A tribute to Professor Muhammad Hamidullah

At the age of 95, Professor Muhammad Hamidullah breathed last on December 17, 2002, in Jacksonville, Fl. He woke up for Fajr (Dawn) prayer and then after breakfast went to sleep never to wake up again.

Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah, was born in 1908, and obtained a degree in Theology and Law from Osmania University in the state of Hyderabad Deccan (India). He also studied in Germany and France where he received his PhD in International Law. He was a law professor in his native city. Later he settled in France and a few years ago he came to the United States. The professor never married. He was being taken care by his the grand daughter of his brother, sister Sadida who left her job to devote herself for him.

Professor Hamdiullah’s scholarship is unparalleled in the last century. He translated the Quran in French and many other languages. He also translated a number of other important Islamic books in many European languages. He authored more than 250 books and research papers. He lived a life of anonymity in France and the United States without seeking any help from anyone or recognition for his work. He was a silent scholar.

Opportunists pirated his books and made hundreds and thousands of dollars, yet he never thought of settling the accounts in a court of law. His books have been printed illegally in different languages all over the world. I had the opportunity to visit him a few years ago in Wilkes Berre. At his feet I learned the lesson of humility and anonymity. I learned the art of patience and total service and dedication to Islam. He had no grudge against those who harmed him. He even prayed for those who often tried to humiliate him for his opinions.


It is He (God) who hath power over all things.

As a great researcher of this century, Professor Hamidullah went to those original Islamic sources that were often buried in the dusty shelves of libraries in the Muslim world. He was the one who discovered the earliest hadith manuscript in a Damascus library that he published in the Urdu language known as Sahifa Hamam. He wrote several researched treatise on the early life of Muslims.

He remained a neglected scholar because he retained his individual freedom and identity. He didn’t join any group or organization.

His was a life of dedication to Islamic research and he left behind him a legacy of intellect that many generations will benefit from. Soon, people will discover him as perhaps the greatest Islamic scholar of the previous century. Soon the people will regret that they could not benefit from him when he was alive.

Thank you Professor Muhammad Hamidullah for giving us the research on crucial Islamic issues. Thank you for your remarkable contribution to the body of Islamic literature. You lived a full live. You remained in poverty but enriched the life of others with your knowledge. You stayed away from the usual temptation of life, yet you inspired many to dedicate their lives for Islam.

Good-bye Professor. We will meet again. We pray that you will be among the categories of those selected scholars who will have the blessings of God upon them. You will be the one blessed because you were the real inheritor of Prophets.



By: aslam abdullah | Source: IslamiCity | Category: Articles, Faith, Featured, Society | Topic: france, muslim scholars, united states of america | Views: 9,496 | Comments: 27

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27 Comments

  1. Prof. Hamidullah,no doubt a great scholar of the last century. I’d the honour of attending a chair headed by the late prof. at Alhamrah Art Centre, Lahore Paksitan,in 90’s ( I believe ).

    During a question answer session, he was asked about his opinion over the different ways of saying prayers by different sects of islamic ummah. That was a very critical & tricky question to drag & indulge the late prof. in ugly sectarial war. The late prof. calmly and bluntly replied to it. In his opinion the holy Prophet(pbuh) somehow adopted those different ways while performing prayers and Allah (subhan-e-taalah) wanted to keep that sunnah of his Prophet(pbuh) alive till the day of judgement.That’s why u see Muslims performing and saying their prayers in different ways around the world.

    I believe that late prof. would remain the great scholar of this century too. May Almighty Allah rest his soul in heavens and his grave be a part of heavens too. Ameen!!!!

  2. Editor/Islamicity:

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji`un.

    I am deeply saddened at the passing of Professor Muhammad Hamidullah, a man of extraordinary scholastic skills and singular intellectual acumen.

    While I do not very much about his personal life, I know a great deal of his massive scholarly output. As noted in this article, he is undoubtedly one of the most prolific Muslim writers of the last century.

    Above all, he was generous with his scholarly works–that is, he permitted others to use his writings freely, as they see fit, without royalties or attribution, as part of his idea of not hoarding or concealing spiritual knowledge.

    May Allah (swt) bless him and grant him peace and mercy …. Amin ya Rabbal alamin!

  3. I didn’t know about such a good scholar before, thanks to islamicity. Please provide access to some of his works and also provide information of other such scholars. Alhamdulillah.

  4. I never heard about him untill few days back when he died, but now regret that I knew nothing about such person when he was alive.

    I pray to Allah to grant himh heaven and to all muslims as well.

  5. To me, one of the towering contemporary lawyers of Islam has departed. His work on Public International Law is of the highest standard and from amongst his books my favourite. Besides he contributed substantially towards Constitutional law of Islam by devoting a book on the topic by meeting the highest scholarship standards set by the Western scholarship. His material was available in many languages, which definitely projected his international element. His reverence is generally based in his work of translating Al-Quran in French: he was the first one to do so. What we need to do is to apprise ourselves and our generations of the contribution of this great scholar-cum-lawyer of Islam.

    May Allah bestow him with His blessings!

  6. IT WAS A SHOCKING NEWS TO ME ABOUT THIS GREAT ISLAMIC SCHOLAR, I PRAY TO ALLAH ALMIGHTY TO GRAND HIM A PLACE IN JANNAT EL FIRDOUZ, AND GIVE PATIENTS TO ALL HIS RELATIVES AND STUDENTS.

  7. I am glad that you recognised his work. Until this article i have never heard of him. I am inspired by his dedication to look for the BURIED TREASURE of islamic knowledge.

