It is with great sadness that we announce the departure of our dear Brother Gabriel David Herrera Escobar (Dawood Al-Colombi) who passed away earlier in September 2015 after suffering many months of illness in Pereira, Colombia.
Inná lilláhi wa inná ilaihi ráji’ún.
Brother Dawood was a truly inspirational figure who touched the lives of so many people and was instrumental in furthering the cause of Islam throughout Latin America. Those of who met him personally during his time in London will recall his friendliness and warmth as well as passion and deep determination for spreading the message of Islam. Some of you may also remember that it was during a dawah expedition to a remote part of Colombia a few years ago where brother Dawud first fell ill.
Perhaps our only consolation is that he has left us to meet His Lord during these blessed days of Dhul Hijjah. We ask Allah (swt) to have mercy on our brother and ease the pain of his family and loved ones who have been beside him throughout this time. May Allah, the Almighty, elevate his rank in the hereafter with the martyrs and righteous ones and grant him the highest station in Jannah, Ameen.
Brief History of Dawood
Born as Gabriel David Herrera Escobar, he embraced Islam an took the name Dawood Abdul Ghafur Herrera.
Originally from Pereira, Colombia, he came to London, England, where he was introduced to Islam after his brother Mustafa Herrera had reverted to Islam.
He started his learning of knowledge and dawah in London and spoke to many in the Latin community spreading the message of Islam.
During the year 2005, he went back to his hometown to continue his dawah work of delivering the message of Islam to his hometown people. Alhamdulillah at least 200 people in his hometown embraced Islam including the whole of his family. Reverts coming to Islam in Colombia are rapidly growing.
March – From Salsa to Jalsa event held at Regent’s Park Mosque.
April – Brother Dawud was taken ill with Malaria.
August – Brother Dawud pulled through his illness and started gradually improving.
His brother Mustafa set himself off to join brother Abdullah from Meligin to varies cities throughout Colombia in the setup of dawah tables – cities include Pereira, Barranquilla, Manizales and Medellin – from there came support from the Egyptian organisation called “Sims” which supported in the distribution of books, leaflets etc.
November – Salsa to Jalsa 2 event held at the London Muslim Centre, East London Mosque
· There were two trips organised to Panama by brother Dawood and brother Ahmad from Panama.
February (10 days) by only visiting a small village over 130 people embraced Islam.
March (3 weeks) Visits to the main cities in Panama – setting up dawah tables on the streets, shopping malls and various areas – at least 30 people embraced Islam out of this.
· During this period many new Muslims throughout Pereira have visited brother Dawood’s house and at many occasion, Jummah has been held there with his family.
· There have been follow-ups of the new Muslims by visiting them in their local areas, providing them educational and financial support.
· At present, we aim to raise money for a dawah Mobil for the community in order to visit new Muslims, get the communities together in helping one another.
· We are looking into finding a suitable Sheikh for the community in Pereira to educate and assist the new Muslims in educating them and supporting them.