Tribute to my friend, Mohamed Amra (RA)

Ismail Kamdar

Channel: Ismail Kamdar

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And we will try and get to as many of them as possible.

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So, I'd like to welcome you all to a very special program this afternoon. It's a tribute to show to my home uncle Mohammed Umrah.

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You know, I don't want to speak too much in introducing him because we've got various guests on the show, all of whom will give a little bit of an introduction into his life and into their relationship with him.

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Even though I knew him only for a short time, I want to say what an impact he had on my life. This was really such a rewarding relationship. I learned so much from him, and I found him to be very inspirational on so many levels. We as Muslims and South Africans are grieving we have lost a great leader today.

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I could spend all the time in this hour relating stories about how his influence has helped me personally and I'm how I'm sure he will continue I will continue to be impacted by his wisdom. Just for me to say though, that I will always remember his warm smile and his charming yet humble personality above all.

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We do have a very full show with an excellent lineup of guests that we will either call or connect with via video, and we're going to get started shortly. Before we begin though, I would like to thank Salaam media for this opportunity. When Ponti by the producer called me with the idea and requested I assist with the hosting. I was simultaneously honored said and and humbled. I pray Allah guide me to be able to do justice to the task at hand today.

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So without further ado, we'd like to get our first guest on we will be connecting with a chef his smile candor. He will be joining us via video Assalamualaikum chef Ismail it's a pleasure and an honor to meet you. And to be chatting with you today

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are requested our microwave marchetto How are you? Alhamdulillah I'm very well. shukran. Pro chef smile candor is the fatigue at Suleyman, Logan Auditorium in Kenilworth at the Marion diesel Town Center, am I right? Yes, that's correct. And I believe I believe there was a relationship in the starting of this madressa here. So if you can, please just give us a little background as to what the relationship was between you and Uncle Mohammed and how you work together on this project.

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Okay, so behind so called Mohammed ambra is like,

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to me, he was like a friend and a father figure and a mentor all in one actually only knew him for the past four years. But in those four years, I think almost all of the Islamic work I've done was through him. He organized my Holocaust. He organized my tumor footpaths, he printed my books and published them. He was amazed with just getting started, you know, I mean, a lot of times you won't have good ideas. But uncle Muhammad was someone who when he had an idea he would put it into action immediately. Just to give you one story related to what you asked about.

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Last year during the lockdown for started, you know, we went to those few months where we didn't have Juma and we were really feeling it. You don't know what you're up for a few months. So one Thursday, Uncle Muhammad messaged me and he asked me, Why don't we have Juma at the auditorium. And you can be the Imam and the four or five hours show up at hamdulillah. We have Juma shows the show you want to start next week, he said No, we'll start tomorrow. So the next day we had Juma and he was just eight of us. And the week after that five of us and the week after that six of us. And now a year later, there's like under 40 to 50 people attended tomorrow, every single week.

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All the rewards will go to him. So that was his idea. And you know, immediately within a day, it was set up. It was the same thing for for my books. You know, earlier this year, I published a PDF ebook. And within 24 hours, he had a print version ready, because he told me the African people have print books within 24 hours he gave me gave it to him by hand. I mean, Alhamdulillah that, but that was uncle Muhammad. And I mean my engagements and interactions with him as well. He was very, very hands on and his ideas, you know, you're visiting and talking to him and his ideas, which is flow. And like you say he was always want a man of action. He wanted to take charge and get onto those

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ideas immediately. You know, and the nice thing about him is he always involved other people, you know, in his way, he was always empowering other people leading by example. You know, there's so much that I can say about uncle Muhammad and I I want to stop myself because I want to focus on your relationship with him. I just want to read a little bit here of of the tribute that you that from the tribute that you said to him. You say Mohammed Umrah was one of the kindest souls I ever met his entire life was dedicated to serving the Ummah and uplifting the community. His biggest passion was reviving the culture of reading Islamic books in South Africa. And to do this he established based

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hikma books, my favorite local book publisher, that is true. Uncle Mohammed was very, very passionate about getting reading into our community, especially amongst our youth. He used to say he's he wants to bring this philosophy and the culture of Israel, into our communities. And you know, when you think about it, you know, ekra is such an amazing, first of all, it's a short, it's a short word, but it has such symbolism for us as Muslims, it was the first IR reveal of the Quran. So Al Hamdulillah, surely that is an indication of how important it is for us as Muslims to be reading. And if we look further into that word, Accra, it doesn't only mean to read, it has so many sub

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context to it, it means to read with understanding, it needs to read with, with the intention of implementing it, it means to read with an intention to act on what you are reading. So it is so important and nervous. The other thing that our grandmama was so passionate about, it wasn't just ideas, it wasn't just things in writing for him, he was such an implementer and such a man of action. So I mean, so if you could tell me based on the little bit of reading in terms of beta and hickmott, being your favorite book publisher, did he ever discuss with you, which were his favorite books.

