Sh. Abdul Hamid Kishk was potentially the greatest Islamic speaker of our era who had a voice that shook the Arab world.
He was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1933 and grew up as an orphan after losing his father as a child.
In his teenage years he suffered from a medical condition that eventually cost him his eyesight.
He completed the memorization of the Quran at ten years old and was exceptionally bright in Islamic studies.
He graduated from Al Azhar University at a young age and soon after became Imam of a local Mosque.
In 1957, he returned to Al Azhar as a lecturer in the faculty of theology.
In 1964, he began giving sermons at the prestigious Ayn Alhayaat Mosque, he would continue this role for many years.
Despite his scholarly status, he mesmerized his audiences by merging classical Arabic with colloquial language that appealed to the masses.
He had a unique gift for preaching that would make people laugh and cry within the same sermon.
He was described as the star of Islamic preaching in his time for his poetic tone during his sermons.
His subject matter was also uniquely different as he would openly address the tyranny of socialist regimes and Arab dictators.
He would challenge their stance on Israel and condemn the growth of music, promiscuity and secularism.
He frequently drew tens of thousands of people and his Mosque soon after underwent expansions to cater for the growing crowds.
As his profile became more prominent, the government grew wary of him. He was thus jailed in 1965 for two and a half years.
By 1976 he was a serious obstacle to the authorities as his popularity had surged tremendously.
He was subsequently jailed by Anwar Sadat in 1981 but later released after Hosni Mubarak became President.
He was however released upon condition that he would give up preaching entirely to the public.
He spent the remainder of his life publishing books until his death which shook the Arab world.
On the morning of Friday, 6 December 1996, just before leaving to the Mosque for Jumaa prayers, he prayed two units of prayer at home.
However, before he could get up from his final prostration of the prayer, he passed away and thus died in Sujood.
His noble ending came as a surprise to many as he would often supplicate publicly “Oh Allah allow me to live as a Scholar, die as a scholar and resurrect me in the state of prostration.”
Despite his frequent political confrontations, the vast majority of his talks preached spirituality and personal piety as per orthodox Islam.
His sermons continue to be distributed across the world to this very day inspiring the minds of millions.
May Allah have mercy on Shaykh Abdul Hamid Kishk and grant him the Highest of Paradise for the noble legacy he has left behind.
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