American Millionaire Who Was Also Michael Jackson’s Lawyer
16 November 2009
An American millionaire, Mark Shaffer declared his
Islam in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, 17th October 2009.
Mark was at that time on a holiday in Saudi Arabia to
visit some famous cities like Riyadh, Abha and Jeddah
for 10 days.
Mark is a well-known millionaire and also an practiced
lawyer in Los Angeles, specializing in cases of civil
laws. The last big case he handled was the case of the
famous American pop singer, Michael Jackson, a week
before he passed away.
A tourist guide who accompanied Mark for 10 days in
Saudi Arabia, Dhawi Ben Nashir told: Since he set foot
for the first time in Saudi Arabia, Mark already
started to ask question about Islam and Solat. As soon
as he arrived in Saudi, Mark stayed in Riyadh for two
days. While in Riyadh, Mark was very interested in
Islam. After moving to Najran, we went to Abha and Al-Ula.
There, his fascination on Islam grew more obvious,
especially the time when we ventured out into the
Mark was amazed to see three Saudi youths who were in
our group in Al-Ula, performing solat in the expanse
of the very wide desert. A very fantastic panorama
After two days in Al-Ula, we went to Al-Juf. As soon
as we arrived in Al-Juf, Mark asked if I could get him
some books on Islam. I then obtained some books on
Islam for him. Mark read all those books. The next
morning, he asked me to teach him how to perform solat.
I then taught him how to pray and take wudhu
(ablution). Then, he joined me and performed solat
After solat, Mark told me that he felt peace in his
soul. On Thursday afternoon, we left Al-Ula heading
for Jeddah. He looked very serious throughout the
journey reading those books about Islam. On Friday
morning, we visited the old town of Jeddah. Before the
time for the Friday prayer approached, we went back to
the hotel and I excused myself to go for the Friday
prayer. Then, Mark told me: I would like to join you
for the Friday prayer so that I can witness myself how
the Friday prayer is like. So I answered: welcome…
We then went to a masjid which was not far from the
hotel where we stayed in Jeddah. Since we were quite
late, I and many other jamaah had to pray outside, as
the number of jamaah was overflowing. I could see Mark
observing the jamaah, especially after the Friday
prayer was completed, when everybody was shaking hands
and embracing each other with radiant and happy faces.
Mark was very impressed with what he saw.
When we return to the hotel, Mark suddenly told me
that he wanted to become a Muslim. So I said to him:
Please have a shower first. After Mark took the
shower, I guided him in saying the kalimah of shahadah
(declaration of faith) and then he prayed two rakaah.
Later on, Mark expressed his desire to visit the
Masjidil Haram in Makkah and perform solat there
before leaving Saudi Arabia.
In order to fulfill his wish, we went to the Da’wah
and Irshad office in the area of Al-Hamro’, Jeddah, to
obtain a formal proof of his conversion to Islam, so
that he would be allowed to enter the city of Makkah
and Masjidil Haram. Then, Mark was given a temporary
certificate of his conversion to Islam. As a number of
group members who participated in Mark’s visit to
Saudi Arabia had to go back to America on Saturday
afternoon, Al-Hamdulillah, Ustadz Muhammad Turkistani
was willing to send Mark to the Holy Land of Makkah
that same morning.
Regarding Mark’s visit to Masjidil Haram, Ustadz
Muhammad Turkistani narrated: After Mark obtained his
temporary certificate, we straight away departed
heading for the noble Masjidil Haram. When he
witnessed the Masjidil Haram, he face looked radiant
and it emanated an extraordinary happiness. When we
entered the Masjidil Haram and witnessed the Ka’bah
for ourselves, his happiness increased. By Allah, I
could not express that scene with words. After
performing the tawaf around the noble Ka’bah, we
performed the sunnah solat and went out of Masjidil
Haram. I could see Mark very reluctantly wanting to
leave Masjidil Haram.
After Mark declared his Islamic faith, he had the
chance to express his happiness in Al-Riyadh Newspaper
saying: I could not express my feeling at this time
but I am being reborn and my life has just started…
then he added: I am very happy. This happiness that I
am feeling could not be expressed in words especially
when I visited the Masjidil Haram and noble Ka’bah.
Regarding his next step after his conversion to Islam,
Mark explained: I will learn more about Islam, I will
delve deeper into this religion of Allah (Islam) and
come back to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj.
As to what impelled him into converting to Islam, Mark
explained: I have already had information about Islam,
but it was very limited. When I visited Saudi Arabia
and personally witnessed the Muslims there, and saw
how they performed the solat, I felt a very strong
drive to know more about Islam. When I read true
informations about Islam, I became confident that
Islam is a religion of haq (truth).
Sunday morning, 18th October 2009, Mark left the
Airport of King Abdul Aziz Jeddah heading for America.
When filling in the immigration form before leaving
Jeddah, Mark wrote ISLAM as his religion.
Farewell Mark… May Allah bless you and make you an
obedient Muslim and a Da’i who would invite the
American society to benefit from the happiness of
being Muslims, just as how you have felt because only
Islam could save mankind in this world, as well as in
the akhirah later… Ameen.