Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rauf (1917-2004), was an Egyptian contemporary of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was a professor at Al-Azhar University until 1948; in 1965 he moved to New York, where he purchased – with $1.3 million in funding from Kuwait, Libya, and Saudi Arabia – a plot of Manhattan real estate to serve as a site for a large Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) whose construction was bankrolled by sources in 46 Islamic nations — all members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Construction of the ICC did not begin until 1984. Alyssa Lappen explains the reason for that long delay: “[Muhammad] Rauf withheld information on the Islamic donors until 1984. Only after wrangling for permits for 20 years did Rauf begin construction — at that point, funding sources no longer mattered as construction became a fait accompli.”
Muhammad Abdul Rauf is the father of Feisal Abdul Rauf.