THE Muslim community has lost the longest-serving president of the Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA), Haji Yacoob Ali.
Ali, who had been admitted to both the Point Fortin and Augustus Long Hospitals, died on Tuesday night at the Couva Hospital, where he was being treated for covid19.
A private funeral is scheduled to take place today at the Cunupia funeral home at 12.30 pm, after which he will be buried at the Paradise Cemetery, San Fernando.
Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Haji Kazim Hosein said Ali was a spiritual leader and mentor in the Muslim faith who was known by many for his decades of service to the community at all levels of social interaction.
“He will be remembered for his wisdom and guidance in all matters of Islam. He was always willing to help others in need and did so wholeheartedly and generously. He lived his life in worship to Almighty Allah (swt) and was a role model to Muslim brothers and sisters across TT.
“It is with a heavy heart that I express my deepest condolences on his passing.
Inna lilahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon (To the Almighty we belong and to Him we return),” Hosein said in a statement.
“May Almighty Allah (swt) grant your family, friends and loved ones strength and comfort just as he has granted you final rest.”
President of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) Dr Deokinanan Sharma and the NCIC board also expressed deep sadness on the passing of the president of the single largest Muslim body in the Caribbean and South America.
“Brother Yacoob will be remembered as a very successful businessman. His humanitarian work knew no boundaries.
“As a friend of our organisation he attended most of our event in particular our annual Divali Nagar celebrations,” NCIC PRO Surujdeo Mangaroo said in a release.
“May Almighty Allah expand his grave and give him eternal peace. Allah is always merciful towards people who believe in him.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said, “Haji Yacoob Ali was a man of impeccable character and a true patriot. He dedicated many years of his life towards building the ASJA and ensuring its capacity to fulfil its role in the national community.
“In addition, Haji Ali focused on tremendous outreach to lift many members of the society out of poverty and social distress.
“The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said when a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).
“Haji Ali will no doubt be remembered for his many good deeds, kindness and generosity.
“I join in extending heartfelt condolences to the members of his family, the ASJA and the wider Muslim community and to the thousands of lives he has touched during his many years of yeoman service.
“May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) have mercy on him and grant him