“DAWA” (DA’WA) is the Arabic term for “call” or “invitation.” Dawa also refers to a person being “called” to follow Islam. In our US culture the word, is general translated as “outreach.” Practically speaking, the closest concept in our western society is to proselytize, evangelize, or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another. It is a program or a mission in both the political and religious sense.
Dawa is also part of jihad. There are three steps in jihad:
- Step One – “the invitation” to Islam. This is to offer the non-believer the opportunity to respond to the call and voluntarily submit or convert. As a nation, the US has received at least two invitations to Islam one by Osama bin Ladin and another from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
- Step Two – a more intense recruitment through education of the unbelievers (infidels/kafir). If this step is unsuccessful Step 3 is initiated.
- Step Three: Violent force or violent Jihad.