First published in Radiance Viewsweekly
Dr. Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqi, the pioneer of Islamic Economics and recipient of King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies in 1982, breathed his last at 5:30 pm in San Jose, California on November 11 (about 4:00 am IST on November 12). He was 91.
Nejatullah Siddiqi was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India on 21st August 1931. He was 13-year-old when his father Hakeem Abdul Quddus passed away; his mother, then, took care of him and gave him the best possible education. He passed his intermediate examination in 1949 and, then, pursued religious and Qur’ānic Studies at Rampur and Sarai Mir, Azamgarh. He did his masters from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and wrote his Ph.D. thesis on “A Critical Examination of the Recent Theories of Profit” in 1966. He was Associate Professor of Economics and Professor of Islamic Studies at AMU, as well as Professor of Economics at King Abdul Aziz University’s Centre for Research in Islamic Economics in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He later worked as a Fellow at the Centre for Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and as a visiting scholar at the Islamic Research and Training Institute of the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah.
Dr. Siddiqi supervised a number of Ph.D. theses at Aligarh Muslim University, India; Ummul Qura University, Makkah; Imam Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Sokoto University, Nigeria over the course of his long academic career. He had been an editor or advisor for a number of academic journals. He served on numerous committees and attended numerous conferences around the world. He was very helpful to everyone and shared his valuable knowledge with the community. He was an Emeritus Professor of Management Studies at Aligarh Muslim University in India.
Dr. Siddiqi was a prominent writer in the Urdu and English languages. He has 63 works in 177 publications in 5 languages and 1,301 library holdings. Many of his works have been translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, Hindi, Bengali and other languages. Banking without Interest, which witnessed 27 editions in three languages between 1973 and 2000 and is held by 220 libraries worldwide, is perhaps his most widely read book.
His English books are:
- Economics, an Islamic Approach, The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, U.K, 1999
- Teaching Economics in Islamic Perspective, Centre for Research in Islamic Economics, KAAU, Jeddah, 1996
- Role of the State in the Economy, The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, U.K, 1996
- Insurance in an Islamic Economy, The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, U.K, 1985
- Partnership and Profit-Sharing in Islamic Law. The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, U.K, 1985
- Issues in Islamic Banking. The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, U.K, 1983
- Muslim Economic Thinking. The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, U.K, 1981
- Contemporary Literature on Islamic Economics, The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, U.K, 1978
- Economic Enterprise in Islam, Markazi Maktaba Islami, Delhi, India, 1972
- Some Aspects of the Islamic Economy, Markazi Maktaba Islami, Delhi, India, 1972
- Muslim Personal Law (Edited), Markazi Maktaba Islami, Delhi, India, 1972
- Recent Theories of Profit: A Critical Examination. Asia Publishing House, Bombay, India, 1971
- Dr. Siddiqi was awarded King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies in 1982, Lariba American Finance House Award in 1993, Award for Life-long Contributions to Islamic Insurance and Banking by Takaful Forum, New York in 2000, and Shah Waliullah Award-2001 by the Indian Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) in 2003.
Dr. Siddiqi became greatly influenced by the writings of Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi in his student days and joined Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH). He was imprisoned during Emergency in India and remained in jail for several months as a prisoner of conscience. He was also member of Jamaat’s Central Advisory Council.
JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini has mourned the passing away of Dr. Siddiqi. In a media statement on November 12, expressing his grief over the demise of the world-renowned economist, the JIH President said that Dr. Siddiqi’s contribution to the field of Islamic economics was unparalleled and he pioneered the concept of Islamic banking and laid the foundations of what is currently a thriving multi-billion-dollar industry.