Dr Zeki Badawi  1922 - 2006

NABA announces with great sadness the death Dr Zaki Badawi, Principal of the Muslim College in the UK. Dr Badawi was a leading scholar of Islam both in the UK and internationally.  In addition to his contribution to the Muslim community in the UK, he was the foremost figure in interfaith dialogue between the three biblical faiths in the UK and his demise will be a great loss to all the communities. 

In addition to Dr Badawi's contribution to Islam and Muslims in the UK, he was a progressive Muslim who passively encouraged Muslims to play a positive part in British political life and in the last general elections he actively encouraged British mosques to persuade Muslims to participate in the democratic process. His guidance and encouragement to NABA and its Chairman Dr Jalili will not be forgotten. 

Dr Badawi will be greatly missed both as humane person and as a leading Muslim figure in the UK who was a true example of a man of deep and genuine faith.

NABA

Zaki Badawi, Muslim community leader, teacher and theologian.  He was born on August 11, 1922 and died on January 24, 2006, aged 83.

The Times January 25, 2006



Badawi, second from left, making a joint statement on September12, 2001, with Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, Lord Carey of Clifton, then the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster


 

Obituary: The Times

Zaki Badawi


Leading voice of moderate Islam who believed passionately in interfaith dialogue and the idea of the British Muslim

FEW MEN have done as much to reconcile Islam with modernity as Zaki Badawi, the founder and principal of the Muslim College in London. And few men have played such a crucial role in attempting to find a harmonious balance between the beliefs, culture and values of Islam and secular British society. Indeed, that almost two million British Muslims are today able to define themselves as such owes much to the vision of the Egyptian-born scholar who saw, early on, that the many Muslims who settled in Britain from different parts of the Islamic world would, one day, form a significant strand of British society — which happened to be Muslim.

For years, Badawi was the unofficial — and almost lone — spokesman for Muslims in Britain who had no visible figurehead or institutional structure. Appointed in 1978 as chief imam of the London Central Mosque as well as director of the Islamic Cultural Centre, he used these influential positions in the capital to call for an Islam that fitted comfortably with British values, so that younger generations, brought up and educated in this country, would find no conflict between their faith and their civic identity as British citizens.
To him, this meant an Islam that was inclusive, moderate, tolerant and without the rancour or hostility that marked attitudes to Western values prevalent in some of the more zealous sects of Arabia and the Middle East. He therefore devoted his life in Britain to building bridges — of faith, of dialogue and of scholarship. It is thanks largely to his pioneering work in the 1990s in helping to establish a forum for the three Abrahamic faiths — Christianity, Judaism and Islam — and his tireless, behind-the-scenes work in reaching out to British society and institutions that Britain has fared so much better than other European nations with Muslim minorities in integrating its Muslim citizens. But for Badawi, Britain might have fared far less well in avoiding the social alienation that has marked relations between Muslims and the rest of society in France.

Equally, however, Badawi was an outspoken voice in upholding Muslim dignity and the true values of his faith when these came under attack. This was never more crucial than in the aftermath of the September 11 atrocities in America. And when many other leading Muslim scholars were reluctant to speak out to condemn violence or denounce terrorism, he wrote an article for The Times in which he insisted that taking revenge on the innocent was abhorrent to Islam. He gave a warning that no society was immune from violence, and the worst was one which donned the garb of religion. But he said the Koran emphasised that those who disturbed the peace of society and spread fear and disorder deserved the severest punishment that could be imposed.

His denunciation of violence and extremism was forcefully repeated again last year, when he joined religious leaders in commemorating the victims of the London bombings and in calling for tolerance and calm. Again, his words, among others, may have helped Britain to avoid any widespread and violent backlash against Muslims across the country.

Born in Cairo in 1922, Badawi studied at al-Azhar University, where he claimed to have gained his rebellious streak. “I have always refused to be deferential, even to heads of state,” he told a journalist in January 2003. “Irreverence is part of my Islamic culture, of my training at al-Azhar.”

It did nothing to harm his studies: after an undergraduate degree in theology, Badawi gained a master’s degree in Arabic language and literature and the King Faruq First Prize for best postgraduate student. After gaining his doctorate, he returned to teach at al-Azhar before coming to Britain for the first time in 1951. He gained a degree in psychology from University College London, followed by a doctorate from London University in modern Muslim thought.

He then spent several years in South-East Asia, setting up the Muslim College of Malaya and taking teaching posts in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. He took up professorships in Kano and Zaria, Nigeria, and in Jeddah. He returned to London as a research professor for the Haj Research Centre of the King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia.

