Friday, July 26, 2013
Obituary: Molana Abdul Majid
The Janaza funeral prayers took place at the East London Mosque, London Muslim Centre, Maryam Centre. On a sizzling hot summer day all three centres were packed to the rafters as visitors paying their last respects came in their throngs to join the regular worshippers.
During his life Molana Abdul Majid, a teacher and community activist inspired a whole generation. He was an intelligent man, articulate, charismatic, full of reason, questions, answers and constant problem solving. An Imam of London Markazi Masjid, his academic background in Bangladesh had ensured a dedicated and regimental approach to teaching although his lessons and speeches were easygoing going and always laden with interesting facts and trivia.
Molana Abdul Majid's analysis of everyday matters and issues was second to none and he possessed teaching methods and techniques that were ahead of his time. He loved sowing seeds and looking back I say that he nurtured his students effortlessly.
For example when I was a youngster he once gave our class advice about respecting our elders and adapted it to fit into our own lives. "If say you are on your bike, and an adult walks past, a neighbour, parents or teachers, if you're not busy then you should stop, greet and talk to them," he said. "You will find this act of great benefit to you all."
It taught us the importance of communication. From that day I always stopped whenever I saw him, no matter how busy I was, be it whilst walking, or the way to Tower Bridge on a training run or even riding a bike.
Throughout his life on the Berner Estate Molana Abdul Majid worked with many complex and colourful characters and personalities. He was a familiar face in the neighbourhood talking to absolutely everyone and never missed prayers in congregation. It was common to see him trudging along to the Mosque on dark and bitterly cold mornings and nights. He campaigned for Halal food to be served in schools, lobbied governors to provide Wudu facilities in secondary schools and was a founding member of Madani Girls School in Whitechapel. The zebra crossing in Cannon Street Road came about as a result of his lobbying.
In his summing speech next to his graveyard Molana Ashraf said: "Molana Abdul Majid was an example of how a person should lead their life. He was humble and always very dedicated to his community. If we can achieve a little of what he did then we would be lucky people.”
Molana Abdul Majid was a tireless activist and an inspiration. As the Editor and publisher of Pattya Publishing, he authored several books on Islamic development and diverse matters of jurisprudence.
His Ahsan Qaida with the trademark yellow cover was produced expertly before the pre digital age and thoroughly covered the tenets of Quranic Tajweed. In fact Ahsanul Qawaid continues to be one of the more popular teaching aids in the market. It was apt that many of those he taught to read the Quran with such dedication completed recitations and prayers at his graveside before departing.
Many of our local Imams, Muftis, activists, politicians and celebrities were taught by this rare diamond - a man who worked to change the community from the bottom up and not the top down, one who was equally at ease talking to the Mayor or Joe Bloggs on the street.
On a personal level I used to meet him for short chats, on the way home from the Mosque and he always expressed great pride at how my writing and community activities were progressing. When my eldest was ready to commence Quranic studies I scrutinised the abilities of the best local teachers in order approach them to teach my son. Without much hesitation I discussed it with my family and concluded that Molana Abdul Majid was by far the best candidate. His rapport with young people was excellent and his grass roots foundation level teaching was second to none.
I thus sought an audience and made my humble request to the one with the trademark red Keffiyeh scarf and Miswak toothstick. . To my great disappointment the offer was politely declined and he cited his ill health as a barrier and the reason why he had stopped teaching a few years back. I was thrilled when he told me that he was pleased with the meticulous effort that we were putting in to find a teacher for my son and rubber stamped it all by requesting that I let him know who would by now my second choice teacher so that he himself may recruit him to teach his young son.
We have lost someone who dearly loved his community and its people. He is a great loss and I pray that he is granted the best Allah has to offer in the hereafter.
I'm grateful to have been one of those who laid him to rest today. I'm grateful to have met and learnt so much from him.
May Allah have mercy on him.
Molana Abdul Majid
Charismatic yet gritty
Beacon of the community
His loss leaves our landscape grim
So many were taught the Quran
By this humble and wise man
The fruits of Firdaus await him
Posted by Number 7 at 20:55