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In Memory of Shaikh Kishk

For those of you who do not already know, the Egyptian Shaikh, Abdul Hamid Kishk passed away on the 6th of December of 1996, at the age of 63. The Shaikh was very well known around the world for his fiery Jumu'a Khutbas (Friday Sermon) and his outspoken stance against injustice and oppression in the Muslim world. Cassette recordings of his talks have been circulating throughout the world in Arabic speaking circles, and his knowledge, style and eloquence have driven man to change their lives. It is perhaps the mercy of Allah that he therefore passed away while in Sujood (prostration), on the day of Jumu'ah, as he prayed remembering the occasion of Isra and Miraj.

The Shaikh was born in 1933 in Shibrakheet, a small village near Alexandria, Egypt in a very poor family. His father passed away before Abdul Hamid reached schooling age. He joined one of the schools of Azhar and by the age of 8 had memorized the Qur'an. It was at this time that he was inflicted by an illness which took away his sight. However, rather than demoralize him, the loss of his sight encouraged him to learn more and persevere further. He graduated as a scholar from the Faculty of Usul al-Din, in Azhar and was appointed as an Imam, giving Khutbas all over Egypt.

Around 1964 he took up the mimbar of 'Ain al-Hayat Mosque in Cairo as his platform and started to speak vociferously about the social conditions in Egypt and the suppression of the Islamic Movement. This didn't stop him from having a distinctly spiritual approach to life, something which his speeches reflect. In 1966 he was arrested and was imprisoned and tortured for two years. When Shaikh Kishk was released in 1968, he didn't walk out of prison with his head bowed down to the Regime but became even more critical and energetic. Yet all the time his discourse was balanced and patient. Though he was arrested and released many times after this, it was over the next 10 years that most of his audio and video cassettes were recorded; more than 450 tapes are in circulation! His speeches became so popular that the mosque was extended 3 times to accommodate the congregation.

During 1981-82 the Shaikh was again imprisoned, but this time on his release he was forbidden to give any more speeches. Even this did not silence him, for up to 1996, this blind man wrote over 115 books and booklets, including a tafsir, (one of his book, on Angels, has been translated into English by Dar al-Taqwa, London).

The inspiration he gave to us all, the love and respect that people felt for him, will always keep his memory alive. I know that millions will pray for this noble and uncompromising man, but you too must pray for him.

May Allah forgive and bless the soul of the Shaikh.


The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

February 1997
Ramadan 1417
Note from the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Trip to Peru
Searching for
My Roots
Islamic Dietary Laws
What Is Islam?
In Memory of
Shaikh Kishk
Why I Embraced Islam
Letter to Roman
Emperor Caesar
Cook's Corner
Qur'anic Science
Sayings of the Prophet
Women in Islam
The Wisdom in Islam
Stories of the Sahabah
Eid Stamp