Badawi first came to grips with the British way of life, and the challenges it held for Muslims, in 1978 when he took the post of director of the Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC), while also serving as chief imam of the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park. He helped to establish the Shariah Council, to reconcile conflicts between Islamic and British law. He found it incredible that most imams would not — and could not — preach in the language of their adopted country, and he was the first Muslim to make this criticism clear.

He doubted, too, that priests or teachers could reach out to young British Muslims as if they were on home soil in Pakistan or Bangladesh, and was quite sure they should not try. As British Muslims became third and fourth-generation citizens, he felt certain that the cross-pollination of ideas needed a new, Westernised approach, and an awareness and respect of all faiths, in order to make sense of it.

The prospectus of the Muslim College, which he established in 1986 to train imams in the new approach, and where he served as principal, states that the training of “traditional” imams “is not always sufficient to deal with the cultural environment of modern Western Europe and the USA, nor with problems arising from interaction with Western societies”.

Perhaps most infuriating to fundamentalists was Badawi’s firm belief in the idea of British Muslims, with British as a badge of honour, a social and cultural designation, not a mere branch of one contiguous caliphate. “Within a couple of generations Muslims will lose their cultural baggage. Indian and Pakistani ways will disappear. They will adopt Western cultural values, and the whole community will be brought together as British Muslims,” he said.

A dislike of “cultural baggage” was at the heart of Badawi’s rebellious streak. He campaigned against female genital mutilation, insisting that it was an outmoded cultural, not religious, practice with no causal link to Islam. He stated that the fatwa had become overused, and that those who proclaimed them usually had no divine sanction. “Since Ayatollah Khomeini issued his against Salman Rushdie, everyone has opened a fatwa shop,” he said.

Badawi incurred the wrath of Britain’s imams in 1989 when he stated that, much as he disliked his book, should Rushdie knock at his door with the youth of Bradford at his heels, he would certainly give him sanctuary. He wished to restore the idea, lost in the Iranian Revolution, of loving the sinner, hating the sin.

Naturally, Badawi’s belief in a type of Islam both acceptable to and supportive of Western society made him an “Uncle Tom” character to many imams. He seemed to represent the face of Islam that liberal, middle-class Britain hoped to do business with.

He was certainly an antidote to the gloom of 9/11 and the London bombings. Badawi, in explaining the religion’s ability to adapt, would often refer to its golden age, its absorption of other faiths and its role in preserving the Classics. Such reasoned Islam, between mosque and minaret, he hoped would come to prominence in Britain.

Badawi prepared 38 articles on financial management with respect to Muslim law. In Britain, where most people maintain an enduring faith in the property market, Badawi’s work in establishing sharia-compliant or “halal” mortgages may prove the most binding part of his work to bring the next generation into the fold. At the Islamic Real Estate Finance conference in London in July 2003, Badawi explained how Muslims could take advantage of his schemes, backed by the Treasury, to own property in Britain or overseas.
In 1997 Badawi established, with Sir Sigmund Sternberg and the Rev Marcus Braybrooke, the Three Faiths Forum — “To encourage friendship, goodwill and understanding amongst people of the three Abrahamic monotheistic faiths in the UK and elsewhere”. He was vice-chairman of the World Congress of Faiths and director/trustee of the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism (Fair). He was a founder-trustee of the Festival of Muslim Cultures, and it was his vision for UK Muslims to take a more prominent role that inspired the festival, which was launched this month.

Yet Badawi, given to the celebration of compatible faiths rather than a grudging cognisance of “people of the book”, remained a maverick — albeit an increasingly important one.

Turned back from JFK Airport by US authorities in July last year, Badawi showed pity rather than anger. “They were very, very embarrassed and I felt sorry for them.” He said, adding: “America is a lovely country. There is no reason why it should behave like that.” Badawi had joined Iqbal Sacrani and other leaders of the faith todenounce the perpetrators of the London bombings eight days earlier. Their points of agreement were relatively few, however. Sacrani ’s recent statement that homosexuality is “not acceptable” and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) boycott last year of the Holocaust remembrance ceremony will give many cause to miss a peacemaker who would, wherever possible, give words of support and, where not, keep his own counsel.

In private, Badawi was jovial, warm and hospitable. He enjoyed nothing more than a friendly, reasonable debate on the values of Muslims in Britain today and the challenges of reconciling Islam and modernity in Britain and across the wider Muslim world.