  8. AsalamalayKum,

    Peace and e-Greetings be upon you.

    For a few hours after Juma salat in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood Musalahthis this past Friday December 20th, I gave what turned out to be a full lecture on Islam to a young muslim brother, Asif, who is all of 15 years of age. He was fasting and waiting for Maghrib.

    Our young brother listened intently and reminded me that yes, there are muslim youth eager for the life of a true muslim scholar. In passing I mentioned some works of Dr. M. Hamidullah and wondered whether he was still alive…?

    Serendipity combined with sadness then as I read these words just minutes ago about the passing of our Great Scholar of Islam.

    Just before Ramadan, T.B. Irving returned to Our Lord, and now just after, M. Hamidullah has done so as well.

    Mat Allah bless and ease the burden on both their families.

    May Allah forgive our neglecting of the Old among us during their lifetimes, and moreso our Elder Scholars.

    May Allah bless us with new scholars of the same calibre who can teach us and remind us anew.

    Amen.

    HiMY Syed aka Abul-Hasnat Syed

    webmaster: http://www.IslamBank.com

    Toronto Downtown, Ontario, Canada.

  9. I have a ffriend who is from North Africa. His religion is Muslim. He reads pasages from the “Muslim Bible” for me to understand. I am catholic and I believe in the same God as he does, Allah. His God and My God aren’t different.

    As a person of God i believe in Prosperity, i believe in Wisdom, i also believe in knowledge.

    I am a peacful person who wants to share his knowledge with the world one day. Iam only 16 and my friend Joad Fuad is 19, He is from Morocco. Like almost al religions theres always a God, And in my later lofe i would like to pass on my knowledge to my children. Muhammad hamidullah was a great person. He has my regards and i will pray for him

    Josue Gabriel Bonilla

  10. Assalamu alakum! I personally met him in Pennsylvania two years ago. Mashallah I found lot of light on this face. May Allah send his mercy on his grave.

  11. Hi Allah- I know nothing about that Great Islamic Icon untill I opened your website today.

    May Allah Accept his rewarding task to get in to Jannat.

    Thanks to Islamicity for this great presentation.

    How about his all books preserved, how we can get access.

    Please drop some line of reply for me please

    Assalam.

  12. How unfortunate I am to come to know about such great scholar and servant of Islam only after his demise! May ALLAH raise him to the highest levels in ‘Jannah’ and give us more scholars of high calibre to guide the world towards the right path.

  13. Thank you Professor Muhammad Hamidullah.

    The work and the dedication that you have contributed to Islam, cannot be comparable with any thing else in this world.May Allah accept you amoung the victorious people and provide you Jennathul Firdouse,Insha Allah.

    We will pray for you and for your family.

    Please accept our heartfull condolence and your thoughts will be in our mind and heart.

  14. I have read Dr. Muhammad Hameedullah’s Urdu lectures transcript entitled “Khutubaat Bhawalpur”. After reading this book I was tremendously impressed by the depth and breadth of his knowledge about Islaam and his acumen to relate this knowledge to the present day environment and needs. This last quality, unfortunately, is lacking in majority of the Islaamic scholars. Therefore, an ordinary Muslim needing expert guidance for ordering his life activities in conformity with the teachings of Islaam gets confused and bewildered when he reads opinions of such academic scholars. By death of Dr. Muhammad Hameedullah the Muslim Ummah has thus been deprived of the services of an Islaamic scholar who had the unique ability of vouching Islaamic teachings in currently prevalent jargons to which the Muslim youth are exposed during their academic pursuits as well as through the mass media of communication. This is, therefore, indeed a great loss when viewed from this angle.

    May ALLAH – The Most Kind, The Most Merciful – bless Dr. Muhammad Hameedullah’s soul with HIS (SWT) infinite bounties and cause the loss sustained by the Muslim Ummah by his death set right! Allahumma Aameen wa Innaa Lillahi wa Innaa ‘Alayhi Raaji’oon.

  15. I am saddened to hear the news. It is a great

    loss. A crucial loss for Muslims at this trying period of time. I am certain I am one of the many who have benefited thru his writings. We pray that you will be among the blessed. Ameen.

  16. Assalamu aleikum. Professor Muhammad was a great Scholar that we didn’t take advantage of him when he was alive.He is a Hero May Allah(S.W)grant him Jannatul Firdaus.Ameen

  17. I have never before heard of Professor Hamidullah. This is a great loss. I read a few of his works on your site, as well as his obituary and I am greatly touched. I feel as though I have known him for a long time. Allah Yirhamuh inshallah. If only i had found out about him before hand.

    He seemed like a great man.

  18. Today, when i was looking for the news, and reading my private mails, I see this wonderful home page, describing the exactly aspects of life and the history of the Professor Muhammad Hamidullah. Congratulations for this very beautiful words about the Professor. My regards

    Marcus Vinicius Pereira Monteiro

  19. Assalamualaikum,

    I am blessed to be a student of Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci (Imam at

    Islamic Association of North Texas), a student of Professor

    Hamidullah. Alahmdulillah it is such a blessing to have his students

    and Dr. Kavakci always speaks very very highly of Professor

    Hamidullah, saying that he has never seen any scholar in his life,

    like Professor Hamidullah.

    May Allah bless Professor Hamidullah & Dr. Kavakci for their

    dedication and contributions to this Ummah.

  20. Dear sir

    I read this “A tribute to Professor Muhammad Hamidullah”

    I have read about this great man.

    I am very happy that someone has brought some information about him.

    I would like to interact with you in case you are free to discuss

    with me.

    I am also a professor of International Law from India.

    Thanks.

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