It so happened that in the year 2007, I was in the city of the Prophet ﷺ. It has been my old habit that whenever I travel to a city, I always make it a point to visit all its bookstores. When it comes to books, the city of Madinah is in its own league. In the bookstores of Madinah, one is bound to come across all the newly published literature - and shopping for book is, of course, my favourite pastime. The staff who work at most of the bookstore near the Prophet's Mosque know me on a personal basis, as a large number of Darussalam's publications are available at these stores.
One day, when I was visiting one these bookstores, I looked at the shelves and noticed a book called, 'Enjoy Your life'. Just as I was about to pick it up, Abu 'Abdullah greeted me, hugged me, and asked, 'When did you arrive? How long are you here for?' Meanwhile, I reached out for the book... Abu 'Abdullah., who is originally from Yemen, has been involved in the book market for a long time. He is one of the many Darussalam distributors. He noticed the book in my hand and said, 'This book is excellent. If you were to publish its translation, it would be considered a valuable addition to the international Islamic book collection.' He continued as he held my hand, 'This book has made a record number of sales.'
Some time later, in my hotel room, I began reading the book. As I continued reading, I became more and more captivated by it. There is no doubt that the subject of the book itself was the thing that most interested me,
Solutions to all the problems of the Muslim nation are present in the life of Allah's Messenger ﷺ. His life is certainly an example for us to follow and a model for us to refer to at all times. No matter what problem arises in our lives, if we look to the Prophet's Seerah for a solution, we will surely find it. What makes this book outstanding is that it deals with our social problems in light of the Prophetic lifestyle. The work is filled with incidents from the Seerah, Islamic history, and the author's own experiences. By reading this book and implementing it practically, all of us can make our lives more enjoyable and more tranquil.
This book includes remedies for despondency and numerous tips on how to keep worries and stress at bay. The author of this book, Dr.Muhammad bin 'Abd ar-Rahman al-'Arifi is a well known scholar and lecturer from Saudi Arabia. His audiences are left mesmerised during his lectures as he has such a unique way of speaking that even us, the non-Arabs, are enchanted by his words. A visit to any of the Islamic audiocassette shops in this land gives proof to the popularity of this talented lecturer, and a single of any of his lectures guarantees addiction!
When I returned to Riyadh from Madinah, I requested one of our Egyptian Darussalam associates, Muhammad Shakir Qadhi, to establish contact with Dr.Al-'Arifi and to request permission for the translation of his books. After a few days, we managed to establish contact with Dr.Al-'Arifi. Fortunately, for us, he was already familiar with Darussalam. As he said himself, most of the books he takes on his international travels are of Darussalam publications. It is always easier to work towards an agreement if there is preceding familiarity. We invited Dr.Al-'Arifi over to Darussalam's headquarters for a visit, and he gladly accepted the invitation. This, we had the pleasure of this company.
I found him to be just as handsome and immaculate as are his works and lectures. He has a unique and charming character and a very humble personality. I know from my experience with people in the Islamic world, that the more famous and well respected a person becomes, the more modest and noble is his behaviour. Dr.Al-'Arifi signed the contract with Darussalam and then excused himself, saying he was in a hurry and that he would return soon to discuss further details.
After a couple of weeks or so, as I was travelling once again to Madinah, I coincidently noticed Dr.Al-'Arifi seated on the same plane. As the seat besides him was empty, we had the opportunity to sit together and familiarise ourselves with eath other even more. We spoke at length and felt closer to one another. A few days later, he returned to Darussalam and gave us a number of new suggestions. We introduced him to some of our projects, and it was then decided that Darussalam would translate his books into various languages.
He explained how his book, 'Enjoy Your Life' is in reality a summary of his entire life experience. He spent a considerable amount of time authoring his book. There is no doubt that he wrote this work from the very depths of his heart, and one really must read it to realise and acknowledge the beauty of it. This book was published in Arabic in Sha'ban 1428AH, corresponding to August 2007, and within the span of one year, it had sold 100,000 copies.
