©A Lahore Ahmadiyya Publication In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

The HOPE Bulletin
Health, Ongoing Projects, Education

Worldwide Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (AAIIL) A California Jama‘at Project. Approved by Central Anjuman Lahore
In Memory of Jalal-ud-Din Akbar Ibn-i Abdullah, Sacromento, California

February 2013 (Supplement)

Acting Editor: Nasir Ahmad, B.A., LL.B.

Contents
Editorial Note…

Page
3 4 16 17

May

A Brief Life profile of Mrs. Akhtar Jabeen Aziz, by her family A Remarkable Mother-in-Law Selim Ahmed Teacher was an Inspiration The Slough and Royal Borough Observer Condolence Messages…

18

1

In loving memory of The late Akhtar Jabeen Aziz

“The work of translation of (Mujahid-I Kabir) was undertaken by Mrs. Akhtar Aziz, M.A., M.Ed., who retired as a teacher of English in U.K. schools after 28 years of service, following an earlier teaching service of 13 years in Pakistan where she rose to Headmistress. She also obtained a certificate from the University of Texas at Austin, USA, in teaching English as a Second Language. She has also been an experienced translator for various bodies in the U.K. 2

legal and justice system, receiving a Police Award for her work.... Mrs. Aziz had written out the entire translation by hand painstakingly and meticulously…” (From Preface, p. ii by Dr. Zahid Aziz, in A Mighty Striving, English translation of Mujahid-i Kabir). A true Dream related by Maulana Muhammad Ali: “I have just seen a wonderful vision. I saw that I was an infant and sitting in the lap of a very comely, handsome person. I was made to understand that he was Allah Himself. This person clasped me to his bosom with love. This expression of love also made me restless so that I unbuttoned his shirt (as if even the shirt did not intervene between them), put my arms around him and clung to Him. These words then escaped my lips: Allāhumma, anta muḥibbī, faj‘alnī min aḥibbā’ik — O Allah, You love me, so make me from among those who love You.” (Mujahidi Kabir, English translation, p. 523).

*****

Editorial Note …
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Assalamu alaikum We are publishing this Supplement in memory of the late Mrs. Akhtar Jabeen Aziz. She was mother of Bro. Shahid Aziz, secretary of the UK Ahmadiyya Anjuman and Dr. Zahid Aziz, author and translator of several books and whose recent revised edition of the English translation of the Qur’an by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali, is a valuable contribution in its own right. The deceased was a distinguished teacher of English and a well-known interpreter and helper of the Asian community. We express our regret that so far we have not been able to complete the memorial issue of the Bulletin in memory of our late Bro. Jalal-ud-Din Akbar Abdullah. We are trying to compile to the best of our efforts Hazrat Ameer, Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim Saeed’s tour of Trinidad and Guyana to be published in the February monthly issue of the Bulletin about which late brother was very keen to cover . Details of Hazrat Ameer’s tour of Suriname and UK will be published, Inshallah, in the March issue. We hope February issue will take another week or so. Meanwhile we are issuing this Memorial Supplement dedicated to the memory of late Mrs. Aziz. May her soul rest in peace! Janaza prayer for Mrs. Aziz was offered on the back lawn of her residence at 22 Barton Road, Langley, Slough. It was led by Mr. Nasir Ahmad. All her children, grandchildren, relatives, members of the Jama‘at, friends and admirers attended the funeral service. The body was driven to the well-known Brookwood Cemetery near Woking, Surrey and her body was laid to rest with prayers seeking Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. The monthly meeting of the UK Jama‘at held on 3rd February at Darus Salaam, Wembley was dedicated to the memory of the late Mrs. Aziz. Mrs. Sumera Azhar-ud-Din Ahmad contributed a detailed account of the late Mrs. Aziz’s life and her dedicated services in the field of education and social work. We are thankful to Dr. Zahid Aziz and other members of Mrs. Aziz Ahmad’s family for providing the material and photographs. Editors: Hope Bulletin Team

3

A brief life profile…

Mrs Akhtar Jabeen Aziz
Compiled by her family

Mrs Akhtar Jabeen Aziz, daughter of Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, died in England on 11th January 2013 at the age of more than 86 years — innā li-llāhi wa innā ilai-hi rāji‘ūn. She was the Maulana’s eldest child from his second wife, Badr-un-Nisa, whom the Maulana married after his first wife died in the 1918/19 world-wide influenza epidemic. Mrs Aziz was a retired secondary school teacher of English to immigrant children in England, first in the city of Southampton, 1966–1971, and then in the town of Slough, 1971–1991. She had also acted as interpreter for the Police, Courts, Social Services and the Probation Services, in cases involving people from Pakistan and India, from the mid-1960s till she reached 80 years of age. Living in Pakistan till 1963, she was headmistress of a school there before migrating to the UK. Life in Pakistan Akhtar Jabeen was born in Lahore in August 1926 and lived in Bhatti Gate when she was a child. This was the time when Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi (1888–1977) used to be sent by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore as missionary, orator and debater to places all over British India, especially to combat the fierce Arya Samaj campaign to convert Muslims to Arya Hinduism, as well as the Christian missionary attacks upon Islam. In the early 1930s, the Maulana built a house in the then distant suburb of Muslim Town, where several notable figures of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement were building their houses to move out of the congested centre of Lahore, and his family moved there to the address 24 Muslim Town.

Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, Author of Muhammad in World Scriptures

Badr-un-Nisa, who was daughter of Hakim Shah Nawaz of Rawalpindi, well known Ahmadi scholar.

