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People the Ummah lost in 2016

Despite knowing that death is inevitable, most people are engrossed in the trappings of this worldly life and neglect to prepare adequately for the certainty of what follows – our death and ultimate reckoning. Our stay in this world is temporary and it is when we recognise this and live by this that we may be successful.

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“Remember often the destroyer of pleasures – death.”[1]

This past year we remembered the inevitable reality with reflections and motivations taken from the lives of over a dozen influential individuals whose passing shook the Ummah in 2016 and, in some cases, the world. We were inspired by the lives of some of these individuals, motivated by their successes, moved by their journeys, and amazed by their impact on the world.

The Islam21c team in particular were affected by the passing of Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad’s father, Shaikh Jawwad al-Haddad. His commitment to tarbiya; the nurturing and cultivation of people, resonated deeply with what we, as a team, strive to achieve every day. We were reminded of his characteristic enthusiasm for encouraging people towards good and learnt that, despite being in his 80s, he would regularly fast and pray in the masjid, including fajr prayers. This was a lesson for us all in proactivity and strength for worship.

His passing was soon followed by the shocking deaths of a number of pioneers and leading figures in the Muslim Ummah including that of Hafiz Patel Saheb, a pioneer of Da’wah and the UK Tabligh, and Sheikh Muhammad Ayyoub, the treasured Imām of Masjid An-Nabawi whose entire life, teachings and absolute love for the Qur’ān is an inspiration to Muslims the world over. He was a man who spent his life in service to the Book of Allāh and its teaching from his earliest days right through to his final moments, before returning to his Lord.

We have all heard of the ḥadīth of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam),

“Take benefit of five before five:

Your youth before your old age,

your health before your sickness,

your wealth before your poverty,

your free time before you are preoccupied,

and your life before your death.”[2]

In the past year we were never more reminded of this ḥadīth and never more motivated towards proactivity than with the passing of these inspiring individuals. As well as pioneers, teachers, ambassadors and leaders, they were charitable, devout worshippers and spokesmen against human injustice.

Indeed, one of the most impactful deaths of the year was of a Muslim who was a beacon of hope and an inspiration to the world. He was one of the world’s greatest boxers, sports personalities, a cultural icon and probably the most famous man on the planet – Muhammad Ali.

We have not granted everlasting life to any other human being before you either. If you die, how can they think they will live forever? Every soul is certain to taste death: We test you all through the bad and the good, and to Us will you return.[3]

Dr Izzadeen Chowdhury gave us a sobering nudge to reflect on ourselves as compared to Muhammad Ali and ask ourselves, What will you achieve with your life?

“Will your answer amount to nothing more than being a till receipt? Is the sum of your life’s achievements waking up, going to work, coming home, some telly, Salah and then sleep? You were created for so much more. Whatever anyone says about Muhammad Ali, he did something with his life.”

Though only Allāh knows the final abode, whether Paradise or Hell, of any specific person, a Muslim rejoices or is saddened by what is apparent of good action and beliefs or otherwise. Qatāda b. Rib’i reported that the Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

“…(the death of) a wicked person relieves the people, the land, the trees, (and) the animals from him.”[4]

This year, we not only witnessed the passing of inspirational figures, we were also impacted by the deaths of individuals such as President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, who was responsible for gross abuses towards human beings and excessive persecution of Muslims under the banner of preventing “Islamic fundamentalism”. Muslims rejoiced in relief and realisation that the tyrant and oppressive dictator of 27 years could no longer bring harm to the Muslims of his nation. However, his death also served as a stark warning that our lives in this world are not eternal; we will come to an end and we will stand on the Day of Resurrection only with the deeds we performed in this world in our hands.

“You who believe! Be mindful of Allāh, and let every soul consider carefully what it sends ahead for tomorrow; be mindful of Allāh for Allāh is well aware of everything you do.”[5]

In giving time to focus on these individuals, their lives, achievements, legacies and impacts on the world, we aim to reassess our own lives and realign our priorities. These individuals, along with Abdul-Sattar Edhi, Moazzam Begg’s father, Junaid Jamshed and Sheikh Muḥammad Surur b. Nayif Zayn al-ʿAbidīn were with us just over a year ago, and now they have left us and passed on to the next, eternal stage, with no chance of return. The deeds they died with are the deeds they will present on the Day of Judgement, and that which they sowed on this Earth before their end.[6]

Are we prepared for our deaths? Are you prepared?

As Shaikh Abu Rumaysah Refi Shafi wrote, when a person frequently remembers death, he will keep things in true perspective: Allāh’s good pleasure as compared to people’s pleasure, the Hereafter as compared to this world, and the wage with Allāh as compared to the wage of this world. He will internalise the reality of the next life, the desire to sin will decrease, his heart will soften and he will turn to Allāh in repentance and servitude.[7]

Scroll down below for an interactive timeline of some of those who passed away last year.

