Kenneth W. Morgan, who taught at Colgate from 1946-1974, recently passed away. Featured in picture to the left, he is the gentleman on the far right of the photo.
Ken Morgan was known for many things, most notably the founding of Chapel House at Colgate, and the “Fund for the Study of the Great Religions”. He is also the author of a volume entitled “Islam: The Straight Path”. This book played a key role in my spiritual development and initial exposure to Islam.From the Preface:
The faith of Islam, and the consequences of that faith, are described in this book by devout Muslim scholars. This is not a comparative study, nor an attempt to defend Islam against what Muslims consider to be Western misunderstandings of their religion; it is simply a concise presentation of the history and spread of Islam and of the beliefs and obligations of Muslims as interpreted by outstanding Muslim scholars of our time.
I first came across this work while I was in the ninth grade, and although it was not my first exposure to Islam, it was my first contact with a scholarly work. Reading it intrigued me some much that I felt compelled to pronounce myself a Muslim in my heart even if I did not know how to practice. I started looking for a Mosque soon after.
I checked this book out numerous times throughout the year, many times renewing it back to back. School policy was that after a certain number of renewals approval had to be sought from the administration. After the approval was delayed weeks upon weeks, I was told by the head librarian to give up as it and other books had come under “review”.
Years later, I searched far and wide for another copy with no luck, results only coming up with Esposito’s book of the same title. I almost felt delusional about what to me were vivid memories.
After 21 years I’m joyed to finally know of the author and reconnect with his legacy.
May Allah grant his family peace and blessings.