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Ask A Muslim: The Role Of Missions

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By Maimoona Harrington

Reader Question:

What does the role of missions look like in modern Islam? Is it an active field I am just not aware of? Or is gaining converts seen as less necessary than in lets’ say Christianity?  

Ask A Muslim Answer:

Islamic missionary work is referred to as “Dawah” in Islam. The words mean to invite, invite others to Islam. It is often used interchangeably with the word “Tabligh” for the propagation of faith. Generally it’s  considered the duty of every Muslim to invite non-Muslims to Islam through behavior, logical and evidential explanations.

Missionary Islam

Missionary Islam is still active in modern Islam in different forms. Sometimes it’s through invitation into Islam, sometimes through revivalism.

One of the missionary group from South East Asia is called “Tablighi Jama’at.” It’s a contemporary Muslim transnational movement. It originated in the sub-continent of Indo-Pak, which is now India and Pakistan and then expanded into the rest of the world. It’s still an active missionary organization. It does not only invite people to Islam but also assists in the resolution of different issues for Muslims worldwide. For example, in 2007 they partnered with the local Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin in France in building a mosque in the southern city of Marseille that the local Muslims were unable to build.

Its global reach is all over the world and they are presently still actively preaching and inviting people to Islam in Africa, Europe and the West.

A Duty in Islam

As stated above it’s considered the duty of a Muslim to invite and preach Islam. Therefore most organizations or movements with Islamic background and agenda actively preach, though in the modern world some are related to teaching fundamental Islam.

Thus the role of missions is still active in modern Islam by traditional organizations or movements however, with diverse point of views and agendas of the missions.

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