He was, however, saddened by the growth of extremist sects and their appeal for many young, disillusioned Muslims. And he blamed the Government and press for listening to the self-publicists who, he believed, were trying to impose their leadership on the Muslim community in Britain.

Partly this was because he found that his own moderation was increasingly under attack from younger, more assertive leaders, and partly it was the natural resentment of an older man for those who, he believed, had elbowed him out of the limelight.

But he relished his own acceptance into British society (he was a member of the Athenaeum) and the recognition he was accorded by other scholars and academics. Even in old age — which was certainly not visible in his face — he was active in writing, lecturing and preaching. He was glad that many of his causes, especially the demand that imams should be properly trained and speak good English, were finally recognised by the Government. The MCB, which now represents the main umbrella group of British Muslim organisations, was planning a ceremony to honour his scholarship, faith and role as a pioneer in British-Muslim relations. But he died before any such proposal could be advanced.

He was appointed OBE (hon) in 1998 and KBE in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Maryam, and by a son and a daughter.

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Obituary by Q Magazine

The Passing of a Truly Gentle Soul

1922 - 2006

Shaykh Dr Zaki Badawi died as he lived – in service to his faith, his community and the country he loved. Condolences, quiet gestures of grief and prayers poured in from across the country as the word of Dr Badawi’s passing spread. The traditional Muslim invocation “to God we belong and to God is our return” was repeated again and again as friends and long-time associates struggled to come to terms with his death.

Few Muslims, if any, could inspire the kind of public tributes that the Egyptian-born scholar has. From the Prince of Wales to the Prime Minister, civil liberties activists to media personalities, politicians to religious and community leaders – all acknowledged the contribution of this intrepid scholar leader.

An indefatigable force in British Islam for four decades, Dr Zaki Badawi was one of the country’s most influential Muslim personalities. Principal and Founder of The Muslim College, Chairman of the Imams and Mosques Council of the UK, Founder of the Muslim Law Council and former Imam and Director of the Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, Sir Dr Zaki Badawi was a man of tremendous stature – a respected scholar, a bridge builder, a consistent and powerful voice of reason and hope, especially in recent, turbulent times.

A founder, with Sir Sigmund Sternberg and Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke, of the Three Faith Forum, Dr Zaki Badawi was a champion of the universal values that he believed all peoples and faiths shared, long before such ecumenism was popular.

Generations of British Muslims benefited from his insight and wisdom. For the staff at Q-News – The Muslim Magazine, Dr Badawi’s passing has been deeply felt.

Publisher and Founding Editor Fuad Nahdi said:

“The gap Shaykh Badawi leaves behind is going to be very difficult to fill. He was a high calibre well-rounded scholar who never allowed circumstances to colour his edicts, an activist who knew how to pursue an agenda within a complex political network and an institution builder.

"But what made Shaykh Badawi unique is that he was a born leader who had little time or tolerance for representational politics and the antics that went with it. Of the national leadership feted in the corridors of power he was the only ‘alim (Islamic scholar).

"Right from its inception Q-News has enjoyed his total support and commitment. He read every issue page to page and it was always a pleasure to hear his comments. He was proud of the magazine and its achievement for it represented what he admired and respected most: critical self-retrospection, humour, independence and intelligence. He viewed Q-News advocacy of British Islam as part of the debate on the matter he initiated more than 30 years ago.

"Disagreeing with Shaykh Badawi was both a frustrating and futile exercise. He never personalised an argument or harboured malice just because you disagreed with him – to make him any enemy you really had to work very hard at it. On the few occasions I dared to disagree with him it always finally emerged that I erred.

"I will miss his intelligent conversations full of humour, wit and insight, his compassion and love, his enthusiasm, his optimism and, most important of all, the love he always had for his faith and community.”

Managing Editor Fareena Alam said:

“You were always at ease with Dr Zaki Badawi. Even when there was immense pressure on Muslim communities, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11 and more recently the London bombing, his optimism never flagged. He had faith in the capacity of British Muslims to give the best of themselves and their faith to Britain. Never patronizing, he showed a unique respect for young people. He gave hope to countless women who suffered from gross misinterpretation of Islamic law. As a respected jurist, his religious counsel was much sought after for its balance, relevance and practicality.

“He always reminded me that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, wanted ease for his followers, not hardship. Dr Zaki was a champion of faith and he sought to forge strong bonds between people of all faith. His embrace was generous. Dr Zaki didn’t play politics with religion. He was a great and treasured friend of Q-News and always knew the importance of independent Muslim media. Even when we disagreed, he would receive us with a smile and cup of tea.”