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You know, my last gift that I got from Mama dhamra was a copy of a history of Muslim philosophy, two volumes set. And it just shows you again, you know, his His love is always reading.

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If you ever he got me a gift, it's always a book. And it's always something fascinating that nobody else in Africa sold. No two things pop up as amongst his favorite one was his love for children's books. So the Al ghazali series for children, he was really trying to get out and Rob schools to teach that and he was so so happy and passionate about that book. And the other way books focused on a deeper understanding of the sherea yo books on mikaze, to Sharia, and books like that he actually had me teach an entire course, the topic, just before the pandemic started in late 2019, we had a full course focus on that topic. It was his idea for me to teach that there was other things he

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really really was passionate about.

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There was only two times I ever see him said, you know, when I want me to do one was when he used to talk about the youth worried about the younger generation of Muslims not showing up for events, not showing up for lectures, he really had sadness in his eyes when you talk about young Muslims. And the other ones would, when it came to reading that he was you tell me smile, when people don't read anymore, you will tell me you'll be standing at a fear at the bookstore. And nobody will, everybody will just walk past the bookstore, they wouldn't, they will go to every other store besides the bookstores, and he will have a genuine sadness in his eyes, that whosoever just they don't even want

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to look at the books to see maybe there's something interesting, maybe there's something beneficial. It's as if, you know, buying books or reading books isn't even something we think about. That's one of the things that would really, really make him sad, it's like,

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and I think if there's anything that we can do, to continue with these legacies, to continue instilling reading amongst our people to continue instilling reading amongst our community, it is such an important skill. You know, our our Prophet also said, We must seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, and what is reading do except increase your knowledge all the time. I mean, nobody can tell me they haven't learned it, almost everything that we know, we learn it from, you know, engaging with people and interacting with people and everything else is from reading it. So inshallah we make the WA share that, that our people do, do start learning to read, do start to

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prepare for, you know, and I think also what is important is, as parents, we need to inculcate this culture, with our young people. So, you know, it's so important that we read to our children, we read with our children, that our children see us reading, see us reading, and then sharing things about her, you know, I'm talking to my kids all the time, I say, look, I read this today, and this is what's interesting. And that's how you engage with your with with your family, and you get them to also understand and appreciate the value of reading.

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It's so true. You know, a few years ago, I became a full time author, and a lot of people are telling me why you're going into writing books, people don't read books anymore. And I said that, you know, maybe people don't read books anymore, because you're not writing books that are worth reading. So I dedicate my life to writing books. And one of the reasons that Muhammad Amazon is so close is that he dedicated his life to publishing books. And so every book that I wrote, he published it for me immediately and we both share this passion that I'm going to write books that people will want to read and he's going to publish books that people want to read and inshallah

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together. We can work on reviving this. And so I mean, that was my that was my connection with Uncle Muhammad as well. We got together to publish I was co editing an anthology called lockdown

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And behind the mask, and he became our publisher. So it was a wonderful, wonderful relationship. He also did help to promote my books, as you know, I'm an author. So I write fiction. And yes, I have some had some great feedback and input on my books from the people who have read them. Unfortunately, the truth is, not many people have read those books, you know, and I, I'd like to think that my books are important to be read, because they discuss topics that are pertinent. They discuss topics that are affecting our society at this time, and if you can get a little bit of entertainment audit with from it as well. Alhamdulillah but I'd like to thank you so much just a

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color fair, shake his smile for your time for your insights.

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We we ask that you continue reading and writing and and fulfilling the legacy you know, it's up to us now to carry the torch and be the the flag bearers for and to make sure that uncle moments legacy continues. JazakAllah fair for your time. And we and we thank you for your insights. Assalamu alaikum

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we're happy with Santa Monica

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Jazakallah that was chef his smile. candor. He's the hottie that the Superman logo auditorium. So now we're going to go on to another