As the Maulana was frequently away from his family, and earned only a modest salary as a missionary of the Anjuman, his wife Badr-un-Nisa (1904–1957) played a most important role in bringing up the children, running the house, and even earning a livelihood. It may be added here that the Maulana often used to take his own mother with him on his missionary tours. Mrs Aziz’s mother, known generally as Apa Ji Badr, was a teacher in a girls’ primary school, later becoming headmistress. She was renowned in the Punjab in her profession as an excellent teacher, strict disciplinarian, and efficient organiser, who had extraordinary courage, clarity of mind and strength of will. She applied the same qualities at home. Unfortunately, Apa Ji Badr suffered from tuberculosis from 4

a time when Mrs Aziz was a teenager and this meant that Akhtar Jabeen, being the eldest, had at times to take care of her mother, the house and the younger siblings. In connection with her mother’s tuberculosis, Mrs Aziz accompanied her when she went for a lengthy stay for treatment at the Dadar sanatorium in 1944, where the late Hazrat Ameer Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan sahib was Superintendent. As Dr Saeed Ahmad did not consider it safe for the teenage Akhtar Jabeen to reside in the sanatorium, he accommodated her in his own house. Here she used to see his family members every day. This was before the present Hazrat Ameer Dr A.K. Saeed was born. She also had her younger sister Rehana with her, to look after. Twice daily Mrs Aziz had to perform the arduous task of cooking food for her mother and then carrying it on foot to the sanatorium which was a long distance from the house. Eventually, Dr Saeed Ahmad advised that a full treatment would require a much longer stay, and Apa Ji Badr decided that this was not practical and they returned to Lahore, where she resumed her school teaching. Mrs Aziz used to say that her mother believed that what matters is not whether you are holding a high post or a low post, but that you do your job to the highest standard. A school cleaner excelling in his job, Apa Ji Badr used to say, was more valuable than a teacher not doing her job properly. Hearing of the renown of the school where Badr-un-Nisa sahiba was headmistress, the British governor of the Punjab, along with his wife, once came to visit the school. Apa Ji Badr sent a message outside saying that as it was a girls’ school, and the parents had entrusted their daughters to her supervision, so while the governor’s wife was welcome, he being a male was not allowed inside. The governor was impressed by her boldness and remained outside while his wife visited the school. Apa Ji Badr also strongly encouraged education within own her family. Due to this, her elder son Abdus Salaam Sheikh (d. 2011) obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry (Australia) and was a renowned homeopathic practitioner in Lahore, and her younger daughter Gul Rehana (d. 2000) became a medical doctor. Both sadly pre-deceased Mrs Aziz. Apa Ji Badr believed that teaching should be started from a child’s earliest age, and she wanted both boys and girls to be educated to the highest level they could reach. She stressed the need for women to be able to earn their own livelihood and have economic independence.

Left to right: Dr Gul Rehana Amin Dr Abdus Salaam Sheikh Mrs Akhtar Aziz Photo taken during a visit to Pakistan by Mrs Aziz.

5

In her early life, particularly because of living in Muslim Town, Mrs Aziz saw and observed some of the elders and early stalwarts of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at and was deeply impressed by their great and rare moral qualities. She used to recount her family’s experiences with Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig (d. 1936) and Dr Syed Muhammad Husain Shah (d. 1939). In an autograph book which she had, there is the signature of Syed Asadullah Shah sahib (d. 1957). She used to mention Maulana Muhammad Ali sahib’s morning walk in Muslim Town and his attendance at her wedding. Once her father took her to Maulana Muhammad Ali for doing the bai‘at, which she took at his hand. During the 1930s and 40s, several Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at stalwarts including Maulana Muhammad Ali used to spend the summer in the hill resort of Dalhousie. In 1939 Mrs Aziz accompanied her father there. She used to recount events from that stay. On some occasions Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi took his family with him to missionary tours. Mrs Aziz used to recall staying in Batote in Kashmir (now in India). During the struggle for the creation of Pakistan, as a B.A. student, she supported the Pakistan movement. She went to hear Mr Jinnah speak when he came to Lahore, and used to say that his personality had such a hold over Muslims that they were prepared to do anything at his bidding. She used to relate the other tumultuous events she saw and experienced at the partition of India — the riots, the processions and the curfews in Lahore. She worked as a volunteer in the refugee camps where Muslims who had fled India were received, some having been severely mutilated. In October 1947, Akhtar Jabeen became Mrs Aziz when she married Aziz Ahmad, son of Dr Allah Bakhsh (1900–1985). The doctor sahib was a paternal nephew of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali and a leading and active member of the Jama‘at who, after retirement in 1960, held the posts of General-Secretary of the Anjuman and editor of The Light. Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din conducted the nikah. Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali, she used to relate with pride, was invited by both sides. He arrived as one of the bridegroom’s party and immediately joined the bride’s relatives as one from their side to welcome the guests. ← Mr and Mrs Aziz at the time of their wedding

After obtaining B.A. and B.T. (Bachelor of Teaching) qualifications, Mrs Aziz became a secondary school teacher in Lahore in 1950 at Ravi Road Girls School. She was a very popular and respected teacher with colleagues and students, achieving outstanding examination results, and over time progressed to the senior position of second mistress (one below deputy head). Shortly after starting at Ravi Road School, she did M.A. in Economics from the University of the Punjab. The head of the department was a well known academic, Dr Akhtar. One day Dr Akhtar said to her: 6

“Why are Ahmadis so intelligent?” She replied: “Perhaps it is because people who are intelligent become Ahmadis!” During the 1950s Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi started going abroad as missionary of Islam and visited Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad, Holland, England, Fiji, and towards the end the USA. His wife, though still running her government primary school as headmistress, was now more seriously ill with tuberculosis. But the Maulana regarded his missionary and scholarly work as such an important jihad that, leaving his family, some dependent children and his ailing wife, he went ten thousand miles away. The normal communication at the time was by letter, taking a week or two to arrive. This placed further responsibility upon Mrs Aziz, the eldest and only married one of the Maulana’s offspring in the house. She took care of her mother and siblings, her husband and sons, while teaching in a secondary school. In his absence in Suriname, Apa Ji Badr died in March 1957, and the news was telegraphed to him from Lahore through the Woking Muslim Mission. Even before receiving the news, the Maulana had already written a letter home saying that he had seen in a dream that his wife had passed away! The Maulana added in his letter that he had seen a dispute taking place at the funeral. So Mrs Aziz asked her brother, Abdus Salaam, if such a thing had happened at the cemetery (women not having gone to the burial). He said: “Yes, some of my friends refused to say the funeral prayer, objecting that the imam was an Ahmadi, so we had an argument over it”. In 1960 Mrs Aziz won a scholarship from Pakistan under the US State Department’s Fulbright program, one of the most prestigious and highly competitive awards in the world, as a teacher of the English language, and was sent on a six-month course based at the University of Texas in Austin. As part of the studies, the students were also taken on a tour of the states westwards up to San Francisco during their holidays. In that city she made a point of meeting Master Abdullah and his wife (parents of the sadlymissed editor of The HOPE Bulletin, Akbar Abdullah) and spending a night with them. While Mrs Aziz was in the US, Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi was in Philadelphia and he came to see her when she passed through New York and Washington.

