MELBOURNE – Thousands of mourners have observed the funeral Prayer for the Australia’s top Islamic leader, a day after his death in Melbourne, The West reported on July 12.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Azeem Al-Afifi, 48, was farewelled by about 3,000 people on Thursday during a service at Al-Taqwa Mosque in Truganina, Australia where he had been a teacher.
Afterwards, about 2,000 friends, family and colleagues then attended his burial at Fawkner Memorial Park. The sheikh died in a Melbourne hospital before dawn on Wednesday, after battling cancer.
Nail Aykan, executive director of the Islamic Council of Victoria said: “The sheikh often quoted a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “The best of you are the ones who are most beneficial to others”.
This summed up Al-Afifi’s impact across Australia as a community builder, he expressed: “He represented good Australian values and good Australian citizenship.”
“A lot of ordinary citizens turned up because he was a grassroots person,” the director said. “As mufti, that’s why he was popularly elected because people knew of him.”
The Egyptian sheikh Al-Afifi was a founding member of the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) and was elected grand mufti in March.
In light of big loss, ANIC announced today opening its office in Sydney on July 13 for those who wish to pay their respects and convey their condolences.
ANIC also declared that it held an emergency executive committee meeting on July 12 which concluded that the Eminence Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohamad will be appointed as an interim acting Mufti of Australia until the next ANIC General Assembly Meeting in March 2019.
ANIC Statement: An Appointment of an Interim Acting Mufti of Australia