I was informed today that Professor Muhammad Mohar Ali, the father of Abu Muntasir (of JIMAS), passed away on Wednesday morning. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’oon.
Here is a brief biography of the sheikh:
Born in Khulna in Bengal, he was a scholar of Seerah and Hadith who served as a lecturer of Islamic History at the Islamic Universities of Madinah and Riyadh for two decades before moving to England.
Unassuming and always able to make time for others, he was known for being a practical person who used to do carpentry and help his family and the local community. Shaykh Mohar Ali made several important contributions in the fields of Islamic history and the spread of Islam outside the Arab world. He was the first Bangladeshi to win the King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies.
His work provided an incisive new dimension to the way Muslims view contemporary issues and their historical contexts. In particular, he distinguished himself with his clear exposition of Orientalism and missionary activity, making Quranic Arabic more accessible to English speakers, and his four-volume classic titled A History of the Muslims of Bengal (1985), regarded as one of the most reliable sources on the effects of Islam on the political and cultural life of the region. Other important works he has authored include: The Quran and the Orientalists (2004); Pre-Islamic Arabia and its Socio-Religious Condition (2002); A Word for Word Meaning of the Quran (2003); Sirat Al-Nabi and the Orientalists (1997); The Bengali Reaction to Christian Missionary Activities, 1833-1857 (1965).
He died after a long struggle with cancer and is survived by his wife, three sons and over a dozen grandchildren.
Certainly, we are all poorer for his departure from this world but his books and research will continue to guide and benefit generations to follow insha’Allah.
May Allah make his grave spacious, grant him forgiveness and grant him a place in jannatul firdaus. And may He give sabr and ease to his family and children. Ameen.
Abu Muntasir, his son, requests anyone who may have known Dr. M. Mohar Ali to kindly forgive him any offence he may have caused with his words or deeds. He also begs all who may read this to ask Allah Almighty to show him mercy and grant him complete forgiveness, even if this is done with a single line of du’a, in any language.