Dr Ahmad Hammoud, a well-known community leader based in Sydney passed away on Saturday 13 January 2017 during his short holiday visit to Lebanon.
His engagement with the communities involved establishment of community organisations, institutions, mosques and Islamic Centres in greater Sydney. He was the first Secretary of the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) when Ali Ibn Abi Taleb mosque was established in Lakemba. Later he worked closely with the then Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Tajuddin Alhilali.
He played a significant role in the establishment of Islamic Council of NSW in 1975 and worked closely with Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, foundation President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) in 1976-1977 as an executive member of the national body of Muslims based in Sydney.
With the influx of South Lebanese migration to Australia during mid 70’s and a large number of Shia Lebanese Muslims settling in the Arncliffe and St George area, Dr Hammoud encouraged by Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad played a central role in the establishment of Masjid Al Zahra in the Arncliffe area. The details of those events have been written by Dr Hammoud himself and published in the Shia Islamic Directory of Australia.
The late Dr Ahmad Abdul Magid Hammoud was born in 1947 in South Lebanon and completed his Secondary and Tertiary Education at Beirut University in the field of Arabic Literature. He arrived in Australia in 1969 and after establishing himself in the new country, continued his education at the University of Sydney earning a Masters degree followed by a PhD under the supervision of Professor Ahmad Shboul.
Dr Ahmad Hammoud was among the first delegation in 1979 to visit the Late Imam Khomeini in Iran. He also visited Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait to meet Muslim leaders while representing Muslims of Australia.
Dr Ahmad Hammoud published a book The Status of Women in Islam that has been translated into several different languages. He was also one of the pioneers in communicating with the Justice Minister Darrell William regarding the conflict of Islamic Divorce and Civil Divorce.
Dr Hammoud was constantly engaged in the education of Australian Muslim Youth and taught Islam and Arabic language in public and private schools in the St George area as a scripture teacher.
He was actively engaged with mass media participating in Talkback shows on radio and TV as well as writing articles in publications, both Arabic and English.
He was a member of the World Ahlulbayt Assembly travelling widely in the Muslim world.
In 2006 he took part in the Islamic leader’s summit in Canberra and joined as a member of the Muslim Community Reference Group formed by the then Prime Minister, John Howard.