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
mosques to persuade Muslims to participate in the democratic process. His
guidance and encouragement to NABA and its Chairman Dr Jalili will not be
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.
Zaki Badawi, Muslim community leader,
teacher and theologian. He was born on August 11, 1922 and died on
January 24, 2006, aged 83.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
by Q Magazine
Passing of a Truly Gentle Soul
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.
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
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
and Founding Editor Fuad Nahdi said:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.”
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
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
The Muslim College
20-22 Creffield Road
London W5 3RP
any further information or comment, please feel free to contact
(07967280370) or Fareena
Prayers for the late Dr Zaki Badawi
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
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.
burial took place at the North
directly after the funeral services.
Peace champion Dr Zaki Badawi dies
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.
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
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.
"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
UNICEF UK pays tribute to Dr Zaki Badawi
News item 25 January 2006
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
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.”
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)
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.
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
Egyptian-born Dr Badawi founded the Muslim College in London, according to
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
"Dr Badawi was a great scholar of Islam and has made a huge
contribution to the Muslim community. His devotion to interfaith dialogue
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
"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.
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
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
(All background information are courtesy of the Africadatabase Website, for
more info, click here)
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
“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.
Condolences from Yusuf
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.