A leading figure in the study of Quran is visiting Cape Town this week to launch his translation of “The Majestic Quran, a plain English Quran.” Dr Musharraf Hussain Al Azhari, who hails from the UK, is a guest of Muslim Hands South Africa. He is visiting the country for the first time on a public speaking tour on the importance of understanding the word of the Quran.
Dr Musharraf moved to Britain from Pakistan in 1966 with his parents to the town of Halifax, where he memorised the glorious Quran, learnt Tajweed and basic Quranic Arabic. After completing his secondary education, he went on to study Science at University and completed his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at Aston. He then continued his studies to gain a Science Doctorate. He worked as a research scientist for some of the major pharmaceutical companies until 1990 when he gave it up and decided to dedicate himself to serving the Muslim community. He read Islamic studies at a seminary in Pakistan under the guidance of Justice Pir Muhammad Karam Shah and then at Al-Azhar University, Cairo.
In 1995, Dr Musharraf helped to establish ‘Jamia al Karam’, a Muslim boarding school for boys in Retford, where he was the headteacher for 3 years. In 1997, he was appointed the director of the Karimia Institute, where he began working on a number of projects ranging from community development to raising educational achievements of children, adult classes and interfaith work. Currently, Karimia Institute runs over 20 projects and is a leading Muslim organisation in the UK.
In September 2004, he made efforts to help the release of British hostage Ken Bigley in Iraq. Dr Musharraf and Dr AJ Daud flew to Iraq, where they appealed to the captors to release Mr Bigley. This was an important symbolic gesture to show that British Muslims care for their fellow Britons, this was widely hailed as an important symbol of British Muslims loyalty and love of their country.
In 2005, Dr Musharraf was awarded an honorary doctorate by Staffordshire University, for his services to the British Muslim community.
He was asked by the Prime Minister to chair the UK – Indonesian Islamic advisory group in 2006. The group’s remit was to ‘Advise on countering radicalism and promoting mutual understanding between Islam and West’.
In 2009, he was awarded an OBE for his services to community relations in Britain. He is also the former chair of the Christian Muslim Forum, a senior trustee of Muslim Hands, trustee of National Centre for Citizenship and Law. Formerly, he was the director of Postgraduate Course in Education, and Vice-chair of the Association of Muslim Schools.
Dr Musharraf Hussain has a passion for working with people and developing community relations. Four decades of working with people from different backgrounds have provided him with wonderful opportunities for mutual learning, enabling him to serve local communities.
Among his many passion projects is the establishment of the Nottingham Islamia School which comprises of a nursery and primary school, converting and refurbishing a derelict lace factory into a community centre, which runs adult classes, social, cultural & recreational programmes. Establishing three Masjids in Nottingham, the establishment of a Masjid in the town of Walsall and Oldham, the launch of a community Radio station in Nottingham for the Muslim community and actively promoting interfaith dialogue in Nottingham and throughout UK.
Dr Musharraf Hussain has written and published over 20 books including the popular Let’s Learn Islam children’s books, which are used by 50 madrassahs throughout the UK.
In Ramadan 2018, after 5 years of intense effort and commitment, he published his translation of ‘The Majestic Quran’ in plain English with the aim of conveying the meanings of the Quran clearly and concisely with the necessary impact and the appropriate tone of voice. He wanted to make the Quran accessible, readable and an appealing translation in simple English.