For those of you who did not have the privilege of knowing Amir Ali, may Allah have mercy on his soul, he was a pioneer in Islamic education and Dawah and was based in Chicago. For years he operated the Islamic Reading Room (a Muslim library) next to the Muslim Community Center Masjid on the North Side of Chicago on the corners of Elston and Pulaski.
Br. Ali was also the founder of the Institute of Islamic Information and Education (an organization whose pamphlets on Islam can be found at Masjids all over the world) and the American Islamic College (a Muslim institution of higher learning in Chicago founded along with his wife Miriam Ali). He was also heavily involved in the Radio Islam project and was a frequent lecturer to Muslim and non-Muslim audiences. Br. Ali focused on Islamic education and counseling to Muslims and Dawah to non-Muslims. In his work; Br. Amir Ali always held firm to the Quran and Sunnah and sought to purify his soul through adherence to the Sunnah and that is the methodology he taught.
A native of Pakistan, Amir Al was always fully committed to the cause of Islam in America and had a particular love for the American-Muslim. I can still remember the day when two young adventurous American-Muslims, Ismail Royer and I, traveled to Chicago flat-broke just to explore the Muslim community. We would have been in bad shape if we had not been taken in by Amir Ali and Juan Lopez (another dear Muslim brother). He sat us down firmly and gave us everything from advice on school to advice in choosing a suitable mate and sent us away with gas money alhamdudilah.
The American-Muslim community will miss Amir Ali. Insh’Allah his work will inspire others to embark on a similar mission.