Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dr. M. Anwer Beg 02-09-02

Dr. Mirza Anwer Beg
Nov. 8, 1918 - Sept. 2, 2002

Life is a harmonious combination of elements with a breath of soul,
Death is the fragmentation of elements and release from bondage.

September 2nd, 2002 turned out to be a very sad day for the friends and relatives of Dr. Mirza Anwer Beg. He passed away at about 7:00 PM without any apparent pain, he just slumped over sitting in his chair as if gone to sleep. One minute he was there and the next he was gone. He suffered from Asthma and a heart condition for 40 years and had become weaker with age. He had a slight attack of asthma on the last day but was much better by noon. Our prayers rise to heaven, may God grant him peace and paradise through His mercy and grace.

Anwer Beg was born in Jaunpur, a 13th century historic town in northern India in 1918. His father Mirza Haider Beg was a well-known and respected attorney. His mother passed away when he was 2 years old. He was the youngest of five children. His father did not remarry and devoted his efforts to raising Anwer and his siblings.

After his Masters in 1940 he helped his father establish a college for the education of young Muslims and served as its Principal from 1947 to 1950. He came to U.S. and earned a Ph.D. in international Law from the Columbia University. He worked at the United Nations in the South Asia Information Division.

He wrote for many Journals, on topics that were close to his heart such as Apartheid in South Africa, Palestinian struggle, Historical perspective on various Islamic countries, Justice and concept of justice in Islam. These were thoughtful and thought provoking contributions to the intellectual dialogue. He also wrote verses about the human condition and suffering.

In 1976 he Joined Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) as an editor for the Islamic Horizons and Ittehad. He edited and nurtured these journals with distinction and retired in December 1985.

He moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama after retirement and lived a very productive life till the last moments. He kept writing and publishing articles and editing writings of friends and relatives just for the asking. He gave himself in full measure to whatever cause he helped.

A few hours before he passed away he completed a 50-page manuscript on the legacy of Kamal Ataturk for Turkey.

He lived a full productive life and touched those who knew him deeply. May God help his friends and relatives to bear the loss!

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