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Giant of a personality

I had the honor of serving as the General Secretary of the Queens Jama'at under President Ayaz sahib. In this role, I had interactions with him almost on a daily basis for years. My wife would joke, "Are you talking to your 'best friend' again?"

His simplicity in all aspects of his life was exemplary. He never carried a cell phone and had all important phone numbers memorized. He was a man of action, especially when it came to hospitality. Both Jama'at members and guests were constantly being served by Ayaz sahib.

He took great honor in meeting the needs of international guests. Indeed, the Masroor International Basketball tournament, which was started under his guidance and held many years in New York, was a time for his team to serve Khuddam from around the world.

He had a relentless passion for getting things done. Planning was fine but doing was more important. He had his list of action items we would review several times a week and even when I was falling behind, he would, in the most gentle way, remind me to keep moving forward. I can't remember a single time any harshness toward me though many times I probably deserved it.

His desire was to get everyone involved in some way. He would assign small projects and tasks not so much to get the work done but to make them feel a part of the team.

Ayaz sahib was a giant of a personality for decades in the Queens Jama'at but if you just observed his actions and didn't know his title you would never know that he was the president. He would be helping do all the small things from cleaning, vacuuming, serving food, setting up chairs, and much more. But at the same time, behind the scenes, making the sometimes difficult and important decisions and helping in the progress of the Jama'at. May Allah bless his efforts.

--- by Ahmad Chaudhry

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