BARMM mourns passing of Grand Mufti
COTABATO CITY—Both the Philippine flag and the Bangsamoro flag were flown at half-mast in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on Monday to mourn the passing of its Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abu Hurayra Udasan, who died in his sleep at 6 a.m. of July 3, according to Haron Nul, Udasan’s cousin.
Udasan, an Islamic scholar who served as executive director of BARMM’s “Darul Ifta” (Islamic House of Opinion), died in his home in Lugay-Lugay, Barangay Kalanganan Mother, of this city.
He was 81.
In the Islamic tradition, a “mufti” is a professional jurist who interprets Muslim religious laws. The Darul Ifta is an Islamic advisory council responsible for the promulgation and issuance of fatwas, or legal opinions pertaining to Muslim personal laws. Known for his wisdom and deep understanding of Islamic teachings, Udasan was highly regarded among the Muslim community in the Bangsamoro region.
Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad Bruce Matabalao said the city mourned the passing of Udasan, whose legacy had secured the future for the Bangsamoro’s next generations.
Matabalao said Udasan would be remembered even beyond the Bangsamoro region for his legacy of leadership, wisdom and benevolence.
“His passing is truly a period of great loss and bereavement,” he said.
Former Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the precursor of BARMM, had institutionalized Islamic jurisconsult—a person authorized to give legal advice—when he issued Executive Order No. 9, creating the office of jurisconsult.
In 2015, Hataman signed the Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 323 that established the regional Darul Ifta, which was continued when the BARMM leadership took over.
Born on March 3, 1942, in Kitango village of the former Maguindanao town of Dulawan (now Datu Piang in Maguindanao del Sur), Udasan grew up in a religious family. He started learning Islam from his father and before the age of 6, he could already memorize chapters of the Quran. After he finished his basic education, he went abroad to pursue further Islamic studies at the Islamic University of Medina, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Since 1974, he carried out Islamic missionary works in various parts of Mindanao. He fluently spoke English, Arabic and Malay.
Rhadzni Taalim, executive director of the Bangsamoro Development Agency, described his passing as an “irreplaceable loss.”
“Throughout his life, Grand Mufti Udasan devoted himself to the pursuit of peace, fostering dialogue and promoting interfaith harmony within the Bangsamoro region and beyond,” Taalim said in a statement.
Udasan will be buried in his ancestral lot in Barangay Kalanganan Mother, Cotabato City.