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Renowned Islamic scholar Dr Fazlur Rahman Faridi passes away

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Eminent Islamic scholar, ideologue and Islamic economist, Dr Fazlur Rahman Faridi passed away at 8:30 am on July 25 morning. He was 79.  His funeral was held at the graveyard of Aligarh Muslim University on July 26, where he was buried with proper Islamic rituals. He has left behind three sons and one daughter as well as his widow, Mrs. Anwar Jahan.

“Dr. Faridi was born in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh on April 4, 1932. He received his early education in Jaunpur before completing his graduation and post graduation at Allahabad University, followed by doctoral research in Economics from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He joined AMU as Lecturer in Economics after doing an intensive course of Islamic Studies at Thanvi Darsgah Rampur. Eighteen years thereafter he rendered his services at King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for about 10 years. He made his mark in the Islamic Movement as a scholar and thinker,” read the press release of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, the prime national Islamic organization he served as its Director, Research and Studies.

Dr. Faridi had a distinguished career as a member of Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora, Central Advisory Council and of U.P Zonal Advisory Council of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. He was also the editor of Zindagi-e-Nau and English magazine Radiance Viewsweekly and served humanity by being on the board of many trusts and organisations. He was also Secretary of Idara-e-Tahqeeq-o-Tasneef, a unique research institution of the country based in Aligarh.

Dr. Faridi wrote many books on Islamic Economy. Books, namely Nature and Significance of Islamic Activity in Islam, Essays in Islamic Economic Analysis, Islamic Economics and Economy of Indian Muslims and Economic Development and Fiscal Policy in Egypt are a few of his great works.

Dr. Faridi, revered as an ideologue, also wrote on the ideology and strategies of Tahreek in India. In addition to his unparalleled Islamic economic research, he has also written scores of articles and booklets on issues like globalization, reform of society, propagation of religion etc. He has to his credit about two dozen books in Urdu and English, mostly on Islamic Economics. His academic works include Sarmayadarana Nizam: Ek Challenge, Daur-e-Hazir ka Karb aur Islam ka Nizam-e-Rahmat, Adl ki Talash, and Islam Aalmi Amn ka Naqeeb. He was undoubtedly a famous writer on Islam and Contemporary Issues.

Dr. Faridi, was also the Chairman of Indian Centre for Islamic Finance- ICIF, New Delhi which has been ceaselessly the torch bearer for the cause of Islamic Finance and Banking in our country. He gave an inspiring example of devotion and discipline towards his causes when he inaugurated the website of the organization viz., www.icif.in, in 2010, despite being in hospital for treatment. It is because of his noble efforts that today, ICIF’s website is popular and visited in over 50 countries of the world.

Along with Dr. M. Nejatullah Siddiqi, his name is from among the front-rankers in India who have provided a solid foundation for academic and research work in Islamic Economics. He is also the chairman of Indian association for Islamic Economics. He has also guided most of the leading and prominent personalities in the field of Islamic economics and finance.

“When RBI constituted a Working Group in 2005 to study the feasibility of Islamic banking instruments, he was the chief convener of an international conference by JIH, entitled- Equity & Justice: Message of Islamic Banking in FICCI Auditorium which provided an impetus to the activities increasing awareness among the masses, madarsas and mainstream media and the regulators, the need for and relevance of Islamic Finance and Banking in our great country,” wrote H Abdur Raqeeb, General Sectary, ICIF, in his obituary.  

Since his well-wishers received the news of his demise, memories of his good deeds came pouring from all directions and all walks of society.

“I am shocked to know about the death of Dr. Faridi. He was one of the outstanding visionary Muslim intellectual besides being a renowned economist. I got the privilege to work with him in Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN), an organization for the emancipation of Muslims, as he was one of its founder members. May Allah bestow his blessings on him,” said Navaid Hamid, secretary MOEMIN, expressing his sadness on the occasion.

“When I was delivering my lecture on “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, I remember he made a comment which only a person of great integrity and selfless devotion could make. He said, “What we have been preaching as Islamic Economics for the last thirty years is nothing more than mere introduction of Interest-free economics to the otherwise Western Model of Economics,” recalled Dr. Javed Jamil, founder of PEACE, an NGO, and a critic of western economic model.  

“Dr. Faridi has been a mentor for the growth of Islamic economics in the country. His passing away is a loss of an intellectual treasure and guidance,” said Mohd. Azharuddin, President, Students Islamic Organization of India while condoling his demise. “Its a great loss to the Islamic Movement. He will be remembered for his contributions to Fiscal Economics in Islam and also for his ideological contributions to the Islamic Movements in Plural Societies across the world”, expressed Sadatullah Hussaini, Former President of SIO.
    Saiyed Danish

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2011 on page no. 16

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