The Passing Away of Hafiz Patel

Riyaz Timol writes in, ‘Hafiz Mohammed Patel, aged 90, died on 18 February 2016. One of Britain’s most influential Muslims, he founded and headed the European branch of the Tablighi Jama’at, frequently cited as the largest movement of grassroots Muslim renewal in the world, from its headquarters in the West Yorkshire town of Dewsbury. His funeral, held in the playing fields adjacent to the Dewsbury complex, attracted thousands of mourners from across the UK and abroad . . . I am in the final stages of a PhD examining the British branch of the Tablighi Jama’at (TJ) from a sociological perspective. As part of my fieldwork, I was able to meet the aged Hafiz Patel on several occasions and I interviewed many people close to him/

. . . Upon arrival in England, Patel found work – along with many other first-generation migrants – in the factories of the northern mill towns. Yet when a foreman threatened to sack him for taking time off to offer his Friday prayers, he retorted with “I sack you” and left for the Midlands. Meanwhile a small Gujarati Muslim community had formed in Dewsbury who were without an imam or hafiz; they had heard of Patel’s piety and passion for the religion so requested him to live among them to lead the prayers and instruct them in faith.’ click here.