I read on one of the motivational blogs this advice (given to a graduate student by his mentor):
When I started doing my own research after completing my graduate coursework, I was advised by a mentor to have three descriptions of my work ready to recite at a moment’s notice: a three-minute overview, a 12-minute presentation, and a half-hour discussion. The three-minute version is what you tell someone when you’re sharing an elevator at an academic conference; the 12-minute version is suitable for giving a conference presentation; and the half-hour version is what you pull out when you’re sitting down for an interview with a potential funder or getting permission from a local community to do research there.
What a great advice which one can implement in almost every field of life to give an introduction to things like your job, your country, your opinions on a certain topic but most importantly YOUR DEEN: ISLAM.
We as Muslims living in the West have a mission to explain our beliefs to people; our job is to be messengers for our faith. We will not force anyone to accept it but the least we owe ourselves and the people who live in our circles is to give them a brief introduction to our religion.
Ask any Muslim (including myself): tell me about your religion? or why do you consider your religion to be the truth? Most people would start up by saying: uhmm, well, you see, in Islam, we worship one God and you know….. or they would just say the 5 pillars of Islam. The listener deserves a more intellectual, thorough and complete response about something that we consider to be very important to us.
This is what made someone like Sheikh Deedat (may Allah have mercy on him) and Dr. Zakir Naik so effective: preparation and intellectual sentence structure.
My resolution for this coming time of my life is to invite someone to Islam. To tell him: Give me 3 minutes of your time and I will tell you all about my religion.
Ofcourse, this needs some dedication and research. I have outlined some steps which I will try to carry out inshaa’ Allah (God willing). If you have modifications/additions please list them down. My plan is to have something in written form around February of 2008. Attached is a mind map to achieve this resolution.