It is with great sorrow that KARAMAH received news of the passing of Dr. Maher Hathout, a shining star in the recent history of American Muslim leadership in this country. Dr. Hathout concerned himself deeply with the problems of our community and had the vision to introduce programs and institutions that would help in its advancement. I came to know Dr. Hathout in the Eighties and Nineties as a very kind, thoughtful and involved member of the Muslim community. His daughter Samer was one of the early members of the KARAMAH family.
Indeed, in one way, I owe my career To Dr. Hathout. In the mid-Eighties, I was an associate at a Wall Street firm itching to go back to teaching. One day, I got a call from an academic law journal which invited me to write an article on “Islam & Democracy.” That was a relatively new topic at the time, and I had no idea how the journal got my name. It turned out that it had initially invited Dr. Hathout, who referred them to me.
That article became the first article I wrote in the area of Islamic law. It ushered the beginning of my academic legal career. In discussing this incident, I must mention that the article would have never seen the light of day if it were not for the mentoring of another shinning start in the history of our American Muslim community, Dr. Mahmoud Abu’l Saud. He directed me towards and advised me on the ancient literature on the subject. So, this Muslim human rights advocate owes her legal career to two distinguished Muslim men who are no longer with us. I miss them both.