Our treatment of our scholars – a case of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Muslims believe in one God, one last prophet – Muhammad, and in one last book – Quran. But after these niceties starts our real belief system.  We have 

  • Political affiliations 
  • Country, Nationality & Place affiliations
  • Race affiliations
  • Madhab affiliations
  • Scholar affiliations

If a person has so many affiliations how can that person truly worship one God and practice the teachings of his Prophet and Quran. Surely our understanding of Islam will be influenced by our other affiliations. Our worship of Allah will be influenced by our associations and connections. It is extremely difficult for a person to put aside his own inner self and truly submit to the teachings and commandments of Allah almighty.

I am deeply troubled with the recent incident with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.  What he has said during RIS 2017 interview with Mehdi Hasan is for him to clarify and ultimately to be answerable to Allah. But what has troubled me is that how Muslims have started using this incident to disrespect and to go as far as to ridicule a Muslim scholar.

It seemed as if the some Muslims were over joyous just to know that he had made these remarks and it became uncontrollable for these Muslims to start spreading and disseminating his comments online. It was a one time opportunity for these Muslims to show their frustration and their dislike of this highly esteemed scholar. How could these Muslims let go of this opportunity not to show their inner jealousy for Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. All of his years' of learning and service to Islam and to the Muslim community was left aside due to the political, national or race affiliations of those people who were throwing insult at Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.  

One of the methods used to ridicule Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is to give him the title of Sufi. In their articles and social media posts Shaykh  Hamza Yusuf is increasingly being referred to as 'Sufi Hamza Yusuf'. Due to their religious and sect affiliations they regard 'Sufi' and what this word stands for in a lower state. By replacing 'Shaykh' with 'Sufi', this is their way of showing their disgust towards Sheikh Hamza Yusuf.  

It is also a sad state of affairs that a word that had such hight prestige and status in the past is disregarded in the current times. Part of the blame goes to the people who claim to be sufi and yet do not practice authentic sufism. This has given a bad reputation to sufism and ammunition to the opponents of sufism. Therefore, by calling Hamza Yusuf a sufi, he is being associated with a malpractice in Islam with a hope to taint his reputation of being the most respected scholar in the Western land.   

But we should deduct positivity out of every negativity and hope that the new title is a compliment to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf's list of achievements. After years of learning and hard work he has finally moved towards a higher station of wilayat. Everybody is becoming a Shaykh nowdays and less and less people are becoming Sufi as it takes less effort to learn knowledge and takes greater efforts to apply that knowledge to our nafs. 

Imam Ghazali has quite rightly said in his magnum opus:

"A wise man has said 'Whenever a man reaches the limit in his knowledge, people cast stones at him'

That is, his discourse goes beyond the limit of their comprehension and so they consider what he says a transgression or a blasphemy."

(Al Ihya: Kitab al-Mahabba)

So congratulations to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on becoming a Sufi and we pray to Allah Almighty that he enables the rest of us to also follow in the footsteps of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf in learning and disseminating knowledge to others.   

I have never had a personal sitting with Sidi Hamza Yusuf, therefore I do not know his personal views about what he said in his interview. This article is not in defence of Shaykh Hamza yusuf but in defence of respecting our elders and respected scholars.

This post was written with no particular person in mind therefore if you find it offensive please do not think it was aimed at you.

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Shamail Tirmidhi – Noble character and habits of Sayyidina Rasulullah

The following are some toughts on the beautiful character of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

Special attention to everyone

Amr ibnul Aas reports:

  • Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) gave attention, spoke and showed love to the worst person of a nation. So that, the person may feel he is being given special attention.
  • He used to give attention, and spoke to me also in a manner, that I began to feel that I was the best among the community.
  • Therefore, one day I asked:

     

    • 'O Messenger of Allah, am I better or is Abubakr better?' He replied: 'Abubakr'.
    • I then asked: 'Am I better, or 'Umar?' He replied. "Umar'.
    • I asked: 'Am I better or 'Uthmaan?' He replied: 'Uthmaan'.
    • When I asked him these questions, Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam told me the truth.I felt I should not have asked such a question.

Commentary

  • He made everyone feel special and important. So much attention was give to this sahabi that he felt that perhaps he had a higher status to other important companions. 
  • He asked Rasulullah to confirm if what he was thinking was true. Its good to clarify your thoughts with others who know better.
  • The companions knew the status of Hadrat Abu Bakar, Umar and Uthman in the eye of Rasulullah.  
  • Sometimes, to please others we tell them that we love them more than anyone else, but Rasulullah never lied. He did not misinform others or gave wrong expressions. 

 

Prophet's treatment of the children 

Anas bin Maalik Radiyallahu 'Anhu says:

  • I remained in the service of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam for ten years. He never once told me 'Oof '.
  • When I did something, he never asked me, why did you do so?
  • When I did not do a certain task, he never asked me why I did not do it.
  • Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam had the best character among all people.
  • I never felt a silk cloth, nor pure silk, nor any other thing softer than the palm of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam.
  • Nor did I smell any musk or any other fragrance, more sweet smelling than the sweat of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam".

Commentary

  • Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam not uttering even the word 'Oof' on anything is due to his high and noble character and humbleness.
  • He did not regard Sayyidina Anas Radiyallahu 'Anhu fulfilling or not fulfilling a duty to be something from Sayyidina Anas Radyallahu 'Anhu's own side, but something that is from Allah, and was always contented with it.
  • 'Only that shall happen that Allah wills. If it is destined to happen it shall happen'. This is the uttermost pleasure from a beloved's deed.
  • The perspiration of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu.'Alayhi Wasallam was collected and used as a fragrance.
  • The one with whom Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam shook hands, a fragrance emitted from that hand for a whole day.

 

He did not hit anyone

Ayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha reports: 

  • Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam did noy hit anything with his mubaarak hands, besides the time when he made jihaad in the Path of Allah.
  • He did not hit a servant nor a women (wife, slave girl etc.)'.

Commentary

By hitting, it is meant to hit in anger and not against one hitting un-intentionally and playfully.

