Ep. 2 Common Sense Agreement | Mission Dawah - Online Training

Uploaded by iERAuk on 11.07.2012

As-salamu 'alaykum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatuhu,
welcome to the second episode
in the MissionDawah.com online dawah training course
with Abdurraheem Green. Now, Abdurraheem, the question that I have for you is:
you know, previously, we discussed the GORAP method,
but what in some situations might happen is that you go through the GORAP method, and the
person that you're speaking to may say to you, "Do you know what?
I just feel my religion is true, or my parents, I just follow what they follow."
so is there any way that we can counter that early on so we don't go into
that kind of situation?
Well first of all, if a person did say that,
I would talk to them about the problem, the issue between subjective and objective truths.
Now, what does that basically mean is there's some things that may seem true to an indivdual
and they are, to that individual, they're absolutely true.
But there's no way to prove that to everybody else.
You may feel certain things, no one can deny those feelings.
"Uh... i'm in love with such and such person."
How do you prove it?
You can't, it's a feeling that you have but it's certainly true to you, but how can you
prove that to everybody else? Well, I mean, maybe you could by
displaying certain things that we agree a person who loves another would do those type of things.
But I think you get my point. Whereas an objective truth is something we can all,
exact like a scientific truth,
and the power of scientific truths is that they're objective.
Anyone can observe,
and examine,
and cross-examine the data
So I say the problem with
what you're saying
the person who says that, "I feel it", is that,
I don't, I would say to them,
"I'm not trying to
disrespect your feelings or your convictions, but
a Buddhist might say the same thing, or a Hindu might say the same thing, or a
Christian, or even an atheist,
even a person who's into snow boarding,
you know, he may say, "That change my life."
So that fact that something changed your life, makes you feel good, lots of other people
can make claims
and they believe different things,
so why is your religion true,
where everyone else's is not true, and you've got no way of distinguishing
except 'That's what I feel'?"
So I think it's really problematic, it's not a useful way of
trying to sort out what's the right religion from the wrong religion,
but what you can do
is counter that, uh... is build into your conversation something
that from the very beginning makes sure that when you're having a conversation,
this is very useful, when you're having a conversation with someone about a topic as controversial as religion,
you need to establish from the very beginning,
what's the basis on which we're having this conversation?
And it's not just "I feel that," a person may say, "Well I just follow what my parents taught."
That's another thing.
"I'm just following the religion, isn't that what everyone should do?"
So from the very beginning, to counter those type of objections,
which are not really objections or to counter you having to sort of go right
back from the beginning,
why not introduce from the beginning
the idea that
we are going to have a conversation
and we're going to use our common sense and reason to come to conclusions?
So when we make a decision about what's the purpose of life, why are we here, what's this all about,
don't you think the best thing to use
is the thing we use everyday to make such decisions - common sense and reason?
So that's the benefit of it, so
in GORAP, before you GORAP,
it's very useful if you can,
and it depends, I mean everything depends, every situation is different, but again,
that's my,
my basic,
whenever I can, when i'm having a GORAP conversation with people,
I get them to agree
about the use of common sense and reason and that's, and I,
that's why I use what I call 'the device', the conversation device,
the 'man in the red underpants.'
What would you do if a man
nothing, waering nothing, but you could use whatever you like, maybe you don't feel
comfortable, sisters might not feel comfortable, masha'Allah, about mentioning a man in red underpants,
some sister says the man in the, whatever. No problem, that's, whatever you feel comfortable with.
I used to say,
uh... what would you do if a guy with tattoos, 'love' and 'hate' and dressed in a
leather jacket like a Hell's Angel came knocking and said, "I've come to read the gas meter."
What would you do?
Most people say, "I'd tell him,
I wouldn't even answer the door, I'd tell him to go away and..."
And I'd say, "Well why?
Why would you do that?"
"Well, because he doesn't look like the gas man." I say, "OK, so what process did you use
to come to that conclusion?"
What we're trying to get from them,
and if they don't say it, you can
offer it to them, it's actually a basic type of reasoning, this is reasoning
in it's most basic fundamental level.
