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Dawah in a New Era: Mohammad Hijab and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis

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By Daanyaal Matthews

Being a Muslim in the 21st Century is marred with challenges never before seen. One principal issue is keeping ones Iman (faith) given the vices offered on social media, as with a finger snap one could engage in haram (forbidden acts) whether willing or not. While the ills offered by social media have been well documented what should also be noted is the opportunity it provides for da’wah (invitation to Islam) and upliftment. This opportunity to spread the word of Islam, and its beauty, have been taken by Mohammad Hijab and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis. Two individuals who dedicate themselves to spreading the word of Islam through highlighting its benefits in the Western ideological paradigm they exist in by challenging others to discussions. 

These discussions serve as a pillar for many to lean on when questioned, as these talks often offer those listening a means of understanding the rhetoric employed by detractors of Islam while serving as a form of reminder to the astute. 

While Mohammad Hijab is well known for his speeches, and extravagant rhetoric, he is also an academic. Hijab is best described as a Philosopher of Religion with the following credentials: an MA in Islamic Studies acquired at the SOAS University in London; a BA in politics, and history, acquired at Queen Mary University in London; an MTH in Applied Theology acquired at the University of Oxford.  

Mohammad Hijab began his internet journey by teaching others how to pronounce Arabic words, with his first series titled: “How to pronounce the Arabic Alphabet!”. While he received moderate support for these videos, he truly drew attraction through his interactions with individuals outside of Islam through debate with the aim of broadcasting the religion through juxtaposition. These Interactions that would usually include debating with Christians, Jews, and Atheists. Through these interactions he often attempts to educate others by highlighting the ideological differences between religions to expose the issues in other ideologies while broadcasting the enlightenment of Islam. These talks have both been applauded and criticized. To Hijabs detractors he is nothing more than an instigator, a man searching for something to complain about to grab clicks, while to his supporters he is a bastion of Islam, an individual that defends the religion while educating the masses on current affairs topics with a Sharia (Islamic law) lens. 

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, is a philosopher, essayist, public speaker, and writer, being the author of The Divine Reality: God, Islam & The Mirage of Atheism. Tzortzis has dedicated his existence to challenging Western ideologies and beliefs. Tzortzis manner of broadcasting Islam is not much different to that of Hijab, with both attempting to highlight the beauty of Islam through contrast, with Tzortzis focusing on academia. With this in mind it should come as no surprise that Tzortzis largely dedicates his talks to answering questions that plague Muslims across the globe especially in an era when every aspect of the religion is questioned from all sides. 

Tzortzis is most famous for his discussion on atheism, one that he dedicates his book towards. These discussions often take place through a deconstruction of arguments against the belief in God by pointing out the ideological inaccuracies whilst showcasing why there is a necessity for Islam. This is accomplished by pointing at social ills in our society that the religion addresses as Tzortzis often aims to educate the ignorant on the benefits Islam has not only introspectively but additionally in society as a way of life for all. 

While the opinion, and approach, of both these speakers has been contentious, what is true is that both Mohammad Hijab and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis are individuals concerned with the mentality of the modern Muslim. While Hijab usually takes to the street, or his couch, to vocalize the beauty of Islam through debate and da’wah. Tzortzis’ resolve is in academia, with his talks, while also being in debate format, serve to educate the masses, but most importantly Ummah, on the answers that lie within the religion in the face of an era where truth is both oscillating and esoteric. 

You can catch both these wonderous speakers by tuning into Voice of the Cape Radio on Tuesday (August, 1st 2023) as both speakers join Sheikh Essa Sami Aljazary on Madrassa on Air between 14h00 -1600 to pre-empt their talk taking place on Wednesday evening (Auguest 2nd 2023) at Masjid Al-Tuba in Panorama, which will also be broadcasted live across the airwaves.

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