CAIRO: Renowned Islamic scholar Abdel-Sabour Shahin passed away in his Giza home late Sunday evening. He was 82.
Shahin worked as a professor of Arabic linguistics, and as a committee member at Cairo University, in addition to several other positions. He was also the former preacher of the monumental Amro Ibn El-Aas Mosque.
Many consider Shahin to be one of the most influential Islamic thinkers in modern years. A number of prominent Al Azhar scholars declined to comment on Shahin’s writings or ideas when contacted by Daily News Egypt after his death.
One of his more widely-known books is “My Father Adam, the Story of Creation between Myth and Truth.” The book stirred quite a bit of controversy, as it raised a new Islamic perception of how Adam was created. Shahin suggested that Adam may have been born to a father and a mother, and that he was selected by God to be the prophet who would initiate religion.
Numerous Islamic thinkers, such as Zaghloul El-Naggar, refuted Shahin’s hypothesis.
Shahin wrote and translated dozens of books — most of which dealt with Islam-related conceptions and principles — from French to Arabic.
Within the last 13 years, Shahin faced three different lawsuits filed by controversial Sheikh Youssif El-Badry. El-Badry accused him of defamation of character in several columns Shahin wrote for various newspapers. After El-Badry won all three legal cases, both sides eventually reconciled.
Shahin was known for his rejection and opposition to the thoughts and theories expressed by writer and intellectual Nasr Hamed Abu Zayd, who many believe possessed rather controversial views about Islam.
In the early 1990s, a court ruled that Abu Zayd, who died earlier in July 2010, was an apostate of Islam and thus annulled his marriage. The hisba case was filed against Abu Zayd after Shahin rejected the paper the former had submitted to Cairo University claiming it undermined the authority of the Quran. Abu Zayd mostly lived in self exile since.
Apart from religion, Shahin had linguistic achievements as well. He was the first to "Arab-ize" the word “computer,” turning it into “Hasoub” in Arabic. Since then, the word has been widely used throughout the Arab World.