In the presence of a select of scholars and Dawa preachers, the Qatar Islamic Cultural Center held a ceremony Saturday evening organized by Qaradawi Students Association to honor Prof. Abdul-Azim Al-Deeb, may Allah bless his soul. At the forefront of the attendees was Prof. Youssef Al-Qaradawi, Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.
Among speakers at the ceremony was Khaled Mishaal, head of the political bureau of Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, who attended part of the celebration, as well as Dr. Ali Mohyi Al-Qaradaghi, Secretary General of the IUMS, Dr. Khalifa bin Jassem Al-Kawari, advisor at the Ministry of Endowments and former director of Islamic Affairs Department, Ismail Al-Kilani, former director of the Islamic Studies Division at the Ministry of Education, Abdel-Salam Basiouni, religious preacher and poet, and Dr. Akram Kassab, director of the Qaradawi Students Association.
Attending the ceremony that marked the two year anniversary since Prof. Abdul-Azim’s death was also a number of scholars and preachers who were former students of the professors or simply valued him.
The Sheikh Professor
In his word at the ceremony, Qaradawi expressed his sadness for the loss of Dr. Al-Deeb saying that: "he was a sheikh, professor, teacher and educator. He was not just an academic verifying historical texts.” Qaradawi also stressed that Al-Deeb was a complete character that rose above what others sought and refused to sell his knowledge or give up his dignity for a financial or moral gain.
He pointed out that Al-Deeb had a unique method of verifying old texts, was known for verifying rare classical texts, and that his style was free of needless filling and prolonging but paid attention to understanding the text and clarifying its connotations.
Qaradawi also explained that Al-Deeb had the qualifications for writing in Islamic jurisprudence and history, but was preoccupied with verification more than authorship. He also reminded of Al-Deeb’s terminology and expressions like his famous phrase that "the computer is the modern day keeper”.
Qaradawi praised Al-Deeb’s patience, perseverance and persistence in verifying the books of Imam Al-Juwaini, and explained that he spent more than twenty years working on verifying Juwaini’s Nihayat Al-Matlab book.
Qaradawi mentioned that the deceased professor was loved by his students because he passed knowledge with love and affection. He wished that Al-Deeb had lived to see the Arab Spring revolutions and witness the fall of the regimes of oppression, injustice and tyranny.
The Head of the IUMS praised the Qaradawi Student’s Association’s initiative to organise the ceremony cherishing the memory of Al-Deeb as a scholar, verifier, and reviver of a moderate tradition. He urged the association to devote the coming forum for honoring sheikh Abdel-Moez Abdel-Sattar whom he described as his "brother and professor” who deserves honoring.
In his words, Khaled Mishaal praised Qatar’s role in embracing scholars, preachers, intellects, and the educated elite "away from boasting and pride”.
He valued Qatar’s stances that support Palestinian resistance and said that "if it hadn’t been for the support of our Arab and Islamic nation, on top of them Qatar, we wouldn’t have been able to persist or tolerate.”
Mishaal said that he wished that he had witnessed the bounty and knowledge of the late Dr. Al-Deeb for what he heard of him from sheikh Qaradawi. He clarified that he observed two issues in the few times he met Dr. Al-Deeb. First: the attitude of a levelheaded scholar, the language of a thoughtful, calm verifier full of knowledge and wisdom. The second: his unique political awareness and open-mindedness that keeps track of the developments happening in the world.
Mishaal stressed that it was necessary for Arabs and Muslims to devote attention to research and scientific investigation after the Arab Spring revolution and said that "the nation needs a revival in all fields of life in order to be able to produce instead of begging”. He pointed out the close connection between scientific revival and progress on the one hand and the independence of political decisions on the other. He also said that "a person can never own a political decision, if they do not own a scientific revival.”
Mishaal bore the promising prophecy that the suffering of the Palestinian people will not last for long and said that "the Arab Spring will be a great uplift in our battle against the Zionist project.”
