Nabeel Al-Azami: A leader in HR
Sunday, September 27th, 2020
The passing of Nabeel Al-Azami in August 2019 at the age of 39 was a cause of much sadness to those that had the pleasure of his company.
Nabeel Al-Azami was probably the foremost human resources specialist in the British Muslim community and as the head of the consultancy, Murabbi, was leading an organisation that had already begun to make its mark in ethical leadership development. His passing has left a great hole in the British Muslim community.
Born in Manchester, Nabeel was raised in Jeddah, London, Dhaka, and Manchester. His father Mamoon Al-Azami was worked at the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah. Nabeel studied maths with business management at Manchester University and was active in Islamic organisations in his youth. During this period, he served on the Executive Committee of Young Muslim Organisation, an early sign of his commitment to the Muslim community.
After his studies, he worked in Human Resources at Ford Motor Company in Dagenham where he gained invaluable experience and won the Chairman’s Leadership Award two years in a row. He then decided to move from the corporate world to the Islamic charity sector by joining Islamic Relief Worldwide. He worked at IRW for five years where he would become Head of Global HR and help his team gain national recognition with a HR award. He then set up his own consultancy on human resources and leadership development ‘Murabbi’ which became very successful within a few short years. Nabeel was called upon to speak at international conferences and became a go-to speaker on Islamic models of ethical leadership.
Over the years, he became acquainted with Professor John Adair, a global authority on leadership development, and with Professor Adair began to develop his own ideas on leadership which culminated in his book Muhammad (pbuh): 11 Leadership Qualities that Changed the World which was published just before his passing.
He was one of the foremost human resources specialists working with Muslim organisations in the country. His knowledge of the law, organisational best practices and ability to translate such matters into practical reality were outstanding. His skills and expertise were desperately needed by many Muslim organisations that continue to struggle with growth and development. His passing is thus a great loss to the British Muslim community.
Personally, he was quiet, commanding and self-assured. His confidence extended beyond his years, and his personal kindness was evident to those around him. Many of his friends, colleagues and family members have written of their loss on his passing and this is a testimony to the esteem in which he was held.