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Obituary: Professor Ataullah Siddiqui

It is with profound sadness that the Muslim Council of Britain shares the death of Professor Ataullah Siddiqui, an exceptional academic and prominent inter-faith leader.

9th November 2020

Honouring Professor Ataullah Siddiqui

“To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return” (Quran, 2:156)
It is with profound sadness that the Muslim Council of Britain shares the death of Professor Ataullah Siddiqui, an exceptional academic and prominent inter-faith leader.
Professor Siddiqui was one of the UK’s leading scholars on Islam and a figurehead of inter-faith relations in Britain. He was the Professor of Christian-Muslim Relations and Inter-Faith Understanding at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, having also being its Director from 2001 to 2008.
Continuing in his work to establish strong inter-faith relations, he was a founder President and Vice Chair of the Christian Muslim Forum in England, and also went on to be a founding member of the Leicester Council of Faiths. Professor Siddiqui specialised in Christian Muslim relations, completing his PhD on interfaith dialogue from the University of Birmingham. He took the lead in the UK on training Imams in religious leadership, establishing and leading the Markfield Institute of Higher Education’s Muslim Chaplaincy programme.
Professor Siddiqui’s accolades and accomplishments, particularly in the academic space, are many. Professor Siddiqui was the author of the 2007 report, commissioned by the UK government, entitled Islam at Universities in England: Meeting the Needs and Investing in the Future. Originally from Darjeeling, India, he joined the Islamic Foundation as a research fellow in 1982. He extensively advised many community initiatives including, the Muslim Council of Britain. He leaves a strong legacy that will benefit British Muslim communities for decades to come. Professor Gilliat-Ray, Director of Islam-UK Centre at the University of Cardiff wrote, “On 8 November 2020, the world of British Muslim Studies lost one of its most thoughtful founding scholars.”
The Muslim Council of Britain offers its condolences to the family and loved ones of Professor Siddiqui, and to the Muslim ummah, on the passing of such an inspirational leader. We pray to Allah to grant him the highest stations in Jannah, and grant his family patience and relief at this difficult time.
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