He criticized the process of judaization, settlement, forced migration and killing that Israel carries out in occupied territories and pointed out the danger of the new de facto situation created by the Netanyahu government at the expense of the Palestinian people, the most apparent of them is the plan to judaize Jerusalem.
He criticized the "international hypocrisy” and the global silence concerning Israeli crimes in Palestine. He admitted that although the Arab and Muslim nation is concerned over what is going on in Palestine, their media is preoccupied with the incidents of revolution in a number of Arab countries.
Mishaal expressed pleasure that the Arab nation has finally owned an internationally exportable product that is the "revolutions” which became a model to be followed in the east and west.
A lofty mountain
Dr. Ali Al-Qaradaghi described his sheikh and teacher Abdul-Azim Al-Deeb as a "lofty mountain that belonged to a struggling generation who lived in the sanctuary of knowledge to serve the heritage of the nation”. Al-Qaradagi considered him a unique model in verifying Islamic heritage books, especially the books of Al-Juwaini, the imam of the Holy Mosque in Mecca and explained that his outstanding rank in verification was because he studied at the hands of two of the most renowned verification professors: Mahmoud Shaker and Abdel-Salam Haroun.
He proposed to the Qaradawi Students’ Association to devote attention to the method of sheikh Al-Deeb in verification and writing in history, and admitted that he gained much benefit from his relation to the sheikh. Al-Qaradaghi asserted that he didn’t meet an analyzer of history incidents that paralleled the sheikh, may Allah bless his soul.
He described meetings with sheikh Al-Deeb as "free of backbiting and gossip and rich in discussions of scientific topics”. Al-Qaradaghi promised that the IUMS would organize a seminar about sheikh Al-Deeb within its activities.
Optimistic about victory
Ismail Al-Kilani revealed sides that are mentioned for the first time about the life of Dr. Al-Deeb through experiencing several situations with the late professor. He clarified that Al-Deeb was a smooth, modest person who made anyone love him the first time they met. Al-Deeb hated disagreement and violence and withheld himself from gossip, never mentioning anyone with ill words. He didn’t care for the financial issues and would take from his savings and give to people worthy of assistance.
Al-Kilani bore witness that Al-Deeb was concerned with the issues of the Muslim nation, on top of them the Palestinian issue. He demanded the Palestinian people to bring their cause back to its correct path and was reported as optimistic about victory over the Zionists however long it takes, on the condition that Muslims claim victory over their own selves.
A Godly Scholar
Dr. Khalifa bin Jassem Al-Kawari said that Al-Deeb was a godly scholar. He spoke about Al-Deeb’s asceticism and described him as easy to get along with that people found him familiar since the first time.
Khalifa mentioned Al-Deeb’s concern for the Muslim nation and its history. He loved Islamic history although he specialized in jurisprudence and origins of jurisprudence.
A man worth a nation
Sheikh Abdel-Salam Al-Basiouni saw the ceremony as a form of acknowledgement and gratitude for scholars and knowledge, and a demonstration of the high status of one of the scholars who deserved honoring. He recited a long poem mentioning the good qualities of the late landmark.
On his part, Dr. Akram Kassab described sheikh Al-Deeb as a pioneer of moderate, reviving thought with his writings, verifications, and educational and religious directions.
He mentioned that Al-Deeb was a man with the size of a nation, who was true to himself, to God, to his religious, to the nation and to his students and children and who held great sublime and human manners.
Kassab elaborated that Al-Deeb was unique in his writings and usage of terms and reminded of his word that "If God’s laws are valid for every time and place, then every time and place will not be veracious without God’s law”.
Dr. Kassab proposed to sheikh Qaradawi to make sheikh Al-Deeb and his dawa efforts a section of the Al-Qaradawi prize of Islamic thought in its second year.
Dr. Kassab praised the unmatched fraternity between Al-Qaradawi and Al-Deeb saying that "I have never seen anyone who loved another like Qaradawi’s love for Al-Deeb, and Al-Deeb’s love for Qaradawi. Their relation was a brotherly embodiment of loyalty in all its meanings.”