Life is a series of different events. It never stays the same, and for sure, nothing lasts. More than often, people are agonized by the haphazardous and instability that life brings along itself. But even though on the surface, there seems to be no specific reason for why there are so many twists and turns in life, every situation teaches an individual something new and unique. With every circumstance that a person comes face to face with, they are only one step closer to reaching what they are actually meant to do in life.
The famous author Stephan King worked as a janitor at a high school before he realized what his true calling was. Before Giorgio Armani became one of the top fashion designers all across the world, he studied medicine and then left university for serving the military. Harrison Ford, the TV star, became a self-taught carpenter before he made the switch to the entertainment industry.
Muhammad Shaikh, the well-known Islamic scholar, shares a similar story. Before the influential scholar devoted his life to Islam, he would act for advertisements as a model for his video rental shop. It was only a matter of situational changes that helped Mohammad Shaikh realize that he was sent to the world for a whole new reason and that too, a very sacred one.
UNAWARE OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES
Mohammad Shaikh was born on October 6, 1956, in Karachi, Pakistan. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ghulam Nazimuddin, were both Muslims, and he grew up learning the basic principles and values about Islam. Even though the family was religious, they weren’t “extreme Muslims.” This made the boy a cultural Muslim who had no idea about the daily practices of Islam, and he offering only his Jumu’ah prayers or Eid prayers ad reading the Holy Quran without understanding the verses.
His grandfather, Captain Ghulam Fareeduddin, was an associate of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. His family-owned ‘Video Cottage’ a video rental shop, which was part of the family business. A student at the Happy Home School, he completed his primary education and went to Islamia College.
In 1969, Mohammad Shaikh’s father passed away, and the young teenager was left to look after his family. After graduating from the college, he was inducted in National Survey announced by the prime minister for the 1971 war and was deployed as part of the military police at the Rajasthan borders. Knowing that the forces were not where he wanted to be,
Mohammad Shaikh got himself enrolled in the Merchant Navy, and was selected as a cadet, and very soon was here he was promoted to the rank of the Second Officer. Financial stability is what he was looking for at the time, and the Navy paid him well. Besides that, Mohammad Shaikh also got to travel the three-fourth part of the world, and he performed pilgrimage at Makkah.
It is during his time on the ship that he had his “first sign.” There, he met a devout Christian who was well-versed with his religion and had a plethora of knowledge about the teachings of the Bible. The man asked a series of questions and got Mohammad Shaikh thinking about what kind of Muslim he was.
The Christian asked him if he was a Muslim, to which Mohammad Shaikh responded positively. The man then said, “Bible was revealed before the Holy Quran, and the Quran has stolen the teachings of the Bible.” Mohammad Shaikh was perplexed by the statement, and when the man saw his expressions, he said, “tell me something from the Quran, and I will bring a verse from the Bible that states the same thing.” Unaware of the verses stated in the Holy Quran, Mohammad Shaikh couldn’t give an answer to the man.
A few minutes conversation with the Christian left Mohammad Shaikh uneasy, and he began questioning himself.
FINDING THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Five years later, Mohammad Shaikh resigned from the Navy and joined his family business. For expanding his business, he started shooting advertisements for his shop, that had its branches on Tariq Road and Defense, Karachi. This developed an interest in filmmaking, modeling, and documentaries in Mohammad Shaikh. His photographs appeared in advertisements in magazines, and he started to work on making documentaries as well.
Still shaken by the conversation Mohammad Shaikh had with the Christian, Mohammad Shaikh gradually began to find his way into religion. He started by reading the translated Quran and the watched videos by scholars such as Ahmad Deedat.
During this time, Mohammad Shaikh got his second, and final encounter with a life-changing experience. One day a man entered the shop and asked Mohammad Shaikh for an unavailable movie. Upon learning that the shop didn’t offer the movie title, the man got really frustrated and left the shop. He returned a few minutes later with four other men and a gun. The man started hitting Mohammad Shaikh on his head, and he could feel himself becoming unconscious. As if that wasn’t enough, he felt another gun on his chest and heard two gunshots. Knowing that this was probably how God would take his life, Mohammad Shaikh vowed to be a better Muslim and said to himself, “Lord, save my life, and I will dedicate my life to You.”
From then on, Mohammad Shaikh realized what his true calling life was, and he devoted himself to the Lord and his teachings. In 1988, Muhammad Shaikh was the only candidate selected from Pakistan when Shaikh Ahmed Deedat selected 30 Daee’s from across the world to undergo Da’wah training and comparative religious studies at the IPCI headquarters in Durban, South Africa. After successfully completing the course, he was awarded the certificate by Deedat.
His dedication made him the 4th Most Influential Muslim in the World in an online poll conducted by Reuters in 2009, and he was featured in the book “The 500 Most Influential Muslims 2010” by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.
Mohammad Shaikh was also invited by several notable organizations such as The Department of Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities in Dubai to talk about Islamic topics. He was also invited to deliver speeches by organizations in Houston, US, and Toronto, Canada.
In 2005, Muhammad Shaikh survived an assassination attempt in which he was severely injured. He was shot by a person during a lecture in his educational center in Karachi. The bullet passed through his face above the jaw, damaging the nerves and breaking several teeth. Thanking God for surviving this violent attack, he carried on with his life. He then established English and Urdu IIPCTV Internet Channels. He has been independently researching The Quran since 1987 and has compiled above 50 reference booklets and has delivered these lectures in both English and Urdu languages.
His dedication got him featured in the book “The 500 Most Influential Muslims 2010,” published by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Aman. He was given honorable credentials by “The 500 Most Influential Muslims” book published in 2011 and 2012 under the category “Preachers and Spiritual Guides.” In a poll by Reuters-Faith World, he was publicly voted as the 4th Most Influential Muslim in the World.
Mohammad Shaikh also designed the world’s first Color-Coded Quran, which helps people easily understand every word of the Quran with its grammatical value. It was launched by IIPC Canada and is electronically available on Amazon Kindle and Google Play Store!