// The Passing of Dr. Hassan Hathout
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« on: Apr 27, 2009 02:37 PM »

American Muslims Mourn 'Visionary' Hathout

By  Tamer Abo Asood

"We have lost today a luminary of Islam in North America," Dr. Siddiqi told IOL.

CALIFORNIA — American Muslims are mourning Dr. Hassan Hathout, a renowned leader who passed away this weekend after a long life in serving the Islamic faith.

"We have lost today a luminary of Islam in North America," Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America, told IslamOnline.net.

"He has been a voice of wisdom, clarity and compassion for Islam for over thirty years in Southern California."

Dr. Hathout, 84, died Saturday in Pasadena, California after a long period of sickness.

"It is with deep sadness we have learned of the sad demise of Dr. Hassan Hathout this afternoon," the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California said in a statement.

"May he be blessed with Jannah al Firdaws and may his family be granted with patience for their irrevocable loss."

A physician by profession, Dr. Hathout, of Egyptian origin, came to the United States in 1989 with the goal of making da`wa to the American people.

He was a co-founder of the International Organization of Medical Sciences, designed with the goal of dissemination of God-guided medical ethics.

Additionally, he was the co-founder of the Interfaith Council of Southern California

Dr. Hathout was the keynote speaker at the first Christian-Muslim celebration at the White House in 1999.

He was also an active member of the World Health Organization (WHO) committee on ethics of human reproduction, and a close affiliate to the Vatican.

In addition to being a scientist and ethicist, Dr. Hathout was a bicultural and bilingual poet, speaker, thinker, and writer.

"To me personally, Hassan was more than a brother, a friend, a teacher, a leader and a pioneer," Dr. Maher Hathout, the deceased's younger brother, told IOL.

"He was the only person I saw in my life who never hated, and relentlessly represented Islam in his own behavior as well as in his expression and writings."


Dr. Hathout is remembered for many valuable contributions in serving Muslims in the US and the world. (Google)
The umbrella Muslim organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said Dr. Hathout has been an inspiration for many American Muslims.

"He was a visionary person and a scholar at the same time," CAIR executive director Nihad Awad told IOL.

"He inspired so many of us with his understanding of Islam and his dedication to Islamic work in general."

Muslim leaders praised contributions Dr. Hathout has made in serving Muslim issues in the US and around the world.

"He had a special charisma as a well-educated intellectual Muslim, in addition to his high level of professionalism and great experience," Dr. Kamal Hilbawi said.

"He concentrated on reshaping the future and addressing the crisis of Muslim mind.

"Many Muslim generations will continue to benefit from his great legacy."

The prominent Muslim leader has received many awards from interfaith and humanitarian communities, including the Jewish Christian Muslim Olive Branch award for his efforts in making peace and harmony between people of different faiths.

"He always preached that love should be the relationship between human beings. That simply describes his mission in life," said Dr. Omar Alfi, the deceased's school-mate and a lifetime friend.

Many American Muslims mourn the great loss of the pioneering Muslim leader.

"I am sure I will not be alone when I say I will greatly miss Dr. Hathout," said Imam Shaker El-Sayed from the Muslim American Society.

"He was one of the first Muslims to positively respond to the tragic events of 9/11 and to show the community the path forward.

"May Allah bless his soul and shower him with his great mercy."

The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another:  [9:71]
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 27, 2009 02:38 PM »

I was so sad to hear this news, as I have many times enjoyed listening to Dr. Hathout's talks and learning so much as a youngster. I believe I have some videos in which he features. Indeed, May Allah Bless all his efforts in this life with Jannah-al-Firdaus in the next. Ameen.

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« Reply #2 on: Apr 29, 2009 06:13 AM »

 innalillah From Allah we come and to Him we return. May Allah bless him and have mercy on him and give comfort to his family. May his legacy endure and benefit many. Ameen.

A nice LA Times article about him: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-hassan-hathout27-2009apr27,0,7586240.story


Dr. Hassan Hathout dies at 84; Islamic leader fostered interfaith relations
Los Angeles Times

As a physician and a devout Muslim, Dr. Hassan Hathout stood against anything that would “obliterate life.”

April 27, 2009
Dr. Hassan Hathout, a physician, medical ethicist and leader of the Southern California Islamic community who was at the forefront of efforts to demystify American Muslims and build interfaith bonds, has died. He was 84.

Hathout died of natural causes Saturday at his Pasadena home, said a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, of which he was a prominent member.

He was also a leader of the Islamic Center of Southern California, where he coordinated outreach efforts for two decades. A well-regarded scholar, he wrote several books, including "Reading the Muslim Mind."

"He was one of our giants in the history of Islam in America," who urged Muslims to be "organically integrated in American society and not act as visitors" in it, Salam al Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said Sunday.

In 1998 Hathout delivered a sermon at the first White House celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the day marking the end of the Muslim holy month Ramadan. Along with Rabbi Leonard Beerman of Bel-Air's Leo Baeck Temple and the Rev. George Regas of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Hathout also helped organize the Interfaith Center to Reverse the Arms Race, one of the first major inter-religious efforts in Los Angeles.

"As a physician he was so committed to life, he wanted to stand against anything that was going to obliterate life. He did that as a deeply religious person," Regas said Sunday.

Hathout was born in Cairo on Dec. 23, 1924. The son of a schoolteacher, he was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he earned degrees from the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He also had a doctorate of philosophy in reproductive genetics.

He taught obstetrics and gynecology in Kuwait, where he lived for 26 years before immigrating to the United States in the late 1980s.

He quickly became involved in interfaith work in Los Angeles. With Beerman and Regas, he organized weekly prayer services for Muslims, Christians and Jews during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The first service at All Saints in Pasadena drew more than 1,500 worshipers.

"We've lived together for centuries with mutual reserve and hatred," he told the Daily News in 1991. "One of the positive things of the whole gulf crisis is that the three communities came together and discovered each other's faith and scriptures are so similar."

After 9/11, Hathout stepped up his efforts at bridge-building and called on Muslims to tone down anti-American rhetoric. He also spoke at Open Mosque Day, a program launched in 2002 in which more than two dozen mosques in Southern California invited non-Muslims to join in Islamic prayers, food and literature.

At one such event a few years ago, he told visitors that instead of classifying humanity by religion, he sought to view people in more basic terms: "those with a loving heart and those with a hating heart."

"He had a wonderful heart," said Dr. Omar Alfi, a physician and former chairman of the Islamic Center of Southern California, who knew Hathout for 60 years. "His main point was that religion is love . . . that humans are either loving or hating people irrespective of their religion.

"That was always a very important point for him."

Hathout is survived by his wife of 56 years, Salonas; a daughter, Eba; a brother, Maher; and two grandchildren.

Burial will take place at 3 p.m. today) at Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Road, Whittier 90601. Visitation with the family is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Islamic Center of Southern California, 434 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles 90020.
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