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Tribute to Dr. Ibrahim Abu Rabi

Inna Llahi wa inna illahi raji’un
From God we are and to Him is our return

The passing of Dr. Ibrahim Abu Rabi has left a deep void in the hearts and minds of Edmonton’s Muslims and many in the academia more broadly.  

It was a matter of great pride and joy for Edmonton’s Muslim Communities when Dr. Abu Rabi accepted the position Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities ( ECMC ) Chair of Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta, the first endowed Chair of Islamic Studies in Canada. Not only was he a scholar of great repute who was equally at ease amongst his contemporaries as he was amongst lay people, he was easily accessible and willing to share the depth and the breadth of his knowledge. His passion was education, exemplified when he said:

“Education is the only way forward for a better world. We have such a rich and varied history that it is incumbent upon us to learn about it  and share it with our fellow Edmontonians and Canadians. But we should do this with the humility and wisdom to know that other faiths, are equally rich and pluralistic in nature.”

 Dr. Abu Rabi was a man whose mission was to encourage dialogue amongst people of all faiths, to encourage a deeper understanding not only amongst Muslims but amongst all citizens. His special interest was Christian-Muslim dialogue. He was a visionary who not only understood, but embraced, the pluralism that has existed within Islam and all other major religions of the world.

On July 2, 2011 at only 55 years of age, the voice of a world-renowned expert on contemporary Muslim thought, a voice of moderation, and a voice that believed in building bridges was abruptly silenced. However his legacy will live on, amongst those whose lives he touched in Edmonton and those abroad and in the many books, papers and articles he penned over his life.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Fatima and children Yasmeen and Yusuf.

We pray Allah grant them strength and courage to bear this enormous loss.
We also pray for the eternal peace and rest for the soul of Brother Ibrahim Abu Rabi.

AMEN.

 


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