Six years ago, a stunning appearance of an unusual preacher and activist entered the Muslim World as a televangelist. A young provoked speaker who was able to inspire and motivate the Muslim Youth in all Arab Countries encouraging them to play part in Community service and development, at a time when this generation was almost lost and depressed with no dreams for the future. His simple compassionate way in communicating with teens was the door for guiding millions to attain spiritual self-development by following simple Islamic manners and beliefs at an aim to develop their communities and countries with faith as their motivator and guide, as he called the Faith Based Development. As a man dressed in a suit and necktie, which is not the common as an Islamic preacher, who was able to move his audience with his witty speech and friendly words, preaching teens not like a father or a brother, but like a friend, he gained millions of followers and supporters.
Amr Khaled is now known as Islam’s Billy Graham, and sometimes described as the Anti-Bin Laden. He has also been described as more popular than Oprah by The Independent UK Newspaper in 2006. His popularity reached the New York Time Magazine as the world’s most famous and influential Muslim television preacher. in the same year. Recently he has been chosen as number 48 of the 50 most powerful people in the world by the Newsweek Magazine, the number 13 of the world’s most influential people by Time Magazine, and the sixth most influential intellectual in the world by the Prospect magazine.
Amr Khaled’s background in Islamic Studies and Preaching is unlike other Islamic Preachers, as he didn’t receive any formal religious training. That was the reason he faced a lot of criticism as he first preached on television. He began preaching first in 1990, as a second job beside his full-time work as an Accountant, and by 1998 he turned to a full-time preacher and started appearing on the television for small shows. But his first popular reach out was on the IQRAA Channel, an Islamic Channel broadcasted on the NILESAT Satellite, in 2004 in his show Life Makers.
Life Makers was his aim to move Arabic Youth, and it succeeded with the volunteering of thousands of teens from all over the Arab World. Developing the community and helping the poor was its main activities; such as collecting food and clothing; distributing it on the poor in the month of fasting Ramadan. I remember that the idea of giving unused and old clothing from our home closet to donations is an old ordinary Muslim activity usually done in that month; but Amr Khaled brought a new initiative to every Muslim house, that now by today it has become the common. In which clothes shouldn’t be extremely worn out or used to the extent that a person can’t even wear, there must be some dignity in our hearts when gathering these clothes for those in need, because such clothing is considered as new for them. Therefore, every Muslim house; washed, cleaned, removed every stain and fixed every hole or tear, before handing these simple donations.
Following the footsteps of the Prophet Mohamed (SAWS) is what Amr Khaled pressed on in his every show. Introducing his audience with customs and examples from the Quraan and from the Prophet’s life; that demonstrated manners, relationships, and the Islamic lifestyle from a religiously point of view. Khlaed wanted to bring back the Islamic conduct and beliefs that lived from long ago to substitute Arab’s westernized lifestyles and beliefs, and bring back the taste of Islam religion to it. The strict and discipline way in teaching Islam to the young, either from their parents or through Media, had a major influence on Arab Youth brining them up as Muslims fearing Islam, fearing that it would be an obstacle for achieving their dreams, becoming successful or even bringing development to their community. Khaled wanted to replace such fear with content, through a compassionate, illustrative and advisory teaching method of the Islamic Conduct and beliefs. He believed that A good preacher should be more compassionate than disciplinary., as he specified in an interview with the English-language Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Weekly that his concern is to make young people love religion instead of fearing it.
He succeeded to add the Islamic conduct and behavior in our fast moving life, reaching out to most of the Muslim communities all over the world through the Media door. It has now become traditional in the Arab World to follow his shows every year in the Month of Ramadan.
The success all started with his show of Life Makers in 2004. On the Path of the Beloved was the second success in 2005 that he described in it the Life Journey of the Prophet Mohamed (SAWS) in delivering his message of Islam; stressing on the Personal life of the Prophet, explaining the obstacles and problems he faced and how he was able to resolve them. In 2006, In Thy Name We Live show was a further success, clarifying in it the meanings of each name of the 99 names of Allah (Names of God in the Quraan), and how each name was reflected in Allah’s creation. Call for Coexistence and Paradise in Our Homes shows were presented in 2007, mainly concerned with communication, behavior and relationships. Call for Coexistence focused on explaining how did the Prophet (SAWS) communicate and interact with Non-Muslims. Hence, the main proposal of the show was to re-establish peace between the Muslim and Non-Muslim Nations. While, Paradise in Our Homes tackled teen behavior and problems, asking parents, teens and every family member to unite and know each other more. His aim was to restore love and harmony in homes. In 2008 Quraanic Stories was a major success, Khaled presented new stories and more lessons that the Arab Muslim needed to learn from and actively utilize in their everyday life.
Each and every year, we eagerly wait for the month of Fasting, month of Ramadan to start competing in charity and good, as it is considered Allah’s favorite month, beside all these, we impatiently wait for Amr Khaled’s Show. Ramadan this year, Khaled is preparing a Second Part for his show of Quraanic Stories to continue enlightening us of all Stories and learned lessons included in the Holy Book of Allah, the Quraan. Khaleds’ words and passion of Islam still inspire and motivate Muslims around the world to spirituality and actively take part in their community development.