Memories of Dr. Fakhri

Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 in Featured Article, Obituary | 0 comments

Memories of Dr. Fakhri

from Br. Abdul Malik Mujahid


Those of you who knew him might say he was embodiment of gentleness and love. Sharafat o matanat ka putla. If someone asks me about an example of South Asian Muslim culture in Chicago, I would point out to him without hesitation.
He was one of the pillars of the Chicago Muslim community. He was the founding president of MCC (Muslim Community Center, Chicago) the mother mosque of the immigrant Muslim community. He was among the earliest educators as Chair of ISNA education committee. Professionally he served as chair of Dept of Education at the Chicago State University. He was currently chair of IQRA International Educational Foundation.

He also served as Chair of the Muslim Social Science Association. It was in this capacity that I first came to know him. He dug me out from the University of Chicago where I was in a student in 1981 and no one knew me in Chicago. I had never met any Muslim leader of Chicago at that time. I even don’t remember visiting any masjid in the North side Chicago. He insisted in the most loving manner that I present a paper at the conference of Muslim Social Science Association. I was too shy and too new to English language to present anything and did not accept his invitation. But his personality did leave a very loving and lasting mark on my mind. I remember his smiling gentle persistent. He was a teacher par excellence. He would push you for the cause of Allah while encouraging and appreciating in such a calm and tender manner that one would need some extra-ordinary courage to say no.

Pioneers are leaving one by one. After Imam W. D. Muhammad and Dr. Kishta, I think this is the big one at least among the pioneers I was lucky to know. I wish some young people can start recording oral history of our community in Chicago. This is a generation which worked with each other directly. One such living pioneer was even picked up by Malcolm X Shaheed when he landed at O’hare as a student.

May Allah accept him. May he forgive his shortcoming and put him in the best place possible. Ameen

If some one knew more about Dr. Fakhri please do share with us all.

Abdul Malik Mujahid


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