5 Muslim Men You Should Know Aboutby Helmy Sa'at & Farida Haji
Have you done enough to leave an indelible mark in this world? A human’s worth is often measured by tangible social achievements that tend to create superficial appearances, both literally and symbolically.
Yet, there is nothing stopping us from extracting a few salient learning points to implement in daily life. Not exclusively for the betterment of oneself, but also those around us. Reframe it as a form of inspiration and aspiration to reach both tangible and intangible new heights of success in this world and the hereafter – our spiritual quotient anchored in connection with our Creator.
Our successes today have been paved by those who came before us. Here are five Muslim men you should know about:
Prophet Dawud’s Spiritual Conviction
All he had was a simple sling, confidence, an accurate shot and determination in abundance.
The remarkable life of Prophet Dawud (or David) is one of fearlessness, spiritual piety, wisdom and trust in Allah. A lean young man against a giant warrior. When the people of Bani Israel were mocked, he chose to believe in himself and leave a courageous legacy for generations to learn from. Self-belief allows one to have faith in his or her abilities compounded with the confidence to overcome any challenge. Prophet David is lauded for self-belief, sound judgments and his undying tawakkul (spiritual faith).
Mansa Musa – The Wealthiest Muslim Ever Lived
A devout Muslim, known for his prosperous reign and extravagant journey to Mecca. His grand travels and massive caravans intrigued many through the 14th century. A global figure with extraordinary wealth, he honoured a significant Islamic tradition by journeying towards Mecca to perform the Hajj. His journey, in other words, was a showcase of his generosity and his love for Islamic traditions.
Mansa Musa is said to have built mosques every Friday. The Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu stood the test of time. It is made entirely of soil, fibre, straw and wood and still stands today! Centuries later, Mansa Musa is still considered the wealthiest man to have ever lived.
Ibn Battuta, The World Traveller
Ibn Battuta travelled more than 75,000 miles or 120,000 kilometres in the 14th century. During his travels, he experienced a string of trials and tribulations encompassing kidnapping and even being robbed of everything, but his pants!
At about age 45, he journeyed home to Morocco, arriving back in Tangier after been gone approximately 24 long years. A wondrous figure no doubt; he also remained a largely cryptic figure having never kept journals during his adventures. Take this opportunity to learn more about his exciting adventures as he travelled around the world by streaming ‘Ibn Battuta The Explorer‘ on Qalbox.
Zheng He’s Epic Voyages
Admiral Zheng He (pronounced Cheng Ho) was born to a humble Chinese Muslim family during the late 14th century. He went through a great ordeal during his childhood, yet managed to climb the ranks within the Chinese empire through indisputable loyalty and determination.
He made not one, not two, but a total of seven monumental voyages and visited over 30 Asian and African countries!
The voyages not only spread Chinese trade while establishing diplomatic relations, in addition they presented opportunities to learn about different cultures and beliefs. Though multiple accounts of Zheng He were destroyed, during the early 20th century his nautical expeditions came to light through varied records whereby discoveries of his voyages were made.
Riz Ahmed And Hollywood
Akin to the many stars sparkling brightly in the night sky, the multi-talented Riz Ahmed is one such star in Hollywood.
He won his first Academy Award in the live-action short category for ‘The Long Goodbye’, in 2022. He co-wrote and starred in it. His Oscar nod marked an inaugural win of someone of Asian descent in this category for the past 95 years!
A graduate from Oxford University, he is no stranger to infinite and constantly evolving biases and prejudices in how others perceive of minorities of various shapes and sizes. His Pakistani heritage and immigrant family background prepared him for a world of pain and triumphs, both in the professional and personal spheres.
Since reading this article has fired up your imagination and thirst to learn more of significant figures in the Islamic world, there are a couple of ways to remedy it. First, download the Muslim Pro app. Tap on our ‘Stories’ feature and learn more about historical and contemporary individuals who have remained pivotal in making the world a better place through a multitude of ways with our ‘Muslims You Should Know’ series, as shown below: