[The passing of Dr. Taha Jabir Al-Alwani was a great loss to scholarship in the ummah. I can think of no better epitaph than his last article, which was publicly read by his grandchildren at a program at Howard University on March 8. This is our transcription of his article.]
“I sanctify justice, celebrate freedom, and honor humanity. While demonstrating gentleness with the weak, I remind the strong that there is always someone who is stronger than they. I advise the rich to fulfill the rights of the poor, while I remind the poor that the rich among them have been entrusted with God’s wealth to fulfill the rights of the poor. I love goodness and gentleness and reject evil. I invite to goodness and reject violence. I cling to the rope of guidance and uphold the truth. I fight lies and deceit and forbid corruption. I seek reconciliation to the extent possible. I yearn for peace and despise war. I love humanity and strive for a good life. Death beckons, yet I believe that this a bridge I must cross, to cross from a fleeting life to one that is eternal. I desire the best ending and seek refuge in God from the contrary. I love heaven and detest hell-fire. I seek security and hate instability. I hat authoritarianism. I am not profane, destructive, or corrupt. My lineage extends from Adam and Hawaa (Eve), for Adam is my father and Hawaa is my mother. All members of humanity are sisters and brothers. I do not disdain, betray or humiliate a single human being. Rather, I work to guide human beings, light their path, and walk with them along that path to paradise. I seek to be a roadblock between them and hellfire. I love the universe and belong to it. I love my neighbors in the universe, including its trees, plants, rocks, animals, mountains, and rivers. God, most Majestic, has created me from this earth. To this earth He will return me, and from this earth He will restore me once again. To this earth I belong, and for its cultivation I call. My desire is to raise the truth; my goal is to spread peace and security in it; my means is to struggle with my own soul in order for peace to be realized and security to prevail. I invite to God, to Whom is my ultimate return. Peace is my objective. Security is my desire. Terrorism is my enemy. Conflict is my adversary, Inner peace is my pursuit.
“Do you recognize me? Do you know on this earth anyone who parallels this description? I am a Muslim.”
— Shaykh Taha Jabir Al-Alwani