I have to admit, before meeting him, I never really spent time listening to any of the sheikhs in Oman. I always felt that many of them were quite imposing in a way and that there was always a barrier between us (the general public) and the sheikhs in general. For me, personally, I have always loved and respected Tariq Swaidan, Jasim AlMuttawa and Mohammed AlThwaini. I never get bored listening to any of them speak. Despite their knowledge and religiousness, they don't talk down to the average joe. They somehow manage to bring themselves down to a level that you would understand without compromising their stance. I love listening to them give advice on how to raise your kids in an Islamic way, or how a husband should treat his wife, or about women's rights or even about self improvement. Topics that are important to all of us, and all spoken from the point of view of Islam. Stuff thats mentioned in the Quran but that just flies over your head until someone points it out to you.
I mentioned these people to Sheikh Khalfan and told him that I honestly don't know of anyone in Oman like them (thats just me personally, maybe they are out there and that I just haven't heard of them). He said that the people I mentioned are all educated men who, in addition to their knowledge of Islam, have travelled abroad and studied the art of communication. They are people who know how to get their message across and how to draw people to them.
Many of the sheikhs in Oman are educated religion wise, but have not had the opportunities to travel and study important aspects of da3wa such as communication skills. He also mentioned that now there are many in Oman who are slowly starting to move in that direction and that the Minister himself has chosen men from Sharee3a to travel abroad and study such things. I think thats great, because I know there are many people who have so many questions related to Islam but are afraid to ask because they feel that they would be looked down upon for not knowing the answers.
If there are more people like Sheikh Khalfan, religious men who are willing to take time to answer and explain without judging, then more of our youth would be willing to learn about their religion..
What do you guys think?