical perspective. We believe that this book is a great and a reliable guide for the non-Muslims out there searching for the true Islam. It also may clear some misconceptions due to their distorted knowledge on Islam. Hidayah of Allah belongs to Him All Alone.
This book may not convince the non-Muslims about the complete truth on Islam but it may at least remove misconceptions about Islam and neutralizing the negative thinking about Islam and Muslims that they may have. In short, we believe that this is a sufficient reading for a modern day Muslims aiming to perform da’wah and as they can become familiar with the great issues and realities attached to the issues commonly asked by the non-Muslims. This book equips them with substantial knowledge desperately need by Muslims especially at these times.
I also believe that this book is a good read to the not yet to be Muslims. This reading will enhance their essential knowledge in Islam which is free from any distortion, parody, discriminations and also far from the interpretations of the extremists and ignorants. Survey Analysis and Conclusion A survey was conducted among the urban non-Muslim youth population in the Klang Valley with a sample size of eight respondents. Five questions were asked in the survey regarding their general perceptions or thoughts on Islam. The questions asked were in the form of multiple-choice question.
A sample of the survey questionnaire is included in Appendix 1 while a bar graph as well as a table of the results is provided in Appendix 2. The first question that was asked to the respondents is to find out the source from where these non-Muslim youths receive information pertaining to Islam. Out of the eight respondents, six of them receive information from the media while the other two found out Islamic news from their friends. None of the respondents obtain any information from their family members on the subject of Islam.
From this data, it shows that the media especially mainstream media are important factors for the da’wah of Islam. These youth s are dependent on the news reported by the media hence, media mass tools should be fully utilized as a means of da’wah. Nevertheless this medium is like a double ended sword whereby in an ideal world it is leverage to Islam but in reality it is the main source of defamation against Islam especially mainstream media in the West. Media manipulation in the West countries creates strife and brews hostility between the non-Muslims and Muslims.
Muslims are depicted are terrorist and Islam is portrayed as a violent religion, a complete reversal from the truth. Malaysia may be blessed with reliant and credible mainstream media outlet that tends to share truthful and unbiased news concerning Islam but with the evolution of technology that makes information accessible from all over the worl The second question inquires these youth about any approaches towards them by Muslim missionaries. All of them share that none had tried to approach them to share information about Islam.
From this result, it is safe to conclude that there is lack of da’wah activities targeting this group of urban non-Muslim youth. Furthermore, this strengthened the notion of that media mass is an influential amongst the youth and this call for actions to curb any misunderstanding that would arise from the manipulated news conveyed by the Western media. Lack of contact with Muslims may result in ignorance and prejudice towards Muslim and should this be the case, it is a threat to the peacefulness of the country in the long run.
The following question asked about the reaction of the respondents should they be approach by someone regarding Islam. Majority of them said that they will politely listen to the person out of respect. One person admitted that he/she will react by ignoring the missionary and only one person confesses to actually ponder upon the information that he/she receives. Based on these data, it seems that ignorance is rather widespread amongst these youth. Although majority of them says that they will politely and respectfully listen to the news, they take the news lightly without giving it much thought.
They seem detached and rather unmoved by the information offered. This may somehow demotivate the missionaries as the thought of unfruitful efforts looms them. Nonetheless, this should not be taken in such a negative light as it is the responsibility of Muslim to convey the true words of Allah but it is beyond human capability to change the heart of the un-Believers as hidayah comes from God and only Him. Hence, it is our responsibility to carry out da’wah and at the same time pray for Allah’s hidayah upon these people. The motive of the fourth question is to discover the first impression of these youth on Islam. out of 8 agrees that Islam is a religion of peace, 3 out of 8 view Islam is only for the Malays and 1 respondent look at Islam as a religion that oppresses it’s follower. None however held the perception of Islam as a terrorist religion. Malaysia is lucky to be a relatively peaceful country despite being multi-religion country. Muslim and non-Muslim lives harmoniously together, respecting each other’s religion and practice. Hence this explains why majority chooses Islam as a peaceful religion. However there is a fine line or a clause drawn on Islam. To the Malaysian on-Muslims, they percept Islam as a religion that is only associated with the Malay. This is contradictory to the teaching of Islam as Allah has decreed Islam as a religion for all mankind from all walks of life. The last question proposed to the respondents further justifies the results from the third question. They were asked regarding to their reaction after receiving new information or knowledge about Islam. A whopping number of 7 out of 8 answered, ‘I do not care’ while only one admitted to actually ponder upon the information and actually seeks more knowledge regarding the matter.
Based on these results, it is safe to conclude that urban non-Muslim youth in Malaysia are rather ignorant and uninterested by Islam. Despite being respectful towards the religion, they are not keen to learn more on the matter and view Islam as something that is not to the concern of the non-Malays who are generally associated with being non-Muslims. However they do not seem to be influenced by the manipulated news spread by the Western media regarding Islam and Muslim. These youth might not be experiencing ‘Islam-phobia’ as some of the non-Muslims in the West, but they are not aware of the true essence or message of Islam.
Hence da’wah geared towards this group of should be carried out more actively to encouraged interestand awareness amongst these youth. APPENDIX 2 Number of Respondents for Each Answers Provided for Each Questions Answer| A| B| C| D| Question 1| 6| 2| 0| | Question 2| 8| 0| | | Question 3| 6| 1| 1| | Question 4| 0| 4| 3| 1| Question 5| 7| 1| | | Table 1 Graph 1 Bibliography Most Common Questions about Islam, by Dr. Zakir Naik. The True Religion, by Bilal Philips. This is the Truth, published by Alharamain Islamic Foundation. Towards Understanding Islam, by Abul A’la al-Mawdudi.
Life After Death (pamplet), by World Assembly of Muslim Youth. Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Quran in the English Language, by Dr. Muhammad Al- Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Khan. The Islamic Affairs Department, The Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, DC. 1989. Understanding Islam and the Muslims, Washington, DC: The Islamic Affairs Department, The Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Al- Hilali, Muhammad T. ; and Muhammad M. Khan. 1994. Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Quran in the English Language. 4th revised ed. Riyadh: Maktaba Darus-Salam.