Lahore railway station, summer 1960. Mr and Mrs Aziz, with Shahid and Zahid, as the family waits to board the train to Karachi, from where Mrs Aziz was to fly to USA. Mrs Aziz garlanded by those who came to say farewell.

Mrs Aziz in Washington with two other Fulbright scholars from Pakistan.

7

Left: Mrs Aziz (standing centre), with her class in Austin, Texas.

Below: Mrs Aziz travelling with her class.

Returning to Lahore, Mrs Aziz obtained leave of study from teaching to undertake the degree of M.Ed. (Master of Education) at the Institute of Education and Research, jointly run by the University of the Punjab and a group of US universities, with lecturing staff from the US (Director: Dr Christian W. Jung, Indiana University). At the end of the course, she achieved first place. This was all the more remarkable because she was pregnant and when the results were being published she was in hospital giving birth to her daughter Samina. Due to achieving first place, Mrs Aziz was awarded a scholarship under a US scheme to undertake a three-year Ph.D. at the University of Indiana at Bloomington.

Left: Dr C.W. Jung, who, as Director of the Institute of Education in Lahore, 1961–62, recognised the merit and ability of Mrs Aziz. Among her professors at the Institute was also the eminent US child development specialist, Boyd R. McCandless.

8

However, Mrs Aziz had already availed of the earlier scholarship in 1960, and it was not normally allowed for a person to be offered a second scholarship. However, an exception was made in her case due to her outstanding performance. Mrs Aziz requested for her family to be allowed to accompany her to the US, but the permission was not forthcoming. So she declined to go, making a great sacrifice for the sake of the family. Mrs Aziz then went to attend an interview for the post of headmistress when her daughter Samina was yet only one week old. She succeeded in it, but due to manipulation by certain officials she was posted to a remote, inhospitable town called Hasilpur. She accepted the challenge and within one year she organised and reformed the girls’ school in that town from the chaotic condition in which she found it upon her arrival, and modernised it with the latest equipment and furniture. Before closing this section, it is apt to mention the relationship with the Lahore Ahmadi stalwart Mr Naseer Ahmad Faruqui. As a deep admirer of Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, Mr Faruqui was also affectionate as an elder towards Mrs Aziz and held her in great respect. When Mr and Mrs Aziz lived in Pakistan, Mr Faruqui helped them on various occasions when they were facing problems dealing with some government department which was being obstructive in handling their case. Mr Faruqui held a top-most position in the Civil Service of Pakistan, and was exemplary in his integrity and probity, never assisting anyone, whomsoever it may be, to obtain something unfairly. Later, after moving to England, whenever they visited Pakistan during his life, Mr Faruqui invited them for dinner at his home. Life in England In the summer of 1963, Mr and Mrs Aziz with their children migrated to the UK and settled in Southampton, about 75 miles south-west of London. In those days, due to strong racial prejudice, it was difficult for educated non-white people to find jobs commensurate with their qualifications. After some struggles both she and Mr Aziz found posts in a secondary school, teaching English to immigrant children of the Asian community who knew no English whatsoever. She excelled in her teaching work, and as a result newly-arrived teenagers from Pakistan and India quickly learnt sufficient English, in a few months, to join normal classes. Mr Aziz himself built and installed a language lab as a teaching aid. Mrs Aziz was also called upon by the Police and Courts to act as interpreter in cases involving people from Pakistan and India.

Mrs Aziz with daughter Samina, September 1963, upon arrival in Southampton.

She became highly-respected in the teaching profession of the city for her work. Mr Peter Warwick, the head teacher of their own school, held both Mr and Mrs Aziz in high regard, and the chairman of a body of teachers in the city, Mr Challacombe, a formidable headmaster of the famous Taunton’s Grammar School, also showed them every respect at teachers’ meetings. Later Mrs Aziz was recommended for appointment as a Justice of the Peace but she left Southampton for Slough just at that time. 9

Mrs Aziz’s class of Pakistani and Indian pupils, at Deanery School, Southampton, giving a display of Asian food to the rest of the school. Mrs Aziz is standing between the two tables.

Staff at Deanery School, Southampton, invited to tea in Mrs Aziz’s unit. Mrs Aziz is nearest the camera, facing away. Mr Peter Warwick, Head Teacher, is sitting opposite her.

Mrs Aziz helped the local Pakistanis with their personal and social problems. She would accompany women to places such as medical appointments, shops, etc., because they couldn’t speak English. Later their own children grew up and helped them. Many Pakistani parents, of rural backgrounds, wished to remove their children, especially daughters, from education as soon as they reached the legal school leaving age, which was 15 years at the time. Mrs Aziz persuaded them to let their sons and daughters continue their education, and as a result many of them qualified in various professional fields.

10

The local Pakistani community had no public or communal place for holding Eid prayers, so after Mrs Aziz had started her teaching job, she asked the head teacher of her school to allow the school hall to be used for that purpose, to which he gladly agreed. Thus Eid prayers were held at her school. On one or two Eid occasions, she organised trips by Pakistanis in her class to the Woking Mosque. The children of Pakistani families living close to the house of Mr and Mrs Aziz used to come to their house daily to learn to recite the Quran from Mr Aziz, after which they played together. Some of them are pictured in the photograph on the left, taken in those days in the back garden of their house.

Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi came three times to stay with Mrs Aziz and family, in 1965, 1970 and 1976, the first two times in Southampton, and the last time in Slough. He stayed for about four or five months each time. In Southampton he became very revered and popular in the Pakistani community. With great enthusiasm people organised talks by him on the Quran in their homes. On at least one occasion he led the Eid prayers for the community and gave the khutba in the hall at Mrs Aziz’s school. He used to send reports to Paigham-i Sulah of his activities on these visits.

Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, Mrs Aziz, and her daughter Samina, on two outings, near Southampton, 1970

Mr and Mrs Aziz were, in effect, although not officially, leaders of the Pakistani community in Southampton. The community consisted of different sects of Islam but it was united, and no one objected to another’s religious denomination, nor was there the least opposition to anyone being an Ahmadi. In later years this unity was broken by the arrival of Maulvis from Pakistan and India, who brought with them sectarian division. 11

Move to Slough The family moved to Slough, near London, in September 1971 where Mrs Aziz continued her work as Head of School Language Units to teach English to children of immigrants, till her retirement at the age of 65. She also continued to work as interpreter for the Police, Courts and Social Services till about the age of 80 years. Thames Valley Police bestowed on her a Long Service award, which was presented to her at her home by Area Commander, Lord Peter Loughborough. She built up the same reputation in Slough in all aspects of her work, whether teaching or interpreting, and was very popular with her colleagues, superiors, pupils and parents. As opportunities for Asian teachers improved, younger teachers of much less qualifications and ability rose to higher positions than Mrs Aziz could do because she had faced more adverse conditions and barriers. But she paved the way to make it easier for future generations.

Mrs Aziz with her class at Holmewood School in the 1970s. The head teacher Mr Sheldon is to her right. Mr Sheldon attended the janaza prayers of Mrs Aziz on 17th January.

Mrs Aziz being presented at her home with the Long Service Award for her interpreting work by Area Commander (Lord) Peter Loughborough.

12

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore, UK In the mid-1970s the UK branch of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at was formed. In that period of its creation when it was a fledgling organisation, Mr and Mrs Aziz provided huge support to it at every step, and made an invaluable contribution. Before the purchase of a centre, some meetings of the executive were held at their home. Mrs Aziz was involved in many of the social and organisational aspects. The late Hazrat Ameer Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan frequently visited her house during his UK visits from 1975 to 1984, as did the late Maulana Hafiz Sher Muhammad. In 1976 Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi visited the family, staying for about five months with them. In 1982 Mr Aziz’s father, Dr Allah Bakhsh, came to the UK on the occasion of the opening of Darus Salaam Centre in Wembley, and subsequently stayed at the home of Mr and Mrs Aziz for a couple of years. All of this helped to establish and strengthen the UK Jama‘at.

July 1984, Heathrow airport, London. Greeting Hazrat Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan on his arrival. From left: Maulana Hafiz Sher Muhammad, Selim Ahmed (son-in-law of Mrs Aziz), Mrs Aziz, Mrs Bano Anwar’s mother Latifa, Samina Ahmed (daughter of Mrs Aziz), Hazrat Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan, and Imam Muhammad Anwar shaheed.

Others who visited Mr and Mrs Aziz at their home include Mr Muhammad Ahmad, son of Maulana Muhammad Ali, along with his wife Zubaida, and sometime later Mrs Zakia Shaikh, eldest daughter of Maulana Muhammad Ali. When Hazrat Ameer Dr A.K. Saeed first came to the UK in March 1976, in connection with his medical career, he and his family stayed with Mr and Mrs Aziz for their first few days in this country. In his visits of recent years, Hazrat Ameer always made a point of calling upon Mrs Aziz specially, and he saw her last in December, the month before her death, at the house of her son Mr Shahid Aziz. Also, Dr Noman Malik and Mrs Samina Malik visited Mrs Aziz during some of their visits to the UK. Mrs Aziz regularly attended all functions at the Darus Salaam Centre, and was keen to donate financially, especially at Eid. When the first Young People’s Classes were held in the early 1990s, she volunteered to 13

give a session to the students about what is teaching and how to learn. Even after she became immobile due to a stroke in September 2006, she continued to attend meetings and Eid functions at the Centre. In the mid-1990s Mrs Aziz was asked by Dr Noman Malik and Mrs Samina Malik of Ohio to translate into English the Urdu biography of Maulana Muhammad Ali entitled Mujahid-i Kabir. She carried out the work most meticulously, writing it out by hand, and produced an excellent translation. She also travelled to the US in 1999 and 2000 to attend the annual Lahore Ahmadiyya convention in Columbus. In 1974 when the government of Pakistan declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims, Mrs Aziz was deeply dismayed and never felt happy about the country because of that decision. Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi wrote to her in those days saying: “My life lies within Ahmadiyyat.” She never concealed, out of fear or to seek someone’s favour, that she belonged to the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. Mrs Aziz remained loyal to the cause openly. She used to say: If the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s followers had deserted him when they faced opposition, how would Islam have spread?

Darus Salaam, Wembley, UK, April 1989. Ladies of the Jama‘at. Mrs Aziz is in the centre, standing.

Left: Mrs Aziz encouraged non-Muslim friends to attend functions at Darus Salaam; she is seen here with two teaching colleagues at Eid.

14

Left: Mrs Aziz with family at Darus Salaam.

This account of the life of Mrs Aziz would c ertainly be incomplete without a mention of the unstinting and devoted support given to her by Mr Aziz. He always encouraged her to progress in her career. When she would be reluctant to apply for some course or advancement in her job, he would persuade her to do it, even filling in the application form himself and asking her to sign it. When they were both teachers in the same language unit in a school in Southampton, she, due to her qualifications in English and teaching, was in charge of the unit and he was working under her! Her achievements made him proud. He lived up to the teaching of the Holy Prophet Muhammad: “The best of you is he who treats his wife the best.” Mr Aziz died in May 1998, a few months after their 50th wedding anniversary. During his illness in the last five years or so of his life, Mrs Aziz did everything for him with the utmost devotion. Throughout their enviably happy and harmonious married life, they supported each one in the many adversities that life brings.

