A man will die, but not his ideas.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

August 2005: Truely A Very Sad Month

August 2005 is coming to end. Sitting back and remembering some of the events that occured during this month, I came to realize how sad it was for me. In this month, the Islamic nation has lost two of its greatest idols: King Fahd bin Abdul-Aziz, who passed away on the beginning of the month at the age of 84, and Shaikh Ahmed Deedat, who passed away one week later at the age of 87 in Durban. Both figures were well-known and respected all over the world.

Since the day he was announced king, King Fahd bin Abdul-Aziz has taken over his shoulders many responsibilities. Some towards his people and others towards the Arabian and Islamic nations. But perhaps the most important was the responsibility towards the visitors the two Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah and the visitors and pilgrims of the houses of Allah in them. And from his humbleness, he wasn't keen of the title "His Royal Highness" and preferred to be referred to as "The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" instead. During the period in which he was monarch, he reshaped and improved the image Saudi Arabia and lives of its citizens. Many great advances have been made during this period in various fields, such as education, infrastructure, healthcare, economy, foreign diplomacy, and social development. His support for the Palestinean rights and for all Islamic affairs will remain unforgotten.

Shaikh Ahmed Deedat, a renowned Islamic scholar, author, and lecturer who dedicated almost all of his life to da`wah (teaching Islam), published over 20 books and distributed millions of copies of pamphlets for free, many of which had been translated into various languages. Deedat has delivered thousands of lectures and participated in numerous public debates globally. He is known for his work in comparative religions. And many of his books were about comparisons between Islam and other religions, particularly Christianity. His career in comparative religion involved him in dialogues with the heads of the Protestant church in America and the late Pop John Paul II. He wrote about topics such as the role of Jesus - peace be upon him - in Islam and how Muhammad - peace be upon him - was prophecised in the Bible, with many of the prophecies which Christians believe deal with Jesus actually deal with Muhammad. Some lectures and debates by him can be found at Aswat Al-Islam (Sounds of Islam) website, or directly over here. He established the first Islamic religious institution in South Africa to train preachers at the Assalaam Institute in Braemar and was the president of the Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI), an organization which he helped found until he suffered from a stroke in 1996 which left him paralyzed.

May Allah's peace and blessings be upon King Fahd and Shaikh Ahmed Deedat, two great idols that deserve our respect and our prayers.



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