The Muslim community in Sheffield mourn the loss of Haji Ahmed Mahmood the vice chairman of Jamia Mosque Ghausia to COVID-19 pandemic.
Mahmood worked to serve the community, setting up the first vaccination clinic in a Yorkshire mosque. However, he passed away with COVID-19 before getting the vaccine himself.
“He was a very, very nice person, a really humble, down-to-earth individual and always smiling,” Kashmir Malik, a trustee at Jamia Ghausia, told The Star.
”My kids are in tears, they are devastated. They referred to him as an uncle. He treated all children as his own, he would go out of his way and treated them in such a way that was unbelievable.”
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Haji was 57 and lived in Sheffield all his life and was hospitalized with COVID on January 31 only two days before opening the vaccination center. He died on March 2 and was buried a day later.
“He had the biggest role at the mosque because he was doing the day-to-day running from morning to evening, he was hands-on. It was unbelievable, the time and effort he would spend,” Kashmir, 41, said.
“We’re devastated. We had such a good working team and it suddenly came as a shock. He provided safety for others not knowing his time was coming.”
A second pop-up clinic at the mosque was held in Haji’s memory on Saturday and attended by around 130 people, up from around 85 in January.
“A lot of the public say they feel a lot safer having the vaccine at the mosque,” Kashmir added.
“The mosque is one of the most important places in our religion so they feel a lot safer here.”
Muslim leaders from across the country have been very vocal about the importance of trusting the vaccination program.
Birmingham’s landmark Green Lane Masjid and Community Center issued a statement in January to clear skepticism surrounding COVID vaccine and urge Muslims to seek medical advice.
In January 2021, the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) okayed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 for Muslims.
In December, BIMA also approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Muslim communities, confirming that there are no animal products in this vaccine.