Sen's daily

October 8, 2014

Passing of Dr. Kamran Ekbal

Filed under: Bahai community — Sen @ 10:01

Editorial, November 8, 2014.

I am very sorry to have to pass on this message from the family of Dr. Kamran Ekbal.

My dear husband and our beloved father, Dr. Kamran Ekbal, passed yesterday, 6.10.2014, after a prolonged struggle of more than eight years against his deadly disease to the Abha Kingdom and the realms high above. The disease devoured his body but his brains remained untouched and active almost till the last moment, allowing him to continue his scholarly works without interruption.

He will live everlasting in our thoughts and memories.

Huda Baghdadi-Ekbal and his three sons Basil Omid, Ramez Adib and Cyrus Navid

Dr. Kamran Ekbal was Director of the Section for Middle Eastern Studies at the Department of History, Ruhr University of Bochum (Germany), from 1979 till his retirement in April 2011. Born in Beirut 1946, he studied at the universities of Hamburg, Cambridge and Kiel, where he received his PhD. in Islamic and Iranian Studies in 1976 with a dissertation on the Russian-Persian War of 1826-1828. He taught Arabic at the University of Hamburg as well as Arabic and Persian at the University of Kiel and was visiting professor for extra-European history at the University of Essen. He has many publications on Iranian and Middle Eastern topics, as well as on Bahai themes and at the time of his death was editing the Tablets of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha to Muhammad Mustafa Baghdadi as well as Dr. Zia Baghdad’s memoirs of his travels.

Dr. Ekbal has made a considerable contribution to Bahai studies in several languages, notably by his willingness to look squarely at difficulties in the received understandings of historical and doctrinal questions, and by bringing an Arab and Arabic perspective to a field in which Persian perspectives have been more common. He was of course fluent in both languages, and made scholarly contributions to fields such as Qajar social and political history, and Arabic studies. He often co-authored or contributed to the work of other scholars, in the fields of Bahai history and the translation of Bahai texts. I can confirm his family’s words about his activity during his final illness, as he helped me in the last few months in confirming an error that had crept into the Persian text of A Traveller’s Narrative. He was capable, daring, accessible and helpful, and a precise and punctilious scholar.

I am sorry to say that I had no thought that his death might be imminent, and have not prepared a fitting obituary or survey of his published works. If the friends will contribute what they can through the comments section below, I will edit the information into a preliminary obituary.

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  1. What was the error in the Persian text of TN?

    Comment by Iskandar Hai — October 8, 2014 @ 15:16 | Reply

    • As I recall it was that the 2001 German edition had ياغی و طاغی which should read باغی و طاغی
      It was at any rate a matter of no significance: I mentioned it to illustrate Dr. Ekbal’s willingness to help others, and his continuing his careful contributions well into his last illness.

      Comment by Sen — October 8, 2014 @ 23:55 | Reply

  2. Bless his heart. Prayers being said for him and his family!

    Comment by writersdream9 — October 8, 2014 @ 15:40 | Reply

  3. I also received the sad news from his beloved family. My prayers are with him and his family. He was one of my lecturers during my studies at the university of Bochum. He also took the notes at my PhD defense. Apart that I learned a great deal from him, I will remember him as an extremely polite and helpful person. God bless his soul. Necati Alkan

    Comment by Duygu-Necati Alkan — October 8, 2014 @ 22:38 | Reply

  4. A great Bahá’í.
    Mr. Sen, I’m a Bahá’í from Guatemala and I’m writing an article on the Revelation of Bahá’ú’lláh and I wonder if someone has the article “Daena-Den-Din: The Zoroastrian Heritage of the ‘Maid of Heaven’ in the Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh”, from Dr. Ekbal. I’ll apreciate if someone shares it… Thanks….

    Comment by Mario García — September 15, 2016 @ 04:27 | Reply

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