We have inspiring Muslims at every corner in the world, and such stories need to reach out to others so that we can all learn from each other’s experiences and be that much closer to Allāh’s obedience and mercy. Here is a life journey of a Muslim living in Hong Kong.
Assalamu alaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
I would like to begin with praising the Almighty Allāh in the way that best suits His majesty and send salutations upon His beloved Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him and his entire household.
My name is Adeel Malik. I was born in Hong Kong to a normal modern day Muslim family which was not very practising but kept hold onto faith by clinching onto the basic things that is routine for any average Muslim of today.
We prayed the Jumaah Prayers whenever we were able to, fasted during the auspicious month of Ramadhan and gave charity.
However, one of the things that was surely missing during my childhood was the five daily prayers which regrettably took a backseat.
I believe this was due to my limited exposure to my faith at a young age as well as my social network which lacked practising Muslims.
A Blessing in Disguise
I was 24 when my ever-charming dad passed away (may Allāh grant him Jannah-Ul-Firdose). Till this day, I firmly believe that this was the event that turned my life, for the incident shook me from inside and suddenly I found myself in the midst of questions like
‘What is the purpose of my life?’, ‘Why was I created?’, ‘What happens if someone dies?’
With all these questions, I naturally started to build my connection with Allāh.
Now, in order to take my religion seriously, I started by correcting two simple but effective things which worked for me. First and foremost, I started to grow my beard and secondly I stopped listening to music which was quite a challenge initially but I was able to win the battle over myself, over my Nafs (my carnal desires).
Generally, when one advises another in regards to the first step towards practising Islam, they would say you must first start with the books of ahadeeth, tafseer or aqeeda.
But, for me, I had this voice in my head telling me that the most important thing is to grow the beard.
Since after that whenever I woke up and saw myself in the mirror I told myself ‘this is you and this beard is your real identity’.
Music is like a drug to the human mind and it was undoubtedly a barrier between me and my relationship with Allāh so I substituted it with the words of the Almighty.
I used to hear that the heart can either be a home of the words of Allāh – the Qur’an or the words of Shaytaan – the music.
It made me realise how true are these words. These small alterations brought about slow but permanent changes into my lifestyle, Alhumdulilah.
Challenges of the Change
Soon, I had to face certain challenges from the people around me. With the beard being clearly visible, they advised me that I am still young so why am I keeping the beard so early and that too in a metropolitan city like Hong Kong since I would face a lot of challenges for getting a job etc.
However, I stayed firm on keeping the beard for I knew the reason I was keeping it was to please my Creator even at the expense of displeasing His creation.
I must admit, initially, I felt pretty alone as most of my friends were Hindus and I naturally started to plug away from them due to the different lifestyles. However, with Allāh by my side, alongside my mum, my wife, my brothers and the rest of my family I knew with hardship there will be ease.
The task did get harder since I found there was very little proximity with trustworthy scholars in Hong Kong, and so I turned to the Internet and it opened its doors with a huge library of authentic Islamic information which benefited me greatly, Alhumdulilah, and step by step the change was evident.
Being born in a culturally dominated surrounding, after acquiring the basics, I understood that the practice of Islam is only through the Qur’an, the sahih ahadeeth (authentic teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and how they were implementation by the pious predecessors.
I still remember that one of my most sincere Duas to Allāh when I started to practice Islam was that I wanted to practice the religion the way it is meant to be practiced. Alhumdulilah, I can’t thank Allāh enough to making this task easy for me.
First few steps as a Daee (a caller to Islam)
In the initial journey of stabilising my relationship with Allāh, I was still not sure if it was time for Dawah as I did not know the art of calling people to Islam. I then came to know about Serving Islam Team in Hong Kong which held Street Dawah in Hong Kong and I joined them.
It was the first time I was exposed to real life Dawah and it became an obsession, a drug after which I was always looked for the next Dawah event.
I also became a co-director of another Islamic organisation Discover Islam Hong Kong, which aimed to preach the way of the pious predecessors. I was blessed with many successful interactions with the non-Muslim community. Alhamdulillah.
Life as a Daee
As a Daee it’s natural to be concerned for the wellbeing of the people and the society as a whole. But Allāh was to test me further, as four years after my dad passed away, my mother went back to Allāh too. This further changed me as I wanted to increase the good deeds in my parents books further.
I soon realised that the Muslim community in Hong Kong was quite isolated and I wanted to bring about some change in this fold. A lot of people were living in their own space which prevented them from presenting this beautiful religion to the local Chinese population.
So, along with a few brothers, I started an organisation named Muslim Council of Hong Kong, which aims to provide a platform where enthusiastic talents can come together that could bridge the gap between the Muslim community within itself and also with the local Chinese community.
The organisation also hopes to be a platform where brothers and sisters who are well versed with the local language can translate Islamic literature which would be of beneficial for the locals.
With spending time in Dawah, I soon realised that in this age of technology we should use the best of the tools that are available at our disposal in order to help us introduce Islam to people who have been unaware of this wonderful message in a more accessible and effective manner.
Moreover, through this organisation I decided to fundraise for the poor, the needy and the oppressed worldwide. Trust was built by making the campaigns and appeals transparent and reporting being done at every step.
The success Allāh has given me in such a short time is a proof that when we take one step towards Allāh, He takes 10 steps towards us. He makes things easy for us and even during those tough times, He is simply preparing something greater for us.
Thus, again and again, I would like to thank the Almighty to be able to work for His cause and may He continue to help me and other Daees further. Do pray for me and my family. May we all reunite in Jannah Ul Firdose.