Kuwaiti pioneer humanitarian activist and charitable figure Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait died today, 15-08.2013.
Al-sumait struggled his way through the last few months of his life; traveling from Kuwait to numerous places including Germany in search of medical treatment for his ever worsening medical state.
In the morning of August 15, 2013 it was announced that Al-sumait had failed in his struggle against his heart condition.
Dr Abdur Rahman As-Sumayt. At almost sixty four years of age, he was a true luminary who strove to uphold and make the Word of Allah uppermost. More than seven million people are said to have accepted Islam through his efforts in Africa. He spent more than twenty nine years of his life propagating Islam in the African continent; participating in the construction of approximately 5,700 mosques, provisioning care for than 15,000 orphans, the drilling of around 9,500 artesian wells and the establishment of 860 schools, 4 universities and 204 Islamic centres. -
Life and Upbringing
His full name is Abdur Rahman bin Hamood As-Sumayt, a well-known Kuwaiti Islamic daa’ee (caller to Islam) and founder of the Kuwait based charity, “Direct Aid Organization” (جمعية العون المباشر) previously known as the Africa Muslim Agency (لجنة مسلمي أفريقيا). He served as its President of the Board of Directors as well as the Chairman of Research and Islamic Studies. Born in Kuwait in 1947, he was a qualified doctor specialising in internal diseases and gastroenterology, before becoming involved in charity work; graduating from the University of Baghdad with a Bachelors degree in Medicine and Surgery then going on to obtain a diploma in Tropical Diseases from the University of Liverpool in 1974 then completing his postgraduate studies specialising in internal diseases and the digestive system at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Throughout his life As-Sumayt was awarded a vast number of honours, awards, trophies and certificates, in acknowledgement of his efforts in charity work. This included one of the highest most prestigious awards, the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam; the beneficiaries of which also donated 750 Thousand Saudi Riyals as an endowment for the education of the children of Africa. The fruits of this endowment are visible today by way of a large number of Africans who received and are continuing to receive education at various universities throughout the continent.
The pursuit of his vision however was not always a smooth task, often he was faced with dangerous and perilous situations. As-Sumayt was the target of several unsuccessful assassination attempts by various armed militias perturbed by his wide reaching and overwhelming presence and influence amidst the poor and needy, as well as a number of close calls with the deadly cobra which almost took his life on more than one occasion in Mozambique, Kenya and Malawi, being saved by Allah each time. He was also subjected to the hardship of imprisonment, the worst of which came at the hands of Arab Ba’athists.
A quarter of a century of his life was spent in undertaking his charitable works in Africa, returning to Kuwait only for short visits or to receive medical treatment. He remained undeterred by obstacles and undertook a number of trips deep into the African jungles and subjected himself to the dangers and terrors of travel through its remote forests (in order to carry out his work). These were selfless actions which can be considered to be from the acts of a living martyrdom frequently subjecting himself to danger in his relentless efforts to bring peace, aid and relief to Africa; be it with a loaf of bread in his hand (food), or a lamp (essential supplies) or a book (education).
As Dr Sumayt advanced in age, his physical armaments began to weaken; his body afflicted by high blood pressure, diabetes and a number of blood clots (once in his heart and twice in the brain) as well as two bouts of Malaria. None of these affected his resolve as his spiritual armaments, the armament of faith with which As-Sumayt drew upon to fight his battles in the path of Allah for the weak, destitute and needy and to overcome his obstacles, remained strong, firmly lodged in his heart.