Much-loved accounting professor passes away

Daily Sundial

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Accounting and passion are not two words normally associated with each other, but normal is not a word that faculty, students and friends used to describe accounting Professor Mahmood Qureshi, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in his office on May 16 at the age of 66.

Qureshi, a highly respected CSUN professor and leader in the local Muslim community, was born in Pakistan on June 2, 1938. He earned a Ph.D. from UCLA in 1969 and taught at CSUN for one semester in 1968 before gaining a tenure-track position here in 1979, according to Accounting and Information Systems Chair Jan Bell.

“He touched so many of the students’ lives,” Bell said. “They were deeply affected by (his death). (He) was a very patient man. He always listened quietly to his students, but he had high standards for them. He always got them to rise to the occasion.”

CSUN student Vivienne Cohen, senior accounting and finance major, became emotional when speaking of her admiration for Qureshi, who she considered a friend as well as an instructor.

“He had a great smile,” Cohen said. “He was very welcoming — always available to his students. I will miss just watching him walk down the hall. He was just such a wonderful human being and a great instructor.”

Cohen said Qureshi defied all the clich?s about accounting being a lethargic “bean-counting” job, and encouraged his students to experience “all the wonderful things that open up to you with a career in accounting.”

“He loved those students that were passionate about accounting,” Cohen said.

At the request of Qureshi, Cohen arranged for speakers from the accounting profession to visit CSUN to help inspire students to improve.

“(Qureshi used to tell me that) I better come back and speak to his classes,” Cohen said.

Cohen said Qureshi will be missed.

“I think he was a great asset to the college and his students,” he said.

Qureshi, a devout Muslim, also served as an adviser to the CSUN Muslim Students Association and led prayers as an Imam (spiritual leader) at the Islamic Center of Granada Hills (formerly the Islamic Center of Northridge), said Amir Hussain, CSUN religious studies professor.

“(Qureshi’s) hands were very helping hands,” said Imam Qazi Fazlullah of the Islamic Center of Granada Hills.

Qureshi visited sick and dying Muslims in their homes and at hospitals, Fazlullah said.

“He was doing his best as a practicing Muslim,” Fazlullah said.

Fazlullah said Qureshi’s siblings came from as far as Germany and England to bury their brother, and were impressed by the hundreds of mourners who showed up to Qureshi’s funeral on May 19.

“One (of Qureshi’s brothers) said to me, ‘He was not only loved by us, he was loved by others,'” Fazlullah said. “That’s why people left their jobs and busy lives to join us.”

As is custom, Qureshi’s two brothers and two sons lowered Qureshi’s body into the earth.

“That’s a sign of love,” Fazlullah said.

Mahmood Qureshi is survived by his wife, Anjum, and three children.