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Why People Refuse to

Embrace Islam
Lecture by: Abu Az-Zubayr Shadeed Muhammad
Saturday, February 27,2010

Jamila Hoque

All praise is for Allah, Lord of the universe. And may His peace and blessings be upon the
foremost of those who fear Allah and the seal of the prophets (Muhammad), as well as his
family, his companions and (all) those who follow them in righteousness, until the Day of

The following is a brief introduction to the guest speaker Abu az-Zubayr Shadeed
Muhammad, taken from
“Guest Speaker: Abu az-Zubayr Shadeed Muhammad is a recent graduate of The
Islamic University of Madeenah, from the faculty of hadeeth. He had the honor of
studying under the Senior Islamic Scholars, such Allaamah Shaykh Abdu-Muhsin al-
Abbaad, Shaykh Abdur-Razzaq al-Abbaad, Shaykh Muhammad bin Hadee al-
Madkhalee, Shaykh Abdullaah al-Bukhari and several other scholars, may Allaah
{preserve all of them}. He is one of the translators for and an active
Da’iyah (inviting the people to Islam) in The United States of America and thought out
the world.”
To examine four possible reasons why non-Muslims might refuse to embrace Islam.

We must understand that ultimately, guidance is from Allah only. So, even if these four
issues are present, a person can overcome them and follow the straight path only if
Allah chooses to guide them. However, understanding the obstacles that non-Muslims,
and “non practicing Muslims” undergo, can help in giving dawah.

Obstacle I: Islam is Strange and Unique

I. The first obstacle kaffirs face in embracing Islam is that the religion is
strange and unique.

“It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may
peace be upon him) said: Islam initiated as something strange, and it would revert to
its (old position) of being strange. so good tidings for the stranger. (Book #001,
Hadith #0270) “

II. When Islam first emerged, it emerged into a society where polytheism was
the norm. The basic tenets of Islam goes against all of which was practiced
(polytheism and idolatry) at the time. Islam did 2 things:
a. It was unique among the practices of the Arabs, and it is still unique
among the disbelievers today.
b. It threatened the ways of the Arabs, and it threatens the ways of the non-
believers today. Part of this threat is because it is unique, and things,
which are unique, are perceived as threats.
o People either embrace Islam for being unique or were
intimidated by it because they are not used to it. Those who
embrace it are usually those who are optimistic about life.
People generally are reluctant to accept Islam because they are
ignorant about it and they don’t care to learn about it.

III. The concept of “God” is distorted to them.

 The word God in Arabic is “Al Ilah (Allah) – the one true God”
 The word “God” does not have value anymore.
 The Greek starting using the term “Goddess,” attributing gender to the
term God, and even pluralized it.
 Disbelievers attributes the word God to humans who they believe are
masters of something.
 On the other hand, in Arabic, Allah has no plural form or gender.
 This is the proper name for God because the word “God” is a generic
term and can be applied to anyone, which subtracts from the value of the
word. But the word “Allah” should only be used for the Sustainer and
Creator of this World.

IV. Part of the uniqueness of Islam is that Allah protects the Qur’an from being

“Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur'ân) and
surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” (Surah Al Hijr, 9)

However, other books are not in their original forms, and some Jews and
Christians will admit that their books have been altered.

V. Muslims stand out and disbelievers do not embrace this because they
mistake this standing out for arrogance and have the mentality of “you
think you’re better than me?”
 They don’t take the time to consider why the Muslim seemed better than
 People don’t know, either because they just don’t know or because they
don’t care to know.
 Often the hijab of a sister is what makes disbelievers behave in this way.
They will mockingly ask a sister if they are hot in all that clothing. They
don’t take the time to think it through and that is why they cannot
appreciate the discipline and the steadfastness it takes to keep on
wearing the hijab even in extreme heat.
Allah says in the Qur’an

” Those who stayed away (from Tabuk expedition) rejoiced in their staying behind the
Messenger of Allâh; they hated to strive and fight with their properties and their lives in
the Cause of Allâh, and they said: "March not forth in the heat." Say: "The Fire of Hell is
more intense in heat", if only they could understand!” (Surah At-Tawba, 81)

VI. Islam is intimidating

 It can make someone from the lowest classes of society look upon the
world as if they were kings. For example, during the time of the Prophet
(SAW), slaves rose up to become dignified and proud. Bilal was the first
 It imbues dignity and pride.
 When the king of Rome, Heracles, heard of the Prophet Muhammad
(SAW) emerging, this was his dialogue with Abu Sufyan (as according to
the lecturer):

Heracles: “I heard that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had emerged, but I

did not think that he was from you (the Arabs; this is because prior to the
Rasulullah (SAW), the lineage of Prophets was from the Jews)and if this is
the truth, then I swear his dominion will continue to grow until it reaches
the very place where my two feet are at, and if I met him personally, I
would wash his feet out of respect for him. When someone embraces
Islam, does he or she at some point reject the religion and return back to
their original religion.”

