In our holy book, Qu'ran, Allah (swt) says in Surah Tauba (9) ayah 18, "The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day...". Our brother, Basim Shariah was one of our strongest custodians and maintainers of the masjid. Since an early age, Brother Basim has given his life to help establish Al Islam and be a service to his community. Affectionately known as "Uncle Bas" to not just only his nieces and nephews but to every young person that came in contact with him, Basim's spirit would light up any room. From his tenure at the Newark Board Of Education, interacting with students, being a close companion to the friends he grew up with, cracking jokes at Shakir barbershop while waiting to get his haircut, being one of the believers you would see at the masjid for Fajr and Qur'anic reading in the morning, stopping by around the afternoon time for either Dhur or Asr prayers, cleaning inside and around the masjid between Mahgrib and Isha, especially the day before jumu'ah or before and after functions at the masjid, Basim's personality would draw you to him like a magnet. His impact on our youth was evident. "Uncle Bas" would take many kids from the surrounding neighborhoods to play basketball, swimming, table tennis, and other forms of recreation. Many of those same youths introduction to Al Islam was also through Uncle Bas, as he would bring many of them with him through the doors of our masjid at 257 South Orange Avenue. Basim's greatest contribution was being a great Husband to his wife, a great father to his children, a great brother to his siblings, and a great uncle to his nieces and nephews inside and outside the immediate family. Basim Shariah is the heart of Masjid Imam Ali K. Muslim. His biggest concern was to make sure the masjid's affairs were always in order. He would always say to the youth of the masjid, "We are doing what we gotta do now to establish certain things so we can leave this to y'all with no headaches or problems." Although this is a huge loss for us and his family, his spirit will always live on as we continue to do the work on his behalf. Allah reminds us in the 2nd chapter, 154th verse of our holy book Qu'ran, "And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah. "They are dead." Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not." We thank Allah for giving Basim Shariah as a gift to our entire community. We ask Allah to watch over his family and this community during this difficult time. We ask Allah to forgive Basim Shariah of his sins, make his grave spacious, and grant him the highest level of paradise.
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