Remember the good the Imam did, says son

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(Trinidad Express) Remember the good.

Fuad Abu Bakr, son of 1990 insurrectionist Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, urged mourners to do so yesterday at the funeral service for his father. Abu Bakr died on Thursday night at the St James Health Facility.

He had been at his home along Long Circular Road in St James, when he began experiencing pains and collapsed. The service was held at the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen on Mucu­rapo Road in St James. When the Express arrived, over 100 people were visible on the compound. And while most wore masks, there was little social distancing.

In the background, police sirens could be heard, as police patrolled the area. However, no warnings were issued for breaches of the Covid-19 regulations while the Express was there. “Remember the good. Remember the lessons the Imam has taught us. We each may have a different lesson we may hold to. But try to remember all. Let it change you. Let it change us. Let it change the world. “We have changed the world and we will continue changing the world with this belief in a creator and these principles of Islam. We are powerful. Because if we do what Allah says, he will raise us high. And if we don’t do what he says, he debases us low.


“As we continue this journey that the Imam and others have started and have carried, let us do so with the same spirit of love of charity of forgiveness. Patch up the problems in your home, in your community. There is no one worthy of worship but Allah, and he has given us a system of life that provides for all of our needs. We hear it every Friday. Let it resound in our minds and enter our hearts, and exit in our actions and behaviours. Let us humble ourselves today, and every day,” Fuad Abu Bakr said.

He said he has been told repeatedly about his father’s charity and “big heart”, and he thanked everyone for reaching out to the family during their time of grief.

“Death is a step in the journey of life and the best way we can honour and respect the Imam is to live the principles and teachings he has given us. So cry, but don’t cry for long. He passed on Jummah, and will be buried on Jummah. So let us bury the Imam. And let us let his teachings, his practices, the good ones, be remembered, because no one is perfect,” he said.

Speaking after, Abu Bakr’s former bodyguard Imam Lorris Ballack said the Jamaat’s council would take part in fasting for several days, following which a decision would be made to select the group’s next leader. However, until then, he called on the congregation to remember the great man that ­Yasin Abu Bakr was “because you will hear other talks” in the media over the coming days. “I want you to know who it is you are burying here today, it is a gift to T&T. And we loved him just as he was. My dear brothers and sisters, and guests, I have been around the Imam for 38 years and today when I see him here, I understand what is life. Today he has made it easy for me to die. And if his death doesn’t make it easy for us to be prepared to die, then he did nothing,” Ballack said.

He described Abu Bakr as a “true son of the soil”, and called for him to be remembered as such. Abu Bakr’s brother, Ayinde Abu Bakr, also spoke to a small group of people, and called on them all to get closer to Allah. “It does not matter how you die or when you die. What matters is how you live, brothers and sisters. “Our way of life is a simple way. My father, my hero, my example, this man thought me how to live as a Muslim. What is righteousness? Righteousness is not turning your face to east or to the west. Righteousness is looking after those in need—the poor, the orphans and the needy. This is what we are,” Ayinde Abu Bakr said.

He noted his brother’s birthday was Monday and that Yasin wanted to give a speech to his followers, but he changed his mind that day and said he would save it for another time. “But no time is promised. So take care of your family, brothers and sisters. You have to be the example. We are Muslim and it is our faith that binds us together. I implore you, brothers, beg for unity. Unity will continue the hard work that he worked his whole life for. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here. Be better, try to be better, make an effort to be better, brothers and sisters, because we do not know when your time will come,” Ayinde Abu Bakr said.

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