Abu Sufyan: “No, when a Muslim, when a person embraces Islam, he

never retracts his religion.”

Heracles: “That is the nature of true faith when it comes in contact with
the heart.”
 This is the king of Rome at the time, who acknowledges the power and
force of Islam. Islam imbues people with a certain level of richness.
 Many societies today are filled with crimes beyond what one could
fathom. Those who commit these crimes, go to prison, embrace Islam
and become an incredibly refined individual.
 Disbelievers don’t question the force behind this change, they say “I
wonder how long this will last”
 Even if the change is temporary, one has to realize the force that made
this sort of change is huge.
 Through arrogance, envy and hatred for the religion, disbelievers mock
the individuals and overlook the changes.

Obstacle II: Fear of Losing Worldly Possessions

I. This fear of losing possessions comes from a distorted view of Islam.
 Disbelievers will say that Islam has “too many restrictions, it’s too strict of
a regiment for me to embrace right now because I am enjoying the
transient goods of this life”
 Islam does not forbid us from enjoying the goods of this life, however it is
there unrealistic, unpragmatic view of Islam that makes them say this.
 Islam has always encouraged the Muslim to work and be self-sufficient.
 There was a companion about the Sahabah (RA) of the Prophet (SAW)
that if their whip fell out of there riding camel or horse, they would get
down and get it rather than asking someone to pick it up for them
because Islam encourages self sufficiency and refraining from asking
people for stuff.
 Need to be self sufficient all around: financially, in terms of knowledge
(must seek knowledge of the religion!), and all around.

“ It Is narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. Mas'ud that the Apostle of

Allah (may peace be upon him), observed: He who has in his heart the
weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise. A person
(amongst his hearers) said: Verily a person loves that his dress should be
fine, and his shoes should be fine. He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: Verily,
Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of
self-conceit) and contempt for the people. (Book #001, Hadith #0164)”

 The hadeeth above was worded differently and/or is a slightly different

hadeeth than the one the speaker said: the man asked what if a person
asked the Prophet (SAW) whether a man who likes his garments and his
shoes to be fine is proud or not. The Prophet (SAW) answered that
“Indeed, Allah is beautiful, and He loves Beauty and Allah loves to see the
traces of his bounty on his slave.” (Riyaad-us-Saliheen ?)
 Islam allows us to enjoy the pleasures of this life, however, Islam puts the
world possessions in perspective.
 We don’t get things for showing off, we get obtain what is necessary and
suffice ourselves with that.
 Chasing after worldly possessions is a vicious cycle that never ends.
 Islam is not a threat to your worldly agenda, it puts your worldly agenda
in proper perspective.
 The non believers don’t understand that Allah is in possession of all, to
him is the dominion of the heavens and the earth.

”And in the heavens is your provision and what you have been promised.”
(Ad-Dhariyat, 22)
Allah gives and takes/ gives and withholds.

Allah also says in a Hadith Qudsi (this is taken straight from the lecture):
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says that Allah (SWT) says “There are some
from among my slaves, who I keep them rich, because if I was to make
them poor, they would not worship me. And there are some from among
my slaves, who I keep them poor, because if I were to enrich them, they
would not worship me.”

II. Fear of losing possessions also comes from a heart that is attached to the

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Let the slave of Dinar and
Dirham of Quantify and Khamisa (i.e. money and luxurious clothes) perish
for he is pleased if these things are given to him, and if not, he is
displeased!" Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, " Let the slave of
Dinar and Dirham, of Quantify and Khamisa perish as he is pleased if
these things are given to him, and if not, he is displeased. Let such a
person perish and relapse, and if he is pierced with a thorn, let him not
find anyone to take it out for him. Paradise is for him who holds the reins
of his horse to strive in Allah's Cause, with his hair unkempt and feet
covered with dust: if he is appointed in the vanguard, he is perfectly
satisfied with his post of guarding, and if he is appointed in the rearward,
he accepts his post with satisfaction; (he is so simple and unambiguous
that) if he asks for permission he is not permitted, and if he intercedes, his
intercession is not accepted." (Sahih Bukhari, Book 52 (Jihad), 137)

