Fathi Osman


Scholar of Islam Articulate scholar Fathi Osman published authoritative guides to the Qur'an for non-Arabic readers and he published some forty books in Arabic and English. One of Dr. Osman's most important work in English was the monumental 'Concepts of the Qur'an: A Topical Reading', in 1997, a work of nearly 1,000 pages intended to acquaint non-Muslim readers with key concepts, arranged according to subject. He published several books in Arabic that explored Islamic thought as it pertains to human rights and legal systems, notably 'The Individual in Muslim Society: Mutual Rights and Obligations' (1963) and 'Human Rights in Western Thought and Islamic Law' (1981). Dr. Osman's other works in English include 'Muslim Women in the Family and the Society' (1990), 'Islamic Law in the Contemporary Society: Shari'a Dynamics of Change' (1995) and 'Children of Adam: An Islamic Perspective on Pluralism' (1995). Dr. Osman wrote and lectured widely, offering an expansive, liberal interpretation of Islamic teaching and the obligation of Muslims in the West to embrace Western civic values. In the 1960s, Dr. Osman held several posts at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he worked on overhauling the Islamic curriculum at Egyptian universities. After teaching at universities in Algeria and Saudi Arabia, Fathi Osman enrolled at Princeton, where he earned a doctorate in Near Eastern studies in 1976, writing a dissertation on Islamic land ownership and taxation. He then took a post in the history department at Ibn-Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In 1987, Dr. Osman became a scholar in residence at the Islamic Centre of Southern California in Los Angeles. He was the founder of the Institute for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World, part of the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Foundation, and a senior scholar at the Centre for Muslim-Jewish Engagement at the University of Southern California. Muhammad Fathi Osman was born in Minya, Egypt. He was educated in Cairo - obtaining degrees in history and law and master in Islamic-Byzantine relations (1962). In the 1940s, he joined Muslim Brotherhood, an anti-colonialist group, and helped edit its weekly newspaper. He passed away at his home in Montrose, California, USA.

Compiler: M Nauman Khan

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