Murad Wilfried Hofmann

Murad Wilfried Hofmann

Murad Wilfried Hofmann was born in the year 1931 and passed to his eternal abode on January 13, 2020 at the age of 88 years.

Hofmann wrote several books on Islam and other topics of interest including ‘Journey to Makkah,’ ‘Islam the Alternative’ which presents the dual subject of Islam and Qur’an in a most non-partisan and reliable manner, and ‘Journey to Islam: Diary of a German Diplomat, 1951-2000.’ Many of his books and essays focused on Islam's place in the West and, after September 11th, in particular, in the United States. He was one of the authors and signatories of A Common Word between Us and You,’ an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding.

Hofmann, a German diplomat and author, was born a Catholic, in Aschaffenburg in 1931, where he spent the war years experiencing strategic bombing and military occupations. He converted to Islam in 1980 which was met with some controversy due to his high profile in the German government.

His university studies began in 1950 at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He completed his studies of German law with a doctorate in jurisprudence at Munich University (1957) and his bar exam. His subsequent studies of American law led to a master's degree at Harvard Law School (1960). Hofmann served in the German Foreign Service from 1961 to 1994. He first served in Algeria as a specialist on issues concerning nuclear defence. He went on to serve as Director of Information for NATO at Brussels from 1983 to 1987, Ambassador to Algeria from 1987 to 1990, and Ambassador to Morocco from 1990 to 1994.

It is believed he converted to Islam as a result of what he witnessed in the Algerian War of Independence, his fondness for Islamic art, and what he saw as contradictions in Paulist Christian doctrine. 

His book ‘Journey to Islam: Diary of a German Diplomat, 1951-2000’ is much more than a recorded soliloquy. It is a lively introduction to Islam as such - developed in the spiritual confrontation of a Muslim intellectual of European background with the ideology and value system of post-industrial Western society. When asked to share the reasons for his conversion to Islam, the former diplomat explained in his inimitable style: “If a man or a woman can explain why he or she has fallen in love, then it is not love. Similarly, I cannot pinpoint any single incident, encounter or sudden awakening that led to my becoming a Muslim. “Yes, my diplomatic postings to Muslim countries and my readings of the Islamic literature during those years, and my experience with my Muslim brothers and my friendship with Brother Mohammed Asad, whose translation of the Holy Qur’an is well known all over the world, did assist me in seeing light,” he added. “It was in 1980 that I took the shahada [affirmation that ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet’] with Mohammed Asad as my witness.”

Islam: the Alternative, introduces Islam for 'westerners who seek to understand Islam on a personal level' and is regarded as ‘a good reference material for all those who wish to learn about Islam, currently the one and only religion on the rise, as well as about Qur’an, its revelation, formation, structure and message.’ The book was met with considerable controversy when it first appeared in Europe because of people's shock that the prominent author, public figure and diplomat had accepted Islam. The primary aim of Hoffman's publication had been towards building bridges between Islam and the West. 

 Following his conversion to Islam in 1980 Murad Wilfred Hoffman performed his first Umrah in 1982 and his Hajj in 1992.

Hofmann was an honorary member and advisor to the Central Council of Muslims in Germany.

Dr. Murad Wilfried Hofmann: Islam -- A Rational Faith Full vr.

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