My Dad


My father has been a major influence in my life. Sadly, he passed away recently leaving behind a devastated and distressed family. My earliest memories are of him teaching us about Islam, the Bengali language and the Quran.

He was small in stature but he was a big character and would always speak the truth regardless of who the wrongdoer was. He never lied throughout his life regardless of his circumstances. When he first came to the UK he faced racism and bigotry with dignity and courage.

He came to Oldham in the sixties to work in the cotton mills. He went through many hardships as there weren’t any mosques or Halal meat and poultry available. Immigrants were employed to carry out manual labour on gruelling 12 hour shifts.

Immigrants were harassed by far-right groups like the National Front but my dad wasn’t easily intimidated.

He was born in British India in 1945 to a region in the East of India called Bengal. His great forefather actually brought Islam to the region. His ancestor was called Dawr Bakhsh Khateeb who campaigned and spread Islam in the Sylhet region of Bengal. Dad was qualified to matriculation level which was quite rare for the time. 

He would sometimes tell us stories about his school days and how he would compete with his fellow students in gaining first place. He loved learning and practicing what he learned.

Throughout our childhood every day, between 5-7 he home-schooled us in Quran and Arabic and every weekend he taught us the Bengali language.

He was a patient teacher but would become angry if we were disrespectful or didn’t try our best.  My dad was unique and dedicated, it was normal for him to spend about seven or eight hours a day in the mosque worshipping. He had a notebook of prayers and praise which he would always refer to. Surely, people like him are rare and he has set a high standard to follow.

The Lockdown was very hard on him as he wasn’t able to worship in the mosque for hours and hours. He was a saintly man who loved learning and teaching Islam to others. He was a highly respected figure in the community and people would entrust him with their money for safekeeping.

His brother, my uncle still lives in Bangladesh, my father’s only blood relative still alive. Throughout our childhood he only wanted goodness for us. He wanted us to be pious, good Muslims. He lost his father at quite a young age so he wasn’t able to study Islam further like he desired.

To avoid interest my father refrained from getting a mortgage on a house as interest is prohibited in Islam. Whenever he travelled by plane he would offer his prayers on the plane. I remember travelling with him and praying in the middle of the train station. My dad wasn’t self-conscious at all when it came to practicing the religion.

When we would be naughty he would shout at us but he never hit us or use foul language. He practiced what he preached throughout his life.

He was heavily involved in activities at our local mosque in trying to teach the local community. He was concerned by the gradual decline in people learning and practicing Islam.

He would spend three days a month and 40 days a year propagating Islam throughout the UK and abroad. We learned from him to have worry and concern for humanity and how they can become better people.

My father’s greatest quality was his steadfastness and constancy in worship and his daily routine. He would sometimes sleep for an hour and wake up on time for pre-dawn prayers.   

He was a true believer as he loved to pray and recite the Quran in abundance. I am sure he is at peace in his grave as he made so many sacrifices in life. Heaven is waiting for him God willing.

Thank you dad. I will never forget you. We will continue your legacy. Tears.

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  1. Haji sahib. Never will forget how much of a gem he was to our community. 4 o’clock In the morning and uncles name came to mind and all the memories retracted. All the times uncle used to occupy the mosque. Make it feel a sense and vibe of spirituality. Subhanallah. Today another one of his best friends passed away sadly, Haji Abdul Kareem. May allah swt bless his soul and grant him the highest rankings in jannatul firdaous. Ameen suma Ameen. Elders slowly dying in our community and we are losing these gems. Insha allah we should try and make the most of who we have left.

  2. I am very sorry for your loss. I am sure that you and your family continue to support each other at this difficult time. Your father was very brave because it is not easy moving to live abroad and learn a language. He was a very resilient character and he remained true to himself and to his religion. Most Brits struggle with a week in Spain! What a lovely idea carrying on charity in his memory and may he and you all be rewarded for that. God bless.

  3. My father was a strong person spiritually as well as in worldly affairs. He was always wary of people. As he knew this world and its people could make him commit sins and would easily betray him. He was always protective of us, I see this now, that he was protecting us from the world, preparing us, as we grew.

    Yet I feel as though his teaching and raising of us didn’t really have much effect. As we were bad kids, who didn’t really listen to him. Insha Allah I will be a good Muslim like him and I hope to meet him in paradise, asking him to forgive us, for there is so much I have left unsaid. There is an empty hole where you used to be, dad…

  4. An amazing man who taught me many things. If I was in the mosque and he saw me, he would always inform me of a hadith or a dua that I should read daily. May Allah grant him the highest level of Jannah.

  5. I am sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was a great man. I am curious about what you said that Muslims do not believe in charging interest. How does this affect normal banking practices in Muslim countries?

    • Economics and business have developed in such a way that most transactions revolve around banks and interest bearing transactions. Muslims too have started involving themselves in such transactions. The contemporary Scholars of Islam introduced Islamic Banking as an alternative to conventional banking, in order to prevent Muslims from being involved in interest. They have engineered such mechanisms in which the element of usury is not present and the transactions are in accordance to the rules of Shari’ah (Islamic law). However, great care should be taken in following the rules and conditions set by these scholars to avoid getting involved in interest bearing transactions.There are many Islamic Banks in the world that take great care in following the rules and conditions set by the scholars. However, there are others that do not pay heed to these conditions. As a result, their transactions are analogous to the conventional interest bearing transactions. The scholars that permit Islamic Banking have based there permission on following the terms and conditions set by the scholars. The others, who say that it is not permissible, do so due to the carelessness many banks have shown in following the conditions. Therefore, a general ruling cannot be made in regards to Islamic Banking itself; but rulings can only be made regarding the transactions of the banks after studying their contracts and procedures very carefully.Moreover, Islamic Banking prevalent worldwide is only a Shari’ah compliant version of the conventional financing products present in the world.

      Abu Yahya,
      Checked and Approved by: Mufti Ebrahim Desai
      Retrieved from the Askimam website

  6. Our grandad was truly a living role model for us all. Will be deeply missed. May Allah reunite us with him in Jannah ان شاء الله

  7. A giant human being whos loss will affect a great number of people.

    Allah swt grant them the highest highest jannah inshallah.

  8. A great inspiration of ours. Our grandad. Our role model. Dearly missed. May Allah grant him Jannatul Firdous. This article is touching and greatly written mama



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