May 03, 2020

The former Jamaat-Islami Ameer Sayyed Ahmad passed away. By Dr SLM RIFAI. London I am shocked and sadden to hear the death of our beloved former Ameer of Sri Lankan Jamath-Islami. I am fortunate enough to meet him many times in life. His primary education was Watiyathanna primary school and Darga town Muaiyid of Islam Arabic college. His secondary education was at al-Hamra school and Matala Zahira college. He was active in social works since his school days. He begun to write to local newspapers since his school days. He translated some late Muhammad Ali Jinna’s articles from Dawn newspapers into Tamil language magazine in those days. He worked as a chief editor for a Monthly news (Guidance) magazine published by Jamathe-Islami in those days. Moreover, he was appointed as a Sri Lankan parliament translator in 1990. He was promoted for the post of senior translator in 2000. He has also worked as a visiting lecturer at open university, Sri Lanka for sometimes. He completed his successfully complete his postgraduate diploma in 1992 from the open university of Sri Lanka. Moreover, he was appointed as chairperson of Kegalle Muslim teacher’s union and contacted some seminars. He also worked as a publishing editor for an annual magazine published by Attalachanai teacher training college in 1963. Additionally, he wrote a book about foreign influence in Tamil language. This book was published by NIE. Moreover, he wrote another book about Muslim scholars who contributed to Islamic dawa work in Sinhalese language. Likewise, he has translated some books from Tamil into Sinhalese. S.M Haniffa’ the noble prophet has been translated by late Marhoom, Sayyid Ahmad as “Uthum Nabi” in Sinhalese language. Besides, he translated another book into Sinhalese language about supplication. Furthermore, he translated S, M. Hanifa’s book (The great son of the Hill Country) into Tamil. Likewise, he contributed for many discussions on Islam in SLBC and Rupavanihi programs. (M. I. M Ameen, pp. 243-245) The late Marhoom Sayyid Ahmad has been an active social worker, translator, journalist and Islamic dawa worker. He dedicated entire his life for Islamic dawa work. I still remember some of his Qur’an classes in 1980’s. In fact, he was one of the pioneers to introduce Jamathe-Islami into Sri Lanka. Some of our Sri Lankan Muslim brothers came to know about Jamathe-activities through writings of Maulana Maududi and other Islamic reformists in late 1940s’and 1950’s. It is reported that Jamathe-Islam was first introduced into Sri Lanka by South Indian brother M. A. C Jailani who visited Sri Lanka in 1954 to introduce the Tamil translation of holy Qur’an by late Abdul Hamid Bakawi. The Muslim league had organised a meeting to welcome Mr Jailani to introduce the holy Qur’an translation. It was Marhoom Sayyed Ahmad who welcomed the Indian guest and organised some Qur’an classes in Combo. Moreover, he became a member of Jamathe-Islami in 1954 and contacted Qur’an classes in his home village. Since then he engaged in dawa work until his last breath. It is a divine blessing to work for Islam since 1954 until his death. Initially, his local mosque administration did not accept his reformative ideas. So, they named him as a troublemaker. So, the mosque administration decided to consult some senior Alims in the areas. The late Marhoom O.L.M Ibrahim Alim and his brother Marhoom Abdul Latiff Alim were invited by mosque administration for a meeting to question the late Marhoom Sayyed Ahmad. After a series of questions, these two senior Alims found no fault in the reformative ideas of the late Marhoom Sayyed Ahmad. Against the wishes of the Mosque committee, two respected senior Alim gave their verdict in support of the late Marhoom Sayyed Ahmad. This created some tension between the mosque committee and late Marhoom Sayyed Ahamed. (Ibid, p164). Thus, Marhoom Sayyed Ahamed has been one of pioneers to introduce Islamic dawa work into Sri Lanka. In those days, mystical and Sufi influence was widespread nationwide in Sri Lanka and it has been difficult to preach any moderate Islamic ideas in those days. Ulama of different camps opposed new moderate Islamic ideas in those days. I heard from him personally that those days, it had been very difficult to have Qur’an classes in the mosques in our areas. People who were influenced by mystical thought, opposed his Qur’an classes. Many times, he encountered problem for teaching the holy Qur’an in mosques. Yet, with all this opposition, he managed to form a group of people in our area to contact Qur’an in our areas. His effort did not go in vain. Today, jamaat e-Islami- has well established Islamic movement in Sri Lanka. I am really inspired with his strong faith and firm conviction what Islamic dawa work. He dreamed to see Islamic way of life in his life. He is a man of principles and sincerity. He lived by Islam and for Islam. He did not compromise his faith for anything. He is an exemplary person in his personal and community life. Above all, he is a simple and humble man. Moderation in his thought and softness in his voice are two chrematistics that I noticed in him. It is fascinating to see how see how Islamic movement create great personalities even in a non-Muslim social environment like that of ours. May Allah reward him with jennath-al-Firdous. He is survived with his wife and three children. The funeral will take place in Madubowa graveyard. Due to the prevailing corona virus pandemic inshallah limited people will attend the funeral Reference: M.I. M Ameen, History of Hemmathagama Muslims and their life. Published by M. I.M Ameen. 2012. Sri Lanka.

By Dr SLM RIFAI. London  

           I am shocked and sadden to hear the death of our beloved former Ameer of Sri Lankan Jamath-Islami. I am fortunate enough to meet him many times in life. His primary education was Watiyathanna primary school and Darga town Muaiyid of Islam Arabic college. His secondary education was at al-Hamra school and Matala Zahira college. He was active in social works since his school days. He begun to write to local newspapers since his school days. He translated some late Muhammad Ali Jinna’s articles from Dawn newspapers into Tamil language magazine in those days. He worked as a chief editor for a Monthly news (Guidance) magazine published by Jamathe-Islami in those days. Moreover, he was appointed as a Sri Lankan parliament translator in 1990. He was promoted for the post of senior translator in 2000.

           He has also worked as a visiting lecturer at open university, Sri Lanka for sometimes. He completed his successfully complete his postgraduate diploma in 1992 from the open university of Sri Lanka.  Moreover, he was appointed as chairperson of Kegalle Muslim teacher’s union and contacted some seminars. He also worked as a publishing editor for an annual magazine published by Attalachanai teacher training college in 1963. Additionally, he wrote a book about foreign influence in Tamil language. This book was published by NIE. Moreover, he wrote another book about Muslim scholars who contributed to Islamic dawa work in Sinhalese language. Likewise, he has translated some books from Tamil into Sinhalese. S.M Haniffa’ the noble prophet has been translated by late Marhoom, Sayyid Ahmad as “Uthum Nabi” in Sinhalese language. Besides, he translated another book into Sinhalese language about supplication. Furthermore, he translated S, M. Hanifa’s book (The great son of the Hill Country) into Tamil. Likewise, he contributed for many discussions on Islam in SLBC and Rupavanihi programs. (M. I. M Ameen, pp. 243-245) The late Marhoom Sayyid Ahmad has been an active social worker, translator, journalist and Islamic dawa worker. He dedicated entire his life for Islamic dawa work. 

           I still remember some of his Qur’an classes in 1980’s.  In fact, he was one of the pioneers to introduce Jamathe-Islami into Sri Lanka. Some of our Sri Lankan Muslim brothers came to know about Jamathe-activities through writings of Maulana Maududi and other Islamic reformists in late 1940s’and 1950’s. It is reported that Jamathe-Islam was first introduced into Sri Lanka by South Indian brother M. A. C Jailani who visited Sri Lanka in 1954 to introduce the Tamil translation of holy Qur’an by late Abdul Hamid Bakawi. The Muslim league had organised a meeting to welcome Mr Jailani to introduce the holy Qur’an translation. It was Marhoom Sayyed Ahmad who welcomed the Indian guest and organised some Qur’an classes in Combo. Moreover, he became a member of Jamathe-Islami in 1954 and contacted Qur’an classes in his home village. Since then he engaged in dawa work until his last breath. It is a divine blessing to work for Islam since 1954 until his death. Initially, his local mosque administration did not accept his reformative ideas. So, they named him as a troublemaker. So, the mosque administration decided to consult some senior Alims in the areas. The late Marhoom O.L.M Ibrahim Alim and his brother Marhoom Abdul Latiff Alim were invited by mosque administration for a meeting to question the late Marhoom Sayyed Ahmad. After a series of questions, these two senior Alims found no fault in the reformative ideas of the late Marhoom Sayyed Ahmad.  Against the wishes of the Mosque committee, two respected senior Alim gave their verdict in support of the late Marhoom Sayyed Ahmad. This created some tension between the mosque committee and late Marhoom Sayyed Ahamed. (Ibid, p164).  Thus, Marhoom Sayyed Ahamed has been one of pioneers to introduce Islamic dawa work into Sri Lanka. 

            In those days, mystical and Sufi influence was widespread nationwide in Sri Lanka and it has been difficult to preach any moderate Islamic ideas in those days. Ulama of different camps opposed new moderate Islamic ideas in those days.  I heard from him personally that those days, it had been very difficult to have Qur’an classes in the mosques in our areas.  People who were influenced by mystical thought, opposed his Qur’an classes. Many times, he encountered problem for teaching the holy Qur’an in mosques. Yet, with all this opposition, he managed to form a group of people in our area to contact Qur’an in our areas. His effort did not go in vain. Today, jamaat e-Islami- has well established Islamic movement in Sri Lanka. I am really inspired with his strong faith and firm conviction what Islamic dawa work. He dreamed to see Islamic way of life in his life. He is a man of principles and sincerity. He lived by Islam and for Islam. He did not compromise his faith for anything. He is an exemplary person in his personal and community life. Above all, he is a simple and humble man. Moderation in his thought and softness in his voice are two chrematistics that I noticed in him. It is fascinating to see how see how Islamic movement create great personalities even in a non-Muslim social environment like that of ours. May Allah reward him with jennath-al-Firdous. He is survived with his wife and three children. The funeral will take place in Madubowa graveyard. Due to the prevailing corona virus pandemic inshallah limited people will attend the funeral

Reference: M.I. M Ameen, History of Hemmathagama Muslims and their life. Published by M. I.M Ameen. 2012. Sri Lanka.  

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