We take a moment today to honor the memory of a remarkable and outstanding leader who played a pivotal role in shaping The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA), Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) and The Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) : Dr. Syed Mubin Akhtar, our esteemed co-founder of these renowned organizations.

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of Dr. Akhtar’s passing today in Pakistan(May 1st , 2024). Dr. Syed was born in the United Provinces of British India in 1933. The family later migrated to Lahore where he did his senior Cambridge certification from Saint Anthony’s high school in 1949, he stood second in the province of Punjab intermediate examination (F.Sc) attending from Government College, Lahore. He was admitted to King Edward Medical College, Lahore and graduated with laurels in 1956. He practiced in Lahore for a few years and later moved to USA for his postgraduate studies. He joined MSA (Muslim Students Association) of USA and was its active worker. He was the founding member of ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America). He was the founding president of IMANA in 1968 and founding president of FIMA in 1981 in Orlando fostering international collaboration among Muslim medical professionals. He was also recognized for his lifelong commitment to medicine by receiving the first-ever IMANA Ahmed Elkadi Award in 2003, and a FIMA lifetime achievement award in 2015.

He was also a founding member of PIMA in 1979 and remained an active participant in the activities of all the three associations to whom he had a credit to be a founder and a mentor. He served as the first president of the IMANA, then known as the Islamic Medical Association (IMA) and laid the foundation for its mission of promoting Islamic values within the medical community and wrote its first constitution.

He was a notable psychiatrist in the USA and later returned to Pakistan in 1969, where the practice of psychiatry as a specialty was in its infancy. He took a leading role to establish and develop this important field of medicine in Pakistan and founded Karachi Psychiatric Hospital in 1970. He was trained at Ypsilanti state hospital and University hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He did his board certification in 1968. His passion to develop his field of specialization was immense and overwhelming. He wrote scores of articles, radio and television interviews and programs to highlight the myths and taboos prevalent in our societies. He published scientific and public magazines to appraise the professionals and common people regarding the importance of research and highlighted the modern treatment options for the less understood psychiatric diseases and psychological issues.

He was also an activist in promoting his national language (Urdu) as a medium of instruction and official language in the country. He was an active member of Islamic movement and got elected as a chairman of the district board and served his community in whatever way he could.

Dr. Akhtar was a true trailblazer who exemplified the values of the medical profession by large. He wasn’t just passionate about serving the Muslim community; he actively sought ways to connect Muslim medical professionals across the globe.

We have lost a visionary leader, a par excellence psychiatrist and a cherished member of the IMA family. We ask you to send your thoughts and prayers to Dr. Akhtar’s loved ones and to pray for the departed during this difficult time.