OBITUARY: Taha Jabir Al-Alwani, A Founding Figure Of The US Muslim Brotherhood

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The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) has announced the death of Taha Jabir Al-Alwani, aged 81 and one of the founding figures of the US Muslim Brotherhood. According to the IIIT announcement:

March 4, 2016 With immense grief, we announce the passing of Dr. Taha Jabir Al-Alwani, one of IIIT founders, past presidents, and great leaders. May Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, forgive him and grant him a place in Paradise. Ameen.

Sheikh Taha’s demise is an enormous loss not only for his immediate family but for the larger IIIT family around the world, for the American Muslim community, and the Muslim Ummah.

His remarkable intellectual contributions to the reform and revival of Islamic Thought are an enduring legacy he leaves behind in the form of many books that he wrote, including Islamic Thought: An Approach to Reform, Source Methodology in Islamic Jurisprudence, The Ethics of Disagreement in Islam, and The Qur’an and the Sunnah: The Time-Space Factor.

His intellectual contributions will continue to guide our work at IIIT and that of generations of Muslim scholars and intellectuals throughout the world.

We ask Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, for sabr and strength in this time of grief for his family, friends, and his IIIT colleagues. Please remember him in your du’as.

Details about the janaza prayer, which will be held at ADAMS Sterling, will be sent soon, insha’Allah.”

A bio of Al-Alwani illustrates how some of the US Muslim Brotherhood and other global Islamist organizations that he participated in:

Dr. Taha Jabir Alalwani is the President of Cordoba University in Ashburn, Virginia, where he also holds the Imam Al-Shafi’i Chair in Islamic Legal Theory in the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences. Alalwani previously served as founding chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America and the president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought. His academic interests include Islamic law’s social consequences; he is a regular contributor to the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. An Iraq native, Alalwani received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Islamic Legal Theory and Jurisprudence from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University before teaching Islamic jurisprudence for ten years at the Islamic University of Imam Muammad Ibn Saud in Riyadh. He is a member of the Council of the Muslim World League in Mecca and the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s Islamic Fiqh Academy in Jeddah.

The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) is an organization comprised of Islamic scholars associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. As FCNA itself acknowledges, the organization grew out of the activities of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and later became affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), itself an outgrowth of MSA. FCNA maintains a relationship with other similar bodies in the Global Muslim Brotherhood including the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) as well as the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia. Two individuals known to have been ECFR members, Jamal Badawi and Solah Soltan, are also known to have been associated with the FCNA.

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) describes itself as “a private, non-profit, academic, cultural and educational institution, concerned with general issues of Islamic thought and education” and using the slogan “Towards Islamization of Knowledge and Reform of Islamic Thought.”  The concept for IIIT was developed at a meeting held in Lugano, Switzerland that was attended by many luminaries of the Global Muslim Brotherhood including Youssef Qaradawi. IIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Iraqi-born Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Altalib who wished to promote the Islamization of Knowledge as conceived by Ismail Al-Faruqi and who were also early leaders of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). A 1991 internal document of the US Muslim Brotherhood, introduced as evidence in the holy Land Foundation trial, included IIIT in “a list of our organizations and organizations of our friends.”

A report on the US Muslim Brotherhood authored by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch editor also notes that Al-Alwani was present at the Lugano conference mentioned above at which time Al-Alawani was identified  as being part of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi Islamist organization close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

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