Home | Return

Prominent Islamic scholar Dr. Hamidullah Dies at 95


WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 17, 2002: Prominent Islamic scholar
Prof. Dr. Hamidullah breathed his last at the age of 95 in Jacksonville, Fl,
today. Dr. Hamidullah's Islamic work  spans well over half a century. He is
the first Muslim to translate the Holy Quran in the French language

Dr. Hamidullah  served the Muslim Ummah with his unique  and

unparalleled scholarship for more than half a century. His selfless efforts and
dedication, and his work will remain a beacon of light for the coming
generations," said Dr. Yahya Basha, Chairman AMC. "We condole the
passing of Dr. Hamidullah with his family, and his actual larger family,
the Muslim Ummah," added Dr. Basha.
Following is an obituary, which describes Dr. Hamidullah's work and life in
detail. We are sharing this with our members with the courtesy of the weekly
Muslim Observer.


Thank You Professor Muhammad Hamidullah
by Aslam Abdullah
At the age of 95, Professor  Muhammad Hamidullah breathed last on December 17,
2002, in Jacksonville, Fl. He woke up for fajr prayer and then after
breakfast went to sleep never to wake up again. Professor Hamidullah was born
in India on February 19, 1908, in the princely state of Hyderabad. He was a
law professor in his native city. Later he settled in France and a few years
ago he came to the United States. The professor never married. He was being
taken care by his the grand daughter of his brother, sister Sadida who left
her job to devote herself for him.

Professor Hamdiullah’s scholarship is unparalleled in the last century. He
translated the Quran in French and many other languages. He also translated a
number of other important Islamic books in many European languages. He
authored more than 250 books and research papers. He lived a life of
anonymity in France and the United States without seeking any help from
anyone or recognition for his work. He was a silent scholar.

Opportunists pirated his books and made hundreds and thousands of dollars,
yet he never thought of settling the accounts in a court of law. His books
have been printed illegally in different languages all over the world.
I had the opportunity to visit him a few years ago in Wilkes Berre. At his
feet I learned the lesson of humility and anonymity. I learned the art of
patience and total service and dedication to Islam. He had no grudge against
those who harmed him. He even prayed for those who often tried to humiliate
him for his opinions.

As a great researcher of this century, Professor Hamidullah went to those
original Islamic sources that were often buried in the dusty shelves of
libraries in the Muslim world. He was the one who discovered the earliest
hadith manuscript in a Damascus library that he published in the Urdu
language known as Sahifa Hamam. He wrote several researched treatise on the
early life of Muslims.

He remained a neglected scholar because he retained his individual freedom
and identity. He didn't join any group or organization as was the trend for
Muslim scholars and researcher.

His was a life of dedication to Islamic research and he left behind him a
legacy of intellect that many generation will benefit from. Soon, people will
discover him as perhaps the greatest Islamic scholar of the previous century.
Soon the people will regret that they could not benefit from him when he was

Thank you Professor Muhammad Hamidullah for giving us the research on crucial
Islamic issues. Thank you for your remarkable contribution to the body of
Islamic literature. You lived a full live. You remained in poverty but
enriched the life of others with your knowledge. You remained away from the
usual temptation of life, yet you inspired many to dedicate their lives for

Good bye Professor. We will meet again. You will be among the categories of
those selected scholars who will have the blessings of God upon them. You
will be the one blessed because you were the real inheritor of Prophets.