The Influence of Islam

The Deen Tour Makes Waves Online

By Shabnam Mahmood

May/Jun 2024

Social media has become a powerful tool for Muslim youth to navigate today’s digital world, and some of them are changing the game when it comes to creating content. While some use content creation as a fun path to engaging followers in their interests, others use it as an influential da‘wa tool. 

Among these game-changers is Florida-based Deen Tour, a dynamic Sudanese trio that has garnered a significant following and made a profound impact with their Islamic content podcasts. With nearly half a million followers on Instagram @deentourr and 300K on TikTok, their engaging content, from epic pillow fights over Islamic trivia games to thought-provoking discussions, they have sparked a vast response from followers, demonstrating the power of their da‘wa efforts and inspiring others to follow suit.

Brothers Hussain and Osman Hafiz, along with cousin Osman Sir, grew up together sharing everything, even their love of Islamic knowledge. Each of them embarked on a journey in Islam that involved reading about the deen, following scholars and researching topics that spoke to them. They often discussed these topics, testing each other’s knowledge and learning from one another. A wrong answer would send them flying to research the right one, build upon it until they understood, only to return the following week with more questions and knowledge to share. They found contentment in learning more about the deen. 

De(en)-tour in Life

The idea for Deen Tour budded when the trio decided to help others through their love of Islam. Hussain thought of a podcast, a popular medium among their peers, and shared the idea with his brother and cousin.

“I’m young now. I’m choosing Islam. I’m choosing to call people to Islam,” said Hussain in an interview with Islamic Horizons. “Being famous or called an ‘influencer’ is not the goal. Islam has influenced us. Look at the way Islam has changed our lives and changed the lives of my brothers [in Islam]. It’s allowed us to grow and move forward.” 

The podcast sought to talk about life while keeping Islam central to the conversation to have a positive impact on Muslim youth. As the trio explains, the name “Deen Tour” came about because “Life is like a detour; we just use deen (the Islamic way of life) to navigate it.”

Sir echoes these sentiments. “I’ve always wanted to help people, and Allah gave me a way to help people out in the best way.” He added, “Our goal is to impact the youth. Because you’re young, you will be living your life doing whatever. But the best type of life you want to live is worshiping the Creator, because that’s what we’re put on Earth for. Nothing else makes sense.” 

With the temptations facing their generation, how exactly did they choose this path? Hafiz says Allah’s mercy guided them toward Islam and helped others do the same. Sir explains that he came to learn more about his deen through reading the Quran. It was verses such as “How can ye reject the faith in God? — seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again, to Him will ye return” (2:28) that gave him pause.

Using the Internet as a Da‘wa Tool

Hussain says action motivates him. He wonders how often people act upon the Quran. They may read it or recite it beautifully, but do they act upon the verses? While this thought gives him some introspection about everything he speaks of, he needs to follow reading by action. If he doesn’t do so, he fears that he’s being a hypocrite. 

Another motivation is the internet. Similar to how Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu’ alayhi wa sallam) gave da‘wa by going out into the streets, now there is the internet. Despite how many people think that youth waste their time on the internet, Hussain felt he could use that for good. “If people are addicted to their phones, at least we’re bringing beneficial knowledge of Islam to them.”

Hafiz credits his parents for their influence on the group’s ventures. His mother often quotes hadith and encourages them to explore their deen, learn and teach. At first, their parents were skeptical of their social media idea; however, once the trio explained their vision and pursued a halal path to Islam for themselves and others, they understood. Their mothers encourage others to see what the boys are doing and promote their podcasts and social media channels, which have been instrumental in growing their popularity. 

The trio’s unwavering dedication to their venture comes from the influence of their hard working immigrant parents who worked tirelessly to provide for their families. However, the normal parental expectations haven’t changed — they are still expected to balance their regular lives with their online world. 

“I think [that] as parents, we modeled the religion well for the kids to see,” said Hafiz’s mother. “They see us prioritize prayer; they see us reading the Quran and fasting. We show the beauty of religion and how important it is in our lives, which naturally falls onto the children. My aspiration is to see them continuing the path they are on. So long as they hold on to and prioritize the deen. I am satisfied.”

So, with the podcast, TikTok and Instagram pages, what’s next for the trio? As with most youth, merchandise! The Deen Tour wants to venture into clothing with sweatshirts and similar items. This ambitious group has even written an eBook titled “Guided by Purpose.” After finishing umra, they began discussing the book’s idea of finding the purpose of life in worship. The trio also wants to travel to mosques and conduct youth events in their unique style of talks and fun activities. These plans will surely excite their followers and the wider Muslim youth community. 

Deen Tour has undoubtedly made an impact in a very short time. Time will tell if these youth can maintain their presence in the challenging landscape of social media. However, if their intention remains steadfast, it appears they’re in it for the long haul. 

Shabnam Mahmood is a writer and educational consultant in Chicago. 

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