السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
It’s Monday 1st of June 2020. Today I want to present an obituary of a wonderful friend of 17 years, who left this world a few days ago.
As part of my charity work, I arrived in Aḥmedābād in the Gujarāt State of India, in March 2003. At the Sardār Vallabhai Patel Airport, my colleague Mawlānā Us̱mān Ganī and I were welcomed by officials of The Gujarāt Sarvajānik Welfare Trust (GSWT), an NGO formed in 2001 to assist victims of the devastating earthquake that struck the Kutch District (Gujarāt, India).
This was our first meeting with them, one of whom was Hāji ꜤUmar Ghulām Ḥusayn Manṣūri. Within minutes of meeting Hāji ꜤUmar and his colleagues, it was as if we had known each other a very long time; we all connected so well with each other. We departed for Kutch, a 5 hour drive from Aḥmedābād, directly from the airport.
Ever since that first meeting in 2003, Hāji ꜤUmar had a very special place in my heart. A very silent, reserved person who spoke only when necessary, who had spent his life in the field of Tablīgh, and dedicated his voluntary time to the service of humanity all over India مَا شَآءَ الله. He was one of the first to go to Bacchau in Bhuj (Kutch) to assist the victims of the 2001 earthquake.
Ever since then, he worked tirelessly for the betterment of humanity. He was a founder trustee of the GSWT, and for the last 8 years, its president. Hāji ꜤUmar was appointed as the Amīr of the tents which hosted and housed the scholars, at the Tablīghī Ijhtimā in Aḥmedābād. He was full of wisdom, very silent in nature, never aggressive. Whatever responsibilities were given to him, he would fulfil perfectly.
Since 2003, I must have visited India about 7 times, and had the pleasure of travelling with Hāji ꜤUmar on a number of occasions. He was very special, softly spoken, with a beautiful character, always smiling and cheerful. As the coronavirus started to grip India, Aḥmedābād was very severely affected. The majority of our GSWT team contracted the virus.
It was the second week of Ramaḍān and we were distributing our Iftār Packs. There were a few hundred left to distribute, and many colleagues fell ill with Covid. Hāji ꜤUmar came to the rescue, taking over the running of the operation, with full PPE and social distancing. I was advising him on the phone daily not to take risks in distributing the remaining Iftār Packs.
He assured me that he was well and that all precautions were being taken as per government guidelines. His wish was to provide food to as many people as possible. A week after the final distribution, Hāji ꜤUmar fell ill, and after spending around 2 weeks in hospital, on Wednesday 27th May, left this world to meet his Creator. إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ. Hāji ꜤUmar leaves behind his wife, one son, who graduated from his 5 year ꜤĀlim course at Nadawatul ꜤUlamā (UP) and returned home only this year, and 2 married daughters.
Some of the GSWT staff were affected very seriously and hospitalised. All recovered مَا شَآءَ الله, except Hāji ꜤUmar, who didn’t return from the hospital. Almighty Allāh convert Hāji ꜤUmar’s resting place into a Garden of Jannat ul-Firdaus and bless his family and associates with Ṣabr Jamīl, Āmeen.
A huge loss to the GSWT, a huge loss to us at the MWI, and a huge loss to me as a very close friend. Hāji ꜤUmar was 62 years old. A humble request to recite Sūrah al-Ikhlās thrice for Hāji ꜤUmar Ghulām Ḥusayn Manṣūri and all Marḥūmīn.
It was Fajr time, in Ramaḍān 2017, when we met in al-Masjid an-Nabawī صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, in Madīnah al-Munawwarah, سُبْحَانَ الله. Little did I know that this was to be my last meeting with Hāji ꜤUmar. What a beautiful place to meet, the Jannat of this world.
Almighty Allāh make us meet again in Jannat ul-Firdaus Āmeen.
جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
Request for DuꜤās
وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala