Dr Kalbe Sadiq – An Exemplary Thinker and Educationalist (1939 – 2020)
A man whose life was an inspiration, a scholar whose erudition was transformational, a humanitarian whose love for his fellow beings was contagious. His life can well be a yardstick to measure a true leader. Dr. Kalbe Sadiq was an internationally renowned thinker, educationist and a profound Zakir of the Ahlul Bayt (AS), known for his inclusive and empathetic approach to people of all faiths.
Born in Lucknow in a highly respected family of Ulama, Dr. Kalbe Sadiq received his early education from Sultan ul Madaris, and subsequently form Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, where he attained a Ph.D. in Arabic Literature.
With a mastery over Urdu, Persian, English and Hindi languages, he travelled across the globe to deliver eloquent speeches and lectures on Islamic theology, and served selflessly in the months of Muharram and Safar. His oratory powers touched young and old, in the East and the West, with his masterful delivery which was refreshingly simple, calmly presented, yet crystal clear in thought.
In India particularly, he was held in high esteem among people of all faiths. He served as Vice-President of one of India’s biggest socio-religious organisations, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and always championed the cause of communal harmony between Hindu and Muslims, as well as between Shias and Sunnis. Throughout his life, his existence was dedicated to peaceful coexistence. A Lucknow that was known for the sectarian issues between Shias and Sunnis, saw many peaceful decades as a result of unfailing efforts of Dr. Sadiq.
Maulana Kalbe Sadiq emerged as a formidable change agent in the 1970s, when he was moved by the heartbreaking condition of the Shia community, that had lagged behind in every field suffering from the ills of illiteracy, poverty and ignorance. He insightfully perceived that the key success factor in alleviating all three lied in education. He spearheaded this challenge.
Thenceforth, Dr. Kalbe Sadiq resolved to spread education and knowledge with fervour, waging a community-wide war against illiteracy and ignorance. He adopted his lifelong cause of education and left no stone unturned to facilitate education across all communities.
In 1984, he established Tauheedul Muslimeen Trust (T.M.T) to give educational assistance and scholarships to the needy and poor students. In those early days, The World Federation was instrumental in assisting him to fund some of his projects. In 1988 he graced The World Federation Conference with his presence and articulated his vision for the Community in India (click to watch below).
Today, with his legacy of a single-minded focus on education, the T.M.T runs a multitude of schools, colleges, technical institutes, charitable hospitals, free education programmes as well as provides scholarships to thousands of students all over India.
Deserving Maulana’s special attention is this “free education programme” which provides free quality education, transportation, uniforms, stationery, books, to the most deserving and disadvantaged students of our society. Recipients of these scholarships are now paying back as successful professionals across the globe. It is no surprise that he has often been referred to as ‘second Sir Syed’ suggesting that after Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, no Muslim leader has made as much effort to facilitate modern education in the Muslim community.
In a recent interview, he said: “I think one of the most crucial challenges facing the Muslims of India is that of education. We must make that one of our foremost priorities. Imam Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet, said that he who doesn’t know about something, he becomes its enemy. Likewise, there may be some maulvis who know nothing about modern education or science and, therefore, oppose it.… This time is not for building palatial mosques, but, instead, for using our resources for setting up schools, colleges, polytechnics and research institutes. I also say that much of what is being taught in the name of religion has nothing to do with true religion or spirituality. True religion inheres in values, not just rituals.”
It is not just in the field of education, that he is known as a change agent, but also in the space of Hindu Muslim relations. He had never been afraid of speaking his mind.
The World Federation deeply mourns Marhum’s passing, taking solace in knowing that his exemplary teachings will remain with us, and be deep-seated as Sadaqah Jaariyah for our future generations.
The President of the World Federation Alhaj Safder Jaffer paying his tributes to Marhum Dr Kalbe Sadiq expresses:
‘It was my privilege to have met Dr Kalbe Sadiq many times, and I learnt immensely from his wisdom. He has inspired many, and at The World Federation, we will continue with more vigour to continue serving his vision of soliciting education throughout the subcontinent. The world has lost an enlightened Muslim scholar, the Shia Community has lost a champion of education, and The World Federation bids farewell to a friend and a well-wisher, who epitomised The World Federation’s mantra to serve with sincerity and simplicity. May Allah bless him with His infinite Mercy. The World Federation conveys its heartfelt condolences to Marhum’s family and all the Board Members at the Tauheedul Muslimeen Trust.’