Washington, Dec. 11 (Bernama)- Well-known professor of Islamic studies and
education, Tan Sri Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rauf died of a ruptured aortic
aneurysm Saturday at a Bethesda hospital in Maryland, near here.
Professor Abdul Rauf, 86, whose students included the young Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi at University Malaya, passed away just before 7.30 pm at the
Suburban Hospital hours after doctors battled for four hours in an
early-morning surgery on Friday to repair his aorta in the abdomen area”¦
The late professor Abdul Rauf will be buried at the Washington National
Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland, next to his son, Ali, who died in 1993. Dr.
Abdul Rauf is survived by his wife, Buthayna, and his four children,
Feisal, Aisha, Salwa and Ayman.
Born in Egypt on Dec. 27, 1917 in the town of Abusir, north of Cairo, Dr.
Abdul Rauf was sent to then Malaya by the University Al-Azhar in 1955 to
open Kolej Islam in kelang in 1955. Later, he headed the Department of
Islamic Studies at University Malaya. In 1965, he was Director of the
Islamic Center in New York and then Director of the Islamic Center in
Washington from 1970-80.
He was later invited back to Malaysia by then Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir
Mohamad to become the first Rector of the International Islamic University
of Malaysia (IIU) from 1983-84, and then moved on to KUZA (Kolej Ugama
Sultan Zainal Abidin) in Terengganu before retiring in 1992. Although he
spent the rest of his days in his Washington home with his family, he
frequently visited his homes in Egypt and Malaysia, said Feisal.
Ambassador Datuk Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid said he was very saddened by
the loss of Dr. Abdul Rauf, who has made an important contribution to
education in Malaysia, especially in Islamic studies. “He is a very
enlightened and refreshing person particularly when engaged in Islamic issues.”
Feisal, an Imam for the past 22 years at Masjid Al Farah in Tribeca, New
York, is also trustee of the Islamic Center in New York established by his
father. The prime real estate in Manhattan on 96th and 3rd street will soon
see the creation of an Islamic cultural center which will be adjacent to
the mosque built under his father’s directorship. ~~ Feisal, the eldest in
the family appears to follow his father’s foot step and he has written a
book called “What’s Right With Islam,” published and released in May 2004
by Harper San Francisco.~ Bernama
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf