Sheikh Muhammad Alshareef dies aged 47
Sheikh Muhammad Alshareef, the founder of AlMaghrib Institute, has died suddenly at age 47.
The Muslim world is mourning as tributes flood in for the well-respected Canadian speaker and teacher following the shock news of his death.
A statement from AlMaghrib said that he was "healthy with no illness" and that he "suddenly passed away" in Dubai on Thursday 21 July.
"AlMaghrib grieves the passing of its founder Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef who suddenly returned to his Lord this afternoon in Dubai," read the statement.
"Shaykh Muhammad was our leader and teacher, and he inspired hundreds of thousands of students to learn Islam.
"We ask Allah that it be counted in his scale of good deeds with him, and that Allah beautifies his reception, forgive him his sins, and enter him into Al-Firdaws.
"He was someone who took full advantage of his time spending it on what mattered most.
"May all of his work continue to be a sadaqah jariyah for him until the day of judgment.
"May Allah grant his family patience in this difficult time. Please keep him, and his family, in your duas."
Another statement signed by the family and friends of Sheikh Muhammad said he was a "giant in our Ummah, taught us the power of Dua, and to always rely on Allah. He raised a nation of Dua makers in all of us."
"He has always said that the identity he aspires to be is that of a righteous man. We pray that with Allah, he is entered among the righteous. A true nation builder," it added.
Tributes flood in for influential speaker
Sheikh Muhammad is one of the first scholars in the West to use tech to teach and connect with Muslims from across the globe.
As a leader and teacher, he inspired hundreds of thousands of Muslims worldwide, including Islamic educators, scholars and dawah carriers.
He memorised the Quran at a young age and graduated from the Islamic University of Madinah in 1999 with a degree in Islamic Law.
The desire to teach Islam to an English-speaking audience started in Maryland, USA in 2002 in front of 30 students and he set up AlMaghrib in Texas in the same year. The organisation now offers classes in over 40 cities, catering to over 80,000 unique students.
As well as AlMaghrib, he is also the founder of DiscoverU, an Islam-based personal development institute.
Friends, students and followers were quick to pay tribute to the influential teacher.
"My dear friend and mentor, founder of @Almaghrib, Ustadh Muhammad AlShareef, just passed away suddenly. The heart is sad, the eye sheds tears, but we say only what pleases Allah," said Yasir Qadhi.
The British Board of Scholars & Imams tweeted: "To God we all belong and to God we shall all return. It saddens us to share the news of the passing of Sh Muhammad Alshareef, the founder of Almaghrib Inst. May Allah grant him Jannat."
Sheikha Fatima Barkatulla tweeted: "Everyone copied and learned from Sheikh Muhammad AlShareef's visionary thinking and modern approach to teaching and promoting da'wah and founding organisations. Sheikh Tawfique told me that he inspired him to launch AlKauthar!
Suhaib Webb tweeted: "Allah bless, raise and illuminate the hereafter of Sheikh Muhammad Alshareef. In my experiences with him, he was always composed and full of joy. His efforts to educate English speaking Muslims were pioneering.
Meanwhile, Yusuf Badat reminisced about Sheikh Muhammad in a tweet thread, highlighting how committed he was as a child and how he always taught the importance of striving for ihsan (excellence).
Many more people shared their stories and grief on social media, and the word 'Jannah' even trended on social media due to the number of people making dua for the Sheikh.