Training Day was a professional, inspiring, participant-centered weekend long workshop that was worth every bit of time spent in attendance. Through the use of multimedia presentations, discussion based case studies, and the participant booklet, participants of all learning styles and all levels of current dawah involvement could easily engage with the materials. As an MSA executive and a sister, I found the materials relevant and realistic and not only was information given, but there were opportunities to practice new skills at the workshop through subsequent follow up activities.
The workshop took place in a university lecture hall—but it was transformed through the energy of the speaker and the unified intentions of the participants. The training addressed common pitfalls in dawah head on—from: Do I know enough to do dawah to how? to How to answer someone who asks impossible questions? I was given the tools, inspiration, and the confidence to take what I learned in the training and put it into practice right away (in fact, a group of the sisters did while taking the bus home together).
I think the most effective part of the workshop was how the presenter integrated examples from the life of the Prophet (SAW) and the Companions and applied these to our time. In this way, the tools that we were given were not just simply best practices from the secular world, but they were directly from the best examples ever to live. No longer were the excuses of different styles or levels of knowledge sufficient when confronted with the similarities between their circumstances and ours.
I have been to dawah training workshops in the past and they have taken different approaches and suffice it to say, I came out with only a superficial level of understanding of dawah at best. This workshop was totally different—it approached dawah holistically and imparted one central message on participants—a sense of Tawheed upon those who are receiving dawah. We were also given the tools to better present ourselves when presenting dawah and to be clear and direct in our dawah, instead of sinking into comparison and clouding over the message of Islam.
Overall, the workshop was interactive, engaging and impactful. It transformed my perceptions of dawah and my dawah presentation and gave me the confidence step up the dawah efforts within my MSA. Alhumdulliah, I am glad I was able to make it and will continue to be engaged with NYMink through their activities and events.
To see pictures from Training Day Vancouver 2009, please click here…