Former students remember the inspiring legacy of Mahmood Zuhdi in Islamic studies

18 Jun 2023 05:36pm
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SHAH ALAM - Malaysia grieves the loss of Professor Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abdul Majid, a prominent preacher and esteemed academic scholar in the field of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).

His passing on Saturday leaves a void in the realm of Malaysian Islamic law.

Throughout his lifetime, Mahmood served as an Associate Research Fellow at Universiti Malaya (UM) and was honored with the position of Professor Emeritus in 2011.

He also chaired the National Caucasus Council (MDN) since 2016.

Mahmood contributed significantly to the UM Islamic Studies Academy (APIUM) as a Professor Emeritus and as an accomplished writer, publishing numerous books on Syariah over the years.

Among his notable works are ‘Ke arah Merealisasikan Undang-undang Islam’ di Malaysia (1998), Pentadbiran Undang-undang Jenayah Islam Malaysia (1999), Wakaf dan Pelaksanaannya di Malaysia (2000) and Ulama Penggugat Zaman (2004).

He also authored Fiqh Malaysia: Konsep dan Cabaran (2000), Peranan Zakat Dalam Pembangunan Ummah (2002) and Teori Politik Islam: Memahami Siasah Syariah (2003).

Mahmood's services and contributions will be fondly remembered by numerous individuals, including his former students and colleagues.

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Several of his students took to Facebook to share their experiences and expressed their admiration for him as an esteemed educator who played a pivotal role in the development of APIUM as a renowned institution for Islamic studies.

One of his students, Abdel Rahmanov, recounted his time with Mahmood as a Master's student at APIUM.

He described Mahmood, affectionately known as Datuk Mood or Tok Mod, as a teacher who encouraged his students to think critically, urging them to engage in ijtihad (independent reasoning) in the context of the modern age.

"Mahmood's teaching style distinguished him from other lecturers, as he promoted scholarly thinking rather than mere acceptance of established knowledge.

"Despite any differences in opinions, Mahmood always displayed respect for the perspectives of other scholars, an attitude that was worthy of emulation," said Abel.

Another student, Nazri Chik, shared memories of his friendship with Mahmood, which provided him with numerous indirect learning opportunities.

Nazri Chik (left) with the late Mahmood - Photo: Nazri Chik Facebook
Nazri Chik (left) with the late Mahmood - Photo: Nazri Chik Facebook

Nazri mentioned how Mahmood's support and guidance led him to present a paper on Fiqh Malaysia at a national Shariah conference, bolstering his confidence as a presenter.

Rosfan Sazrin II, who attended Mahmood's Theory of Fiqh class, spoke of the professor's ability to challenge his students' minds and facilitate thought-provoking discussions.

Rosfan acknowledged the demanding nature of the class but regarded it as his favorite, as it nurtured his interest in Usul Fiqh and Fiqh Method.

Wan Azimin Lawyer, another student, expressed gratitude for Mahmood's teaching, inspiring him and his friends to pursue postgraduate studies and ultimately establish careers as Syariah lawyers and judges.

Wan Azimin (center) with the late Mahmood (right) - Photo: Wan Azimin Lawyer Facebook
Wan Azimin (center) with the late Mahmood (right) - Photo: Wan Azimin Lawyer Facebook

"I recall many sweet and bitter memories with him in the lecture hall and outside his lecture. Besides the usual learning method through lectures, he always asked questions, and held discussions and debates to teach us.

"Oftentimes, we agreed to disagree to conclude the discussion, but no one was discouraged but instead felt a sense of respect for the value of intellectual knowledge. He had a great personality in our eyes," he said.

The impact of Mahmood's teachings extends far beyond his students, as experts, preachers, and religious scholars in Malaysia will continue to refer to his works for guidance.