Sydney: Sheikh Taj Eldeen Hamed Al Hilali, one of Australia’s most prominent Muslim scholars and the former Mufti of Australia, passed away today in his home in Egypt at the age of 81.
Sheikh Taj, as he was affectionately known, held a significant role in the Australian Muslim community, having served as the Imam at Lakemba Mosque in New South Wales since 1982. In 1988, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) appointed him as the first Mufti of Australia and New Zealand.
Sheikh Taj had just returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, where he led a group of Australian and Egyptian pilgrims.
Throughout his life, Sheikh Taj played a pivotal role in uniting the Australian Muslim community. His powerful and unifying presence was felt in the 1980s and continued until his retirement in 2013. He left an indelible mark on the lives and institutions of Muslims in Australia.
The National Grand Mufti of Australia described Sheikh Taj as a pioneer in the modern Australian Muslim community, emphasizing his tireless work over 40 years and his status as one of Australia’s great Islamic scholars.
Even after stepping down as Mufti and retiring from his role at Lakemba Mosque, Sheikh Taj remained active in various historical research projects in Northern Africa, humanitarian work in rural Egypt, and continued to support the local Muslim community with his wisdom, guidance, and responses to contemporary issues.
Sheikh Taj Eldeen Hamed Al Hilali will be laid to rest in Cairo, Egypt, later today. His passing marks the end of an era for Australian Muslims, who mourn the loss of a remarkable scholar and leader who dedicated over four decades of his life to the service of the community.