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March 11th, 2010

A leading voice in moderate Islam passes away

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing away of His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad Syed Tantawi. The Sheikh was the Grand Imam of Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University. He passed away in Riyadh, where he was attending a conference, because of cardiac arrest at the age of 81. Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon.

His Eminence Sheikh Tantawi was a prominent voice in the world of moderate Islam. When the book The Religion of Islam by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali, the late Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, was translated into Arabic he was asked to review the manuscript and to write a foreword. After reviewing the manuscript he wrote a very favourable foreword praising the book and Maulana Muhammad Ali. He asked his personal printer to give his advice on how best to print and to publish the book. His personal printer also printed the Arabic translations of other books by Maulana Muhammad Ali such as Muhammad the Prophet, Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad and A Manual of Hadith.

He regarded the Lahore Ahmadis as Muslims and spoke well of us. He would quote from the book The Religion of Islam in his articles. Sheikh Tantawi showed his support for this jamaat by saying that we should not worry about criticism. He would throw newspapers containing abusive articles about Lahori-Ahmadis in the waste paper basket.

His enlightened leadership will be greatly missed by moderate Muslims. May Almighty Allah admit him to His mercy and grant him a place in paradise.

Sheikh Tantawi, right, with Pope Shenouda III, Coptic pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa, earlier this year. (Photograph: Salah Ibrahim/EPA)

Sheikh Tantawi

One Response to “A leading voice in moderate Islam passes away”

  1. Inna LiL’Lahay Wa Inna ELay Hay Rajay’oon

    It is very sad to hear news of passing away of Sheikh Muhammad Syed Tantawi.
    More than before moderate, rational and peaceful scholars of Islam, like him, are desperately needed to guide millions of today’s misguided Muslims. May Allah grant him reward for taking stand against all opposition of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. May Allah grant him final abode in paradise and patience to his survivors. Ameen.