Q-News is proud to have been part of two major events aimed at honouring Shaykh Badawi’s for his achievements twice during his life: first to mark his 80th birthday and next, to congratulate him on his knighthood.

May God grant Dr Zaki Badawi’s soul rest and eternal blessing and mercy. Our prayers are with him and his family. May his incredible life be an abiding example to all people of faith and may his vision of a truly British Islam flourish. Ameen. 

Information on funeral arrangements will be made available on the Q-News website. Messages of condolence to Dr Zaki’s family and colleagues can be sent to:

The Muslim College
20-22 Creffield Road
Ealing Common
London W5 3RP
United Kingdom

Badawi@muslimcollege.ac.uk

For any further information or comment, please feel free to contact Fuad Nahdi (07967280370) or Fareena Alam (07985 176 798).

Funeral Prayers for the late Dr Zaki Badawi 

Funeral services for the late Dr Zaki Badawi took place on Friday 27 January 2006 at the London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre at Regent’s Park after the weekly Friday prayers. The prayers were attended by Dr Badawi’s family, colleagues, and delegations from all over the world. Hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims from all walks of life  mourned one of the most influential Muslims in Britain - a scholar they loved for over three decades. 

As a former Director General of the London Central Mosque, it is fitting that Dr Zaki Badawi was  remembered in prayers at the institution he helped build and develop. 

The burial took place at the North Watford Cemetery directly after the funeral services.

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Peace champion Dr Zaki Badawi dies

Black Information Link

25/1/2006

THE INFLUENTIAL Muslim cleric Dr Zaki Badawi died in London on Tuesday, aged 83.

The Egyptian-born scholar was a prime mover in advancing inter-faith dialogue and had been an imam of the London Central Mosque.

Tributes poured in today from Muslim leaders, key figures from other faiths, Prince Charles and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, general-secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that Badawi's passing constituted a major loss for British Muslims.

'We pray that God almighty grants him a place in his paradise with the martyrs, the prophets and the righteous.'  His funeral would probably take place on Friday.

dignity

Dr Badawi frequently surprised even his closest followers with his teachings, but always remained a unifying figure who wanted to build understanding between faiths.

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks called him "the face and voice of Islamic dignity and tolerance in Britain."

On the day of his death, he was scheduled to appear at the launch of a new Christian-Muslim interfaith group devoted to conflict resolution.

Dr Badawi forged close ties with the Christian and Jewish religions and joined with other faith leaders in a message of unity after the July 7, 2005 London bombings. He was knighted in 2003, and often used his scholarship to show the flexibility that Islam could have in the West

He was an early critic of UK imams who did not teach in English, recommended after the July bombings in London that Muslim women shun their hijabs if they felt threatened. He famously broke ranks with those calling for the execution of author Salman Rushdie.

spiritual

"There is no theological problem in Islam taking on a great deal of western culture and values and incorporating them," he once said.

Speaking today Mr Blair described him as a "wonderful mixture of the spiritual and the practical" who dedicated his life to the service of his faith.

Prince Charles said: 'The sudden loss of Zaki Badawi is a devastating blow to this country and to me personally. His brand of wisdom, scholarship, far-sightedness and above all humor has ensured that Zaki played an extraordinarily important role in the life of this country and amongst the Muslim community."'

Dr Badawi was a frequent broadcaster and writer on Islamic matters and was chairman of the Council of Mosques and Imams. He founded the Muslim College in London and worked to intergrate Islamic law and finance into Western society, helping to establish a sharia council to reconcile legal conflicts.

Even when misunderstood, Dr Badawi was always gracious. After being barred from entering the US last year - despite a valid visa - he accepted a subsequent apology from the US government.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty, said: "People of all faiths, as well as those without faith, will mourn the loss of Dr Badawi, who provided unique leadership in a world gone mad."

TheArchbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, called Dr Badawi a "uniquely effective interpreter of Islam" whose death was a great shock to those who worked with him in interfaith dialogue.

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UNICEF UK pays tribute to Dr Zaki Badawi
News item 25 January 2006

UNICEF UK pays tribute to Dr Zaki Badawi, trustee and beloved champion for children

UNICEF UK today mourned the sudden death of trustee Dr Zaki Badawi, who died in London at the age of 83. Dr Zaki Badawi was a UNICEF UK trustee and a powerful advocate for the organisation’s work.

“We have lost a true friend and champion for children in Dr Zaki Badawi,” said David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director. “Dr Badawi has been a tremendous source of support and advice.”

