Assalamualaikum everyone. I pray you are all well. I wanted to share a reflection with you all, and especially with our da’wah workers today.
Looking at history and usage of radio decades ago; radio executives introduced the evening news as a free service with a partial aim to balance the public’s view about them due to the increased profits that radio stations enjoyed from their music initiatives.
The news was something that people needed, even though they did not want it, and the radio stations would do their part in giving something back to the communities they made their money from as a result.
As time went by, and as the different reality dramas overtook the globe, such as revolutions and wars, the evening news began to become popular as the masses would gather around the radio waiting for the evening news slot to begin in order to gather the latest turns and twists to the world’s reality. Human beings have a history of being intrigued by drama, and a ‘reality drama’ was a drama on steroids!
Radio executives absolutely noticed the up rise in the evening news radio audience, and with abundance (increased wealth) coming into people’s homes in the eighties, and consumerism climbing to an all time high; they pounced on the opportunity and found ways to monetize the evening news and generate income from a sector that was designed initially to give back.
Initially, the radio station was there to serve the news. The news was not in place to serve the radio stations growth & profits’ charts.
With the new paradigm shift, and the news now being popular, the evening news started to shift from a radio program designed to give people what they ‘needed’ to know, even though they did not ‘want’ it, to a program that gave people what they ‘wanted’ to know even though they did not ‘need it’ !
With ‘quantity’ becoming the order of the day, and ‘quality’ becoming a side show, the news with time began to lose integrity…
I ponder over the above in light of the da’wah age we live in with commercialism at an all time high, and try to derive parallels between the radio scenario and some da’wah realities today.
To avoid this post becoming longer than it already is, and to instigate some critical thinking excercises and discussions into our daily da’wah operations; I share the following short paragraphs…
Do we as organizations serve the purpose of the dawah, or is the dawah there to serve our organizations?
When we call on khateebs, lecturers and even Islamic graduates for our masjid, organizational and even media programs & events; do we look for the person who can can add the most, or even more value because he is more qualified on a topic or area of study, or are our decisions driven by ‘public demand’ or perhaps whoever is just available?
When we choose seminars dedicated to teaching people their betterment in this life & the next; do we choose the topic that sells & appeals to the masses, or the topic that people really need to know, even though they may not want to know it?
I’m not trying to over simplify the complexities of the da’wah situation today, however I am asking…
“Are we here to serve the purpose and success of the da’wah, or is the da’wah here to serve the purpose and success of ourselves?”
If the reality is indeed the former; ‘quality’ and not ‘quantity’ will be the order of the day.
If the reality is indeed the former; our focus will be on the paradigm of ‘need’ and not ‘want’.
We must fix whatever requires fixing, and fast, and protect the da’wah efforts from ever losing it’s integrity because of our actions. Remember, we have to stand in front of Allah Almighty one day and we will be questioned about our decisions & choices.
May Allah forgive our past and inspire our futures. Ameen.
Ps. The initial thoughts on the Radio & the evening news was provided by Simon Sinek in his book, Leaders Eat Last.
Shaikh Sajid Umar