The sad news of the passing away of Professor Atuallah Siddiqui came early on Monday morning 9th November 2020. May Allah bless his soul and wrap him in Divine kindness.
Professor Ataullah was an academic dedicated to the study and teaching of interfaith, religious harmony and pluralism. In many ways, he personified the academic discipline he taught, in his genteel and calm character. I had the pleasure of working along with him for six years as the President of the Christian Muslim Forum. He always searched for opportunities to bring together those in conflict.
He embraced and lived a simple life in pursuit of goodness through study and research, a shy person who was quiet and spoke only when necessary. He will be missed by the students and the teachers at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education where he was a reader of interfaith relations for nearly twenty years.
Professor Ataullah was an amazing ambassador of Islam on interfaith platforms, thoroughly erudite and respectful of other faiths. Here he was passionate, anything related to interfaith, harmony and understanding the other, he engaged enthusiastically. He understood the value of mutual respect that comes from mutual understanding. He championed the notion: “by understanding the common bases of religions, we can build trusting and friendly communities, where we avoid polemics and controversial discussions.”
I am thoroughly impressed with Professor Ataullah’s loyalty to the Islamic Foundation where he started as a researcher and continued for nearly 35 years. He was always committed to its patron, its founder Professor Khurshid Ahmed. I pray Allah to bless this scholar, ambassador of Islam and a wonderful teacher. Ameen.