Appointed a trustee in 2000, Dr Badawi fulfilled his position with characteristic wisdom and insight. In particular, his counsel on interfaith outreach on matters of children’s rights played an important role in helping the organisation to engage the support of all faith groups.

“Dr Badawi’s life has helped to foster and deepen inter-faith understanding both in the UK and around the world,” continued Bull. 

On behalf of everyone at UNICEF UK, Bull extended his deepest sympathies to Dr Badawi’s family.

 

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University College London

Dr Zaki Badawi (1922–2006)

25 January 2006

UCL is deeply saddened by the death of prominent Muslim scholar Dr Zaki Badawi (UCL Psychology 1954) on 24 January 2006.

Often cited as a ‘voice of moderation’ and ‘champion for peace’, Dr Badawi was a highly respected and influential figure in political, education and religious circles and was considered to be the spokesperson for British Muslims.

Born in Egypt in 1922, Dr Badawi was Principal of the Muslim College in London, which he founded in 1986. He obtained a first degree in Theology and a Masters in Arabic Language & Literature at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University. Upon graduation in 1947, he was awarded the King Faruq First Prize for best postgraduate student.

In 1951, Dr Badawi moved to the United Kingdom, where he enrolled on a psychology degree at UCL, followed by a University of London PhD in Modern Muslim Thought.

After returning to Al-Azhar University, he was sent as a representative to establish a Muslim college in Malaya. In 1964, he was appointed Professor of Islamic Education at Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, and returned to London in 1972 where he undertook research for King Abdul Aziz University in Saudia Arabia.

Since then, Dr Badawi’s prolific career saw him appointed Director of the Islamic Cultural Centre, and Chief Imam of the London Central Mosque. He was instrumental in establishing the Sharia’h Council, which reconciles conflicts between Islamic law and the British Civil Code.Chairman of the Imams and Mosques Council since 1989, he enabled the Muslim College in London to achieve its founding objective to become a postgraduate seminary for the training of Imams and Muslim leaders in the West.

Prominent figures such as Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks have all paid tribute to Dr Badawi.

The Prince of Wales, who was a personal friend of Dr Badawi, said in a statement: “The sudden loss of Zaki Badawi is a devastating blow to this country and to me personally. His brand of wisdom, scholarship, far-sightedness and above all humour has ensured that Zaki played an extraordinarily important role in the life of this country and amongst the Muslim community.”

Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of UCL, stated: “The demise of Dr Badawi is a great loss to the many communities that he influenced for the better during his lifetime. He personified UCL’s founding ethos of progressive thought and mutual tolerance. He was a great example to us all and we are very honoured to have had him as part of our community.”

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British Muslims Mourn Death of Dr Zaki Badawi

The Muslim Council of Britain received with profound sadness the news of the death today of Dr. Zaki Badawi, Principal of the Muslim College, London.

"We are deeply shocked and saddened by his sudden demise. Dr Badawi’s passing constitutes a major loss for British Muslims. We pray that God Almighty grants him a place in His paradise with the martyrs, the prophets and the righteous," said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the MCB.

Apart from his dedicated service as a Muslim educationalist, Dr Zaki Badawi was also for several decades a leading exponent of interfaith dialogue not only in Britain but also internationally.

The MCB offers its heartfelt condolences to Dr Badawi's family and colleagues at the Muslim College.

"To God we belong and unto Him is our Return." (Qur'an)

 

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The American Muslim Association of North America

UK Muslim Scholar Zaki Badawi Dies

LONDON, January 24, 2006 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – Renowned British Muslim scholar and Principal of the Muslim College in London, Dr. Zaki Badawi, passed away Tuesday, January 24.

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing away of Dr Zaki Badawi, Principal of the Muslim College, this morning, London-based Muslim News Web site declared Tuesday.

"Dr Badawi was a great scholar of Islam and has made a huge contribution to the Muslim community, and his demise will be a great loss to all the communities. His devotion to interfaith dialogue was unparalleled," Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi, was quoted as saying on the Web site.

Versi told IOL over the phone that he was informed by a friend about the sad news and the Muslim College confirmed their Principal breathed his last at 11:00 a.m. London Time.

Versi added, citing sources at the Muslim College, that the late Badawi would be buried Wednesday or Thursday.

Sources in London told IOL that Badawi was on his way to deliver a lecture this morning when he suddenly felt ill and was hastily taken to hospital where he died.

