The Bradford Council for Mosques extends its deepest and sincerest condolences to the family of the late Dr. Shabbir Akhtar, who tragically passed away in Oxford yesterday.
Dr. Shabbir Akhtar was a remarkable individual, originally hailing from our local community and eventually becoming one of the brightest luminaries within the British Muslim community. His accomplishments were truly remarkable.
At the tender age of 8, he arrived in the UK, and despite humble beginnings at a comprehensive school in Bradford, he went on to pursue philosophy at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge in 1980. His dedication and talent led to him graduating with first-class honours. During his time at Cambridge, he had the privilege of studying under Elisabeth Anscombe, a distinguished Catholic philosopher and a literary inheritor of Wittgenstein’s legacy.
Returning to Bradford, Dr. Akhtar was deeply involved in promoting racial equality. He gained national prominence as a spokesperson for the Bradford Council for Mosques during the Rushdie affair and was frequently seen engaging in debates on television alongside figures like Ian McEwan, Melvyn Bragg, and Michael Ignatieff.
Throughout his life, Dr. Akhtar authored and published several books exploring Islam in the modern world and dedicated considerable time to formulating an Islamic response to Christianity. His scholarship extended beyond Islam, as he was fluent in Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew, making him an accomplished scholar in comparative religion.
In the latter part of his life, Dr. Akhtar resided in Oxford, where he imparted his wisdom as a teacher at the university. Beyond his scholarly pursuits, he was also a talented poet, enriching the world with his philosophical reflections and literary contributions. His unique blend of talents and insights made him an extraordinary individual.
The passing of Dr. Shabbir Akhtar leaves a profound void in the hearts of those who knew him and those touched by his work. His legacy as an exceptional scholar, philosopher, and advocate for interfaith dialogue will undoubtedly endure, inspiring generations to come. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Imran Khan, the President of Bradford Council Said, “ We are extremely saddened with the sudden and sad death of Dr Shabir Akhtar.”
“Dr Shabir Was a man of exceptional intellect and prowess. His death at a relatively young age is an enormous loss to the Muslim and the wider intellectual community.”
“Dr Shabbir served Bradford Council for Mosques throughout the Rushdie Affair which was perhaps one of the most difficult episodes in the life of the Muslim community.”
“His intellectualism and astuteness will be greatly missed.”
“We pass on our deepest heartfelt condolences to his family.”