37 Facts About Muhammad Asad

1.

Muhammad Asad, was an Austro-Hungarian-born Jew and convert to Islam who worked as a journalist, traveler, writer, linguist, political theorist, diplomat.

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2.

Muhammad Asad carried out a secret mission for Ibn Saud to trace the sources of funding for the Ikhwan Revolt.

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3.

Muhammad Asad spent five years in internment by the British Government at the outbreak of World War II.

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4.

On 14 August 1947, Muhammad Asad received Pakistani citizenship and later served at several bureaucratic and diplomatic positions including the Director of Department of Islamic Reconstruction, Deputy Secretary in the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan, and Pakistan's Envoy to the United Nations.

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5.

Muhammad Asad has been described by his biographers as "Europe's gift to Islam" and "a Mediator between Islam and the West".

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6.

Muhammad Asad studied the Jewish Bible or Tanakh, the text and commentaries of the Talmud, the Mishna and Gemara, delving into the intricacies of Biblical exegesis and the Targum.

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7.

Muhammad Asad picked up work as a stringer for the German newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung, one of the most prestigious newspapers of Germany and Europe, selling articles on a freelance basis.

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8.

Muhammad Asad's pieces were noteworthy for their understanding of Arab fears and grievances against the Zionist project.

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9.

Muhammad Asad published a small book on the subject in 1924, and this so inspired the confidence of the Frankfurter Zeitung that it commissioned him to travel more widely still, to collect information for a full-scale book.

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10.

Muhammad Asad stayed there for nearly six years during which he made five pilgrimages.

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11.

On Faysal's invitation, Muhammad Asad met King Abdulaziz ; the meeting led to almost daily audiences with the King, who quickly came to appreciate Muhammad Asad's knowledge, keen mind and spiritual depth.

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12.

Ibn Saud allowed Muhammad Asad to visit the Najd region, which was forbidden to foreigners at that time.

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13.

Muhammad Asad, after traveling day and night through the desert without lighting fire, reached Kuwait to collect first-hand evidence.

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14.

Muhammad Asad concluded that the British were providing arms and money to al-Dawish to weaken Ibn Saud for the purpose of securing a 'land route to India' – a railroad from Haifa to Basra ultimately connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian subcontinent.

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15.

Iqbal persuaded Muhammad Asad to stay on in British India and help the Muslims of India establish their separate Muslim state.

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16.

Iqbal introduced Asad to Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan, a philanthropist and agriculturalist, who, on the advice of Muhammad Iqbal, established the Dar-ul-Islam Trust Institutes in Pathankot, India and Jauharabad, Pakistan.

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17.

Allama Iqbal encouraged Muhammad Asad to translate Sahih Al-Bukhari in English for the first time in history.

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18.

Muhammad Asad responded positively and started making the arrangements for his translation.

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19.

Muhammad Asad himself was arrested in Lahore in 1939, a day after the war broke out, by the British as an enemy alien.

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20.

Muhammad Asad was finally released and reunited with his family in Jamalpur when the Second World War ended in 1945.

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21.

Muhammad Asad supported the idea of a separate Muslim state in India.

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22.

In 1949, Muhammad Asad joined Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as head of the Middle East Division and made efforts to strengthen Pakistan's ties with the Muslim states of the Middle East.

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23.

In 1952, Muhammad Asad was appointed as Pakistan's Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations in New York – a position that he relinquished in 1952 to write his autobiography, The Road to Mecca.

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24.

Muhammad Asad contributed much to Pakistan's early political and cultural life but was shunned from the corridors of power.

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25.

Muhammad Asad served this country as the head of the Directorate of Islamic Reconstruction, Joint Secretary of the Middle East Division in Foreign Office, Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations and organizer of the International Islamic Colloquium.

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26.

Muhammad Asad fell in love with her and when he learned that she had already embraced Islam he decided to marry her, despite the difference of age and temperament.

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27.

Muhammad Asad applied through the proper channels but the Governor-General rejected his application.

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28.

At that time, Muhammad Asad was immersed in his cherished work on the Qur'an, and so he regretfully declined.

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29.

Muhammad Asad agreed with some, and as usual disagreed with others, which he found retrograde.

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30.

Muhammad Asad spared some time to meet with his surviving friends in Lahore and Islamabad and at the request of the President made several radio and television appearances, as always spontaneous.

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31.

Towards the end of his life, Muhammad Asad moved to Spain and lived there with his third wife, Pola Hamida Muhammad Asad, an American national of Polish Catholic descent who had converted to Islam, until his death on 20 February 1992 at the age of 91.

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32.

Muhammad Asad was buried in the Muslim cemetery of Granada in the former Moorish province of Andalusia, Spain.

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33.

Muhammad Asad had a son, Talal Muhammad Asad, from his second Saudi Arabian wife, Munira.

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34.

Talal Muhammad Asad is an anthropologist specializing in religious studies and postcolonialism.

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35.

Muhammad Asad had a step-son named Heinrich with his first wife Else.

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36.

The program commemorated the life and work of Muhammad Asad, described as a great Austrian visionary, who earned international recognition by building bridges between religions.

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37.

Muhammad Asad was a citizen of the world, who was at home, and left his mark, everywhere in the world, especially in the Orient.

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