ʾinnā li-llāhi wa-ʾinna ʾilayhi rājiʿūn
The sad news of the passing away of Professor Atuallah Siddiqui came early on Monday morning 9th November. May Allah bless his soul and wrap him in divine kindness.
Professor Ataullah Siddiqui was an academic dedicated to the study and teaching of interfaith, religious harmony and pluralism. In many ways he personified the academic discipline he taught, in his genteel and calm character. I had the pleasure of working along him for six years as the president of Christian Muslim forum. He always searched for opportunities to bring together those in conflict.
He embraced and lived a simple life in pursuit of goodness through study and research, a shy person who was quiet and spoke only when necessary. He will be missed by the students and the teachers at Markfield Institute of higher education where he was reader of interfaith relations for nearly twenty years. He was an amazing ambassador of Islam on interfaith platforms, thoroughly erudite and respectful of other faiths. Here he was passionate, anything related to interfaith and harmony and understanding the other he engaged enthusiastically. He understood the value of mutual respect that comes from mutual understanding. He championed the notion: “by understanding the common bases of religions we can build trusting and friendly communities, where we avoid polemics and controversial discussions.”
I am thoroughly impressed with Ataullah’s loyalty to the Islamic foundation where he started as a researcher and continued for nearly 35 years. He was always committed to his patron its founder professor Khurshid Ahmed. I pray Allah to bless this scholar, ambassador of Islam, and a wonderful teacher. Ameen.