January 5, 2016

Condolences on the passing of Sh Haitham al-Haddad’s father

[Janāza details below] To Allāh we belong, and to Him we are returning. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Shaikh Haitham al-Haddad whose dear father, Shaikh Jawwad al-Haddad, passed away yesterday after breaking his fast. Here is a video message from Sheikh Haitham taken a few hours ago as…Read More

February 19, 2016

On the passing of Hafiz Patel Saheb, a pioneer of Da’wah and the UK Tabligh

“When the effort of Ḍīn is taking place, Allāh will make saints from a family of wrongdoers. And when the effort stops, Allāh will make wrongdoers from a family of saints.” Hafiz Patel (raḥimahu Allāhu) Innā lillāhi wa innā ʿilayhi rājiʿūn. Last night our prominent Jamāti Sheikh Hafiz Patel Saheb…Read More

April 16, 2016

The Passing of Sheikh Muhammad Ayyoub

It was at Fajr time this morning that I received the sad news about the passing of our beloved Sheikh Muhammad Ayyoub (raḥimahullahu taʿāla) from his son in Madīnah. He was a man who spent his life in service to the Book of Allāh and its teaching from his earliest…Read More

April 23, 2016

The Life of Sh Muhammad Ayyub

CLICK ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO   Also read, The Passing of Sheikh Muhammad Ayyub here Support Islam21c in 1 min. Choose your donation:*SingleMonthly DonationA Single Donation*£30£50£100OtherOther amount* A Monthly Donation*£5£25£50OtherOther amount* Helps complete development and release our brand new website where all the above happensHelps run National Khutbah days with…Read More

June 11, 2016

Muhammad Ali’s Secret to Success

Muhammad Ali, one of the world’s greatest boxers, sports personality; cultural icon and probably the most famous man on the planet will be acutely missed. May Allah (subhanahu wa taʿala) forgive his sins and raise him up among the righteous in Jannat-ul-Firdaus. Having followed his career since I was a…Read More

June 20, 2016

What will you achieve with your life?

Regrets gather around us like books we wish we’d read. One day a book other than the Qur’an will become most critical to us. On the day of standing, there will be a moment when the books will fly into our hands. It will be a moment when anxiety will…Read More

July 8, 2016

Abdul Sattar Edhi Returns to His Lord

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) famously said, “The best of people are the most beneficial to people.”[1] The ummah and the world at large today has lost one of its most beneficial and influential people, as Abdul Sattar Edhi (rahimahullah) passed away at the age of 88.[2] We send…Read More

August 29, 2016

Condolences on the passing of Moazzam Begg’s father

Innā lillāhi wa innā ʿilayhi rājiʿūn. Indeed, to Allāh we belong, and to Him we are returning. We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Moazzam Begg whose father, Azmat Begg, passed away this Saturday morning. This is surely a difficult time for the Begg family and their loved…Read More

September 5, 2016

How to react to the death of President Karimov

Qatāda b. Rib’i reported that the Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “…(the death of) a wicked person relieves the people, the land, the trees, (and) the animals from him.”[1] President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, who was responsible for gross abuses towards human beings and excessive persecution of Muslims…Read More

November 14, 2016

The loss of a leading figure in Islamic revival, Muḥammad Surur b. Nayif Zayn al-ʿAbidīn

On Friday 11 Safar 1438, which coincides with 11th November 2016, the Muslim Ummah lost one of its unique Islamic scholars and thinkers. Sheikh Muḥammad Surur b. Nayif Zayn al-ʿAbidīn, may Allāh shower him with His immense mercy, passed away in Qatar at the age of 78. He is best…Read More

December 8, 2016

Condolences and Reflections on the passing of Junaid Jamshed

In the early hours of Wednesday 8th December 2016, corresponding to the 8th  Rabi al-Awwal 1438, the Islamabad-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-661 crashed in the Havelian area, 70km north of Islamabad. All 48 people on board were killed. The world was soon to learn that the prominent Dā’ī…Read More

Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] Abū Huraira (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) reports in At-Tirmidhi Book 1, Hadith 579

[2] Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim

[3] Al-Qur’ān, 21:34-35

[4] Hadīth: Saḥīḥ Bukhārī and Muslim

[5] Al-Qur’ān, 59:18

[6] The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); knowledge which is beneficial; or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (the deceased).” [Sahih Muslim]

[7] https://www.islam21c.com/theology/death-no-one-can-escape/

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  1. SALAM ALAYKOM. What is this? Someone is asking for Nimr which insult ASSAHABA RADHIA ALAH ANHOM?????? then excuse me, Sorur is an Ikhwani kharidjite not sunni, and Dawah Tabligh are Soufi spreading soufisme not true ISLAM nor SUNNAH………….!!!!!!!!!!

  2. May Allah grant rehmah and peace upon the righteous souls who have passed.

  3. Trying to understand the point of this article (a “Muslim” alternative just for the sake of it -??)… especially as the passing of any female would not seem to constitute “People the Ummah Lost”.


  4. On the problem of the Russian mafia politicians spreading terrorism & nazism across the world, I think it is worth saying a few words…… Islam is the solution.

  5. Indeed the Muslim Ummah has many heroes, champions and great personalities who have engaged fully to establish a civilised world. God knows each and every one of them. I would like to congratulate the Muslims for being at the forefront of the human race and the struggle to establish civilisation, and for them not being impressed a jot by those chasing small ideas, guesswork, vanities, gossip & innuendo. I commend Islam to the world, even as the likes of Lauren Booth, Sarah Joseph, Batool al-Toma, Dawud Pidcock, Daud Talbot, Daud Mathews, Yusuf Islam discovered that Islam represents the best chance for the world to establish civilisation, peace, security & prosperity.

    “You (Muslims) are the best people raised up for humanity/ civilisation; You promote/ advocate for the truth/ goodness, and you challenge the iniquity/ injustice. And as well as that you believe in God.” Quran( )

  6. Nazeer Ataullah

    2:141. That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned, and you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do.

  7. You lot forgot to mention Amjad Sabri.

  8. You lot forgot to mention Amjad Sabri from Pakistan who was murdered. He was also a famous Muslim.

  9. Salamalaikum

    Where’s Sheikh al Nimr?

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