Imam Yaseen Harris passed away on Thursday, November 15th 2018. He has been described as a “dedicated individual who gave his heart and soul to the community.” Imam Yaseen was the chairmanship of the Muslim Judicial Council’s (MJC) Imaarah ( senior council) and was a board member of the Halaal Trust.
Imam Yaseen was appointed as Imam by the Jamaah at the tender age of 15. He attended St Mary’s in Woodstock, which is where he resided until the forced removals. Imam then went to Zonnebloem College where he planned to do a teaching course but later went to Livingstone High School to complete his matric. Imam later worked at a Pepsi-Cola Company, where he remained employed for 17 years, where he became an accountant. Imam also completed his duties as Imam, in addition to working.
Imam started working with the MJC at a young age, as his father was one of the founding members. Imam started helping with the administrative duties at the age of 13 and became more involved when his father inaugurated a fund for Palestinians, known as the Muslim Benevolent Society, in 1948. He started assisting the Secretary Hassiem Edros, while still in high school, in 1951.
Imam was the first secretary general of the MJC. He was also in charge of supervising the Halal meat trust at Maitland abattoir. Imam continued to do Halal meat supervision when the Halal Trust was formed in 1985.
In 1999, Imam was honoured by Boorhanul Islam for being the longest working Khalifa in the country.
“I feel grateful that I should meet my Creator tomorrow and he asks what I did. I can say that I created a calendar that allowed the Muslims to perform their salaah on time and looked after the halaal aspects in Cape Town. I was a member of the World Halaal Council. I feel truly blessed Alhamdullilah and while these things happened, I have never missed a Jumuah or one raka’aat of taraweeg.”
Imam Yaseen is survived by his wife and four children.