15

In 1997 Mrs Aziz suffered a stroke. She was determined to make a recovery to attend her 50th wedding anniversary function, which was only in two weeks’ time. She surprised everyone by recovering sufficiently to be on her feet by that time. In the following months she was able to make a full recovery. In September 2006 she suffered a more serious stroke, which caused her right-hand side to be disabled. Still she soldiered on, trying to recover as much mobility as possible. With increasing frailty and other health problems arising, she had to be admitted to hospital several times in the past two years. Finally, she was admitted to hospital about a week before Christmas 2012 with a lung infection and swallowing problems. She fought on bravely as always till the very end, when the decree of Allah came to pass. May Allah grant her His forgiveness and protection, admit her to His mercy, raise her grades in the Hereafter, and join her with His righteous servants, Ameen. Mrs Aziz leaves two sons and one daughter, five grand-children, and seven great grand-children.

*****
A Tribute from a son-in-law

A Remarkable Mother-in-law
by Selim Ahmed B.A. (Hons)
As son-in-law to Mrs Akhtar Jabeen Aziz, daughter of Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, who passed away in England on 11th January 2013 – innā li-llāhi wa innā ilai-hi rāji‘ūn – I had not only known her at the time of her passing for very nearly 33 years, but also spent about 18 of those years living in her residence in Slough, England, together with my wife Samina, who was the third of her children and her only daughter. From the very beginning, my mother-in-law’s remarkable ability and accomplishments as a schoolteacher and head of department were amply and frequently illustrated for me. She was always happy to give tuition and would go to considerable lengths to help parents and students alike. Although she enjoyed her limited leisure time, she was possessed of great energy and was not one to remain inactive. She had a close, caring relationship with her late husband, Mr Aziz Ahmad, who gave her unstinting support in every aspect of life, and she sorely missed him after his passing in 1998. She always had time for people and valued friendship. Her attitude and personal qualities inspired trust, affection and loyalty in friends, in colleagues and in her students in school. I often heard her relate anecdotes about her father, Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi and her mother, Badrun-Nisa (Apa Ji Badr). Apa Ji Badr had been an outstanding teacher in the Panjab and had exceptional personal qualities. It was easy to see how profoundly Mrs Aziz had been influenced by her mother’s life, precepts and practical example. Apa Ji Badr, she related, used to say that if a rich person invites you to a meal, it is of no significance whether you accept or not, as the rich person will have many friends, but if a poor person invites you, you should go. 16

In 1997 I witnessed my mother-in-law’s remarkable recovery from the stroke that threatened to prevent her attending her planned 50th wedding anniversary celebration. When the day came and she attended alongside her husband, one would hardly have guessed that there had ever been anything amiss. At that time, my wife and I were living independently, but Samina had not been altogether well for many years, and had been diagnosed in 1989 as suffering from multiple sclerosis. By the end of 2002, Samina was becoming increasingly physically disabled and so was moved back into Mrs Aziz’s home, and I proceeded to care for her there. Mrs Aziz, now retired from her work as a teacher, remained as active as ever in all other respects, including, for a few more years, her work as an interpreter. In September 2006, however, Mrs Aziz suffered a much more serious stroke affecting her right-hand side, such that from that time on, mother and daughter would come to have a similar need of care. Mrs Aziz greatly loved her daughter, and would often mention that the name Samina means ‘Precious’.

*****

Teacher was an inspiration
The family of an inspirational teacher have paid tribute to a ‘passionate, independent’ woman who paved the way for future generations. Mrs. Akhtar Aziz, who her family believe was the first Asian qualified teacher in Slough, died on Friday, January 11, at the age of 86, of heart failure after suffering a number of strokes. The mother-of-three, of Barton Road, Langley, lived in the town for more than 40 years, working as a teacher and interpreter for the police, courts, social and probation services. Her son, Dr Zahid Aziz, said: “In her work life she was a professional woman who went to university before women generally used to go to university. “She passionately believed that education was the key to progress in life and she encouraged girls in particular to reach the highest attainment in qualifications. “Most of her pupils came from homes where there was no tradition of education, but as a result of her advice, influence and persuading they continued their studies far beyond school and reached good positions in their professions.” The great grandmother-of-seven, who was born in Lahore, became a secondary school teacher in Pakistan in 1950. She went on to become a head teacher before moving to the UK and settling in Southampton where she worked at a secondary school teaching English to immigrant children of the Asian community. Dr Aziz said: “She excelled in her teaching work and as a result newly-arrived teenagers from Pakistan and India quickly learnt sufficient English, in a term or so, to join normal classes. She was also called upon by the police and courts to act as an interpreter. “She became highly-respected in the city for her work and was recommended for appointment as a Justice of Peace, but she left Southampton for Slough just at that time. 17

“Those were the days when there was open racial discrimination in this country, in every walk of life, at every step. In that environment of prejudice, her achievements are all the more remarkable. She paved the way for others who came after, and they had much less of a struggle.” Mrs Aziz moved to Slough in September 1971, joining the language unit at the former Holmewood School, in Langley, to teach English to children who had just moved to the country. Following the closure of the school she continued her work at the former Orchard School and then Slough and Eton School until she retired. After her retirement she continued working as an interpreter until the age of 80 and was presented a Long Service award by Thames Valley Police.
(From The Slough and Royal Borough Observer, 1st February, 2013)

