Imam Najjar Passes away
By Dr Basheer A Khan

 

 Most of us will be missing the towering personality of Imam Najjar, when we go to ISOC on Friday or Sunday. He was a giant of ISOC with a face that glowed with the innocence of a child when he met anybody and everybody with a smile.

Alas this father figure of ISOC left us forever on October 12 th , 2010 to his eternal abode. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon.

There was a big congregation to bid him farewell at his funeral prayer at ISOC, and for his burial at Westminster Cemetery. This symbol of unity of community who had his admirers from every part of the globe was buried alongside his Shia brother who was also buried at the same time. I hope and pray that the two new neighbors will thrash out and bury the minor differences which are there between Sunnis and Shias making us that Ummathe Wahida which Nabi SA had left.

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi eulogized him and praised him for his voluntary service to ISOC for several decades. Referring to a verse from the Qur’an, Dr. Siddiqi hoped and prayed that Dr Najjar was a contented soul who met his Lord in a condition that he was pleased with Allah and Allah in turn was pleased with him. He gave his life to the One Who had given it to him and which he lived actively and usefully for nearly eight decades after a brief illness. Dr. Siddiqi rightly said that the demise of Imam Najjar was a personal loss to all of us and we all needed to condole each other on the loss. His role in acquisition of the two houses at the corner of Kerry and 11 th street and designing and executing the dome of the mosque was specially remembered. Countless hours of voluntary service in counseling and conducting various services for the community were also remembered on the occasion.

My encounter with Imam Najjar might not have lasted for more than four to five hours since I came to California in 1990, but each one of them has left a lasting impression of his personality on me and therefore I feel it to be a personal loss for me.  When I was disturbed at some problems that were endangering ISOC in the early nineties, he hugged me and said: Don’t worry Doctor Basheer. We will overcome these problems and will build a beautiful mosque here. I remember how happy he was when the new ISOC mosque was inaugurated in 2001. He was a visionary and a worker who had the courage and energy to work with all to translate his dream into reality. Ever since the inauguration of the mosque he had spent countless hours in decorating it. He was a person who used to thank people several times in the same breath for every little favor done to him so much so that the one who did the favor would feel embarrassed at the tons of gratitude for an ounce of favor.  Humility was his hallmark. He not only said these Hadith in his sermons but also practiced them: Meeting your brother with a smile is charity, and one who is not thankful to people for their favors can never be grateful to Almighty Allah. May Allah bless his soul and grant him Jannatul Firdous. Amen.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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