 Fear of loss among Muslims comes from lack of trust in Allah, because Allah
is Ar-Razzaq, The Provider, and provision is from him.
 Among the kuffar, it comes from the lack of knowledge that Allah is in
 Some people feel that embracing Islam would be a threat to their worldly
agenda but Islam actually puts your worldly agenda into proper perspective.
This misconception comes as a result of their distorted perception of Islam.
 Sometimes people think that Islam is too strict of a regiment to embrace; this
unrealistic perception of Islam is what hinders them from accepting Islam.
But the truth is that Islam encourages self-sufficiency and the only way a
person can be self-sufficient (economically) is by earning for himself. Also,
every Muslim (both male and female) has the right to be self-sufficient in
terms of knowledge of the Deen.
 Islam does not discourage a person from obtaining worldly possessions
however what Islam does is that it puts the position of these worldly
possessions in their proper perspective.

III. There are many reasons for humans not being able to obtain something.
a. Allah (SWT) may test us with labor. We may put forth the labor and not
see the fruits of it. Many scholars of Islam never saw the fruits of their
labor, but we are now enjoying those fruits.
b. Allah may keep it for us in the here after.
c. Allah may withhold something from us and give us something better.
d. Allah may keep it from us because it has no good for us (or it may be bad
for us).
e. There are many more reasons and Allahu ‘alaam. (These are just
speculations of reasons)

Obstacle III: Precedence is Given to Desires

I. Many people will not embrace Islam because they give precedence to their
personal desires over pleasing Allah.
 Islam puts this in perspective!

”And I did not create jinn and men except that they should worship Me”
(Surah Ad-Dhariyat, verse 56)

 This doesn’t mean that we should stay in the Masjid and pray all
II. Islam broadens the scope of worship.
 Worship is not simply mechanical motions. There is much depth to worship.
 Even smiling to your brother, shaking their hand, and even being intimate
with ones wife—are acts of worship

Abu Dharr reported: some of the people from among the Companions of the
Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said to him: Messenger of Allah, the
rich have taken away (air the) reward. They observe prayer as we do; they keep
the fasts as we keep, and tray give Sadaqa out of their surplus riches. Upon this
he (the Holy Prophet) said: Has Allah not prescribed for you (a course) by
following which you can (also) do sadaqa? In every declaration of the
glorification of Allah (i. e. saying Subhan Allah) there is a Sadaqa, and every
Takbir (i. e. saying Allah-O-Akbar) is a sadaqa, and every praise of His (saying al-
Hamdu Lillah) is a Sadaqa and every declaration that He is One (La illha ill-Allah)
is a sadaqa, and enjoining of good is a sadaqa, and forbidding of that which is
evil is a Sadaqa, and in man's sexual intercourse (with his wife, ) there is a
bdSadaqa. They (the Companions) said: Messenger of Allah, is there reward for
him who satisfies his sexual passion among us? He said: Tell me, if he were to
devote it to something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he
were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward. (Muslim, Book
#005, Hadith #2198)

 If a person follows desires, he becomes confused and lost, and despairs.

Obstacle IV: The Imprudent Character of Many Muslims

*** This is a reminder for all ***
I. Many non-Muslims see Muslims as angelic beings and point out every little
 Example: Smoking is haraam, but some Muslims smoke. When a non-
Muslim sees this he might say “You’re not supposed to smoke a cigarette,
you’re a Muslim!”
 This statement shows two things:
i. Knowledge of haraam/halal
ii. Expectations of Muslims are exaggerated

II. Many Muslims are not conscious of their roles in propagating Islam and
their roles in its hindrance.
 Muslims are da’iy through our character, speech, appearance and all
forms of communication.
 Islam does not make distinction in character towards Muslims and non-
Muslims. Muslims should display good character towards both Muslims
and non-Muslims.


We ask Allah to envelope us in His mercy and guidance. We ask Him to give us patience
on embarking on this path of da’wa. Oh Allah Teach us that which benefits us, and
benefit us from that which You have taught us, and make us of those who listen to the
Word [good advice Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh) and
Islâmic Monotheism, etc.] and follow the best thereof (i.e. worship Allâh Alone, repent to
Him and avoid Tâghût, etc.) May Allah increase us in unity upon His Tawheed and the
following of His messenger (SAW). We ask Allah for His love, the love of those whom love
Allah, and those whom Allah loves. Ameen.