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Imam Bassier's book launched

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Ten years after the iconic scholar’s passing, the autobiography of the late Imam Abdurahman Bassier was finally launched on Wednesday evening, as family, friends and top ulema came out to pay homage to the former head of the Boorhaanol Islam mosque. The book, titled ‘Born to Serve’, was written almost entirely by the scholar himself, and includes over 200 illustrations and drawings, 22 children’s bed time stories, as well as transcripts of tributes after his passing.

Abdul Muhaimin Bassier, one of the scholars sons, called the launch a “significant and emotional milestone”, for the family and all those who knew him, specifically since it coincided with the 10th anniversary of the his passing. Two years of the imam’s life had been sacrificed writing this book and its publication was the culmination of all his efforts.

Discussing his father’s approach to writing the book, Abdul Muhaimin said the late imam had spent a lot of time during the writing process, not only considering what to include in the book, but also what to exclude.

“For example there are people mentioned in the book whose names have been changed, in a way to protect their identity as it were. So their names have been changed, but their stories are still reflected there,” he told VOC News at the launch.

“For us it is very clear, having worked through the content of the book, Imam really applied his mind in penning this.”

He predicted the book would have a positive impact on the Muslim community in Cape Town, allowing them to derive benefit from the scholars various life lessons.

Sheikh Saddullah Khan, who delivered an address at the launch called ‘Imam Manie’ an inspiration to him during his childhood. Having grown up in the Bo-Kaap, he expressed fond memories of making Taraweeh salah under the late imam at the Boorhaanol masjid.

“He was one of the people who nurtured me as a child and gave me great opportunities. So my memories of him and the opportunities he provided are always an inspiration to me,” he said.

Khan said the book would capture the story of the man himself, his experiences, and some of his anecdotes and stories.

“It is always important from us in the present, to learn from the past, in order to connect with the future. You can only know where you are going to, when you know from where you come,” he said.

The autobiography will be available in both softcover and hardcover editions, at the recommended retail price of R150 and R200 respectively. For more information on how to buy the book, contact the Boorhaanol office at 021 424 1864, or visit VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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