As mentioned previously, Dr. Muhammad al-'Arifi is indigenously from Saudi Arabia. He is from the famous Arab tribe known as Banu Khalid (Banu Makhzum) - it goes without mentioning that Banu Khalid are the descendants of the famous soldier, Mujahid and Companion of the Prophet, Khalid bin al-Walid - may Allah be pleased with him. Dr. Muhammad al-'Arifi was born in the year 1970. He graduated from Saudi universities where he acquired his PhD. The title of his PhD research thesis was "Ara' Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah on Sufism - a Compilation and Study).
Currently, he is a founding and dignitary member of various Da'wah organisations, as well as being a member of their advisory committees. He is also a member of the advisory board for many international organisations. Aside from being a visiting professor in various Saudi and foreign universities, he is also a professor in King Saud University of Riyadh. He has been delivering Friday sermons for over twenty years in different mosques in Saudi Arabia. Currently, he delivers his Friday sermons in al-Bawaardi mosque, which is a major mosque located in the south of Riyadh. Every Friday, so many people attend, that it is impossible to find a parking space anywhere in the vicinity of the mosque. Once I had the opportunity of praying the Friday prayer behind Dr. Al-'Arifi. We arrived at the mosque very early, but despite that, we had to park very far away. The ground floor of the mosque was fully occupied, so we went up the first floor where we were able to find a place to sit. Soon afterwards, the first floor also became congested with worshippers. Dr. Muhammad al-'Arifi is an amazing orator. He was fortunate enough to be a student of Shaykh 'Abd al-'Aziz bin Baz for fifteen to sixteen years, he took lessons from Dr. 'Abdullah al-Jibrin in Tawheed. His other teachers include, Shaykh 'Abdullah bin Qu'ud, Shaykh 'Abd al-Rahman bin Nasir al-Barrak and various other scholars. His connections with the scholars of Madinah go back very far. During his days as a student and thereafter, he learnt Fiqh from those scholars. he has memorised the Qur'an and is known for his fine recitation. He takes a special interest in Hadeeth literature and has received licences for the chains of transmission for various Hadeeth texts from a number of scholars.
More than twenty of his works in Arabic have been published and distributed in nearly a million copies. His books, which are often published in four colours, are attractive and pleasing to the eye, and available at low-cost. It is because his books deal with issues affecting the lives of everyday people, that they are acclaimed and appreciated by all. Many well-wishers make his books their choice for their donations and free distributions.
The following is a list of some of the works of Dr. Muhammad al-'Arifi:
- A work on Tawheed called Irkab Ma'anaa, an excellent work of which 400,000 copies have been published.
- A work on Da'wah to Allah, called Hal Tabhath 'an Wadhifa, of which 150,000 copies have been published.
- Innaha Malikah, in 150,000 copies.
- Fi Batn al-Hut, in 150,000 copies.
- A work on the topic of worship in 100,000 copies.
- A work on the topic of Hijaab called Sarkha fi Mat'am al-Jami'a, in 150,000 copies.
- Rihla Ila al-Sama' with 150,000 copies published and sold.
- A compilation of counselling to doctors and patients called 'Ashiq fi Ghurfat al-'Amaliyat in 70,000 copies.
- A pamphlet called Adhkar al-Muslim al-Yawmiyyah, of which 20 million copies have been published within only three years.
Many of Dr.al-'Arifi's lectures are available on the internet without charge; he also writes columns and essays for various newspapers and magazines and has appeared on a number of Arabic satellite television channels.
The administration of Darussalam hopes, in the very near future, to translate into different languages and publish the various works of Dr.Al-'Arifi while maintaining a high literacy standard, Allah willing.
I would like to thank our brothers Saleem Beg and Nasim Chowdhury for translating and editing this work respectively. We pray to Allah that He grants the author, the translator and the editor good health and long life, and that He blesses their knowledge and actions. We would be extremely delighted to receive any feedback or suggestions from our readers, and we hope you remember us in your prayers.
Your loving brother
Riyadh - Saudi Arabia August 2008