*****

Condolence Messages …
Amir Aziz, General Secretary, AAIIL, Lahore (Pakistan).
Dear brothers Dr. Zahid Aziz and Shahid Aziz sahib, Assalamu Alaikum We all members of AAIIL are much grieved at the sad demise of your very affectionate mother. It’s a great loss for you and for us all. We all have been deprived of her prayers and noble presence. She was a true image of the late Maulana Abdul Haq Vidarthi sahib and an emblem of devotion and dedication. Her piety and uprightness will certainly be rewarded by Allah Almighty, we can only talk about her qualities. We all pray that Allah may bless her soul in the heavens of eternity. May Allah grant her an elevated status in Paradise. We also pray that Allah may help you with strength to bear this loss with patience and perseverance. Yours truly, Amir Aziz General Secretary

*****

Jalal Ud Dean, Fiji
Dear Editor Hope Bulletin, Assalaamu'Alaikum. Thank you for your prompt notification about the demise of Mrs Aktar Aziz. Inna li-llahi wa inna ilai-hi rajiun. My special condolences to brothers Shahid Aziz and Dr Zahid Aziz of the AAII(L) UK on the irreplaceable loss of their dear mother. This condolence message is extended to all her relatives and those close to her. Whilst I never met her, but I certainly met her father, the late Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, in 1956 in 18

Fiji, when I was a schoolboy. Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi came to Fiji from Lahore. He was indeed a brilliant scholar and was well-versed in the Holy Qur’an, the Bible, and the Vedas. He was a linguist and was well-versed in Hebrew, Arabic, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gurmukhi, English, Urdu and Persian languages. His books about Hinduism specially Arya Dharam show how deeply he studied Hinduism and Buddhism. His well-known research work, Muhammad in World Scriptures is a pioneer work about the prophecies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad found in all the religious scriptures and is a landmark in the Ahmadiyya contribution towards fostering closer religious affinity among the three great religions. We, as true Muslims, must all remember the following verses of the Holy Qur’an to remind us that death is inevitable: “Every soul must taste of death. And We test you by evil and good by way of trial. And to Us you are returned.”(21:35). “Every soul will taste of death. And you will be paid your reward fully only on the Resurrection day. Then whoever is removed far from the Fire and is made to enter the Garden, he indeed attains the object. And the life of this world is nothing but a provision of vanities.”(3:185)

***** Ahmed Saadat, Acting Imam, Berlin Mosque, Germany
Dear Shahid uncle and Zahid uncle Assalamo alaikum Sorry to know the sad news about the demise of your mother. May Allah give sabr to you and all your family. May He also give her a place in Jannat ul fardous. Ameen.

***** Haroen and Sila Badloe, The Hague, Holland
Dear Editor, Hope Bulletin, Assalaam alaikum. Qullu nafsin, zaa'ikatul maut. May Allah grant dear mother of Bro Shahid Aziz and Dr. Zahid Aziz a beautiful place in janatulfir daus.

Erwan Hamdani, Jakarta, Indonesia

*****

Dear Brother Dr. Zahid Aziz Assalamu'alaikum. Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un. I am sorry to know about the demise of your beloved mother. We send our deepest condolences to you and your family. May Allah give her maghfirah, blessings and mercy.

*****
19

Shabir Buksh, Secretary, AAIIL, New Zealand
Assaalamu alaikum w.r.w.b. Innalillahe wa inna ilaihe rajioon. (“Surely we are from Allah and to Him is our return.”) May Allah Subhanahu wa-Ta’ala grant Mrs Akhtar Aziz the highest abode in Heaven and may He grant her family and members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat the courage to bear this very sad loss. Ameen. We will hold the Janaza Ghaibana on Friday after the Jumu’ah prayers.

*****

PAKISTAN
Mrs. Sarah Ahmad, Rawalpindi.
Dear Zahid uncle Assalamu alaikum. I heard the sad news about the demise of your mother. Inna lillahe wa inna ilaihe rajiun. Please accept my sincere condolences. May Almighty Allah grant you the patience to bear this great loss. I have fond memories of the time spent with dear Akhtar Aunty in Ohio on the occasion of the US jamaat’s convention some years ago. She had such a vibrant personality and was so full of life despite her age and health problems. She was very kind to Apa and me, and we really enjoyed her company. May Allah grant her a place in Paradise with her illustrious father. Aameen.

***** Ejaz Ahmad & Abrar Ahmad, Lahore.
Respectable Zahid Bhai Assalamo alaikum “We are from Allah and to Him we eventually return”. Some losses are so great to express. A blessed lady lived a blessed life. She achieved much from her great father late Hazrat Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthy. Her personal contribution as wife, mother and as a member of the London Jama’at is great. Her translation of A Mighty Striving is commendable. She remained mother of a scholarly family. May Allah bless her soul an eternal peace! May Allah rest her among His beloved ones and may He give you and others patience and forbearance.

*****
20

Arshad & Bushra Alvi, Lahore.
Dear Brothers Shahid Aziz and Dr Zahid Aziz Assalamu Alaikum. May it please the Almighty Allah that this mail finds you in the best of health, spiritually more enlightened and fortified to bear the passing away of your beloved mother . Allazeena iza asabat-hum museebatun qaloo. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji‘oon, “Who, when a misfortune befalls them say: Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall return” (Al-Baqarah, 2:156). Our thoughts and prayers are that Almighty Allah in His Infinite Mercy and Compassion will grant eternal peace, solace and happiness to the dearly departed soul of our beloved Auntie, and bestow on her an abode in the highest pedestal of Heaven, Jannatul Firdous. (Ameen.) We further wish that our Lord with His Cherished Blessings will grant her surviving family and relatives a source of spiritual and physical strength and comfort in their grief and anguish to bear the burden of this irreparable loss. (Ameen)

***** Mr. & Mrs. Usman Elahi Malik, Islamabad.
Dear Zahid Uncle, We learnt with great sorrow the passing away of your mother. Please accept our heartfelt condolences. May Allah grant the Marhooma unlimited progress in paradise and give you and your family the fortitude to bear this loss.

