Shaikh Yousuf Estes has been tirelessly working to spread the message of the Quran. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Renowned American Islamic preacher and Dubai International Holy Quran Award’s Islamic Personality of the Year, Shaikh Yousuf Estes lit up the closing ceremony with his rousing speech that brought the audience to their feet.

Shaikh Estes, who has been tirelessly working to spread the message of the Holy Quran, received his award from Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

In his acceptance speech, the popular preacher, who embraced Islam 21 years ago, thanked Allah for His kindness and mercy, and praised the leadership of Dubai and the organisers of DIHQA for setting up such an institution that serves Islam and the Holy Quran.

“I congratulate His Highness Shaikh Mohammad [Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai] for his efforts in the service of Quran and for his patronage, dedication and continuous support for DIHQA, without which it won’t be as successful as it is today,” said the 68-year-old Texan, before accepting the Dh1 million prize.

He also thanked all the people for their love and support while dedicating the honour to his indefatigable team and all the workers of Islam who have been silently doing their job.

He also saluted around 20 million Muslims around the world who carry the Holy Quran in their hearts by memorising it.

“These are the real heroes who keep Quran in their hearts and carry it forward and spread it. We need more such events that not only encourage memorising the Quran but also disseminates its message in different languages. We know the words of Allah and we have the message, it is our job to present it to 75 per cent of the world’s population who are unaware of it,” he said, urging Muslims to fulfil their obligation.

Blaming the misunderstanding of Islam in the West on Muslims who didn’t spread the true message of Islam he said: “We forgot our duty of presenting the beautiful message of Islam through our actions and by being living examples of Quran like the way Prophet Mohammad [Peace Be Upon Him] did. So people only get the wrong image of Islam through media and internet.”

He added that the majority of the people in the US and the West are good but they are being fed the wrong message by the media.

Shaikh Estes, who operates 2,200 Islamic websites, also addressed a gathering on Thursday at Dubai Chambers.