While studying Physics at college I received an introduction to the scientific method for analysis. This proved to be a defining point in my approach to any thought or idea. Being born into a Muslim family, I began to also inquire about Islam from the perspective of an observer who sought a rational understanding to life and its meaning. From here began my journey of discovering Islam. I have been deeply influenced by the writings of the Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, who has produced a prodigious amount of literature on various aspects of Islam. What appealed me the most in his writings was a certain scientific temper, one that makes Islamic teachings appear so reasonable, full of practical wisdom and at the same time much relevant to an individual today.
I have discovered Islam as a religion that goes beyond narrow, bigoted and parochial mindset. To a believer, Islam provides an interpretation to life that involves considering others as part of the same humanity. To those who do not subscribe to its tenets, Islam offers prudence and foresight on how to traverse the various situations of life. For example, some may interpret patience as being unilaterally passive, but the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, shows how adhering to patience can be planning effectively for the future instead of retaliating to circumstances in an outburst of emotion. We see that if there is one thing that Islam gives to its followers, it is pragmatism of a high kind, to the extent that it even involves engaging positively with one's adversaries. To me personally, the Islamic concept of human life being a potential created by God Almighty is very powerful. We all human beings on earth have to realize this inner potential and convert it into actuality instead of wasting it away. This necessitates cultivating goodness within and being beneficial to all.
The topic of my thesis is “The Qurʾānic Concept of Daʿwah: Contemporary Relevance”. The idea of daʿwah is quite well-known, however, I have seen that people equate it with proselytization. A rigorous study of Qurʾānic verses and related sources conclusively show that daʿwah is conveying of the message contained in the Qurʾān seeking others’ well-wishing, without secretively seeking their conversion to one’s cause. Daʿwah can, in modern parlance, understood essentially as a dialogue on spirituality and the higher purpose of life, showing utmost respect for others' beliefs and not wanting to establish the superiority of one's own ideas on others.