***** The Sadiq Brothers, Islamabad.
Dear Shahid Bhai and Zahid Bhai, We, all the members of the Sadiq family, are grieved on the sad demise of your beloved mother. She was a great lady and a true symbol of contentment, love and affection. Her departure would indeed create a big vacuum not only for you but all of us in the Jama’at. We pray to Allah Almighty to bless her soul and rest her in peace. May Allah grant her the highest place in Jannat ul Firdaus. We also pray that Almighty may give strength to the loved ones who are left behind to bear this great loss. Ameen. Yours in grief Tahir Sadiq, Javed Sadiq, Najeeb Sadiq & members of the Sadiq family.

*****
21

Ebrahim Muhammed, President, South Africa
Dear Brother Zahid and Shahid Aziz, Assalamu Alaikum. We received the sad news of the passing away of your mother through the HOPE Bulletin. Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon. Having lost a dear one recently too, we share your grief. Please accept our sincere condolences. We pray that Allah grant you patience and fortitude during this time of mourning. May Allah grant the deceased eternal Peace in Paradise. *****

Sis. Mary & Bro. Khaliel Ghafoerkhan, Paramaribo, Suriname
Dear Brothers Zahid and Shahid, Assalaam alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh! Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your dear Mother. “Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Rajiun.” Some years ago I had the pleasure to meet her in Ohio during a convention there. Khaliel and I are praying for both of you and your families that Allah may give you strength and forbearance to overcome this great loss. For dear Aunty Akhtar we pray that Allah may grant her a beautiful place in the Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen! Insha Allah, we will watch the funeral service tomorrow at the Ustream. We thank you for making it possible for us to take part in the Janaza. Salaam and all the best to all.

*****

Dear Brothers, Assalaam Alaikum. We have just watched the live broadcast of the janaza for Aunty Akhtar. It gave us a feeling of being right there with the bereaved family. May Allah grant all of them strength and sabr. Thank you for informing us. Allah-Hafiz!

*****

22

Bro. Robbert Bipat, President, SIV, Suriname.
Dear Brothers Shahid and Zahid, Assalaam-u-alaikum wa Rahmatullah aa Barakatuh. Please accept on my behalf and on behalf of the Suriname Jama’at our deepest sympathy for the passing away of your mother. We offer our intense prayers for her soul to be granted most beautiful place in the Gardens of Allah.

***** Bro. Shaukat Ali, Co-ordinator, Asia/Pacific Region, Thailand
Dear Shahid Bhai and Zahid Bhai, Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu. We are deeply distressed to learn that your beloved mother has left this world to meet with our Maker. Inna-lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi raji’oon. We are, of course, aware that all of us have to leave this world one day, but when the time comes for someone close to leave it is human that we are saddened to lose a loved one. We pray that Allah may grant her soul eternal peace and a place in the highest pedestal of Jannat-ul Firdous among His chosen ones - Ameen. We are aware that Aunty had an excellent upbringing and served the community exceptionally well, and she will be remembered for all the virtuous and noble works that she did not only for the Anjuman but for the society at large. “Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of perpetuity in which rivers flow, abiding in them forever. Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord.” (98:8) “And it is said to those who guard against evil: What has your Lord revealed? They say, Good. For those who do good in this world is good. And certainly the abode of the Hereafter is better. And excellent indeed is the abode of those who keep their duty — Gardens of perpetuity which they enter, in which rivers flow: they have therein what they please. Thus does Allah reward those who keep their duty, whom the angels cause to die in purity, saying: Peace be on you! enter the Garden for what you did.” (16:30 -32) We pray that Almighty Allah may grant you, your loved ones and the members of your extended families strength, solace and sabr to bear this sad and irreparable loss at a time of great anguish. Please convey our heartfelt sympathy and sincere condolences to your loved ones as well.

***** Mrs. Romana Akdam, London (U.K.)
Dear Uncle Zahid and family 23

I’m very sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. I remember her and always will as a warm and dynamic woman. Peace be upon her. I have many fond memories of meeting her and the conversations my father, late Dr. Farooq Abdullah, would have with your mother at the mosque. My thoughts are with you and your family and wish you great strength. (Romana Abdullah, Granddaughter of Dr. S.M. Abdullah, late Imam of the Woking Mosque)

*****

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Dr.Mohammad Ahmad & Lubna Ahmad, Ohio
Dear Bro. Zahid and Bro. Shahid, Asalaamo alaikum. May Allah bless your dear mother and grant her a place in the Jannat. Inna lillahi wa inilaihi rajioon. May Allah grant all of you patience in this difficult time.

***** Mrs. Naseera Ahmed, Texas
Dear Zahid Bhai, Assalamo alaikum. Very sorry to hear of your dear mother’s passing away. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon. I just got the email of Brother Shahid informing of her funeral arrangements with no prior announcement of her passing away from anyone. She was a wonderful and accomplished lady. I’m sure she will be missed very much. May Allah Ta’ala grant her maghfirat and a very special place in heaven. And may Allah Ta’ala grant you and all your family patience to bear this great loss. Ameen. Wassalam. Naseera Ahmed

***** Choudry Masud Akhter & family
Dear Uncle Shahid & Uncle Zahid , Our deepest condolences on the passing away of your mother. May Allah bless her and accept her into Jannat-ul-Firdous. May Allah give all of you and your family the patience and strength to bear with this loss. Ameen. 24

Abu (Ch. Masud Akhter) will Inshallah call and speak to both of you tomorrow. Wassalaam, Qasim & Sara Choudry. Masud & Qudsia Choudry

***** Bro. Haroun and Sister Akela & family, Florida
My dear Bros. Shahid & Zahid, Assalamu alaikum. We are very sorry to learn of the passing away of your mother, such a lovely lady, very respectful, and an educated woman who could fit herself in both Western and traditional situations. She will surely be missed by all of you in the family and in our Jamaat on the whole. We do hope and pray that Allah will give you all the strength and courage to withstand this great loss. We also hope that the younger ones will take a leaf from her life and follow in her footsteps. May Allah grant sabr to you all in this stressful time. We have both lost our mothers, so we know what you are going through. Inna-lillahi wa inna Ilaihi raji’oon. Allah Hafiz. Akela, Haroun, Rafeena, Nayeb, Faizal, Wazeeda and Deen

***** Dr. Noman Elahi Malik & Mrs. Samina Malik, Ohio
Assalamu Alaikum. We are very grieved to hear about the passing away of Auntie Akhter. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi Rajioon. May Allah Taala, the Most Merciful and Forgiving, admit her to His Forgiveness and Mercy and Grant her paradise. Ameen! We had known Auntie for a long time and were always very impressed by her cheerful nature and always-smiling face no matter how adverse the circumstances. With the loss of persons such as Auntie we have lost not only a loving mother, but also a link to those spiritual giants to the Ahmadiyya Movement. We pray to Allah Ta’ala to grant you all the sabr and strength to bear this great loss.