Influential

For decades Dr Badawi, 83, was a leading reformist figure, calling for the Muslim minority to engage fully with British life, according to the BBC News Online that dubbed him "One of the UK's most influential Muslim" scholars.

Egyptian-born Dr Badawi founded the Muslim College in London, according to the BBC.

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks was among the first to offer his condolences, saying Dr Badawi was the "face and voice of Islamic dignity and tolerance", the BBC reported.

"He was a man of conscience and courage and I cherished his friendship," Sir Jonathan added to the British Broadcaster.

Versi told the BBC that Badawi's death was a "loss to all communities".

"Dr Badawi was a great scholar of Islam and has made a huge contribution to the Muslim community. His devotion to interfaith dialogue was unparalleled."

In the aftermath of the July 7 London bombings, Badawi was consulted by government on how best to tackle extremism, the BBC said.

A statement from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) mourned the loss of Badawi, saying they were "shocked and saddened" by Badawi's death.

"We are deeply shocked and saddened by his sudden demise. Dr Badawi’s passing constitutes a major loss for British Muslims. We pray that God Almighty grants him a place in His paradise with the martyrs, the prophets and the righteous," Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the MCB, was quoted as saying on the MCB Web site.

Background

Badawi, scholar, teacher and community activist, was born in Egypt in 1922. He was renowned for his interest in Islamic theology and law and as a representative and advocate of Muslims in Britain.

He was the principal of the Muslim College in London, which he founded in 1986, and frequently published and broadcast on Islamic affairs.

Badawi was educated at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He obtained al-Aliyah, the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts degree, from the College of Theology at the university, and Al-Alimiyah degree (Masters) from the Faculty of Arabic Language and Literature, Al-Azhar, in 1947.

In the same year, he received the King Faruq First Prize for the best post-graduate student.

After teaching at Al-Azhar for a short while, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1951 to study psychology at University College London. In 1954, he obtained his Bachelors degree. Badawi continued his studies and was awarded a doctorate from London University in Modern Muslim Thought.

Shortly after obtaining his PhD, he returned to Al-Azhar University and taught Muslim Thought and Scientific Research Methods.

He was then sent as a representative of the university to Malaya to establish a Muslim College there. After teaching Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Malaya in Singapore, he lectured in the same course at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.

In 1964, he was appointed Professor of Islamic Education at Ahmadu Bello University in Northern Nigeria and later Professor of Islamic Education and Dean of Arts at Bayero College, Nigeria. In 1976, he was appointed research professor at the Hajj Research Center of King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia stationed in London.

In 1978, and still in the United Kingdom, Badawi was appointed director of the Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) and Chief Imam of London Central Mosque in Regents Park.

During his time at the ICC, Badawi was instrumental in establishing the Sharia`h (Islamic Law) Council as a facility to reconcile conflicts between Islamic law and the British civil code.

Badawi was elected chairman of the Imams and Mosques Council by the National Conference of Imams and Mosque Officials of the UK in 1984. He held this position until his death.

Badawi established the Muslim College in London in 1986. By 1989, and with Badawi as its principal, the college realized its founding objective as a postgraduate seminary for the training of imams and Muslim leaders in the West.


(All background information are courtesy of the Africadatabase Website, for more info, click here)

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The Roman Catholic Diocese
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has paid tribute to the life and work of Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi who died on Tuesday, 24th January 2006.

“I offer my sincere condolences and assurances of prayers to the family, friends and colleagues of Zaki Badawi.

“I was glad to count him among my friends. We worked and co-operated together on many matters in recent years and there will be many who will mourn his death as I do. May he rest in peace.”

The Cardinal welcomed Dr Badawi and five senior British Muslims to Archbishop’s House on 3 November 2004. At the conclusion of the meeting they agreed to stand together against violence in the name of religion and to defend the religious freedoms of each other’s faith anywhere in the world that these are being transgressed.
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Condolences from Yusuf Islam

I was deeply saddened to hear of Dr Zaki Badawi's sudden death earlier this week. I had seen him only two days earlier during a meeting for FAIR (Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism), during which he gave me a gift of some beautiful books on Islamic architecture.

My history with Dr Badawi goes back to 1977, when I embraced Islam at the London Central Mosque. He became the Director of the Mosque at the same time and I used to meet him regularly after Friday prayers and discuss issues. He was an extremely moderate man and this earnt him some criticism from certain quarters. But he continued his mild 'British Muslim' stance all through his illustrious career.

He was deeply knowledgeable and we shall miss his wisdom as well as his wit. May God bless him with a high place in Paradise, forever.

Yusuf Islam

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