 

He never talked indecently and forgave others

Ayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha reports, that:

  • It was not the nature of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam to talk indecently, nor did he engage himself in the use of obscene language.
  • Nor did he shout and talk in the bazaars.
  • He did not avenge a bad deed with a bad one, but forgave it, and thereafter did not even mention it.

Commentary

  • We do not guard our tongue and speak whatever comes into our minds. We are not careful if our language is polite or obscene.
  • Our Holy Prophet taught us to be careful of our tongue all the time and only say good things. 
  • Sometimes we tell obscene jokes or indulge in indecent conversations in order to keep our gatherings happy. But all sorts of obscene and indecent talk is prohibited all the time. 
  • There is no harm if one goes into the bazaar to fulfil one's needs, but to go there and shout about is against dignity. One should complete ones needs and return in a quiet manner. If we can be calm at a shopping place, we can be calm and quiet at other places too, such as a Masjid.

Story of Zayd bin Sanah (Jewish scholar) accepting Islam:

  • 'There was not a sign of prophethood in Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam which I had not found in him, except for two signs, which I did not have the opportunity to test. The first is that his hilm (gentleness) will overcome his anger. The second is, the more one acts foolishly towards him the more he will tolerate it. I looked for a chance to test these two signs, and kept on coming and going to his gatherings.
  • One day Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam came out of his house. 'Ali was with him. just then a badawi type of person came and said:'O Rasulullah, my community have accepted Islaam, and I had told them that, if they became Muslims, they shall receive abundant sustenance. And now such a time has come where drought has befallen us. I fear that they will leave Islaam. If the idea is suitable, it is suggested that you assist them.
  • Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam looked towards a person who may have been 'Ali. He replied, 'Ya Rasulullah, there is nothing available'.
  • Zayd was witnessing this incident and he decided to test Rasulullah.  He offered to lend money to Holy Prophet so he could help the person. Holy Prophet accepted his offer.
  • Rasulullah gave the money to this badawi and said to him, do not forget to be just, and fulfil their needs with this.
  • Zayd Radiyallahu 'Anhu further says, when two or three days were left for the time to collect his money back (dates), Rasulullah was sitting near a well.
  • I came and caught the hem of the kurtah and sheet of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam and cynically said: 'O Muhammad, you do not want to pay my debt. I swear by Allah, that I know all the children of 'Abdul Muttalib very well. You are very poor payers'.
  • Umar looked at me in anger and said: 'O enemy of Allah! what are you mumbling? I swear by Allah, that if I did not fear (the presence of Rasulullah) I would have severed your head'.
  • Rasulullah was looking at me very calmly, and said smilingly to 'Umar: ''Umar, This person and I are in need of something more. He should have told me to take care in fulfilling his rights and should have advised in a better manner when putting forward his claim. Go take him and fulfill his rights, and for having scolded him give him in lieu extra dates in excess of his right'.
  • Umar took me and fulfilled my rights and gave me the extra dates. 
  • I had seen the last two remaining signs of prophethood: his forbearance (hilm) suspersedes his anger; and that, the more one acts foolishly towards him, the more he will tolerate it. Now I have tested these two also, therefore I make you witness to my acceptance of Islam. 

 

Getting angry over transgression of Allah's prohibitions and choosing the easy path

Ayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha says: '

  • I have never seen Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam avenge himself for a personal affliction, but if one transgressed a prohibited thing from those prohibited by Allah then there was no one more angry than Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam.
  • Whenever Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was given a choice between two things, he always chose the one that was simple, if it did not lead to any type of sin.

Commentary

  • During the Battle of Uhud, Rasulullah's mubaarak teeth became shaheed (broken), and his blessed face became full of blood.
  • His companions said. 'Make du'aa against these people'.
  • Instead Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam made this du'aa: 'O Allah, grant my people guidance, for they do not know'.
  • Once a badawi came and pulled the sheet of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam so hard that it made a mark an his mubaarak neck.
  • Then the badawi demanded food to be loaded on his camel. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam laughed off and had grain loaded onto his camels.
  • If anything is said or done against our dignity how do we feel? 
  • He always chose easy and simple things:

     

    • Especially he always chose the easy and simple thing for the ummah such as missing taraweh prayers in case it becomes obligatory for the ummah.
    • In worldly matters where a choice between two things were given, he chose the simple one.
    • Individually, he chose challenging tasks for himself in order to get closer to Allah, such as praying at night and fasting consecutive days 

 

Holy Prophet Muhammad was the most generous person

  • Jaabir Radiyallahu 'Anhu says. "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam never said 'No' to a request of a person".
  • Anas Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah. Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam did not store anything for the next day".

 

It is reported from hadrat Umar that once a needy person came to Rasulullah and asked for some help.

  • At that time Rasulullah did not have anything to give to him. So he asked the person to go to a shop and buy something to fulfil his needs at the expense of rasulullah.
  • On hearing this Hadrat Umar said "O Messenger of Allah, whatever you possessed you have already given away. Allah did not make you responsible for that which is not in your means".
  • Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam felt annoyed at hearing this.
  • Thereupon a person from among, the Ansaar said: "O Rasul, of Allah, spend whatever you wish, and do not fear any lessening from the Lord of the Throne".
  • Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam smiled and the happiness could be seen on his mubaarak face due to the saying of the Ansaari.
  • Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam than said: "Allah Ta'aala has commanded me to do this".

Commentary 

The following is another beautiful hadith shareef that shows the genrosity and magnanimus spirit of Holy Prophet Muhammad:

Hadrat Bilal also mentions that Rasulullah did not keep anything for himself. Hadrat Bilal was made responsible for looking after the needs of people if they come to Holy Prophet for assistance. He was even ordered to take out a loan to fulfil the needs.  

Once a person from the mushrikeen (polytheists) came to him and said that he could take out as many loans from him as he needed them. So Hadrat Bilal asked him for assistance whenever he needed to help others. The creditor kept giving him with ease.

But then one day the creditor came and started demanding him money back. He threatened Hadrat Bilal to repay his moeny till the end of the month or otherwise he would take Hadrat Bilal as his slave.

There was no other way but to turn to Rasulullah for help. Hadrat Bilal had not taken the loan out for himself but to help others with the permission of Rasulullah and not only the Holy Messenger could help.  

After Isha prayer, he came in the presence of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam and narrated the whole incident to him. He also said that: 'There is no way to pay this debt so quickly, nor do you have anything nor do I have anything I will hide away. When you pay the debt I will come out, otherwise, that mushrik will disgrace me very much'.

Before the morning prayers a  person came running to Hadrat Bilal and said that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam is calling him. When he presented myself, Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam said: 'Allah Ta'aala has made a means to pay your debt. These four camels are standing, and are laden with gifts sent by the ruler of Fadak'.

Hadrat Bilal paid the full debt that morning, and informed Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam that Allah Ta'aala has freed him from debts.

The Hadith shareef continues:

Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam asked: 'Is there anything left from the gifts or not?'. I replied: 'A little is left'. Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam said: 'Distribute it, so that I may be at ease'. The evening fell and yet there was some left. After Isha prayer Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam inquired again, upon which I replied: 'The needy ones did not arrive, there is still some left'. Thereupon Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallarn spent the night in the masjid and did not go home. The next day after Isha he inquired again, whereupon I replied: 'Allah Ta'aala has freed you from its responsibilities. Everthing has been distributed'. Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam then thanked Allah, and went to his home. (Abu Dawood)

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Building Leeds Makkah Masjid

29th August 2003 (1st Rajab) was a unique memorable day in the lives of the Muslim community of Leeds. This was due to the opening of a new magnificent mosque in the heart of Leeds city, in Leeds 6, called Makkah Masjid.

Makkah Masjid had been under construction for the last 3 years and it was finally completed last August with the total cost of £1.8 million. Previously, al-Madina Masjid had been fulfilling the needs of the Leeds 6 Muslim community. Al-Madina Masjid was founded in the early 1970s by purchasing 2 small houses and converting them into a mosque. However, as the Muslim community increased around Leeds 6, one house was incapable of accommodating all the attendees of large gatherings such as Friday or Eid prayers. Therefore, expansion of the al-Madina Masjid was deemed necessary. In 1989, some renovation and extension work was carried out at the cost of £60,000. After the extension, the al-Madina Masjid was able to accommodate 700 attendees. As time went by, Muslim population continued to increase in Leeds.

In mid 1990s, al-Madina Masjid again started facing problems in accommodating all the attendees of large events. For instance, for important Friday prayers, such as the Friday prayers in Ramadan, every part of the al-Madina Masjid would become full and people had to find place wherever they could to offer their prayers. Some people even had to pray in the kitchen, corridors or on the landing. Similarly, jamat for Eid prayer was said 2 times in order to allow all the Muslims of Leeds 6 and surrounding areas of Leeds 3 & 4 to perform their Eid prayer without any trouble. However, even with 2 jamaat, the mosque would become full and people would still face trouble to find a suitable place to pray. The problem of limited space became so intense that people stopped coming to the al-Madina Masjid and had to travel to other areas to attend the Friday or Eid prayers.

Leeds Muslim Council (the management committee of al-Madina Masjid) finally decided that increasing the size of the mosque was the need of the hour. However, like last time, this time al-Madina Masjid could not be extended as there was no next-door house which could be included into the existing mosque. It was also felt that a mere extension of the mosque would not be suitable for future needs. As the Muslim population would grow in Leeds 6, the mosque would again become small in size. What was needed was a purpose-built mosque that would be suitable to cater for all the possible future needs of the Muslims in Leeds.

To build a purpose-built mosque, a suitable location and land was needed. As Leeds 6 area is near the 2 universities, all the suitable lands had already been acquired by big businesses or were far away from the Muslim community’s residential area. There was only one property on sale which was thought to be suitable for the construction of a Muslim worship-place. It was a run-down church which had been abandoned for many years. As a matter of fact, it was a unique church which had been constructed with wooden structure and was a registered listed building. The plan was to buy the dilapadated christadelphian church, demolish it and construct a purpose-built mosque on the site. When this plan was presented to the Leeds City Council, they opposed the plan on the basis that the church could not be demolished as it was a listed building. A long and hard battle (with the help of local MPs and councillors) had to be fought with the local city council to convince them that the existing building (the church) was a place of worship, and the new building (the new mosque) would also be a place of worship. A survey of the local residents was also conducted to take their point of view on replacing the run-down church with the new mosque. Muslims and non-Muslims said alike that they were most happy to replace a ruined building which portrayed a negative image of the area with a uniquely constructed building which would add a fresh view to the area.

The new purpose-built mosque, called Makkah Masjid, was given a go-ahead in the year 2000, with the estimated total cost of £1.5 million and a time span of 3 years. As imagined, raising £1.5 million from the local Muslim community was conceived to be the most difficult and hardest part of constructing a new mosque, but with the grace of Allah (SWT) nothing is impossible or unachievable. As a matter of fact, when the plan of the Makkah Masjid was presented to the local MPs, and when they saw that the amount £1.5 million was needed to build the mosque, the only thing they said was: “this is impossible”. But the Muslims of Leeds 6 and surrounding areas of Leeds 3 & 4 put their faith in Allah (SWT) and believed that they were building the house of Allah, and trusted in Him to guide them through difficult and hard times. A great deal of strategy and planning was formulated by the Leeds Muslim Council before embarking on this laborious and demanding task. Before starting the work at the new mosque, priority was given to collect funds as the management committee did not want to stop the work on the new mosque by running short of funds. Only when enough fund had been collected, the work on the new mosque commenced.

As mentioned above, the construction of the Makkah Masjid was estimated to cost £1.5 million which is a vast amount of money to be collected by one community. The Muslim community of Leeds 6 and surrounding areas does not comprise of big businesses or entrepreneurs, but of standard jobs such as taxis or take-aways. But when it came to contributing for the new mosque, the Leeds Muslim community opened up their hearts and contributed generously for this great cause. The Muslim community realised that the new mosque was an important factor in their lives and a mark of Muslim identity in general, and they did not fall short in making their donations according to their best capacities. Some creative strategies were devised by the people to raise the level of funds. For instance, one person who used to work at a taxi stand, started collecting £1 each week from other taxi drivers and gave this money to the new mosque funds. Following this good example, other people from other taxi stands also started contributing in a similar way. Similarly, one barber shop started giving £10 each week to the new mosque fund. Following this step, other barber shops also started giving £10 weekly to the new mosque. It is often said that good behaviour in people leads to good behaviour in society, and construction of the new mosque is a good example where people contributed open heartedly by observing good actions of others. Collection of such vast amount of funds was made possible by constantly encouraging the Muslims to contribute to the mosque fund.

The members of the mosque committee set-up a good example by donating from £10,000 to £30,000 each. This good example inspired other members of the community and almost each household in the community donated at least £3,000. The whole process of building Makkah Masjid, including planning, raising funds and the construction work, took only 4 years. The construction of Makkah Masjid in such a short time was only made possible by the hard work of Leeds Muslim Council who were committed to put sleepless nights and long hours into this project and to see it to a successful completion. Leeds Muslim Council kept extremely good and close liaison with the Muslim community, created successful relationships with the local government, entrusted the jobs and duties to the most suitable persons and financially kept within their limits. With the grace of Allah (SWT), blessing of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), generous contributions of the local Muslim community and the unwavering commitment of the Leeds Muslim Council, Makkah Masjid was finally opened on 29th August 2003 (1st Rajab 1424).

The opening of the Makkah Masjid coincided with the month of Rajab in which the ummah of the Prophet (PBUH) was given the gift of 5 daily prayers. Makkah Masjid is another gift of Allah (SWT) given to the Leeds 6 and surrounding areas of Leeds 3 and 4 Muslim community to establish the 5 daily prayers. Makkah Masjid has 3 floors and can accommodate over 2700 people, which is more than enough for the coming generations. There are 2 main halls for men to use and there is another main hall for ladies.

The mosque has 3 minarets and one dome. The mosque also includes rooms for computers and a library. The worshippers who attend the mosques are the actual beauty and charm of the mosques. However, while constructing the Makkah Masjid, the outward beauty and attractiveness of the mosque was also taken into consideration. Therefore, the outside walls are beautifully crafted by using a combination of blue, green and cream coloured tiles.

The old mosque, al-Madina Masjid is also open for prayers and will remain running in future since mosques cannot be closed down. In conclusion, construction of Makkah Masjid was a huge project not undertaken by the local Muslim community previously. However, the Muslims knew that the new mosque was extremely important for them and then they stood united and committed and donated generously. Leeds Muslim Council, the management committee of al-Madina Masjid and Makkah Masjid, created a strong relationship with the local Muslims and the local government and spent a lot of their precious time and energy to ensure Makkah Masjid was completed successfully.

In 2009, Madina Masjid was renovated from this:

to this:

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Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad sahib

Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad Sahib is one the few Ulama belonging to Ahle Sunnah school of thought in UK who have equal command of religious as well as contemporary knowledge. He has been serving as head teacher and Khateeb at Al-Madina Jamia mosque functioning under the auspices of Leeds Muslim Council.

Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad was born to a landlord family of Chaudary Roshin Deen in Jammu city of Indian Occupied Kashmir in 1942. He started his education by memorising the Holy Quran by heart. The first ever teacher of Professor Sahib was his brother in law, Hafiz Umar Deen who was a resident of Bern village of Occupied Kashmir. He migrated to Sialkot via Phukhliaan, Gondal after establishment of Pakistan in 1947. After suspension of his Quranic education for some one and a half year, he completed it form Hafiz Umar Deen in Sialkot. He started contemporary modern education after that and continued his religious education simultaneously. He got the Quranic education including the art of Qir’at and Tajweed from the teacher of the teachers, Qari Abdul Rahman, Shaikhul Qurra, Qari Abdul Aziz Chishti and his cousin, Zeenatul Qurra, Qari Muhammad Hussain.

He passed all the examinations right from primary to M.A with distinction and won scholarships. He got eighth position in the University of the Punjab in B.A. He did his M.A in English in 1965, M.A Islamic Studies in 1967 and M.A. Arabic in 1968 from the same university. After doing his M.A English, he joined education department in 1965. He was appointed as English Lecturer in Jinnah Islamia College Sialkot. He was transferred to Government College Shakar Garh in 1969 wherefrom he came to M.A.O. College Lahore in 1972. He taught English there for six months. When late Zulifqar Ali Bhutto nationalised the educational institutions he returned to Jinnah Islamia College Sialkot and remained the head of the English Department there for a long period.

When International Islamic University was established in Islamabad in 1981, he joined it and remained the head of the English Department for two years. He came to England in 1984 for higher education and did his Masters in English Language Teaching and Linguistics from the University of York. Then he stared work for his doctorate, however, he has to discontinue his education due to ill health. He returned to Islamabad two year’s later and resumed his responsibilities at the International Islamic University. He came to Britain permanently in 1988 and joined the Al-Madina mosque of Leeds Muslims Council. He had also remained attached with the same mosque when he had come to England for higher education.

Professor Sahib told that he also visited Occupied Kashmir in 1982. His father got a grand mosque constructed from his own pocket and at his own land at Subhaash Nager of Jammu city. During this tour, Professor Sahib also went to Srinager and was greatly impressed by the love of Kashmir people especially the school children for Pakistan and Islam.

Professor Sahib also visited New York at the invitation of his pupil, Muhammad Ahmed in 1983. He recited the Holy Quran at a mosque of Jersey City during the Taraweeh prayers in Ramadhan as well as delivered Juma sermons. He said that after witnessing the love and sincerity of the newly converted black Muslims there, he was fully convinced that Islam is not only the religion of the East but it was also the religion of the West. He said that the prophecy of the Holy Quran about sending his Holy Prophet to teach humanity the true religion is about to be materialised. This prophecy has been made at three different places in the Holy Quran with slight change of words. Professor Sahib said that he was doing his PhD from the Leeds University on the exegesis of the Holy Quran, particularly the Coherence of the Holy Quran. At the same time, he continues to render services as Imam, Khateeb and teacher at the mosque. Both his sons are also Hafiz and Imams.

Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad said during the course of the conversation that he was always attached with the saintly people. He had special spiritual relation with Hazrat Allama Peer Muhammad Husain of Sialkot and after his death with his son, Hazrat Peer Bashir Ahmed. He also delivered Juma sermons at Kashmiriaan Mosque at Rangpura, Sialkot, after peer Sahib’s death probably in 1964. This service continued for some twenty year till 1984. He has also been linked with Syed Muhammad Ashraf Alias Kashfi Shah Nizami who is the father of prominent lawyer and former law minister, S.M. Zafar and Doctor S.M. Iqbal. He was the spiritual successor and Khalifa of Shamsul Ulama Shaikhul Mashaikh, Hazrat Khawaja Hassan Nizami Dehlvi in Pakistan. Professor Sahib also got the honour of leading his funeral prayers at Chak Qaziaan near Shaker Garh. However Professor Sahib swore the oath of allegiance to Zial-ul-Ummat Peer Muhammad Karam Shah Al- Azhari.

Talking about religious services and activities after coming over to England, Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad said that when he came to England in 1984, the number of people who came to say the Juma prayers at the mosque was very low. However, he thanks God that now some eight hundred people offer Juma Prayers. Nearly two hundred children are getting religious education here. Interested children are memorising the Holy Quran by heart as well. Some children have already memoried the Holy Quran by heart and are now getting education in universities.

When asked whether lack of command of English language on the part of Ulama can be held responsible for the estrangement of the youth from religious, Professor Fateh Muhammad Sahib said that it is correct. If we do not give education to the new generation in English, they would not become fully conversant with the religion. Even under ordinary circumstances, when people migrate to another place, their children do suffer due to the language problem. The regrettable thing is that like in Pakistan, parents in England do not take interest in the education of their children. On their part, the children do not take interest either. He said that he delivers a lecture daily on Quranic teachings and explains it both in Urdu as well as in English. It is important for us to give religious education in English in order to make the new generation understand religion of Islam fully well.

Talking about the future of the new Muslim generation in Britain, Professor Fateh Muhammad said that despite their ignorance of English, Ulama have been making efforts to attract the new generation to Islam. God willing, the future of the Muslim youth is very bright in this country. The new generation is becoming more and more inclined to Islam and if we compare the situation with that of Pakistan, more Namazis are found in British mosques than those in Pakistan. Our mosque is jam-packed during Friday prayer. However, hard work and affection is the basic condition to keep the love of religion kindling in the hearts of the new generation.

Referring to his services in the field of writing and compilation, Professor Fateh Muhammad said that he could not do any considerable work in this field so far. He said that when he was working for Doctorate, four or five of his articles were published in international journals. Hazrat Peer Muhammad Karam Shah had desired that the exegesis of the Holy Quran, Jamalul Quran, authored by him should be translated into English. God willing, it would soon be published.

Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad said that the Leeds Muslim Council does not only run the affaires of the mosque but also actively participate in other issues and affairs of the Muslim community. He said the Council did an excellent work against the blasphemous and cursed writer, Rushdi. We also collected funds for the Muslim community of Bosnia as well as the suffering people of Afghanistan. We also collect funds for the oppressed people of Kashmir and send it through the Muslim Hands working under the patronage of Sahibzada Syed Lakht-e- Hasnain Shah or through the All Jammu and Kashmir Sunni Hurriyat Council, Britain or nay other Muslim organisation. We also collected two thousands pounds for the self-reliance fund raised by former Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Besides we have been asking the people to contribute for the fund and remit their money to Pakistan through banking channels instead of Hundi.

Professor Sahib said that presently, Doctor Haji Muhammad Jamil Malik is General Secretary of the Leeds Muslim Council, who is PhD in Economics. He has his own firm of Accountancy. He is imbued with the spirit of Islam and urge to serve the cause of the Muslim Ummah. He is assisted by Joint Secretary, Chaudhary Haji Muhammad Munir who has been associated with the council from the very beginning. He had also been Chairman of the council. He is very sincere, humane and gentle person, Chaudhary Haji Qurban Hussain, is the Chairman and chaudhary Haji Fazal Rahman in the treasure of the council. All the colleagues are imbued with the spirit of serving Islam and are actively participating in collecting funds and donations for the mosque.

People from Leeds, 3,4 and 6 and adjoined areas come to our mosque to offer Friday prayers. Sixty to seventy people offer daily prayers. It is reflective of the attachment of the people to Islam and the same love and attachment is required construction of bigger, expansive and grand new mosque. Professor Sahib said that a new expansive and grand mosque is under construction under the auspices of Lees Muslim Council near the Madina mosque. This new mosque would be called Makkah Mosque, and an amount of a half million pounds has so far been spent on its construction. Whereas the total cost is estimated the 1.5 million pounds. Basic infrastructure has been built. It is expected that the mosque would be completed within next two years. The present Al- Madina mosque would continue to function at its present site Madina mosque would continue to function at its preset site even after the completion of the Makkah mosque, which will accommodate about 2500 people in its three floors.

To a question, Professor Sahib said that Islam spread in the Indo-Pak Sub-Continent due to the efforts of Sufis. Similarly efforts are underway in this country to attract the non-Muslims to Islam. Different Mashaikh pay visits to this country every now and then. Some of them have established centres here in which Zikr gatherings are held and work for the promotion of Islam is carried out. Some forty men and women have embraced Islam since his coming over to this country. For students of Leeds University embraced Islam last year. They are leaving for Morocco to learn Arabic. All this is due to the efforts of Sufis and religious scholars. Thanks to Allah Almighty a prominent orientalist of Leeds University also embraced Islam recently.

Referring to the occurrence of unwantedd incidents in some mosques, Professor Sahib said that the main reason is politics. Since are community cannot take part in the local politics, most of the politics centre round Pakistan and Kashmir. If a person gets a post in the mosque committee, it satisfies his egotism. There are other factors as well. The effects of the days of ignorance and lack of love for religion are also visible. Then we have prejudices on the basis of family background. Added together, all these factors make the situation complex.

Talking about unity and harmony among Ulama belonging to Ahle Sunnah school of thought, Professor Fateh Muhammad Sahib said that all the Ulama are working actively in their respective areas. However, a wrong impression is being conveyed to the people due to their disunity. That is why we are making efforts to unite the Ulama because better results can be achieved through coordinated and united efforts. It would be possible only when we rise above ourselves and work together for the cause of Islam and show tolerance towards others.

Professor Sahib said that he has two sons, Hafiz Qari Muhammad Asim and Hafiz Qari Muhammad Qasim. Qari Muhammad Asim has done his L.L.B from the Leeds University and is getting training to become a solicitor. He also renders the service as Khateeb at Al-Madina mosque during the absence of his father. He also Leeds Taraveeh prayers during Ramadhan. He is an eloquent speaker. Hafiz Qari Muhammad Qasim is conducting a computer course at Bradford University.

(This biography is taken from ‘Ulamas of United Kingdom’ by Khalid Athar)

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A tribute to Professor sahib from All Hallows Church

On Tuesday evening, 26th April 2005, as the Christians count time, Fateh Muhammed, Imam at the Makkah Masjid and Al Medina Mosques in Hyde Park, died in his room while reading. Earlier he had led the evening prayers. He had been unwell for some time.

Some will remember the big interfaith gathering at the Civic Hall, organised by the Leeds Faiths Forum, on Sunday 8th May 2000 on Islamic Social Action, when Fateh Muhammed opened the session with a recitation or Tilawat from the Quran, Surah 13:11. He did it with such poise and clarity that every heart stilled. He later completed a glossary of all the Islamic terms used in the conference report.

Others will remember Fateh coming to All Hallows at the invitation of Ray Gaston on the Sunday after 9/11 and reciting from the Quran in such a way that opened the hearts of many in the congregation that day to the real beauty and wisdom present in Islam.

It was Fateh who then read out at the Friday community prayers at the mosque, a few weeks later, the statement All Hallows Church had issued against the war on Afghanistan in solidarity with local Muslims.

He was a man of deep faith and humility. Ray remembers arriving at the mosque for one of his many discussions with Fateh, over sweet tea and fruit, to find him sweeping the stairs on his hands and knees. He loved poetry and the welcome from this prayerful man of faith was always warm. He entered into discussion with energy and readily debated issues of concern to Muslims and Christians. David remembers a graciousness that seemed to swell up from a deep well of faith.

Fateh was a scholar of Islam and English literature and had held an important post in Islamabad. He had come to the little Al Medina Mosque and loved and was loved by his people as he worked with them in bringing to realisation the vision for a new mosque in Hyde Park. He will be greatly missed.

A tribute from the Revd Ray Gaston, Vicar of All Hallows Church, and the Revd David Randolph-Horn, Associate Director, Leeds Church Institute and Secretary, Leeds Faiths Forum.

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A tribule to Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad sahib (RA)

The following article was written by Choudhary Maskeen sahib of Leeds 12 and it appeared in Daily Jang on 3rd May 2006.

Please click on the image below to view the full article. 

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Shaykh Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad – An Ideal Imam

It is three years since our Imam departed from this world in April 2005 to live in the ever-lasting world. Below is an article written by one of his students highlighting some aspects of Hafiz Sahib's life:

Shaykh Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad Sahib, affectionately called Hafiz Sahib by all those who knew him, (May Allah have mercy on his soul) was the great Imam of Madina Masjid from 1984 – 2005 and of Makkah Masjid from 2003 to 2005. He passed away suddenly on the evening of 25 April 2005 (17th Rabi ul-Awwal 1426) whilst reading a biography of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). His sudden departure from this world was a tragic loss to the Muslim community of Leeds which he had ardently and diligently served for over 20 years of his life.

All those who had the honour to meet him will testify that Hafiz Sahib radiated love for the Holy Quran and our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He dedicated his life to gaining knowledge of Islam, living in accordance with its principles and encouraging others to do the same.

Hafiz Sahib was one of very few distinguished Ulemas who excelled in both worldly and religious knowledge and understanding. He first came to England from his native Pakistan in 1984 to undertake a Masters degree in English Language Teaching and Linguistics. He had previously held the esteemed post of head of the English Department at the International Islamic University at Islamabad. He returned to Pakistan for a short while, before permanently settling in England in 1988 and taking up the post of Imam and Khateeb of Madina Masjid and spiritual guide for the community he served.

 

Hafiz Sahib – an ideal Imam

Hafiz Sahib was not only a religious instructor but had also been a professor at one of the most prestigious Universities in the Muslim world. He was therefore passionate about ensuring that religion was accessible to second generation Muslims in the UK. He reminded Muslims that they had not come to the UK as Pakistanis, Indians etc, but as Muslims. He advised Muslims to leave aside cultural issues and concentrate singularly on the cause of living Islam as it was given to them by the Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Hafiz Sahib was always mindful of the numerous examples in the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) of living peacefully alongside those of other faiths, whilst not loosing one's own faith and identity, and he strived to follow these examples.

He emphasised that Muslims should earn their place in society and win the hearts and minds of the host community by showing that the values taught by Islam are the same values that all human beings hold dear. For this reason, a long before there was any wide-spread recognition of the fact that there was a danger of youngsters losing touch with their religious identities as a result of the fact that most religious sermons were being held in Urdu, Hafiz Sahib was preaching in both English and Urdu. He attached great importance to ensuring that youngsters had access to Islamic knowledge in their first language, English. Thus his professionalism enabled him to pursue and resolve intricate issues and challenges faced by the second generation with clarity and conviction, always preferring debate and discussion whilst observing the Islamic etiquette rather than just demanding that youngsters did as told.

Another issue close to Hafiz Sahib's heart was ensuring good relationships between people of different faiths. To this end, he was an active participant in the Leeds multi-faith forums, which saw him recite the Quran at inter-faith events and welcome those of other faiths into the Masjid.

 

Hafiz Sahib and the Quran

Hafiz Sahib led a simple life which revolved around his role as Imam. His first love was the recitation of the Quran, which he did alongside whatever other task he was doing. Those who had the honour of hearing him recite the Quran know that his pronunciation was impeccable and his voice was melodious and full of emotion. The hearts of his listeners could not help but be moved, and through him his audience felt closer to Allah.

Hafiz Sahib was also passionate about ensuring that Muslims did not blindly follow what they were told, but had a real understanding of the principles of Islam. His aim was to fill the hearts of the Muslims in his community with a love for the Quran as immense as his own, and instill in them a desire to understand the Quran as he did. Over the last 10 years of his life, Hafiz Sahib held daily study circles after prayers. During these study circles, he provided detailed analysis and commentary on almost half of the Holy Quran in a combination of both English and Urdu. His daily classes were attended by both old and young.

 

Distinguished Personality

Hafiz Sahib's distinguishing trait was his unpretentious appearance and remarkable simplicity. Despite being well-versed in religious and worldly matters, he never promoted himself or tried to seek fame. Instead, he followed the way of his predecessors who worked behind the scenes, displaying profound insight and solicitude for the Ummah andshowing exceptional acumen for resolving the challenges presented by modernity.

Despite being a great scholar and leading a very busy life, Hafiz Sahib never shied away from doing mundane tasks. He used to say that given the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) assisted his wives with household jobs, it could not be a stain on one's status or masculinity to following his example. He was also proud to clean the mosque, saying that not everyone is given the honour of cleaning the house of the Lord.

 

Hafiz Sahib and Makkah Masjid

The biggest aspect of Hafiz Sahib's legacy is without doubt Makkah Masjid, which was his vision and which only came into being as a result of his tireless efforts. For many years, Hafiz Sahib was deeply concerned that the converted terraced houses which formed Madina Masjid were not adequate to cater for the growing Muslim populations of Leeds 3, 4 and 6. His vision was that the community should have a Masjid of which it could be truly proud, which was not only aesthetically pleasing but which would also meet the practical needs of the Muslim community it would serve. He talked about a Masjid that would elevate the spirits of all who saw it and symbolise the beauty of the religion of Islam.

To this end, Hafiz Sahib worked assiduously firstly to help find the perfect location in which to build his dream Masjid, and then to raise the £1.8 million required to fund its construction. The passion with which he talked about the new Masjid encouraged the local communities to donate the staggering sums needed; very few individuals have the charisma and zeal to convince others to donate so generously. He reminded everyone that if they contributed towards building a house for Allah (swt) in this life, then, as is promised in the Holy Quran, Allah (swt) would build a house in Paradise for them in the hereafter.

Following years of hard work, Makkah Masjid opened its doors in June 2003. Without doubt, it would never have come into existence without Hafiz Sahib firstly having the vision of a magnificent Masjid located in Headingley, Leeds and secondly having the dedication to make his dream a reality.

Those who knew Hafiz Sahib as their Imam, their teacher and their spiritual guide are only too aware that he was a truly unique individual, who cannot be replaced. He was a very inspirational and dynamic person. He wanted to see the learned and professionals work together to advance the position of the Ummah, and reach mutual understanding and respect throughout the world. In a life span of 63 years, he will be remembered for, among other notable things, being a great scholar of Islam who practiced what he preached and instilled love for the religion in those who came into contact with him. His entire life was dedicated to steadfastly serving Islam and Muslims.

There are too many details about his life to cover in such a short article. However, to note a few, Hafiz Sahib emphasised greatly – and showed us practically in the way he lived – the following matters :

1. Love of the beloved Prophet and the Quran,

2. Love for seeking knowledge and displaying love for the people of knowledge;

3. Simplicity in our whole way of life

4. The importance of making an effort in one's life to improve one's status in the world and the hereafter.

 

We pray to Allah (swt) that He grants Hafiz Sahib the highestplace in Paradise, and makes the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Holy Quran his intercessors on the Day of Judgement. Ameen.

 

Saleem Alam

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A Poem In Memory of Hafiz Sahib

 

The lover of the Prophet, the advocate of Islam
The ambassador of peace, the beloved of us all
Lived his entire life in Masjid and Mihrab
Left for the heavens having enlightened us all
g
He was available to us day and night
Dedicated to his mission of spreading the light
Constantly in the Masjid reading the Quran
Always smiling, illuminated by Allah's light
g
The news of his sudden departure rendered us lost
Memories of Hafiz sahib remains alive in our hearts
How he instilled in us love for the Prophet
And opened our eyes to the wonders of the Quran
Four years have passed since he left us for the heavens
Yet the void in our hearts is as vast as ever.
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Comments about the life of our respected teacher – Shaykh Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad (RA)

The following are some of the comments made about Professor Hafiz Qari Fateh Muhammad (May Allah shower mercy on his soul):

