A bro sent me an email telling me about how he was all messed up with jahil ways and came back to deen and now wants to be a diaee. He asked for some advice, and below is what I wrote (plus one or two edits.) He said it was more precious than gold, so I thought if he thought that then some of you might think that too....if you get my drift.
Ok some advice:
This may be obvious, but sincerity is tops. Its no good if its not for Allah alone! Don't look for fame or respect or any of that, 'cause you have to learn not to care to much about people. That doesn't mean like some diaee's think that you have to say everything, there's a time and place.
Next is to read the Quran ALOT. I mean you need to KNOW it, know what it's saying, and think hard. For a while I used to read the whole Quran nearly every week. All the answers are there if you look hard enough and think.
Then you need to read the authentic hadith, Bukhari, Muslim. Riyahus Saliheen should be a companion.
Know the correct aqida, which is the aqida of the Salaf. I recommend Yasir Qadi's books as a good start.
Next know the Seerah, know it so you can sit and tell it from memory, and the stories of the Prophets. Learn to tell them. Sit with your young cousins, nieces and nephews and tell them stories so that they are sitting on the edge of their seats. If you can hold their attention its a good start.
If you want to learn to think on your feet go down to Speakers Corner regularly and speak there. If you can speak there you can speak anywhere!
Then read, read, read....philosophy, history, psychology, science, politics, the classics. Watch good documentaries and through all of this TAKE NOTES and analyze. Write your ideas down, for yourself.
One of the most useful tools I use to prepare my lectures is mind mapping. Tony Bezan is the man, check out his books on the subject.
Then listen to the great diaees and use their ideas and make them your own. Alot of my stuff is borrowed and then made to fit my style. Bilal Phillips, Yusuph Estes, Khalid Yaseen, Dr Zakir Naik and Ahmed Deedat, Yasir Qadi, Abdullah Hakeem Quick are some of the greats and of course there are others. Hey you can even benefit from old Tony Blair, whatever I think of him he was a great orator!
And then did I mention READ! Then read some more.
You'll need to know the great scholars of our times and access their fataws. There's plenty in English, alhamdulillah, and if you don't know ask! If you have any question first research it yourself and try hard to think what the answer might be and then ask the people of knowledge and see if you can know what arguments they use and the evidence they bring. When people ask questions don't give your opinions since in fact your not entitled to one, just to state which scholars position you think is correct.
Always be humble in such matters, and although you may be sure you know the answer there could always be something you or someone missed.
Learn and cultivate good manners and a friendly attitude.
Also don't over do it. Gently, moderately, or else you'll be burnt out!
yours in Islam