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Periyar Dasan Dr. Abdullah

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Dr. Abdullah, once a notable atheist, who hero-worshiped the popular rationalist and atheist Periyar E. V. Ramasamy (EVR), later converted to Buddhism and, at long last, embraced Islam In November 2010, winning the hearts of millions of Muslims around world, particularly in Tamil Nadu. He died on 19 August, 2013 as a devout Muslim. He succumbed to a short illness in a private hospital in Chennai. He was 68. He is survived by his wife Vasantha (62), and two sons, Valavan (35), and Suradha (32). Dr. Abdullah’s parents named him as Seshachalam. In youth he was a bright boy, a voracious reader and writer with a probing mind. In later years he served as professor in Pachiappas College in Chennai. He propagated atheism aggressively around forty years as a staunch disciple of Periyar to the point of adopting "Periyar Dasan" as part of his name.

Decades later, Seshachalam met his childhood friend Sirajuddin in Dubai who advised don’t perish as a disbeliever, have faith in One God who is Allah". Since then this analyst of different faiths such as Hinduism, Budhism and atheism, did a scrupulous study of Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s sayings and deeds (Hadees) until he became certain that Islam is the true way of life and Allah is omnipotent, omniscient, and Prophet Muhammad (pubh) is Allah’s last messenger. He embraced Islam and became a celebrity Muslim known as "Dr. Abdullah". He wrote nearly forty books on Islam. As token of love and respect, his funeral prayer was offered at Chennai’s prominent mosque, Makkah Masjid. It was attended by a large number of Muslims as well as some politicians  including Vaiko (Gopal Samy), the founder of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Thol Thiruma Valavan, renowned Dalit activist and a former Member of Parliament and President of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (Liberation Panther Party). Prominent Muslims participated in the funeral prayer including Dr. M. H. Jawahirullah (MLA and leader of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi). Moulana Shamsudeen Qasimi, Chief Imam of Makkah Masjid, performed the funeral prayer.

It is understood from a source in his family that Dr. Abdullah donated his eyes to the Eye Bank, Nungbakkam, Chennai, and his body as cadaver to Madras Medical College, Chennai. (Shafee Ahmed Ko, Chennai)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2013 on page no. 12

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