Monday, October 13, 2014


 The late, Prof .Ali Mazrui

It is with  great sadness that Africa has lost one  its  brightest son. Prof Mazrui was the prominent Pan Africanist scholar whose works hailed all over the world. Born and raised in Mombasa, Prof Mazrui rose  to prominence critic of some accepted African school of thoughts that became a way of thinking. He was critical of socialism and Marxism because to him was an imported ideology form the west that  were not aimed at shaping Africa states but rather utopian and unrealistic. He argued that  revised liberalism could help the continent . Mazrui describe himself  as a proponent scholar of unique African liberal ideology. He has written over 30 books and lectured different universities worldwide. 

Mazrui’s own upbringing reflects this triple heritage. He was born on February 24, 1933, in Mombasa, Kenya, to Swafia Suleiman Mazrui and Sheikh Al-Amin Mazrui, an eminent Muslim scholar and the Chief Qadi (Islamic judge) of Kenya. Immersed in Swahili culture, Islamic law, and Western education, he grew up speaking or reading Swahili, Arabic and English
Prof Ali Mazrui, 81, was  Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, died Sunday, Oct. 12. Recognized as one of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals by Foreign Policy magazine and British journal Prospect in 2005, Mazrui was also named one of the world’s top 500 most influential Muslims in 2012 and 2013. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Manchester University in England, his master’s degree from Columbia University and his doctorate from Oxford University in England. Prior to joining the faculty at Binghamton in 1989, he taught and served as dean at Makerere University in Uganda, taught at the University of Michigan and was a visiting scholar at countless institutions.

He was also the Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large Emeritus and senior scholar in Africana Studies at Cornell University. He was sought after as an advisor and leader, had advised the World Bank and served as president of the African Studies Association of the United States and vice president of the International Congress of African Studies. He was elected an honorary fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the College of Fellows of the International Association of Middle Eastern Studies. He was also elected president of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists, served on the board of directors of the American Muslim Council and as chair of the board of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, served on the board of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and was a fellow of the Institute of Governance and Social Research.

He served as president of Muslim Social Scientistsof North America and was elected senior fellow of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding. Author of more than 30 books, he also published a novel, wrote for magazines and newspapers and had his most influential articles republished by Africa World Press in three volumes. He was also known for the 1986 BBC/PBS series

“The Africans: A Triple Heritage.” He was awarded numerous honorary degrees in disciplines ranging from divinity to science to human development, and from humane letters to political economy. He is survived by his wife, five sons and one daughter. Prayers for his passing will take place at the Islamic Awareness Center, at 74 Coughlin Ave. at the corner of Coughlin and Livingston in Binghamton at 5 p.m. today, Monday, Oct. 13. 

This prayer service is called Salat al-Janazah and is open to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Imam Mohamed Afifi welcomes all to attend, and has made arrangements for double parking. An additional service (the daily evening prayer) will be offered for observant Muslims at 4:30 p.m., just prior to the prayer service for Mazrui.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Courtesy: Shamis Alkhatry and  Prof. Mazrui's facebook page

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