*****
25

Abdul Momin
Dear brother Zahid Aziz, Assalam Alaikum. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing away of your mother. I know this will be a time of grief and reflection for you. But leaving this world she must have been well pleased knowing that she produced a great servant of Islam. May Allah grant her eternal paradise. Ameen. [Abdul Momin of USA is son of the late Captain Abdul Wajid.]

***** Akram & Zainib Ahmad, Texas
Dear brothers (Zahid bhai and Shahid bhai), Assalam Alaikum. I am grieved to learn of the news of the demise of dear Auntie - May Allah bless her soul, and grant you all the strength to bear the loss. Zainib and I extend our heartfelt condolences to you and your respective families.

***** Bro. Fazeel S. Khan, Ohio
Dear Uncle Zahid, Assalamu alaikum. I’m very sorry to hear about your dear mother’s passing away. Inna lilahi wa ina ilaihi raji’oon. May Almighty Allah, in His infinite mercy, bless her abundantly with the rewards of paradise. May He also grant you and the rest of the family the patience and strength to bear this great loss. You all are in our prayers.

***** Capt. Abdus Salam Khan, California
May her soul rest in peace. Amen. Please convey our heartfelt condolences to Br Shahid and Dr. Zahid, her two illustrious sons. Sincerely Capt. Abdus Salam Khan

26

Family of the late Qazi Abdul Rashid, California
Dear Jamaat members, Assalamu-Alaikum. Today we received the sad news in THE HOPE bulletin that ‘Mrs. Akhtar Aziz passed away in the evening of 11 January 2013 in the UK’. Inna li-llahi wa inna ilai-hi rajiun. Every moment like above makes one grieve, especially if it is of someone that one can associate with, which in our case are her survivors – Shahid Aziz and Dr. Zahid Aziz, her sons and in the larger picture her father, Late Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi sahib, and in a still larger picture, the Jamaat of the Mujaddid of current era, our fraternal order. Our hands spontaneously rise in prayers for her and in appreciation of her role in spread of the Message of Quran, Prophet Muhammad and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (may Allah’s blessings be on them) that she accomplished by proxy through her parenting of her progeny. She ably bridged her previous generation, Vidyarthi sahib with the next of Aziz brothers, who in turn have aptly followed and expanded on their ancestral tradition of learning, striving for cause of Allah and selfless sharing of their knowledge. Today, she too has met her Maker. Yet, such a moment makes one contemplate as to what is that which we call life and what makes it death and what is the difference between the two. According to Quran, what separates the living from the dead is: 28:88. ... Everything is liable to perish but those (righteous deeds) by means of which you seek His attention... The human body is merely an instrument to achieve the righteous deeds that Quran reminds us of. For her survivors, she has left righteous deeds a plenty that includes personal excellence in her academic achievements – M.A., M.Ed., Fulbright scholar in USA. She herself saw the fruition of her righteous deeds in the works of her posterity that manifested in South African Cases. It is her progeny that picked up the mantle of Khwaja Kamaluddin by preserving the literary treasures of Woking Mission. They are constantly bringing out from the depth the intricacies of Islam in a contemporary style and in the manner of Vidyarthi sahib, both from the pulpit and the press. Dr. Aziz by editing the Jewel in the Crown of our Jamaat, i.e. English Translation and Commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali sahib, has put this work back into center on the world stage as the prime resource for the message and the inevitable debate about Islam, both from within and without. These brothers are tirelessly striving on an ongoing basis to rebut and remove the dross that some self-serving dogmas have tried to accumulate around the true message of the Mujaddid. It is through her progeny that we, the Muslims in general and the Jamaat in particular, are connected afresh with the Quran, the Prophet, the Mujaddid, Woking Mission and the works of our Jamaat elders in a modern light, both by the medium of internet and English translations of those works. Sooner or later, the inevitable happens:

27

3:185. Every soul must taste of death. And you will be paid your reward fully only on the day of Resurrection. Then whoever is removed far from the Fire and is made to enter the Garden, he indeed attains the object. And the life of this world is nothing but a provision of vanities. And, for the righteous: 2:25. And give good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that for them are Gardens in which rivers [of good deeds] flow. Whenever they are given a portion of the fruit [i.e. good deeds] of these (Gardens), they will say: This is what was given to us before [i.e. the good deeds]; and they are given the like of it. And they will have therein pure companions and therein they will abide. Now, two generations of the house of Vidyarthi sahib have passed and we are witness that they were given a portion of the fruit during their own lives, a job well done. The current generation of the same house is tirelessly and selflessly carrying the same burden of Ummah and Jamaat in an illustrious manner. We pray to Allah and seek His promise for their past, current and future generations. Amen: Sincerely, Family of late Qazi Abdur Rashid, California. (Ikram Jahangiri, Rashid Jahangiri, Hameed Jahangiri)

A Word of Thanks
The family of Mrs Akhtar Aziz wish to thank all those who conveyed their condolences. We have tried to include here all those messages which were received by e-mail, but apologize for any omitted inadvertently. Many other messages were received by telephone, and of course personal meeting, for all of which we are deeply grateful.

CONTACT INFORMATION
The HOPE Bulletin E-mail address: thehopebulletin@hotmail.com

ISLAM stands for: I SHALL LOVE ALL MANKIND

28

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful