Ramadan, the month of fasting, occupies a special status in the lives of the Muslims wherever they may be living. The ninth month of the Islāmic calendar provides us an opportunity to reflect on what is important to us as Muslims, what goals and aspirations we need to have and actually strive for during our lives, and how we can achieve the pleasure and blessings of Allah especially during this month.
Allah obligates fasting upon the believers during the month of Ramadan while abstaining form even some of the Halal things and acts during the daytime in the month. These acts include abstaining from drinking, eating and having intimate relationship with our spouses.
It is a month to reflect on our past, and make plans for the coming year as to how we are going to become better Muslims, help the needy, and, above all, spread the universal message of Islam to our non-Muslim friends.
One of the most important thing a Muslim can do during Ramadan is spread the divine message of Allah in our respective communities. However, the best way to spread Islam is via social mechanism and not through an insular and theological articulation of the Deen.
One way we can spread the message of Islam in a soft way is to get involved in our community wherever we live, in a positive way. The community does not need to be an Islamic community only. We can help the poor and the needy, the old and the orphan and the homeless and the people in suffering and the list goes on and on. These rightful acts of ours will Inshallah change the way we are perceived by the non-Muslim community members around us.
This becomes especially important in an atheist society like Japan where a certain stigma is involved in religious discussions. The Japanese people may not be very receptive to what you say about the Oneness of Allah, His most important attributes and Muhammad (May Allah be Pleased with him) being the last Messenger of Allah. However, they will be very positive if you become active in the community and extend help wherever it may be needed
This phenomenon has been especially very prevalent during the recent earthquake and the ensuing Tsunami and the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.
One other way to spread the true and simple message of Islam is to improve relationship with the local electronic and print media to improve the image of Islam as Japanese people strongly believe in what their media conveys to them.
Yet another way to spread the Dawah activities is to actively exchange gifts with your non-Muslim Japanese friends as this is considered one of the most important tradition in the Japanese society and culture.
Unfortunately, one of the major hurdle in Japan we face as Muslim daees or callers to Islam is the language barrier. Most of us who were born in foreign countries, can not express ourselves properly in Japanese language. That makes difficult for us to convince Japanese people to actually understand what Islam is about.
To help solve that problem, we could, start learning the language serious with the intention of spreading Dawah and educate our children who are either born here or are at such a stage in their lifetimes when learning the japanese language is easy for them. They are in better position to immerse themselves in the culture and give the true message of Islam.