I would like to nominate my wife Sayeeda Kermalli from the Edmonton Jamaat, Canada as a woman that inspires me.
Though she did not take an active role in the eyes of people but she has been my inspiration for all the active roles that I took in our jamaat as a Program Organiser/Mukhi for 4 years and as a President of the Edmonton Jamaat for 2 years. She has been an inspiration to me to be able to serve the Edmonton jamaat in the name of Allah (SWT) and the Ahlulbayt (AS). She inspired me to stay strong and focused as I completed my 4 years of Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree while actively taking the role in the jamaat. Had she not been there, I would not have been able to balance everything.
She sacrificed her career to take care of our children, and for me to focus on my career and establish a new business. She is my inspiration, motivator, and supporter.
I can go on and on to write as to how she inspires me daily.
She is always giving, forgiving, and always wants the best for people.
She is my FATIMA, she is my LADY OF LIGHT.
12. Tahera Virji
This is our mum, Tahera Virji. Her
parents, Yusufali and Sugra Bai Rashid, raised her in Bukoba,
Tanzania. She grew up in a home filled
with love and laughter, so it’s no wonder she insisted on creating the same environment for us.
But our mother also faced incredible
As the youngest of six children, she was in her early teens when she lost her father, while her mother was very ill.
Soon after, her family suffered through loss after loss, but her most difficult test was when she lost her best friend, confidante, and partner-in-crime, her brother Mohamed Rafik
Rashid in the late 1970’s. She had just moved to Canada with our grandmother and uncle.
A few weeks after moving, and a short, but aggressive battle with lupus, our uncle passed away. Our mum hit rock bottom. She had lost her zest for life, her days were dark and difficult. Many would give up, and many thought she would – but she didn’t. She realized
she couldn’t give up, and she had to make a change, and she did. Though we admire her for many reasons, her strength and resiliency – in this situation and others – are what
make her shine. A few years after this happened, she met and married our father and moved to Vancouver, and a few years after that, we came along.
The older we get, the more we appreciate our mum. Her name, Tahera, a title of Lady Fatima, means the pure one, and it’s no wonder why our grandparents gave her that
name. Through her actions, we learnt what it means to be generous with our time, be it family, friends, or complete strangers. Through her heart, we learnt what it means to give unconditionally and how to love. Through her words, we learnt diplomacy, and how to
treat people with respect and dignity. Through her humour, we learnt that it’s important to laugh as we live, and brighten people’s days as much as we can. Through her ability to listen, we gained strength and support. Through her determination and zeal, we learnt that anything is possible if we just put our mind to it. Through her eyes – though we saw pain – we saw immense strength, understanding and compassion. Through her hugs, we felt love and security. We still continue to learn more from her each and every single day, but one
thing we both know without a doubt is that we would not be who we are or where we are today without our pillar of strength and support – our mother.
She plays many roles, and she fulfills her responsibilities to each and every one of them incredibly – we really don’t know how she does it. Women often carry many titles – wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt – but our mum is also an entrepreneur, an artist, and lifelong community volunteer.
She is a creative, with an inquisitive mind, always coming up with her own creations.
Though she has many hobbies, over the past few years, she has enjoyed painting the most. Our home is filled with beautiful masterpieces, and she has been asked by many to
create artwork for their homes.
Having to cutback on her work because of health issues, but wanting to pursue her passion, she started a business from home called The Cherry On Top; baking, cooking and styling scrumptious creations for parties and special events. From creating cake pops for high-profile clients, to making a cake for a toddler’s birthday, she has done it all, and done it beautifully.
Her longest standing passion though is her community. She has always found ways to give back to not only the Az-Zahraa Islamic Centre, but also to the community at large, and humanity as a whole. She has taught at madressa, volunteered at our schools, served
at the mosque, and so much more. But what has always shone through for us was her passion for people. People are our mother’s cure to any ailment, and she has taught us both the importance of giving back and maintaining strong relations with family, friends
and the community.
It is for these reasons, and so many others, that our mother continues to inspire us. She is strong, independent, intelligent and incredible. She is our guide, our role model, our mentor, and our inspiration, and every day, we’re more and more grateful that we get to
call her by her most favourite title – mum.
Submitted by: Sajeda Gangji, Allentown Jamaat (SIJPA)
Abbas Virji, Vancouver Jamaat (SMCBC)
13. Sakumaben Vazir
Sakuma Ben vazir lovingly called Sakuma aunty was an amazing lady.
She was born in the year 1951 and started her noble work in the year 1989. She was one of the few dedicated lady who worked tirelessly for the upliftment of our community and helped us all work towards our Akhirah.
Initially she started a Madressah with help of few other ladies in Bhavnagar but then she realised the great need of religious teachings and so she worked hard to increase the number of Madressah's in different areas of Bhavnagar city.
As time passed she started Madressah's in nearby small villages like sihor, Tana, Vartej, Palitana....etc. and then in other cities like Ahmedabad also.
She became a mentor, a supporter and a guide to many young girls and women. She inspired many of us to become a better person. At present many students of her are reciting Majlis in different parts of India and Africa.
She had a soft voice with perfect hijab and was very patient. She was a very good listener and gave advices when needed. She was always ready to serve the community in various ways.
She devoted her time and energy with complete dedication and with expectation of no worldly rewards.
She travelled many places around India and Africa to spread the great message of Islam by reciting Majlis. She underwent 1 month training at a Hauza in Madagascar. She also went for 40 days Islamic camp in Jameatuz Zahra (Tanzimul Makatib) Lucknow along with other girls and women in the year 2000. Alhamdolillah I was fortunate enough to accompany her in Lucknow. It was once in a life time experience and still cherish those days spend with her.
She also started social services by raising funds to help the needy by paying school fees, buying sewing machines, giving karze hasna, helping in small business.....etc.
Along the way she faced many insults and hardships but she always stayed strong and positive.
From around 2005 she started 5 day Majlis programme during Ayyame Fatimiyahh at various places by inviting Zakira Yasminben Noorani to recite Majlises, which is still continued.
In 2010 her death shook all of us. Her death was a great loss not only for her family but it affected many communities in Gujarat.
May Allah s.w.t. reward her in the Hereafter for her endless services and sacrifices and selflessness.
She is still remembered dearly.
Nusrat Asaria and