The Messenger of Allah ﷺ 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]

Needless to say all such deeds have to be done with sincerity (ikhlas) in seeking the pleasure of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Only when they are done to earn Allah’s pleasure will they be rewarded by Him.

“No matter what your physical appearance, when you have kindness in your heart you’re the most beautiful person in the world”

Mufti Menk

“To Allah we belong, and to Him we shall return”

Sheikh Fehmi Naji – El-Imam – 1928 - 2016

 

There are only a select few of Allah’s creation who can touch the lives of so many, so gently and so warmly with advice, and sincere counsel and leave a lasting impression, such a person was our beloved, His Eminence, Sheikh Fehmi Naji El Imam. (May Allah Grant him Janatal Ferdous)

 

Sheikh Fehmi began his tireless work for the Muslim community soon after his arrival in Melbourne in 1951. Sheikh Fehmi was instrumental in establishing the Preston Mosque in Melbourne; a national body – Australian Federation of Islamic Societies – presently Muslims Australia AFIC and the Victorian Board of Imams, to name just a few.

 

Sheikh Fehmi’s foresight and commitment to establish a proud, functional, productive community within Islamic guidelines and within Australian law stands as an exemplary achievement of a determined Muslim in a new country. His lifelong vision of an Australian Muslim identity culminated in the recognition of Sheikh Fehmi as one of the most revered, venerated and respected Muslim leaders in Australia.

 

The Sheikh’s warm smile and deep blue eyes lifted his audience as soon as he walked in a room. His words encouraged young and old to “do your best with the ability Allah has given you, for your self, for your family, for your community and for your country – Australia”

 

Sheikh Fehmi, the second Mufti of Australia leaves a legacy as one of the pioneers of Islamic services and multi faith dialogue in Australia . In recognition of his services to Australia, Sh. Fehmi was awarded the Order of Australia medal.

 

The former Victorian Governor Sir James Gobbo in his tribute to our beloved Sheik Fehmi, said , “you cannot imagine a multicultural, multiethnic society without imagining a multi-faith society.”

Br Saleh Parkar will be remembered for his tireless service to the Muslim community. As a lawyer in Tasmania he spent much of his time between his legal service and serving the Tasmanian Muslim community. Br Saleh Parkar was one of the founding members of the Tasmanian Muslim Association which was incorporated in 1976 and is a constituent of AFIC .

 

In 1993 Br Saleh Parkar was awarded an OAM for his services to the Tasmanian community.

 

Br Parkar was also one of the foundation members of AFIC and continued to provide legal services to AFIC for many years.

 

Br Saleh Parkar will be remembered for his contribution to the Muslim and wider community, for his gentle nature, friendly disposition and his willingness to provide services for the community.

 

May Allah swt forgive Br Saleh Parkar and grant him a Janatal ferdous

Sr Siti Mariam Abdullah Kawi was one of the founding members of Christmas Island Islamic Council and served as Chairman for many years. Sr Mariam was part of the AFIC Committee for many years. Her wealth of experience in education, advocacy in social justice and empowerment for women are legendary.

 

Sr Mariam will be remembered for her dedication and service to community work. Sr Mariam received the Bicentennial Medal in 2003 and in 2009 Sr Mariam was awarded the honour OAM in Perth for her many years of devotion and services to the community.

 

Above all she will be remembered as a compassionate, amiable, gentle personality eager to lend a hand.

 

May Allah SWT accept her deeds and grant her Janatal Ferdous.

Dr Mohammad Ali Wang played a key role as one of the foundation members of AFIC and a very active President of the national Islamic body.

 

Dr Mohammed Ali Wang’s father was an Islamic scholar and Imam in Peking and left to settle in Pakistan during the communist uprising. Dr Wang completed his medical degree in Pakistan before the family migrated to Sydney in the early 1970s.

 

Dr Wang was the first Chairman of Islamic Council of NSW, President of AFIC from 1978-1982 .

 

Dr Wang’s focus on mentoring youth and leadership training remains a powerful vision of the Federation . His legacy remains the very popular and successful AFIC Youth Camps that featured prominently during the late 1970’s 1980’s.

 

To this day our community leaders who participated in the AFIC Youth Camps, recall the outstanding examples set by their mentors - Dr Mohammed Ali Wang and Sheikh Fehmi.

 

May Allah accept his efforts and work for the community and grant him Janatal Ferdous.

Dr El Erian will be remembered as an eminent Islamic Scholar and former President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils Inc. (1984-88).

 

Dr El-Erian was born in Cairo on 28 December 1917 into a family of scholars and diplomats. He showed early signs of his brilliance when he memorised the holy Quran by the age of nine. He completed a B.A. degree in English literature from Cairo University in 1939 and continued postgraduate studies at Oxford University in U.K. (M.A. in English literature) and Colombia University in USA where he received his PhD degree in Education in 1952.

 

He worked at the UN headquarters in New York for a while before returning to Cairo to take up an academic position. He held the position of Professor of Education and Head of Department at Ein Shams University in Cairo until 1963 when his overseas assignments with UNESCO as an expert in education took him to various universities of Miami. He migrated to Australia in 1970 and accepted a challenging position to be the Head of Department of Cultural Studies and Civilisation at the then Goulburn College of Advanced Education. He held this position until 1980.

 

It was during his tenure at the Goulburn CAE that Dr El-Erian organised a number of international conferences which introduced Islam to the Australian public at a high intellectual level. In 1984, Dr El-Erian became the President of AFIC and held this position for four years during a very difficult period in the history of AFIC. Despite his advancing years and health problems he did his best to establish AFIC as an effective voice of the Australian Muslims. He also represented the Muslims on the Aboriginal Reconciliation Council. The Federal Government in 1989 awarded him the “Order of Australia” in recognition of his services to the Muslim community and multicultural Australia.

 

Of all the facets of Dr El-Erian’s genius, it was in his human and personal relationship that one felt the strongest impact. The force of his personality was such that whether you met him once, or you were his close friend or colleague, you were deeply touched by his mystical wisdom, intelligence, witty language, warmth and caring nature. He lived a decent life guided by the Islamic principles of compassion, tolerance, and justice and peace for all. He exemplified these principles in his daily life and in his work and relationship.

 

Dr El-Erian was regarded by many as their spiritual father and those who were privileged to be associated with this great man will always cherish his memory. May Allah grant him a place in paradise in the company of His chosen ones! Ameen

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