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Dawah and Interfaith

Da’wah on the Go: Sh. Mohammad Al-Areefi

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Throughout the centuries, Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) has continued to bless this ummah with servants of His, who give up their time and energy for the service of this religion.  It is always inspirational to reflect on the experiences of these du’aat whilst working for their noble cause.

One of these du’aat, who we think of as successful, yet we do not praise anyone before Allah, is our Shaykh Muhammad Al-Areefi, may Allah preserve him. In his eloquently delivered lectures, he sometimes shares with the audience his experiences in da’wah. In an effort to inspire our non-Arabic speaking readers with the unique and motivating style of this da’yah, we share two gems from his da’wah experiences.

Yes! In the Taxi!

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In a powerful lecture discussing some of the lessons derived from the story of Prophet Yusuf (alayhe asallam) and his da’wah in prison, our Shaykh emphasized the importance of beginning with Tawheed in calling to Allah based on the verses:

يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ
مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ ۚ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

O [my] two companions of prison, are separate lords better or Allah , the One, the Prevailing?

You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. Legislation is not but for Allah . He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. (Yusuf 12:39,40)

The Shaykh then shares a story (52:16 minutes in) from his own experience that highlights the importance of calling others to worshipping One God, alone.

One early morning, he was about to take a taxi from his hotel to the airport following a visit to Qatar.  He learned that another man would be sharing the ride with him. Riding in the back seat with the man, he started a conversation with him. 

Shaykh: “Where are you from?”

Man: “I am from Korea.”

Shaykh: “What do you do?”

Man: “I am a businessman.”

Shaykh: “What’s your name?”

Man: “Si Ki Tu (See Kee Tu).”

Shaykh: “Where do you work?”

Man: “Jubail, Saudi Arabia.”

Shaykh: (Joked with him saying), “If you live in Jubail, then your name should be Mohammed or Abdullah (meaning; you should have been a Muslim by now).”

The man laughed.

Shaykh: “How long have you been there?”

Man: “15 years.”

Shaykh: “Did anyone invite you the religion of Islam all of these years?”

Man: “Actually, I don’t really care about religion. The most important thing to me is money. Once there is money behind something, I all for it. But, give me a book, CD or tell me listen to a talk……. I don’t really care for all of this.

Shaykh: “Ok, so you don’t worship anything?”

Man: “No, no, I just live.”

Shaykh: “No, you do worship. In Korea, they worship the idol Buddha?”

Man: “Yes, but I don’t really care much about Buddha.”

The Shaykh continues the conversation, trying to revive some life and thought into the man, saying:“So, if someone passed by this idol, Buddha, and kicked him with their foot, can he defend himself?

Man: “No.”

Shaykh: “If someone were to spit on him as he walked by his statue, would he be able to respond in defense of himself?”

Man: “No.”

Shaykh: “So how is it that he is worshipped, called upon for help, for cure in illness, for wealth in poverty, to remove oppression…….”

Man: “Yes, you’re right. Besides, I am not really convinced about Buddha anyhow.”

Shaykh: “So……what do you worship?”

Man: “I just live like that, I don’t worship anyone.”

There was then a period of silence between them.

The man then turned to the Shaykh and said, “You know what?”

Shaykh: “Yes?”

Man: “When I am touched by worry and grief, you know what I do? I raise my eyes to the sky and say:

(conversation is in English, but he says the following two words in Arabic)

Allah Kareem’ (‘Allah is Generous’. He said this elongating ‘Kareeeeeeem’).

Once I say this, I feel completely at peace.”

Shaykh: “SubhanaAllah. When you called upon Him alone, although you do not believe, it helped you and brought you peace! So how then would it be if you actually worshipped Him, without any partners?!”

The man agrees with the Shaykh,  “ Yes, you are right.”

Shaykh: “I invite you now to bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Man: “How? When we are in the taxi?!”

Shaykh: “ Yes! In the taxi, airplane, under the sea, in the sky, Islam does not require that you go to mosque in order to accept it as your religion. Now, say Ash-hadu an la ilaaha illa Allah wa anna Muhammadan rasulullAllah.”

Man: “What about salah?

Shaykh: “It will come, just say the words (shahadatayn) first.”

Man: “Ash-hadu an laa illaaha illa Allah wa anna Muhammadan rasulullAllah. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”

____________________________

After help and guidance from Allah, it takes a brave caller to Allah with a sincere heart, who truly desires to guide others to the path of bliss in this life and the hereafter. All he did was take advantage of his time with him to allow him to reflect on the meaning of worship in his life.

Perhaps through a simple effort, armed with sincerity and help from Allah, it may result as the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) said after learning of the death of a young Jewish boy who had entered the religion only moments before: ‘Praise be to Allaah Who has saved him from the Fire.’ (Bukhari).

