Thousands raised in memory of "irreplaceable" Preston Mosque teacher who has died from Covid aged 50
More than £20,000 has been raised in memory of an "inspirational" Preston Mosque teacher who has died of Covid-19 aged 50.
The family of Salim Master of Burrow Road launched the fundraiser to help build a mosque in India in his honour, with any additional funds raised going to help orphans and the most needy in India have access to essential supplies, such as clean drinking water.
Salim's brother, Dil Masters, 54, said: "It would be very fitting to have something like this in his honour.
"He just had this personality where he always put others first.
"And he was full of life. He'd walk into a room and without shouting or creating a fuss, everyone's focus would be on him. He had a great smile and charisma."
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Mr Master grew up in Burrow Road with his three brothers and two sisters, and bought a house next to his mother, in order to look after her and to remain part of the community.
Dil, from Fulwood, said: "He has helped a lot of people. I am hearing new stories every day since his passing of how he helped people.
"He'd even get out of bed at midnight to go and help someone, and as a Mosque teacher, he never lost touch with his students after they'd finished their classes with him."
After leaving Ribbleton Hall High School, Mr Master worked as a sales adviser for the Citizen and Lancashire Post newspapers before moving to the DVLA. Due to redundancy and arthritis, he immersed himself in community work.
He taught primarily at Madrasah Noor-e-Raza, as well as the Iqra Education Centre and Masjid-e-Raza in Lancaster. He also he delivered speeches and helped mosques with Jumu’ah (Friday prayers) and Imaamat (prayer of congregation) when required, with Masjid-e-Aqsa being the most recent.
His brother said: "He thought he was better serving the community, and his tentacles reached right across the North West and as far away as Birmingham.
"He had this respect that preceded him. When people contacted him for help or advice, they knew straight away that he was a man of knowledge."
Mr Master died on Saturday, February 6 at the Royal Preston Hospital. He leaves wife Suraya and three sons, Samir, Shakil and Safwan.
Samir said his father was "an irreplaceable member of many communities across the UK".
He added: "He will be remembered by family as an enormously caring and loving gentleman who brightened our rooms every time he walked in. He prioritised Islam above all else, followed by his three boys who never stopped feeling his love and affection.
"A teacher, leader, role-model, and friend; Hafiz Salim Master was a pillar for his community, and a helping hand for many other communities. He spent 30 years of his life, until his final days, in the service of the religion."
A statement from Masjid-e-Noor Preston reads: "Whoever met Hafiz Salim Sahib would instantly bond with him whatever their age. Hafiz Sahib was a mentor to the young Huffaz during the Month of Ramadhan. Words cannot describe the loss of Marhoom Hafiz Salim Sahib but we are resigned to the will of our creator Allah."