What I do is compare what I know of the information I know,
the man who reads the gas meter usually
looks like this, wears this, has this
computer thing, you know, has a uniform, has an ID badge, just certain things that
we know from our experience,
and this does not match our experience, so that analysis,
comparing those two things, this is reasoning this is us reasoning.
In this instance it happens on a very fast level.
Sometimes reasoning takes a long time,
but the process that we use to make sense of what's going on around us is reason,
that's what we use.
So if we use reason
for something like this
and why would you not let this guy into the house? 'Cause you're afraid he may
rob you or something worse.
If you're, if you're using reason to protect your life and your property,
how about something potentially even more significant than that?
The very meaning of life itself.
Don't you think we should use reason to try and understand
what's the meaning of life, why we're here, what's it all about?
And that's why, by the way, the whole purpose of life
is a really good device as well, a conversation starter.
So do you understand?
That's why it's a nice idea, it establishes the premise. Now what is
really great is that if later on in the conversation - this happened to me several
times, including recently it happened - but, alhamdulillah,
I learned from my mistake the first time. I spent forty minutes talking with the
Hari Krishna right going through the whole of the GORAP. He agreed with me.
Everything, "Yeah, I agree, I agree,"
right until the end.
And then he started saying, "Hare Krishna's the incarnation of God."
I said, "Wait a minute, we agreed that God was this...."
He said, "Yeah, but
some things, you know, you can't explain by reason, you know..." and then he started saying, "Do
we even know if we're real, or what's real and what's not?" And it's like, "What did I
waste my forty minutes for?"
If I'd gone right from the beginning
by saying we're going to use reason, right,
uh... then we'd, straight away I'd say to him, "Yeah but you agreed from the beginning."
And alhamdulillah, recently, now I've incorporated that, I had a very memorable
conversation I had
with a Christian, and the same thing, I went through GORAP, but this time I started
by getting him to agree,
the man in the red underpants. Now,
the nice thing was, further on in the conversation when we got to this issue of
Jesus being the son of God, he said, "Yeah but, you know, you can't understand these
things," and I said,
"Do you remember the man in the red underpants? Do you remember what we agreed?"
And he just went, "Oh yeah."
See, so the thing was, "We'd agreed, so why are you throwing reason out the window now?
You know, you have to, you have to give a reason why you're throwing reason out the window."
So that's why, that's why it is beneficial.
And so, really, GORAP is based upon a lot of experience. Maybe it doesn't
happen, maybe the person, you know, I've had conversations where I haven't had to.
In ten minutes i've gone through the basics and
the person's become Muslim.
But, you know, generally if they're gonna have that conversation, it's very useful to introduce that,
and the reason is,
so that later on, a person doesn't pull out, you know, pull out the joker.
You know, 'cause that's what it's like, pulling out the joker, and it's like, oh, you know,
and then you have to sort of go back to the beginning, and then you might think, "Why do I
bother with this conversation?" So that's the benefit of introducing the importance
of why we're gonna use reason, why we're going to use common sense, let's agree
that's what we're gonna use to make a decision about these things. So basically, just from,
you know, before you start the conversation, going into the GORAP,
you just say to them firstly, you know, we're gonna agree to use common sense and
reason and experience, do you agree upon that?
Basically, would you agree that the best way to understand,
I mean you should give them some examples, show them that, look this is what we
use all the time to make our decisions,
so why not,
why not use it for this conversation as well? Now, I mean, occasionally that
may itself be
a different conversation which we don't deal with,
and you may learn that, as you get more advanced in dawah, a person may say, "No, I
don't agree to use..." so what do you say then? That's a whole different topic,
but I haven't actually met anyone yet who's said that,
But there will be one, for sure there will be one and you know
there's ways to deal with that as well.
But generally, what can you say?
And you know, why would you use, and then, even, if a person this is, this is
what you would respond to them with,
even if a person says, "No, we don't use reason," they have to give a reason why they
don't use reason. Everything has to be explained through reason.
Jazakallahu khayran Abdurraheem.
So this has been the second episode
in our online dawah training course series, so insha'Allah,
we'll be seeing you in the next episode
where we'll be discussing
God's existence.
As-salamu 'alaykum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatuhu.