Pioneering Leader Died Late Thursday Night
Over 15,000 people gathered to pay their final respects to the leader of one of the UK’s most beloved and largest Mosque. Founder and original leader of the Central Jamia Masjid Ghamkol Sharif based in Small Heath, Sufi Muhammad Abdullah Khan Sahib died late Thursday night, with his funeral taking place today.
Mourners from all corners of the world gathered on Poets Corner to pay tribute one of the leading religious figures of the community. The 92-year-old’s legacy includes building one of the largest mosques in Western Europe, which today accommodates over 6000 worshippers.
The Masjid itself, as well as the carpark and streets surrounding it were full of people coming to pay their respects to the spiritual leader.
Zafar Iqbal, Councillor South Yardley said, “He was the original founder of the mosque and worked so hard to get it built and open. “He was in the British Indian Army and fought in World War Two. He came to Birmingham in 1962 and immediately started his community work. “He fundraised for many years and to his delight finally saw the Central Jamia Masjid Sharif mosque open in 1996. He was a very inspirational man and will be tremendously missed.”
Whilst, Masjid chairman Raja Saleem Akhtar added, “In every sense he was our guide, our leader and our friend. He built this up. He was working in foundry six days a week and working in the community for the rest of the time.” One mourner described him as a giant in the community. “He built the Mosque and brought the community together. Look how many young people are here everyone has respect.”
Paying tribute, a spokesperson for the Masjid said, “Allah reward everyone for their attendance, kind words and heartfelt duas. Words humble us to express our gratitude to their sentiments. Today was definitely a historic day. It was by Allah’s Will and Bounty that Sufi Sahib’s farewell to the Akhirah was a grand occasion. In the midst of separation, we were showered by Allah’s Blessings.”