The following is the Preface to Tariq Quraishi, “Ismail Al Faruqi: An Enduring Legacy” (MSA: 1986) by Ghulam Nabi Fai, Acting President of the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada.
The brutal murders of Prof. Ismail al-Faruqi and his wife Prof. Lois Lamja’ al-Faruqi on May 1986 in Philadelphia have left a void in the world of Islamic learning and human relationships. As martyrs (shuhada’), Allah has glorified their status — a goal that every Muslim seeks and only a few attain.
The Faruqis have been acclaimed as the pioneers of Islamic Studies on the American continent. Through their scholarship, both have laid the foundation of an Islamic methodology of learning not only for the study of religion but also in other disciplines. By doing so, they have, in fact, fulfilled one of the most urgent in tellectual needs of the Muslim world as it seeks to form an islamic world view in the modern age. The value of their contributions to the non-Muslim world lies in their ability to make it appreciate rslam and its endow ment to human civilization.
To the world of students, they have left a legacy of knowledge to be applied as the world of Islam continues to encounter different intellectual and practical chal lenges which demand responses. Through their Quranic vision of Islam, which is not restricted to any particular historical era, they have reemphasized the universalis tic claim of Islam.
Dr. al-Faruqi, however, was not an intellectual recluse. His life was intertwined with the lives of Muslim students whom he constantly endeavored to teach how to exemplify the integrative beauty of Islam through the MSA. He gave it a new direction. For him the MSA, as a varied and potent representation of the ummah, was an important component of the process of Islamiza tion both in its intellectual and practical aspects.
The author, Br. Tarig Quraishi, has been an associate of the Faruqis. As one of the early supporters of the MSA, he has, over several years, served in the process of shaping the Islamic minds of his fellow students through his writings in the Is Horizons and al-It tihad, the two early Islamic voices of the student com munity in North America. In this booklet, Br. Quraishi has given an authentic portrayal of the multifaceted personalities of the Faruqis, their thoughts and ideas.
This booklet is a humble contribution from MSA to the memories of the Faruqis whose attachment to and involvement with the world of students and learning have become eternalized facts of our history.
Safar 6, 1407
October 9, 1986