  • "I will miss his inspiring conversations full of humour, wit and insight", a PhD students from the Far East
  • "His optimism, his compassion and, most important of all, the love he always had for his faith and community was remarkable." A Roman Catholic Vicar
  • He was "a wonderful mix of spirituality and practicality", Faith Advisor to the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
  • His death was "a blow to the whole community." a local MP.
  • "He was a reformer in that he began calling for imams to start using English in their sermons and in their teachings so that the British Muslim youth could learn something about their faith when attending the mosques." Chair of a leading British Muslim Organisation.
  • "He was a true lover of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and that is why he was always at the forefront of any cause and campaign dealing with Tahafuz-e-Namose-e- Risalat", Secretary of Ahl-Sunna wal-Jamaat.
  • "He effectively gave me a new life", a revert who embraced Islam at the hands of Professor Qari Fateh Muhammad.
  • "His intelligent conversations, his ability to listen to opponents' views, his inner beauty, his immense love for the Prophet, the Ahle-bait and the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made me reconsider my beliefs", a shia Professor from Iran.
  • "He was as friendly and hospitable to his opponents as he was towards his friends and followers", a young enthusiast who enjoyed debating with Professor Qari Fateh Muhammad.
  • "Through his guidance and mediation, he saved my marriage", a young newly married sister.
  • "He was an inspiration to me. If it had not been for him, I would not have had the love of my religion in my heart today", a pharmacist.
  • "He helped me find myself", an investment banker.
  • "He was always there for my family", a mother of six children.
  • "If it had not been for his financial support, I would not have been able to do an MBA", a student who went on to become an entrepreneur.
  • "Whenever I followed his practical advice, I never regretted it", a father of four and politician.
  • "I always confided in him and he counseled me", a granddad and community leader.
  • "If it had not been for him, my children today would have been somewhere else rather than in the mosque. He brought faith into our hearts", a mother of three.
  • "He was my guide, my teacher, my source of inspiration, my role model and my spiritual father", a student of Islamic sciences and Tassawuf.
  • "He was a truly humble and sincere servant of Allah, who was not after worldly positions or wealth; he declined whenever he was given a position of power and rather recommended his colleagues to take those positions", founder of the British Muslim Forum.
  • "He was a man of extraordinary vision. He sat on a prayer mat but touched the hearts of thousands of people from all walks of life whether they be doctors, Imams, builders, politicians, professors, taxi drivers or entrepreneurs. It was his simplicity and spirituality, combined with his wisdom, that made him everyone's hero", a medical doctor.
  • "It was his love for the Noble Quran, his constant recitation day and night, which brought me closer to Allah", a Hafiz and recite of the Holy Quran.
  • "He sometimes would give money in charity when he did not have much in his own pocket", Trustee of a Charity.
  • "He was the father figure for our community", teenage attendee of the mosque
  • "He was a shining star; people like him are not born everyday", a professor colleague at Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan.
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Shaykh Hafiz Fateh Muhammad – Spiritual Guide

I first met Imam Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad sahib some 15 years ago. My first session with him completely changed my life! I was going through some difficult times in my life. Things were not "working out" at home. I had a very "good" job with a reasonably "good" salary but there was still some void in my life. I felt something was missing from my life. I had recently moved to Leeds for my job and did not know many people. I could easily make friends in the lifestyle that I was used to but I wanted to move away from that life-style.

Being born a Muslim, the obvious thing was to turn to Islam but I did not know much about Islam. I was afraid to learn about Islam because I felt that learning more about it would make me realise my own shortcomings and weaknesses. I did not want to feel more depressed. I wanted to meet someone who could unlock my mind and spirit, who could direct me to my Lord, who could hold my hand as I treaded on the path of Islam and got myself back on track. The experience that I have had of mosques did not fill me with confidence that I would find someone like that in a mosque. My first thought was that if I went to a mosque, I would be frowned upon, I would be told off, there would be no one to understand my condition, there would be a language barrier etc.

Then one of my clients told me of an Imam in a mosque nearby in Hyde Park and everything he told me about him was a great shock to me.

My client said that the Imam spoke English and had a lot of young people coming to his mosque. I found it surprising that he was an English Professor and an Imam at the same time. I could understand someone being a Professor of Arabic or Islamic Studies and an Imam but not an English Professor and an Imam.

My client told me that he was a humble man but dignified in his humility and that he always made time for common people and he cared about people – religious or irreligious. I could only remember people inside the mosque who assumed that they were better than others because they came to the mosque to pray.

My client also said that that Imam always has a huge welcoming smile on his shining face. Again, it was hard for me to imagine an Imam with a beautiful smile on his face. I could only remember these guardians of mosques being stern faced, feeling tense and angry with everything.

My client carried on telling me about the knowledge that this Imam possessed and other characteristics that he had had but my mind was wondering off, trying to imagine the Imam in mind and burning with the desire to meet him.

After a few days, I pulled myself together to meet this great personality, with a mixed feeling of awe and yearning. As I approached his room inside the mosque, he was sat on the floor studying a book. As soon as he saw me, he welcomed me with a smile and started chatting to me, listening to me attentively. He was not only hearing me, he was also waiting for his turn to speak. Although it was the first time I had met him, I felt that I had always known him.

As I sat listening to the Imam discussing the intricacies of the Glorious Qur'an with references to modern intellectualism, my eyes grew wider and I distinctly remember thinking 'so that's what it means!'

I left that brief meeting with a very light heart, feeling good inside. I had a strange feeling inside me; I felt that I had done a good deed just meeting him and listening to his melodious voice. I still cannot describe that feeling.

From that day onward, whenever I got the chance to come and sit with him, I would do so. I would go to meet him during lunch time and he in his kindness would welcome me each time I went to meet him. I would always leave him with a heavy heart, wishing I could have extra time to stay with him. In his gatherings, he used to feel spiritually immersed in the light of the Qur'an. He was a walking encyclopedia/dictionary of the Glorious Qur'an.

I am sure that anyone who had the privilege of visiting the Imam and spending time with him felt uplifted and enriched by his humanity, his wisdom and his spirituality. He was positive and motivational. He always showed you the bright side of any situation that you were in. He used to make things perfectly clear by using simple language and examples. He would come down to peoples’ level, despite himself being an ocean of knowledge. For him lecturing or writing was not about scholastic manipulation of intellectual constructs but rather a means to connect people to Allah and the spiritual reality. He would de-mystify things so that people could understand the Word of God and the sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He always reminded his students to use simple language with people in accordance with the prophetic saying: "Speak to people at their level". But at the same time his colourful talks were full of gushing flow, treasure of vocabulary and tremendous appealing.

I love him dearly because, through him I came closer to My Lord and gained an understanding of what a logical and balanced the religion of Islam is. It is through him that I have been able to tell people around me something about my faith. It is because of him that I am proud to call myself a Muslim. He wanted young British Muslims to be good and great. Work hard to unlock our potentials with the key of the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Unfortunately, after a few months of coming to stay in Leeds, I got transferred to another city and our enlightening and refreshing meetings came to end. At first I did continue to phone him and seek his advice on important matters in my life. Then with the passage of time, I got busy and the contact became less and less.

The memories that I have shall remain ingrained on my mind forever. He is always in my prayers. My Allah grant me his company under the banner of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Zahid Hussain

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