“It is a loss not for just the whole of Birmingham, but Pakistan"
Tributes have been paid to a Birmingham mosque official following his sudden death.
Saeed Iqbal was a valued member of the Zia-ul-Quran Jamia Masjid and Community Centre in Alum Rock.
Affectionately known as Smiler due to his infectious smile, Saeed was known for his work assisting mourning families with the bathing and burial of their deceased loved ones, both locally and internationally.
It was reported that he died whilst on a trip to Pakistan with his elderly mother.
Many tributes were left on social media from shocked locals who had known Saeed for many years.
Majid Mahmood, Bromford and Hodge Hill Ward councillor, said:
“I’m shocked and saddened that Brother Saeed, the caretaker at Zia-ul-Quran Mosque, who performed thousands of ghusls [purification baths], and burials on behalf of the people of Birmingham, has passed away.”
The mosque’s Public Liasion Officer, Shaukat Mahmood, said:
“It is a loss not for just the whole of Birmingham, but Pakistan, as well, as he would perform burials there. He performed the ghusl and burial without any fear.
“He was a volunteer who loved doing it for the faith and serving the community.
“Anything like picking up the deceased, shrouding them, washing them, taking them to the airport burying them in a different country.
“I am going to miss everything. It feels like a light has gone out of the mosque. It is a loss to the whole community. Nobody ever had a bad word to say about him.”
Resident Haroon Iqbal recalled: “He was a nice and humble man who was helpful and caring. He was someone who went the extra mile to support us.
“My son passed away and he was one step ahead of me, he said ‘I’m here for you’, it is a big loss for the community and the mosque. He will be missed.
“It is sad we cannot be there at his funeral. He buried people in our community but we cannot bury him.”
One individual said: “Brother Saeed was the most calm and humble guy I knew. He was here for me and my family when my father and grandparents passed away.
“He was known to our family for over ten years, and I remember when my dad passed away in 2021, he came to the house and stood by my father for a long time, before taking him to the mosque.
“He allowed us to see my dad before his burial as many times as we wanted, and he was always patient and never rushed us.
“He will be very sadly missed and I hope his family take solace in the fact that he was a much-loved member of the community.”
Reportedly, Saeed’s funeral will take place on September 22, 2023, in Pakistan.