16 February 2021 Passing away of Dr Salman Raschid

Dr Salman Raschid, the psychiatrist from Myanmar and long-term London resident, passed away on 15 February 2021. He worked as a registrar in Scottish hospitals in the late 1960s, During these years he also attended events organised by the Federation of Students Islamic Societies (FOSIS). The Royal College of Psychiatrists (Philosophy Special Interest Group) appointed him as the Convener of the R.D. Laing Conference in 1998/9. Dr. Raschid will be remembered as a scintillating conversationalist, with a photographic memory that allowed him to recall precise references from books – even the page number.

Salman studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and served as President of the University’s Muslim Society, 1958-59. It was at his initiative that Professor Arberry was approached for a room at Pembroke College for Friday prayers. Among his recollections of these years were the events organised for visiting Muslim dignitaries such as Choudhury Muhammad Ali, a former Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Shaista Ikramullah. A Cambridge contemporary was Hamid Algar, now Professor Emeritus of Persian studies at the Faculty of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley. In the 1960s, Salman attended a Muslim circle organised at 18 Eccleston Square in Victoria – formerly the offices of the Muslim Society of Britain – sometimes staying overnight and sleeping on the floor. The circle was organised by Maulvi Abdul Majid, also associated with the Woking Mosque. He later pursued postgraduate studies at King’s College, London, which resulted in the publication of his Iqbal’s concept of God.

Salman’s grandfather, Muhammad Abdul Shakoor, was originally from Allahabad, but exiled by the Raj to Ragoon after the 1857 uprising (like the last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who died in Rangoon). His father M. A. Raschid, was a prominent student leader and later served in U Nu’s cabinet as Minister of Trade & Commerce and also held other portfolios. These led to the young Salman meeting Nikita Kruschev during his visit to Burma and receiving a camera as a present. M. A. Raschid was arrested in the 1962 army coup led by General Ne Win.

Dr. Salman Raschid pursued a happy retirement in a small flat in Hampstead. He was twice-married, with no children. In his last years, he was much cared for by his wife, the distinguished Burmese artist Tin Tin Sann.

Jamil Sherif