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This memorial was published in several Newspapers in 2004.
On October 29th 2008, it will be 21 years since my Dad departed this world.
"I love you Dad..."

Asaalam – o – Alaikum –

Namaste –

God’s Blessings to All


My Personal Epitaph to My Dad

Dad, it is now seventeen years you have departed this world and into Allah’s hand, and although this seems like a long time, to this day, I always remember you for the father you were and the principles that guided your sojourner’s life.  Like my mother, I was separated from both of you by thousands of miles of land and sea.  This did not happen by willful intent, but by circumstances beyond all of our control.

Over the years I have come to realize that it was God’s “Will” that I left for that distant journey. Sometimes it is very difficult to understand the mystery of God’s mercies. Such was the case at the time I left in 1970. But this Omniscient God, out of tragedy, with his love and mercy, he certainly brought glory. I did not realize until today that it was seventeen years after I left that you died, and this is now seventeen years to the date, that you crossed over the Jordan to up yonder.

Dad, the world has gone quite “mad” since you left it in 1987, and I feel compelled and propelled to tell the world that if we saw the world through your eyes, the way you saw it, the world would be a better place, more peaceful and despite diversity we would have unity.  My father was born a Moslem, lived a Moslem life, (he was an Imam) and he died and was buried a Moslem.

The amazing thing about my father is that he never condemned anyone, he did not condemn anyone’s religion, and he believed with all his heart that we are all God’s children.  He took no position about who was going to heaven or hell: he always tried to do his best.  To ensure how true this story about my Dad is, let me share a personal matter with you.

Through the age of sixteen I attended Mosque with my Dad which was on a regular basis.  My Dad prayed five times per day.  Because he worked six days per week he always had to make up his daily prayer at nights.  In 1967 tragedy struck our family, it was most devastating.  I made a decision to attend a Christian Church, but my love and respect for my father was very important to me.  So I asked my Dad about what I was contemplating.  He told me without any equivocation whatsoever: “son, if that is what you want, then go ahead and do it, for it matters not which building we worship the Almighty God.”

His tolerance to respect people’s right to choose is what made him special.  This special gift that God bestowed upon my Dad turned intolerance into tolerance, hate into love, sorrows into joy, and gave hope for better tomorrows.  Dad I wish you were around to help turn this world that has gone upside-down to right-side up.


Your Loving Son, Sheriff Ali

Dad, on behalf of all of your children, Salima, Nadarine, Zoreena, Afrose, Jameel, Sheriff, Ashmeed and Latisha, we pray that you are wearing cardigans of Immanuel’s grace, and that your coronation includes gold diadems and your rewards are bountiful baskets of God’s providence of peace, joy and eternal happiness.

We Love You Dad.