Obituary: Imam Ismail Vehbi

May 22, 2008 by  


Courtesy Detroit News

Imam Vehbi, of Harper Woods, died peacefully in his home surrounded by family on Saturday, May 16.

Born November 25, 1919 in Schkodra, Albania, he left the country immediately following preparatory school to pursue religious studies at Al-Ahzar Seminary in Egypt. There he began his career as an author and intellectual, while developing a close friendship with Egypt’s King Farouk.

In 1949, he left Egypt to serve as a religious leader of the Albanian Muslim community in the United States. He brought with him progressive ideas about Islam in Western society and lifelong dedication to inter-faith understanding and community.

Throughout his life, he continued to serve Albania religiously, culturally, and politically.

Most of all, he is respected by family and friends as the consummate scholar, a keen listener, and absolute believer in the goodness of humanity. Visitation will be held at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m., and immediately followed by internment. In lieu of flowers, the family asks to please direct all memorial contributions to Books for Albania Children Fund, in care of Comerica Bank, 20200 Mack Avenue, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.

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