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Ibrahim Saeed

Ibrahim Saeed [alternative spelling for second name, Sayeed, (May 20, 1945 - May 27, 2007)] is the founder editor of Sanmarga, a Kannada weekly published from Mangalore. Ibrahim Saeed was a senior journalist and had served Sanmarga for three decades as editor until he was given the office of state president of Jamat-e-Isalmi Hind, Karnataka and Goa division. He was also a chief of Da’wah wing of Jamat-e-Islami for its Karnataka unit. Saeed was born and educated in Mangalore.

Ibrahim Saeed launched Sanmarga weekly in 1979 after quitting his job in a nationalized bank.

After returning from his second Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, he handed over the responsibility of presidency of Jamat-e-Islami which he could serve for a term of 4 years from 2003 to 2006. For a decade he rendered his services as a member of national representative body of Jamat-e-Islami Hind in Delhi. Saeed is one of founders of Shanthi Prakashana and later he became chairman of this publshing house.

Scholar and orator

Ibrahim Saeed is known to the people of Karnataka state not merely as a journalist but also as a thinker, an intellectual and a scholar. He was a captivating orator and had traveled widely in Karnataka giving lectures on various topics such as communal harmony, character building and moral values, significance of democracy in India and so forth. Da’wah is another field he had taken up to his heart during his lifetime and had composed several Da’wah related books. Plenty of his Kannada and Urdu speeches have come out in form of audio cassettes as well. He did voice recording for the first ever Kannada translation of the Qur’an in electronic format. Saeed is a multi linguist with profound knowledge of Kannada, Urdu and English. He has studied Arabic and Malayalam languages privately. He used to hold his weekly Qur'an discourse sessions in Kannada and also in Beary bashe, a dialect used by the Indian Beary community live alongside coastal Karnataka.

Contribution to communal harmony

Ibrahim Saeed had firmly believed that most of the mistrust between followers of Islam and other religions spring from the lack of knowledge about each other’s faith. He not only had been a student of comparative religions but strived to remove the mistrust and bring the people of various religions closer through his translations, writings and speeches. His Kannada booklet Komu Sauharda mattu Charitrya Nirmaana is a highly appreciated work in this regard.

Saeed is the founder coordinator of an influential organization of Mangalore – Association for Communal Harmony and Moral Uplift - a model organization that includes prominent personalities from all major faiths to work together for the cause of humanity.

Literary life

Saeed was a prolific writer, has significantly contributed to Kannada literature by writing at least 22 books on various topics. Apart from that he has translated some 25 books from Urdu and English into Kannada language. His most famous booklet on communal harmony has been a tool in promoting harmony amongst the people of different faiths living together, often distributed free of cost on various occasions. Another celebrated work Tappu kalpanegalu reprinted 9 times in a very short time span and made him famous in the neighboring states of Karnataka when this book was translated into English, Marathi and Tamil languages. He had also rendered services as chairman of Shanti Prakashana, a publishing company based in Mangalore city.

His work Mahakavi Iqbalara kavanagalu is a humble attempt to transform thoughts and philosophy of Allama Iqbal into Kannada language which he had started to pen down in his popular weekly, Sanmarga. Later Shanti Prakashana, of which he was chairman, could bring out in book form. This is the first major work in Kannada as regard to Sir Allama Iqbal’s poetry or philosophy is concerned.

Ibrahim Saeed also served in translation board of Divya Qur’an and Qur’an Vyakhyana. Former is a translation and latter is commentary (Tafsir) work of the Qur’an in Kannada. Qur’an Vyakhyana is an abridged version of Towards Understanding the Qur'an, the world renowned Qur’an exegesis of modern times. He has enormously contributed to bring out Kannada Translation of Qur'an in audio cassettes and later in CD form.

Pravadi Jeevana Sandesha is another major literary achievement of Ibrahim Saeed in simple intelligible Kannada language. It is comprehensive but short and authentic biography of Muhammad with proper citations and reference sources. Undoubtedly this work is a valuable little gift of Saeed to forty million Kannada speaking population of Karnataka.

Ibrahim Saeed was a columnist in Prajavani, the largest published Kannada daily of Karnataka. In Prajavani he wrote under nom de plume Sanmargi.

Death

Ibrahim Saeed breathed his last at the age of 62, in the wee hours of morning on Sunday, May 27, 2007 at Unity Health Complex, a private healthcare centre in Mangalore. He was admitted to the hospital only the previous night. Ibrahim Saeed has 4 sons and 4 daughters. He was intellectually productive till the end of his life.

Funeral

Funeral was attended by a large number of people in the city of Mangalore. Chief minister of Karnataka state H. D. Kumaraswamy, former chief minister Dharam Singh have visited Saeed’s house in Kankanady. State opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge, former central minister C. K. Jaffer Sharief, former ministers B.A. Moidin, Tanveer Saith, Zamir Ahmed Khan, Roshan Beig and many other eminent personalities from different walks of life have also paid their tribute.

Saeed was laid to rest in the central grave yard of Zeenat Bakhsh Juma Masjid after Asr prayer on 28.05.2007 in Bunder area of Mangalore city. His elder son Ameen Ahsan, a unit president of JIH at Uppinangady and a businessman, led Salat al-Janazah at Zeenat Baksh Juma Masjid.

In absentia funeral prayers have held in Qatar, Riyadh and other places in Middle Eastern contries.

Condolence meeting

Dakshina Kannada district’s Kannada Sahitya Parishad, Dharma Samanvaya Mangalooru and Jamat-e-Islami had jointly held a condolence meet in Town hall of Mangalore. Dignitaries like John Fernandes, Mugavalli Keshava Dharani, Tufail Mohammed, Shahanaz M., B.A Moidin, Pattabhirama Somayaji Pradeep Kumar Kalkura, Umer U.H., Mohammed Kunhi, Hamid Hussain, Mohammed Haneef Goltamajalu, Dr. Mohammed Ismail, and other eminents have made condolatory remarks in the gathering. Condolence meetings were held in other places as well. In Kuwait the meeting was held in Al Kharafi Hall of IPC. Hassan Yusuf, Khwaja Muinuddin, Sharafuddin B.S. and Dr. Ahmed Sajjad shared their views.

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