Nazir Ahmad Ayaz was born on May 23, 1947 in Tanga, Tanzania. Nazir Ayaz was first elected to the office of President in 1981 and until the day he passed, a monumental 35 years. He was also a member of the International Ahmadiyya Centenary Committee appointed by the late Khalifa of Islam, His Holiness Mirza Tahir Ahmad. The late Khalifa remarked about Ayaz, “I am happy to say that in my opinion you are an exemplary President of the [Chapter] out of all the U.S.A. [Chapters] by the grace of Allah. I pray that may Allah enable you to maintain that distinction always."
Nazir Ayaz oversaw instrumental developments in New York City’s Ahmadiyya Muslim chapter. In 1996, Ayaz helped facilitate the expansion of Ahmadiyya Muslim chapters in the NYC Metro area from one to three. In 2005, he then helped the community expand to Long Island. He managed the transition from a mosque in a small house to the great mosque that is now present at the corner of 188th and McLaughlin.
Under his leadership, the New York chapter was among the first to pioneer (in 1985) a weekly Sunday school for local Muslim youth - a school program that runs to this day.
He also started a basketball tournament to encourage fitness and brotherhood amongst the community’s young men, which has grown into an annual event featuring dozens teams from around the nation and world.
Nazir Ayaz worked closely with Humanity First USA, to raise funds and establish programs in impoverished countries around the world. He was particularly focused on funding cancer research in his home country of Tanzania.
Through his involvement with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, he was a staple in meeting with other faith and community leaders and eager to offer the mosque as a meeting point.
“Nazir Ayaz was a role model for thousands of people. His humble nature touched everyone. He made sure to remain behind the scenes while actively involving as many people to enhance their skills and empower them,” said Nasim Rehmatullah, Senior Vice President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, “We have the utmost respect for him and offer our heartfelt prayers for Nazir Ayaz and his grieving family. He will be greatly missed by friends, family, and our community.”
Nazir Ayaz is survived by his wife Farhat, daughter Asmaa, and three grandchildren, along with numerous members of his extended family in the United States, England and Pakistan.
A viewing and funeral prayer will be held at the Baituz Zafr Mosque at 188-15 McLaughlin Ave, Queens, NY on July 4th at 1:00 PM.
About Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist and fast-growing international movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community spans over 200 nations with membership exceeding tens of millions. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, established in 1920, is among the first American-Muslim organizations.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long- awaited messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian, India. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival and moderation. He divested Muslims of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings.