One month in 2013, I attended a da’wah training by a local ustadh.
It was quite basic, but still hardcore nonetheless.
What we had to do was, at one time, bracing a really strong current at a river and going against it. At the end of the river, we had to climb to a high stone and then jumped to the waterfall and let ourselves be taken by the current again back to the starting point. So exhilarating, but I freaked out and fell down so many times when I went against the river. It was full of stones, really slippery stones.
But, I learned some important lessons about how to go about when you are going against the streams. Which you will be required to do, a lot of time, in this field of work called ‘da’wah’.
First, be safe and protect yourself, survey the area and put in some security measures before you go against it. The team did it with really strong ropes to hold onto. This is your “backend” or “back office” work – know your truth and know that you are going against the stream for something that is truly worth it.
Second, going against the current takes a crew. Countless people were helping me, cheering me on, and making sure we are safe. Going against the stream is a tough job that requires a company. You are going to need friends for that moral support or any kind of support, really.
Third, you absolutely need something strong to hold on to so that when you fall or when you are weak you don’t get pushed back by the strong current. It was those stones that enable me to rest while I was feeling weak. I just held onto them and then I was able to continue again. In life, what makes you continue when all the fiber of your beings propel you to not do so? Is it your remembrance of Allah? The nagging need to do something before your time is up? Your knowledge about your sins and His Greatness? Or is it your strength of purpose? Whatever it is, hold on to them strongly in weak moments.
Fourth, as much as it is about your ability to go against the current, it is also about your ability to let go and follow the natural course of things, adjusting as needed. After all, Allah is in control of the circumstances and results, not you. At the end of the struggle, we must know how to let go, fall into the decisions of Allah and surrender to His plan. He might take you high, but you must remember to let go of control. He will always bring you where you are supposed to be, anyway.