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Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi (born 1943, India) is a prominent American Muslim, Islamic scholar, theologian and chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America.

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Education

Born in India in 1943, he received his early education at Aligarh Muslim University and Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, India. Siddiqi graduated from the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia in 1965 with a higher degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He received an M.A. in Theology from Birmingham University in England and a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion from Harvard University in the United States.

Career

Siddiqi worked with many Islamic organizations in Switzerland, England and the United States. He was Chairman of the Religious Affairs Committee of the Muslim Students Association in US and Canada. Siddiqi also served as Director of the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. He served two terms (1997-2001) as President of the Islamic Society of North America with Headquarters in Indiana. Since 1981, he is serving as the Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove, California. He is also the Chairman of the Shura Council of Southern California, an organization representing the Islamic centers, masajid and organizations in Southern California. He is the Chairman of the Fiqh (Islamic Law) Council of North America and a founding member of the Council of Mosques in US and Canada. He is a founding member of the Council of 100 of the World Economic Forum based in Switzerland. The Council aims to foster dialogue and better relations between Islam and the West. He is at present an adjunct professor of Islamic Studies and world religions at Chapman University in Orange, California. He is also an external examiner for the Departments of Islamic Studies at the University of Durban-Westville in South Africa, University of Karachi, Pakistan and University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. He is also the member of the Supreme Islamic Council of Egypt and the Supreme Council of Mosques in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He conducted a weekly religious radio program from Pasadena from 1982 till 2004. He has contributed many articles to many Islamic and Academic Journals, Encyclopedias and other publications. He writes a weekly column for Pakistan Link in Los Angeles on the issues of Islamic law and social problems. He also regularly answers many questions on Islamic law at [www.islamonline.net] on the Internet.

Travels and Lectures

Siddiqi has widely traveled and has lectured at universities, colleges and other academic and religious institutions in Saudi Arabia, South Africa, England, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Trinidad, Guyana, Grenada, Barbados, Mauritius, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, Gibraltar, Brazil, United States and Canada. He has taught courses on Islam and world religions at Harvard University, Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey, Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, Birmingham University, England, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach. He is currently an adjunct professor of religion at Chapman University.

Interfaith Programs Involvement

Siddiqi has participated in many inter-religious dialogues. He spoke at the World Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver, Canada and has participated in many seminars organized by the National Council of Churches and National Council of Christians and Jews in USA. In September 2001 on the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance he was invited by President George W. Bush to lead a Muslim Prayer at the Interfaith Prayer Service at Washington National Cathedral. Siddiqi is the Vice President of the Academy of Judaic-Christian and Islamic Studies in California.

Awards & Recognition

Siddiqi received the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 1999 from the National Council of Christians and Jews.

In November 2005, Siddiqi was recognized by Orange County Register as one of the 100 most influential people who shaped Orange County in the last twenty five years.

In August 2006, as part of a special feature called "The West 100"[1] the Los Angeles Times recognized Siddiqi as one of the top 100 most powerful people in Southern California with the following description: "Siddiqi, whose mosque is among the largest in North America, is the religious leader of thousands of Southern California Muslims at a time when xenophobia is running high. After Sept. 11, the White House invited him to preside over interfaith services at the National Cathedral. Since then, he has been a leader in driving home the point that Muslims in the U.S. are peace-loving."

Criticism

Siddiqi also issued a fatwa on islamonline.net, stating "By participating in a non-Islamic system, one cannot rule by that which Allah has commanded. But things do not change overnight. Changes come through patience, wisdom and hard work.I believe that as Muslims, we should participate in the system to safeguard our interests and try to bring gradual change for the right cause, the cause of truth and justice. We must not forget that Allah's rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.[2]"

In 2002, federal authorities raided headquarters of the Fiqh Council as part of Operation Green Quest[3]. However, no arrests were made, and in fact in July 2005, the Fiqh Council of North America publicly issued a fatwa stating Islam's condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism.

Notes

External links

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