Sheikh Mahmud Effendi has passed away aged 93.
The renowned Turkish scholar was rushed to hospital in Istanbul two weeks ago in order to treat an infection but sadly succumbed to the illness on Thursday. The unfortunate news of his passing was announced by his grandson who wrote: “His Excellency Mahmud Effendi, my grandfather, has reached Allah,” on Twitter.
Sheikh Effendi gained global popularity for his notable, Islamic work in Turkey. Not only was he responsible for reviving many of Islam’s Sunnah practices, but he also preached their importance within the Ummah. At the tender age of 6-years-old, he memorised the Quran, earning his Hafiz status and immediately after, started Persian and Arabic studies. In 1954, the Sheikh was appointed Imam of the Ismail Agha mosque in Istanbul where he continued to teach the ways of Islam until 1994 when he officially retired.
But Sheikh Effendi’s work went beyond just the borders of Turkey. Throughout his lifetime, he toured other countries such as Uzbekistan, India, Germany and the United States where he delivered sermons and educational speeches in order to help benefit those who came to see him.
According to his personal profile on The Muslim 500, he “has millions of followers and has established various religious, social and charity organisations such as the Marifet Association, the Federation of Marifet Associations and Ahle Sunnah wal Jamaah Confederation.”
The profile continued: “Although he himself has moved to the suburbs of Istanbul, his stronghold is still the Fateh area where his followers are easily recognised by their traditional dress. He emphasises service to humanity on the basis of sincerity.”
He was a man that gave back to the Muslim community in the form of “blessings”, even when he got to his old age and was wheelchair-bound. Knowing his tremendous influence on Muslims, it was no secret that the news of his death caused shockwaves throughout the Ummah.
“Sheikh Mahmud Effendi , greatest scholar in #Turkey Top Islamic Scholar in the world passed away. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon. May Almighty Allah forgive him and grant him Jannat-ul-Firdous. Aameen,” wrote one person.
Others also gave their condolences: “Sheikh Mahmud Effendi, the Mujaddid of our century has pass away in the age of 93 at Istanbul. Islamic world lost the most precious jewel in its crown. He revived Islam & Sunnah in challenging times. May Allah Almighty raise his ranks in jannah,” wrote another.
The late Sheikh’s funeral took place just a day after his death was announced (24th June). Thousands of Turkish Muslims, including President Erdogan himself, attended the ceremony. Prior to the event, the leader tweeted about his death writing: “May God have mercy on Mahmoud Effendi, a spiritual guide in our country. He dedicated his life to Islam. I wish patience to his family, students and all his fans. Let him rest in peace.”
And then later, at the event, he gave a speech in which he went into detail about his personal experiences with the scholar: “I was honoured that I was his student in many mosques… We knew him as a wise & pious scholar. We ask Allah to bring him together with our beloved Prophet, may Allah’s peace be upon him.”
Other prominent Islamic figures also said a few words about the late 93-year-old, while fans and followers shed tears in the crowd.
He will truly be missed.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. May Allah bless him for all of his work and grant him the highest rank in Jannah.