Mumbai: Hundreds of people on Sunday gathered in Mhasla, a census town in Raigad district of Maharashtra's Konkan region, for the funeral of Syed Shaukat Ali Nazir, Imam of Mumbai Jama Masjid.
Syed Shaukat Ali Nazir, the Imam of Mumbai's Grand Mosque located at Crawford Market passed away at his ancestor's town Mendri in Taluka Mhasla on Saturday late in the afternoon. He is survived by his wife and son.
The news of his death sent shock waves across India. When the worshippers at the Mumbai Jama Masjid were told about his death soon after the Asr prayers Saturday, many were left in tears.
Besides people from the neighboring towns and cities in Konkan, a large number of people from Mumbai, Gujarat and other parts of Maharashtra travelled to Mhasla for the funeral prayers of Syed Shaukat Ali.
The 84-year-old cleric, among one of the most respected living clerics in India, was Imam of Mumbai's Jama Masjid for 51 long years since 1964.
He was ailing since last few years and had shifted to Mendri. The last time he visited the Mumbai Jama Masjid was during the month of Ramadan when he came to Mumbai for two days.
Very pious and soft spoken, Syed Shaukat was famous for his Friday sermons. His sermon delivered immediately after the tragic demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 is still in people's minds. Advising calm and restraint, Syed Shaukat Ali had called upon the worshippers for introspection and prayers.
Syed Shaukat Ali Nazir was a graduate from Darul Uloom Deoband and was among the talented students of the senior teachers of that time like Qari Mohammad Tayyab, Aizaz Ali Amrohavi and Ibrahim Balyavi.
President of Jamia Hussainia in Shreewardhan, Syed Shaukat Ali had also presided over the inaugural session of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). He also worked as the Arabic language teacher at Mohammadia High School.