________________________________________

Even in the Airplane

The following is a video where the Shaykh tells of his experience with a Muslim woman on an airplane.  It teaches us to avoid belittling others through reflecting on the great amount of good that may be present in them.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wODzqkpyuNE&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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Mariam is of Middle Eastern origin, raised in North America, not quite settling in one specific place. After living up in the North of North America, she has shifted continents and currently residing in a rapidly flourishing, historical city located in the desert of Arabia. She is a recent graduate of the American Open University, with a Bachelors in Islamic Studies. She believes that regardless of where a person is, writing is a tool to reach out and express that which inspires, touches and affects them. So she writes; perhaps that which inspires her will be a source of good for at least one other person.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Quran Player - Yuxx

    May 20, 2010 at 5:03 AM

    I love this Shaykh in Allâh, i always watch his shows :D
    _____
    Best Regards
    Quran Player

  2. hussain

    May 20, 2010 at 6:54 AM

    You can download his book ‘Enjoy your life’ here

    • Imtiaz

      May 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM

      This is probably one of the best books I have read concerning “Life Issues” – I have this and Don’t be Sad side by side with me when traveling – excellent reminders.

  3. Mahmoud

    May 20, 2010 at 7:26 AM

    JazakAllaahu khair!!

    SubhanAllaah, Shaykh Al-Areefi is definitely one of my role models.

    His book, “Enjoy your life” is a must read for all of us.

    May Allaah SWT forgive us in our shortcomings and continue to Guide to us to that which is best for us in the dunya and the aakhirah!

    • Yaqeen needed

      May 28, 2010 at 6:12 AM

      I like Shk Areefi too. I have one of his qaseedah on my phone.

      However, as Muslims we should only take the nabiy -alaehi salam-as our role model. If we will take after him it has to be the companions.

      Taking people from our times, no matter how good they may seem, as our role models has its negative side. As we are living in times far from the times of the companions, they will haveshortcomings without a doubt. One of the negative aspects is that once we take him as a role model, we tend to be emotionally involved and fall into blind following. No matter how good a person may be , academic knowledge or otherwise, he should not be blindly followed. Only the naiy should be blindly followed. Plus the quran clearly emphasizes who is our model- uswatun hasana

  4. aisha

    May 20, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    as salam alakom sheikh my name is aisha im convet to islam i life in lebanon i need speak with sheikh very important i need said in private i dont know nothing here the sheik have here is dificult i can contact to you? only for make question so important only sheikh with taqwa can said me inshALlah you can ya rab amine
    ]as salam alaikom

    • shiney

      March 3, 2011 at 1:22 AM

      Wa alaikum as salam wr wb,
      There is another sheikh you can ask questions to (he is very knowledgeable masha’Allah). His name is Shaykh Waleed Abdul-Hakeem and here is his facebook page:

      http://www.facebook.com/ImamWaleed?ref=mf%2F

      hope this helps and May Allah make it easy on you to practice Islam. Ameen! =)

  5. Hafsa

    May 20, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Jazakallahu Khayran!
    =) at the video segment.
    His book, “Enjoy your life” is awesome, MashaAllah!

  6. Abu Ibrahim

    May 20, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    Alhamdulillah, very enlightening post.

    Is there any way we can use Facebook’s Draw Muhammad Day to give da’wah? Or if the shaikh has any views on what we should do with this issue?

    • Arif Kabir

      May 20, 2010 at 5:31 PM

      @Abu Ibrahim: iMuslimTV, one of the authors on this blog, suggested that we draw Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam)’s name in calligraphy; I thought that was a pretty cool idea.

      That was an amazing video! I loved his book “Enjoy Your Life” and his videos proved to be amazing as well, Masha’Allah.

  7. elham

    May 20, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    BarakAllahu Feekum for this post! The sheikh has a show on Iqra tv ”Da’ Basmatek” that roughly translates into ”Make your mark” as in Da’wah.He talks about the different ways we can make Da’wah in every situation in our lives. They are very unique and interesting.

  8. Mariam E.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:50 AM

    Asalamu Alikum Warahmatu Allah

    Here are the Shaykh’s other books from his website for anyone who is interested. They are all in Arabic (except ‘Enjoy Your Life’ which is available in different languages).

    http://www.arefe.com/ArticlesCat.aspx?CatId=1

  9. aisha

    May 21, 2010 at 7:36 AM

    WELAIKOM AS SALAM MARYAM THIS WEB IS IN ARABIC I ONLY SPEAK ENGLISH AND SPANISH IM LATIN MUSLIMAH I LIFE IN LEBANON I HAVE HOW 3 YEARS IN ISLAM ALHAMDULILAH AND YOU?

  10. aisha

    May 21, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    AS SALAM ALAIKOM EXCOUSEMOI BUT I DONT SEE:s IF YOU CAN SEND ME THE LINK EXACTLY IN WHERE HAVE MANY LAGUAGE SORRY BUT I DONT SEE THANKS A LOT

  11. Proco

    May 23, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Is this by mutiple authors or is the ‘we’ being implied in general?

  12. Mirza Abeer

    May 24, 2010 at 5:53 AM

    This made my day and brought a tear to my eye. Noone has the right to be worshipped except him. Allah is great.

  13. Maryam

    June 16, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    subhanAllah this is beautiful Mariam <3
    jazakAllah khayr.

  14. shiney

    March 3, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    JZK for posting! Very inspiring stories masha’Allah! May Allah (SWT) give us all the Tawfiq to do efficient da’wah! Ameen

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