The global academic and interfaith communities are mourning the passing of Dr. Shabbir Akhtar, a highly regarded Islamic philosopher and scholar, who passed away on July 25, 2023, at the age of 63. Born in Pakistan and raised in Bradford, UK, Dr. Akhtar’s remarkable intellectual journey left an indelible mark on the fields of Islamic philosophy and interfaith dialogue.
Dr. Akhtar pursued Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and earned his doctorate in Philosophy of Religion from the University of Calgary, Canada. He made significant contributions to interfaith dialogue during his tenure as a CMCS (Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies) Research Fellow from 2013 to 2018.
Dr. Akhtar served as an editor for the “Reading the Bible in the Context of Islam” series published by Routledge. His noteworthy achievement was the authorship of “The New Testament in Muslim Eyes: Paul’s Letter to the Galatians,” the first scholarly commentary by a Muslim on one of Paul’s epistles.
Iqbal Nasim, a close friend and collaborator, remembered Dr. Akhtar as a formidable intellectual, outstanding philosopher, and passionate advocate for Islam. According to GoFundMe, Nasim expressed deep gratitude for being honored in the 2nd Edition of Dr. Akhtar’s publication, “Be Careful with Muhammad,” dedicating it to him as a “helper in God’s cause.”
To honor Dr. Akhtar’s memory and support his family, Nasim initiated a GoFundMe campaign. The campaign aims to cover the burial costs, estimated at £6,000, and ensure Dr. Akhtar’s work continues to impact lives. Nasim stressed that the surplus funds would be used to promote Dr. Akhtar’s writings and make them accessible to a broader audience, continuing his legacy.
Dr. Shabbir Akhtar’s passing leaves a void in the world of Islamic philosophy and interfaith dialogue. His dedication to promoting understanding and compassion among diverse communities will be remembered and cherished for generations to come.
The global community mourns the loss of this distinguished scholar and philosopher. Dr. Akhtar’s intellectual legacy will continue to inspire scholars, philosophers, and seekers of truth worldwide. As the world bids farewell to this remarkable thinker, his work stands as a testament to the power of dialogue, compassion, and unity.