So there’s this jehovah’s witness lady who rides my bus. She’s quite nice, and I used to sit next to her often. However, our schedules have changed and we don’t take the same bus anymore.
As an ardent JW, she would try to share her faith with me every time we saw each other. I nod, smile, take the occasional magazine, and in time, I pointed her towards the husband. The husband actually enjoys talking with proselytizers. Unfortunately, he has a knack for scaring them away. When the mormons came knocking, he was happy to talk, but when he asked if they had the signs of faith in Mark 16:17-18, ie they’d be able to drink poison, they left rather quickly.
The JW lady set him up to talk with several different “brothers,” all of whom got frustrated with my husband questions about scriptural discrepancies and stopped returning his emails and refused to meet with him. For a group of people who profess to be serious students of the bible, they weren’t very good at answering questions about the scripture. The last brother actually told my husband to just read the message and stop concentrating on the text itself. The husband countered that if the text is flawed, how could anyone believe the message?
Last year, we had the JW lady and some of her friends over to our apartment. Their goal was to do some witnessing. My goal was to do some reverse dawah. I cleaned everything from top to bottom, and prepared fresh fruit and dessert. She couldn’t stop thanking me for being so kind to them, that normally people were very terse when they came around. I explained that our Prophet (saws) made hospitality a matter of faith:
Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let them treat their guest generously. (Bukhari, Muslim, others)
And that it was my duty to make them feel comfortable. Then they got into the discussion with my husband re: the bible. No headway was made. After awhile, the JW’s friends started to look uncomfortable, so they prepared to leave. As they were about to head out the door, I pulled a few qurans off the shelf and offered them. They refused. I was floored. Here was had given them the opportunity to preach their faith to us, offered them the hospitality of our home, and they refused a gift in kind? After that, I began to politely decline the offers of magazines and discussions on the bus. If you’re going to witness, at least be open to witnessing in kind.
My husband still sees the JW lady on the bus on occasion. This morning, he called me up as I walked to work, and was very excited. He’d been having an email discussion with the JW lady recently, and this morning on the bus, she gave him a list of questions for him to answer about islam. Alhamdulilah, her first interest in the religion, aside from a few passing questions about the end of times.
Make dua for Allah (swt) to open her heart and to guide our hands as we answer these questions.