Prominent Community Leader Abdul Hameed Dogar Passes Away
By Dr A. Khan
Abdul Hameed Dogar, Founding Trustee & Director of Islamic Foundation, Villa Park, Illinois passed away on Sunday night, October 29, 2017, after a short illness, in Lombard, Illinois. He was 93.
Dogar Sahib was one of the founding members of Islamic Foundation, Villa Park and served as a Director of the Islamic Center for over 40 years. He is survived by his wife Mrs Masooda Dogar, two sons and two daughters.
Abdul Hameed Dogar was born in 1924 in the eastern part of the province of Punjab in British India. In August 1947, when Pakistan came into being, the Eastern part of Punjab became part of India, and the Western part of Punjab became part of Pakistan. Amidst the bloodshed of Muslims who were forced to flee from East Punjab, Abdul Hameed Dogar migrated to Pakistan’s Punjab with his parents. The migration happened just after about two months of Abdul Hammed Dogar’s coming back to home after completing his Bachelor’s of Science in Civil engineering program from Muslim University, Aligarh. Mr Dogar received his diploma via mail in Pakistan.
In Pakistan, as a civil engineer, he joined the Department of Irrigation in Punjab province. He worked primarily on the design of water dams, reservoirs and barrages; his name is still inscribed on Tunsa barrage built across River Indus, as one of its designers.
Mr Dogar came to the United States in 1962 to seek medical help for the treatment of his son who suffered from polio. He worked for Illinois Department of Transportation (I-DOT) from 1963 until his retirement in 1991. He was a licensed Professional Civil and Structural Engineer. He designed highway I-55 and some of the bridges of highway I-355.
Dogar Sahib was a visionary and a dedicated community leader who served the community by establishing schools and mosques in the Chicagoland area. He was the founding member and Director of the Islamic Foundation that manages a Mosque and a full-time school located in Villa Park, Illinois. Islamic Foundation is one of the largest Muslim centers in the United States. Its full-time school (K-12) is fully accredited by ISBE and NCA (HLC) in the state of Illinois.
Mr Dogar was a kind and compassionate leader who focused on building bridges across different cultures and religions. His dedication to serve the whole community irrespective of their ethnicity and religion is well known in the Chicagoland area. He regularly invited visitors and scholars, of all religions to the Islamic Foundation to hold seminars and interfaith meetings.
Mr Dogar wrote many booklets and books on Islam. In his most recent book titled “Islam: God’s Final Message to Mankind,” commenting on the challenges of the modern times, he observed “There is a great confusion and misunderstanding about Islam despite the fact that Islam is basically the same religion as preached by Adam (pbuh), Moses (pbuh), Jesus (pbuh) and all other prophets sent by God. I realized that there is a great need for an accurate account of this religion…There is a great turmoil and bloodshed going on all over the world and there is a desperate need to stop it. When our God is one and we all are children of the same couple Adam and Eve, and our religion is one, then why is this bloodshed? It must stop and I am quite confident that In-sha-Allah (God willing) it will stop if we succeed in guiding the people towards the True Divine Guidance sent by God through his Messengers and if all the people truly and sincerely follow this Divine Guidance…True religion is the most precious asset of man. It embodies guidance from the Creator and Sovereign of the universe for leading a peaceful life on earth. It not only permits the fulfillment of all natural demands of mankind in a disciplined way, but also makes their fulfillment very rewarding and meritorious. But as religion is also primarily a discipline, man did not appreciate it. Instead of getting disciplined and changed by religion, man changed the religion itself according to his own passions and desires. Because of this perversion, corruption and tempering, the God-given religion of man has fallen apart…Our objective in writing this book is to remined ourselves and all people of the world that God Almighty, who alone is the Creator, Maintainer, and Sustainer of the Universe, without any shareholders and partners. He alone is the Superpower, and none else. The purpose of our life is that He and He alone is to be obeyed, worshiped, and served, and we are accountable to Him in the life hereafter for the use of all our faculties and His bounties.”