Everyone dies but not everyone truly lives. He was a teacher to many of us, a true mentor and educator, and a father figure to the entire community. His iconic smile and his soft demeanor, his loving support for many communities, his reconciliatory role in many conflicts, will be sorely missed.
He was born in 1930 in Sialkot, Pakistan and became a lawyer by profession. He emigrated first to the United Kingdom and then to the United States. In all of the three countries he lived, he became a pioneer in Islamic work. Ever since he met the late Shaykh Abū al-Aʿlā Mawdūdī—with whom he associated himself until the day he died in 1979—he dedicated himself to serving the cause of Islām. He was instrumental in the establishment of many of the largest Islamic centers across the tristate area. He tirelessly traveled the country for the sake of daʿwah, at a time when it was not popular to do so. He was the first to deliver English lectures on Islām in a number of college campuses. With his tafsīr books in hand, he traveled from home to home, city to city, college to college campus and halaqah to halaqah, to deliver Qurʾānic lessons and call people to the Qurʾānic way. He was a major figure in ICNA, the national organization that he loved and supported.
Communities, masājid and Imāms across America will have fond memories of him.
Let us be sad only for ourselves. As for our dear departed soul, what a fortunate life he lead, of steadfastness and consistency, until his very last days. Even days before he passed, in his last moments of consciousness, I would visit him and he had nothing but duʿāʾ on his tired lips for me, asking Allah to shower his blessings upon me and give me a good ending, with his ever fading but still iconic smile.
Let our uncle Bashir have the bashārah (glad tidings) of a good end O Allah!
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّـهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ
Those who say “Allah is our Lord” and then remain steadfast, upon them descend angels (and say): “Do not fear nor grieve, and receive good tidings of Paradise which you were promised. [41:30]