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Hafiz BA Masri Imam of Shah Jahan Mosque Woking UK

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd November 2020 05:13
I had never heard of this Imam Sahab before. Here, Imam Sahab relates his account in his own words.


After these dreams I felt much relieved. It seemed as if my spiritual crisis was over. I decided to turn a new leaf and become a Muslim formally. The late Sayyed Ataullah Shah Bukhari took me along to Maulana Mohammed Ilyas (the founder of the Tablighi Jamaat ) in a village called Mehroli, a few miles from Delhi . There, in 1940, I took my oath of fealty to Islam (Bai’at) at his hand. It was a blissful coincidence that the Sheikh al Hadith of India Maulana Muhammed Zakariyah also happened to be present, after the sunset (Maghirib) prayers, led by Maulana Ilyas, all the congregation of about 40 worshippers said a special prayer for me.


Born in Qadiyan, Punjab, India.
Abandoned Qadiyanism and embraced Islam at the hands of Maulana Ilyas Kandhelvi RA and Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari RA, in the presence of Shaykhul Hadeeth Maulana Zakariyya Kandhelvi RA.
First Sunni Imam of Qadiyani Woking Mosque in the UK, built by Shah Jahan Begum of Bhopal, India.

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Hafiz Bashir Ahmad Masri was born in 1914 in India. His father became Qadiani at the hands of Mirza Ghulam A. Qadiani, the founder of Ahmadiyya Movement. He grew up a very staunch qadiani. At the tender age of 15, his encounters with Mirza Basheeruddin Mehmood, the 2nd Khalifa (successor) and son of Mirza Ghulam, disillusioned him with religion, and he thought that if this is Islam he doesn't want to have anything to do with it. He became an atheist and they left Qadian. It was only a few years later that he embraced Islam. His father however, remained an Ahmadi and joined the Lahori group. He graduated with a BA honours degree from Govt. College Lahore of the University of Punjab. He also attended the Faculty of Arabic at Al-Azhar University. He is fluent in many languages including English, Classical Arabic, Urdu, Hindustani, Punjabi, and Suwahili. During the 20 years he spent in East Africa, he was Headmaster of the then largest secondary school and also held secretarial and presidential posts of various religious and social organizations among the Asian, African and European Communities, including Animal Welfare. In 1961, he settled in England, where he studied Journalism and for 6 years he was the Joint Editor of the well-known Islamic Review.

Woking Mosque was built by Nawab Begum of Bhopal in the later part of the last century. It had been taken over by Qadianis in 1920s. When brother Masri arrived in England, they appointed him as its Imam in 1964, thinking that he is still a Qadiani. Thus, after decades of Qadiani rule, he was the First Sunni Muslim to be appointed as the Imam of Shah Jehan Mosque, which at that time was the European Center for Islam. On his retirement in 1968, he handed over the mosque to Muslims and spent about 3 years touring more than 40 mainly muslim countries in order to gain deeper knowledge of Islamic culture. He was well known in the UK for his lectures, radio and TV broadcasts and published articles as an authority on the wider aspects of Islam. His written work includes Islamic Concern for Animals and Animals in Islam. Prior to his death in 1993 at the age of 79, Al-Hafiz Masri had launched an association IMAAN - International Muslim Association for Animals & Nature. His funeral prayers were offered in the same Woking Mosque in London.
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