Born in 1958, he came to Britain from Pakistan in 1966 with his parents to the Yorkshire town of Halifax, where he memorised the Quran, learnt Tajweed and basic Arabic. After completing a degree in Biochemistry at Aston University, he went on to gain a Science doctorate. He worked as a Scientist until 1990 and then decided to dedicate himself to serving the Muslim community. He read Islamic studies at a seminary in Pakistan under the guidance of Justice Pir Muhammad Karam Shah and then at Al-Azhar University, Egypt.
In 1995, Dr Musharraf helped to establish Jamia Al Karam, a Muslim boarding school in Retford, where he was the headteacher for 3 years. In 1997, he was appointed director of Karimia Institute. He began working on a number of projects ranging from community development to raising educational achievements of Pakistani children to adult classes and interfaith work. Currently, Karimia Institute runs some 20 projects and is a premier Muslim organisation in the UK.
In September 2004, he made efforts to help the release of British hostage Ken Bigley in Iraq. Dr Musharraf and Dr Daud flew to Iraq, where they appealed to the captors to release Mr Bigley. This was an important, symbolic gesture to show that British Muslims care for their fellow Britons, this was widely hailed as an important symbol of British Muslim’s loyalty and love of their country.
In 2005, Dr Musharraf was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Staffordshire University, for his services to the British Muslim community.
In 2006, he was asked by the Prime Minister to chair the UK – Indonesian Islamic advisory group. The group’s remit was to ‘Advise on countering radicalism and promoting mutual understanding between Islam and West’. The group made several important recommendations; some of which were implemented.
In 2009, he was awarded an OBE for his services to community relations in Britain. He was also the chair of the Christian Muslim Forum, a senior trustee of Muslim Hands, trustee of National Centre for Citizenship and Law. Formerly, he was the director of Postgraduate Course in Education, and Vice-chair of the Association of Muslim Schools.
His passion and experience of interfaith are clearly portrayed in the following excerpt: “I have worked tirelessly promoting interfaith work both at a local and national level. I have been at the front line developing grass root interfaith work. I started this journey with my local Anglican Vicar, URC minister and the Roman Catholic Church. We established a local interfaith body (Faiths in Action) and worked with the Nottinghamshire Interfaith Council. I believe we have had a visible impact on local communities. In January 2006 I joined the Management Committee of the national Christian Muslim Forum. In 2008 I was appointed the Chair of the Forum and have successfully organised five residential conferences for Imams and Christian Ministers. These conferences have developed the leadership potential of more than two hundred Christian and Muslim leaders to weave stronger relationships and promote interfaith in their communities”.
Views on integration and social harmony
He has a passion for working with people and developing communities. Four decades of working with people from different backgrounds have provided wonderful opportunities for mutual learning, enabling him to serve local communities. This work has not been without its challenges and has led to many tense exchanges of perspectives. However, this is an enriching process vital to creating a plural, socially harmonious and cohesive society. Over the past five decades, Muslims have achieved a great deal in terms of equality, rights of ethnic minorities and social justice but there is much more to be done. We are entering an era of enormous challenges: globalisation, climate change, disenfranchised communities and unacceptable levels of poverty. He remains optimistic that to build stronger communities can make a contribution to these local and global challenges.
More inter and intra-faith work will help community cohesion
Interaction and dialogue between faith communities lead to a better understanding of one another and removes misunderstandings. The opportunity to meet and share stories brings people closer and should not be confined to a few, it must become a grass-roots activity, only then will it impact community cohesion.
Sadly there is extremism of one kind or another in all communities; anti-Semitism, far-right Xenophobia and Islamophobia. Therefore all faith communities must make extra efforts to tackle extremism within their members. One way of doing this may be to support faith groups to carry out more intra-faith work. As some of these communities have serious rifts amongst themselves. This is particularly true with Muslims who are very diverse and culturally different. This internal healing, this intra-faith unity can help groups embrace diversity, thus reducing extremism.
A serious student of the Quran
Dr Musharraf has been a serious student of the Quran from a very young age, after memorising it, learning the Arabic language under the tutelage of numerous great scholars. He realised that Muslims were losing their connection with this amazing book as they didn’t understand it. So in 2014, after consulting a group of scholars he began the task of translating the Quran. On Saturday 25th March 2017, Dr Ibrahim Negm, the Senior Advisor to the Grand Mufti of Egypt, presented Dr Musharraf Hussain with the approval certificate for his new plain English translation of the Quran – The Majestic Quran.
Dr Musharraf firmly believes that you should read the Quran to develop your character, to become Allah’s representative on earth, so that you are a kind, honest, generous, just, forgiving, patient, modest and thankful person. When you read the Quran with understanding you become kind and caring, the kindness you experience will move you to act and make a difference and this will connect you with others.
