Do you ever wonder why, as you think of someone that you have not met or heard for sometimes; a sudden longing, then bad news would follow? It happened to me just before midnight yesterday. The thought of someone that I have not met for a while, came just in a flash of a second and immediately after I recieved a call from another close buddy, that he had just heard news of the person's demise. Innalillahi wainna ilaihi raaji'un.
Dr. Mohammed Abdul Zaki Badawi, the Chairman of the Council of Mosques, UK passed away yesterday morning in London. My last meeting with him was just hardly eight months ago during his trip here. Himself a well known figure in Malaya, with many friends and students mostly now serving in the local universities, as he came as lecturer in Kolej Islam Kelang, and then served in the Islamic Studies Department of University Malaya for quite a long period. For having served in Malaya and participated actively in the development of tertiary Islamic education here, he took pride in claiming himself as being more of a Malaysian than an Egyptian
Dr. Zaki Badawi (1922 -2006) was the founding director of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Regent's Park, London. A scholar of Islam and an expert in the expanding field of Islamic finance, he established the Muslim College in London to train Imams to work in British mosques. Dr. Badawi had acquired a national and international standing as an intellectual and a moderate voice on social and political issues. He had participated in many interfaith forums and was elected a member of the Standing Committee of the World Council of Islamic Call to dialogue with the Vatican from 1984. He was a Patron of the Prisoners of Conscience, the Maimonides Foundation for Muslim/Jewish Dialogue and is Founding member of the Religious Panel, Amnesty International. Dr Badawi was a co-founder of the Three Faiths Forum. He was appointed as Honorary Officer for the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his outstanding contribution to race relations.
He was a father, teacher, friend and master to me. I am fortunate to be his student before,during my short stint in London several years back, and had sat with him on several committees locally and also participated together in several forums locally and abroad. From him I learnt of Imam Laits, a teacher well respected by Imam Shafie. Imam Laits's views were radical for his time and as result all of his books were burned. What we know of Imam Laits today are from the several pages of his works that were discovered. Dr. Badawi is equally a controversial figure especially on his views on hijab. But there are other views expressed by him that are held with very high respect.
Fate works in strange ways. When he was in the University of Malaya, Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz the Governor of Bank Negara, then a child, grew up right in front of his eyes. Yesterday he passed away in front of hers. He died while in discussions with Tan Sri Dr. Zeti, at an event on finance organised by Euromoney, in London.
Allahummagh firlahu war hamhu. Al Fatihah.
Latest Update: Prince Charles leads Tribute to Badawi