إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
“Indeed we belong to Allāh, and indeed to Him we will return.”
It is with deep sadness that we share the news of Shaykh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s passing at the age of 96. May Allah have mercy on him.
The renowned Shaykh and Imam dedicated his life’s work to the defence of this Ummah and to that of explaining the rulings of the religion of Islam, particularly in today’s context. His catalogue of published books, which numbered well in excess of a hundred titles, brought in an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence that was easy to understand, while being accessible to the masses.
Born in Egypt in 1926, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi undertook his Alimiyya, postgraduate, masters, and doctoral studies at al-Azhar before going on to hold a number of important positions including spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and being one of the founders of IslamOnline, a website established in 1997. The late Shaykh had served as its chief religious scholar.
A key supporter of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the Shaykh once addressed crowds massed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. He told the thousands of people who had gathered,
“Don’t let anyone steal this revolution from you – those hypocrites who will put on a new face that suits them. The revolution isn’t over. It has just started to build Egypt – guard your revolution.”
In addition to the roles mentioned above, the Shaykh also played a major role in collectively launching the European Council for Fatwa and Research in 1997. Serving as President of the body, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi supervised and co-ordinated the work carried out by the council.
A “father figure” for scholars and du’āt all around the world”
In powerful remarks immediately following Shaykh al-Qaradawi’s passing, Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad described the late scholar as a “father figure” and an “inspiring figure that it is hard for the Ummah to produce an alternative for him in the short period of time.” Shaykh Haitham further added that the late professor of Islamic jurisprudence “has left books and literature almost in every field,” and that he “would not be surprised if it was found that he [Shaykh al-Qaradawi] visited almost all countries in the world.”
“Many scholars and du’āt and minorities all over the world used to feel that he is their father figure. Condolences to such individuals and communities. May Allah shower him with His immense Mercy and grant us sabr and compensate the Ummah with the best compensation for this great loss.”
In the same light, Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad added,
“Words and statements can’t encompass this Imam’s status. If you talk about almost all branches of faith, you will find that he is among the foremost (al-Sābiqūn); spending almost a century in jihad, education, knowledge, teaching, activism, uniting the Ummah; a very unique scholar that exerted his life to participate in the transformation of the Ummah in every field.
The late Shaykh al-Qaradawi leading the funeral prayer of Shaykh Abu-l ‘Alā Maudūdi
“The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said that the best of you is he who has had a long life in obedience. It is very likely that Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi was one of those. He passed after he completed 100 hijri years of age.”
Shaykh Haitham also sought to address those who may have held and continue to hold differing views to the late Shaykh al-Qaradawi. In a poignant and needed reminder, he said of some of the late Imam al-Qaradawi’s controversial opinions,
“It should be noted that he [Shaykh al-Qaradawi] is one of the unique scholars who would declare his mistakes openly. He had retracted many of his opinions that were deemed to be controversial. Therefore, those who disagree with some of his views should be careful as to quoting him, as he might have changed his views on such matters.”