Fazlur Rahman Malik
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Rahman was born in the Hazara District of the North West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) of British India (now Pakistan). His father, Maulana Shihab al-Din, was a well-known scholar of the time who had studied at Deoband and had achieved the rank of alim, through his studies of Islamic law, prophetic narrations, Quran'ic commentaries, logic, philosophy and other subjects.
Rahman studied Arabic at Punjab University, and went on to Oxford University, where he wrote a dissertation on Ibn Sina. Afterwards, he began a teaching career, first at Durham University, where he taught Persian and Islamic philosophy, and then at McGill University, where he taught Islamic studies until 1961.
In that year, he returned to Pakistan at the behest of President Ayub Khan to head up the Central Institute of Islamic Research in Karachi which was set up by the Pakistani government in order to implement Islam into the daily dealings of the nation. However, due to the political situation in Pakistan, Rahman was hindered from making any progress in this endeavour, and he resigned from the post in September 1968. He then returned to teaching, moving to the United States and teaching at UCLA as a visiting professor for a year. He moved to the University of Chicago in 1969 and established himself there becoming the Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Islamic Thought. At Chicago he was instrumental for building a strong Near Eastern Studies program that continues to be among the best in the world. Rahman also became a proponent for a reform of the Islamic polity and was an advisor to the State Department. Rahman died in Chicago, Illinois July 26, 1988 at the University of Chicago Medical Center from complications of coronary bypass surgery. A resident of suburban Naperville, Illinois at his death, he is buried in Arlington Cemetery, Elmhurst, Illinois.
Since Rahman's death his writings have continued to be popular among scholars of Islam and the Near East. His contributions to the University of Chicago are still evident in its excellent programs in these areas. In his memory, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago named its common area after him, due to his many years of service at the Center and at the University of Chicago at large.
He was a polyglot who, apart from mastering Urdu, Persian, Arabic and English quite early in his life, eventually also learned classical Greek, Latin, German and French in order to be more efficient in his academic career.
- Islam, University of Chicago Press, 2nd edition, 1979. ISBN 0-226-70281-2
- Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy, University of Chicago Press, 1979, 2011 ISBN 9780226702858
- Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition, University of Chicago Press, 1982. ISBN 0-226-70284-7
- Major Themes of the Qur'an, University of Chicago Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-226-70286-5
- Revival and Reform in Islam (ed. Ebrahim Moosa), Oneworld Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-85168-204-X
- Islamic Methodology in History, Central Institute of Islamic Research, 1965.
- Health and Medicine in the Islamic Tradition, Crossroad Pub Co, 1987. ISBN 0-8245-0797-5 (Hardcover), ISBN 1-871031-64-8 (Softcover).
- Riba and Interest, Islamic Studies (Karachi) 3(1), Mar. 1964:1-43.
- Shariah, Chapter from Islam [Anchor Book, 1968], pp. 117–137.
Book Review By Faheem Hussain