Fuad Abu Bakr, the son of the late leader of the Jamaat al Muslimeen Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, says he is optimistic that a new leader for the organisation can be found soon, but noted that there was a serious responsibility attached to the position.
The elder Bakr died of a heart attack at the St James Infirmary on Thursday night. He was 80-years-old.
Speaking with Newsday on Saturday, Bakr said while the search for his father's successor is still underway he noted that it was a role the next leader should take seriously.
Asked if he would be willing to take up the mantle of leadership, Bakr said, "In our religion we believe whoever wants the title of leadership the most, is usually the most undeserving."
Bakr once served as the organisation's public relations officer until he was removed in 2020. He no longer holds any position in the Jamaat.
He said that while the selection process continued, the operations of the organisation were on "autopilot" with senior members overseeing its management.
Bakr added that prospective candidates should also consider the responsibilities required of a leader and dedicate themselves to the position.
"I think a lot of people see leadership only for the perks and benefits for themselves instead of the duties and responsibilities. I have had firsthand experience with my father seeing the tremendous responsibility, stress, long days and long nights.
"Although my father would have been featured prominently as the leader, throughout the organisation's history there would have been tireless contributions from many members whose names weren't as well known, so there is still that level of support in the organisation.
"We understand the foundation on which our community was built and the vision and mission of our entity so it shouldn't be difficult to find a leader within the soonest time."
Asked if he feels the vision of the organisation would change under new leadership, Bakr said while times have changed, the need for spiritual guidance remains the same and felt it would be best to stay true to the Jamaat's original principles.