Sheikh Mohamad Omar Daouk
Ras Beirut:1910 - 26 March 2006
Sheikh Mohamad was one of the strongest Advocates and Activists in the Unification of the United Arab Emirates.
Early years 1910 - 1935
Mohamad Omar al-Daouk (Sheikh Mohamad), was born in Ras Beirut some time in the year1910 to Mohamad Daouk, a humble man who suffered from the difficult circumstances of World War I on Lebanon. Mohamad Daouk died at an early age which orphaned Sheikh Mohamad. Mohamad was not limited by this and thrived showing his intelligence from the earlier years, building a film projector himself by the age of 15. He attended the Sanaye’ Mechanical Institute where he attained a diploma in Mechanical Engineering. His brilliance attracted many people to him and he would meet various noble Beirutis who influenced the way the Sheikh’s life would turn out to be. He also liked to act and participate in drama plays while he pursued his engineering and mathematical academia.
His knowledge in mechanics allowed him to eventually design a printer, which then became series of printers, founding his personal publishing company. However, this success was short lived and Mohamad went on to manufacture furniture and other structures with the help of the foundry that had been build by his distant great uncle, Mohamad Ahmad Daouk. After pursuing mathematical studies later on, Mohamad got closer to religion and was enlightened by the relationship of science and Islam. He began reading Islamic literature and becoming more active religiously, eventually studying under the prominent Islamic cleric, Sa’adi Yassine.
Years In Palestine and the Return to Beirut 1936-1953
In his mid years, Sheikh Mohamad moved to Palestine were his mechanical expertise were highly demanded in the desperate Palestinian economy. He eventually established a foundry and a workshop there, which eventually produced various goods that were un-produced in Palestine beforehand. The Sheikh established a family in Palestine but would hesitantly be forced to leave Palestine in light of the Nakba, the Catastrophe or the declaration of the State of Israel. Upon returning to Beirut, Mohamad had to restart his life all over again losing most of his business in Palestine. He joined a factory where he contributed his expertise and knowledge, which allowed him to gallantly rise in the factory’s rankings. The Sheikh would eventually direct the factory and accumulate good wealth to harness a stable life, which he has been working hard for through his youth.
In 1949, the Sheikh founded E’bad Ar-Rahman, with the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt, represented to him by Fathi Yakan. Later on in 1950, Sheikh Mohamad would begin to call for Muslims and Chrisitans in Lebanon to have faith in God and united in the fight to liberate Palestine by economic, political and other means. In 1951, he began to see many muslims respond to his calls and notable figures such as Moustapha Kais and Mufti Sheikh Hassan Khalid of Lebanon. In 1953, Sheikh Mohamad opened a religious and political centre in Basta where he propagated his message from across Beirut. This would trigger a brief political career which would later be encompassed by a religious one. Later that year he would be invited to an exclusive political meeting held by the Muslim Brotherhood’s vice president, Hassan al-Hudaibi in the city of Bhamdoun in the Aley District, Mount Lebanon.
Political Career 1954-1959
In 1954, the Sheikh met the found of the Islamic Brotherhood In Syria Dr Moustapha al-Suba’e where they began to cooperate in activism and publishing religious and political books. This and the Bhamdoun Talks the previous year, cemented the Sheikh’s connections with the leaders in Syrian, and those in Egypt, who aided Gamal Abdel-Nasser in the July 23 Revolution, allowing him to have a stronger political ground in Lebanon. This would lay foundation for the future political party, al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya, although he did not have a direct link to it.
His growing influence would now attract Sheikh Pierre Gemayel, leader of the Lebanese Phalanges whom had previously agreed terms with the late Omar Mohamad Bey al-Daouk over the Muslim and Christian role in Beiruti politics. In 1957 in the midst of the events before the1958 Crisis, Sheikh Daouk and Sheikh Gemayel signed The Dialogue Agreement in anticipation of the imminent political problems that were to erupt later during 1958 between the Right and Left in Beirut and Lebanon.
E’bad Ar-Rahman would eventually accumulate an armed wing in 1958 following the eruption of the 1958 Crisis. Training camps were established there, and the religious society officially had a military wing and a radio channel known as Sawt Loubnan al-Hor or the Free Voice of Lebanon, where it carried out various skirmishes with other Lebanese militias. Sheikh Daouk would eventually disspprive of E’bad Ar-Rahman’s military wing, which led to the split of the one in Tripoli and the one in Beirut, led by Sheikh Daouk, which refused to hold arms and kill their Christian and Druze Lebanese brethren.
Dedication to Islam and the UAE Independence 1960-1974
In 1960, Sheikh Mohamad gave his famous speech to clarify his position of E’bad Ar-Rahman having another armed wing in Beirut whereby he famously said:
“[W]e are an educational Islamic society that teaches people morals and prayers, but you (Tripoli’s Armed E’bad Ar-Rahman) want to fight for the sake of Allah, you want to establish a new state other than that of our Lebanon, you have your own path, and we have our own“
He would then re-establish E’bad Ar-Rahman as a purely institutional and educational Islamic society. In 1970 , Sheikh Daouk received an invitation from the Emir of Sharjah, Dr Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed al-Qasimi. Upon visiting the horn of the Gulf, modern day UAE, Sheikh Daouk advocation for the union of the Emirates backing his activism by religion. He advocated that any union between the Emirates is in the path towards God. The Sheikh then established Sharjah Radio and contributed to its industrial sector by providing his guidance in engineering. His efforts played a modest role in the unification and independence of the UAE in 1971.
Later Life 1975-2006
In 1975, the Lebanese Civil War broke out which did not persuade Sheikh Daouk to pick up arms and fight, despite the fact that his agreements with Sheikh Pierre had been widely breached by his son, Bashir Gemayel. Sheikh Mohamad returned to UAE for a couple of visits, and he would then receive an invitation to live there permanently by Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi, the late ruler’s son. Sheikh Daouk would then permemntnly leave Lebanon in 1979 and receive an honoured UAE citizenship by Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan.
Sheikh Mohamad then began to reestablish his Islamic career as a prominent cleric across the UAE where he founded a printing press and publishing company to publish religious literature and books. The Sheikh would remain in the UAE until his death in 2006, where he peacefully returned to the God whom he’d dedicated the majority of his life to.