Education and Qualifications:
- 1976: Ijaza in Tajweed & Qiraat (licence to teach the Quran)
- 1977 – 1984: BSc & PhD, Biochemistry, Aston University (UK)
- 1984 – 1990: Research Scientist, Nottingham Trent University (UK)
- 1990 – 1991: Ijaza in Hadith, Darul Uloom Muhammadia Ghausia (Pakistan)
- 1991 – 1994: BA, Usuluddin, Al Azhar University (Egypt)
- 2005: Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University (UK)
Major projects initiated and directed Dr Musharraf Hussain:
Locally in Nottingham:
- Founded Nottingham Islamia School, it comprised of a Nursery, Primary and Secondary school.
- Trustee of Muslim Hands (international aid charity).
- Converted & refurbished a derelict lace factory into a community centre, which runs a mosque, adult classes, social, cultural & recreational programmes.
- Established a Radio station in Nottingham for the Muslim community.
- Actively promoting interfaith dialogue in Nottingham.
- Opened the Muslim Cultural Centre in Wollaton.
- 1999 – 2003: Non-executive Director of the Association of Muslim Schools (Umbrella organisation for over 60 Muslim Schools).
- 1999 – 2001: Member of the Central Religious Advisory Committee for the BBC & ITV.
- 1999 – 2002: Founder & Director of teachers training agency funded programme for training teachers from the Muslim community. Offering PGCE accreditation by Gloucestershire University.
- 2002 – 2008: Managing trustee of the UK Islamic Education Waqf, a charity that supports needy Muslim students (distributed 1 million pounds).
- 2002 – 2005: Member of Central working committee of Muslim Council of Britain.
- 2005: Conferred an Honorary Doctorate by Staffordshire University for services to the Muslim community in the UK.
- 2006: Trustee of the National Centre for Citizenship and Law.
- 2007 – 2008: Chair of UK Islamic Advisory Group at foreign & Commonwealth Office.
- 2008 – 2010: Chairman of Christian Muslim Forum.
Scholarly work and publications:
- The Majestic Quran – A Plain English Translation.
- Aqaid al-Nasafi: A translation of the orthodox creed written in the 11th century.
- Pearls of Wisdom: A collection of forty Ahadith on the means of personal development, love, marriage and parents.
- Time to Marry: Purpose, how and when of this great institution are explored from Islamic as well as modern viewpoint.
- Journey to God: Translation of manual by Hafiz Abdul Karim on self-purification and spiritual development.
- Shortening Long Hopes: A translation of Ahadith collection by Ibn Abi Dunya on detaching oneself from the love of the world.
- Hajj – Journey of a Lifetime: A manual containing details of fiqh and how to perform hajj with maps, diagrams and indispensable health guidelines.
- Dua & Salah: Prayers that every Muslim must know.
- Beliefs and Religions – Islam: An Introduction to Islamic teachings for British secondary schools.
- Seven steps to Moral Intelligence: A guide for character building and developing self-discipline.
- Seven steps to Spiritual Intelligence: A guide on how we can change ourselves so that we can live by the spiritual values of Islam.
- Q&A from Fatawa Rizwiyya (vol 1&2): Collection of over a hundred questions and answers from Fatawa Rizwiyya covering many topics.
- The Five Pillars of Islam: A comprehensive and practical manual on the fundamental beliefs and practices of a Muslim.
- Tokens of Wisdom: A collection of verses from Quran and ahadith that fall into three main categories; Social, Spiritual and Moral.
- Let’s Learn to read Quran: An Arabic reader in 4 levels for children.
- Let’s Learn Islam Textbooks: For children covering Sirah, Duas, Morals & manners, Fiqh and Aqidah in 4 levels.
Islamic Times, Places and People Series:
- Al Isra wal Miraj: Explains the context, purpose and meaning of the wonderful night journey.
- The Tragedy of Karbala: Outlines the brief history of the battle of Karbala and its consequences. A tribute to the Prophet’s family.
- Milad – Celebration of the Prophet’s Birthday: Polemical discussion of the virtues of celebrating the birth of the Greatest Prophet of God.
- Maulana Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi: Introduction to his life and works of one of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century.
- The Blessed Month of Ramadhan: This covers the rulings of fasting and highlights the true spirit of Ramadhan.
- The Virtues of the Friday Prayer & Language of the Sermon: Discusses the importance of Jummah and the language of the khutba.
- The Night of Repentance – Lailat-ul-Bara’h: This book helps to learn the significance and methods of repentance.
- Journey to the Afterlife – A Muslim Funeral Guide: This book explains the rites of passage and also presents Islamic thinking about death.
- Longings for the Divine & the Virtues of Salah: This book explains the virtues, the excellence of praying and its benefits.
- Id al-Adha, Qurbani & Hajj: Each month of Islamic calendar has unique features events and occasions that distinguish it from others.