Ahmad Domocao Alonto was born in the rural town of Marawi in the Southern Philippines in 1914. He holds a Fellowship in Arts and a BA and Doctorate degrees in Law from the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Alonto was a prominent Islamic figure in the Philippines and is considered one of the world’s greatest Islamic leaders of the 20th Century. He led the Islamic movement in his country for over 30 years and strove to unite Filipino Muslims, improve their living conditions, and secure their rights. At the same time, he was a preacher of non-violence and of peaceful co-existence between Filipino Muslims and Christians. In the 1950s, he was the only Muslim elected to the Filipino House of Representatives and subsequently the Senate.
Dr. Alonto founded the Mindanao Islamic University, the second largest state university in the Philippines and one of the legacies of Dr. Alonto. That university provides education for both Muslim and Christian students. In addition, he founded the Mindanao Mosque and Islamic Center, the largest of its kind in the Philippines, and sponsored the translation of the Holy Quran to the Moro language. He was a member of the Makkah-based World Muslim League, the Executive Council of the World Islamic Congress and the Central Council of the International Organization of Islamic Universities, and the head of several Islamic organizations in the Philippines.
Dr. Alonto authored or translated numerous books and articles explaining the fundamental principles of Islam and promoting its values among his countrymen. He received many prestigious awards in addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam. Following his death in 2002, a Filipino diplomat described him as “a political giant, a great teacher, a peacemaker and a champion of the rights of the Filipino Muslims.”