Prof Jahangir Hamdani Passes away
By Ras H. Siddiqui

One of the leading voices of reason, intellect, Muslims and Pakistanis here in the San Francisco Bay Area, Professor Syed Hasan Jahangir Hamdani passed away on Friday, July 28, 2006. His funeral was held the following day at the Rolling Hills Cemetery, 4100 Hilltop Drive in El Sobrante. Professor Hamdani was 66 years of age. He had been hospitalized for several days, and reportedly died of heart and lung problems and kidney failure.
During his many years of service to our Pakistani and Muslim-American community in California, Professor Hamdani touched several aspects of our lives in his own unique way. He was a speaker at what seemed like an infinite number of our cultural, political and religious gatherings during the past 25 years. His oratory skills, depth of analysis and affection for the people around him will be long remembered.
Professor Hamdani possessed excellent linguistic diversity and we often lost count of the languages that he spoke. He had a great grasp of Muslim and South Asian history and was considered a local authority on the Urdu language and some of its writers. His own poetry in Urdu was widely appreciated and we will certainly miss his presence at local mushairas and programs which he contributed to with the passion of a poet.
Hamdani Sahib had many interests. He spoke at India-Pakistan peace rallies, Muslim gatherings, Sikh events, Urdu language promotion programs and Pakistan Independence Day functions in northern California, to the delight of many. And he spoke from a scholarly authority which many of us had a chance to learn from. Pakistan Link reports covered some of these events.
As mentioned above, Hamdani Sahib’s range of interests covered a great deal. But beyond that he was a fine gentleman whom we will always remember for his cultured demeanor. Hamdani Sahib and some of us had politically opposite viewpoints. And even though we disagreed and were vocal about our differences, we never could turn down an invitation by him to the Hamdani family’s annual Naat Competition gathering to celebrate the Prophet’s (PBUH) birthday. He could make his point, strongly disagree with someone and then shake his hand. We could all learn a great deal from his example.
An obituary is often unfair while attempting to squeeze a short description of a person’s rich and accomplished life, into a few sentences. That is very much the case here. And since we must now leave to others to write their own remembrance of Hamdani Sahib’s life, let us end by expressing our deep sadness to Mrs. Sohab Maqbool Hamdani, the Hamdani children and his siblings. This is indeed a great loss for not only them but our entire community. Inna Lillahe Wa inna lillahe rajeoon.

 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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