Remembering much-loved community leader Amjid

Amjid Mahmood, left, died aged 40.

Amjid Mahmood, left, died aged 40.

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A much-loved community leader, solicitor and family man has died suddenly aged 40.

Amjid Mahmood was born in Halifax on October 8, 1975 and was known to many in the district through his work as a founding member of Calderdale Council of Mosques, his charity work and legal practice.

Mr Mahmood, who died from cerebral haemorrhage on June 11, was educated at Parkinson Lane Primary School and Ryburn Valley High School.

A statement from family and close friends Muhammed Kabir, Noshaba Ahmed, Sail Suleman and Imran Ali said he had a profound effect on people who met him and was an extremely popular figure.

It read: “How can one describe the generosity, the piety, compassion, kindness, humility and warmth of this man?

“The devastating news broke the hearts of thousands of people who knew him and equally those that had just heard of him.

“On that first evening, when his life was hanging on a thread, men, women, children alike stopped what they doing.”

Mr Mahmood was the youngest of six siblings but was considered by family to be wise beyond his years.

“On every matter, Amjid always was the one everyone would turn to for advice and direction. Often described by his mother as the golden child of the family he was always exceptionally well behaved from a very young age.

“As well as excelling at school from an early age, Amjid loved attending his local mosque with his late father, Haji Abdul Malik.”

At 15 Mr Mahmood had memorised all the chapters of the Quran, which earned him the title Hafiz. “This remarkable achievement at such a young age would later enhance his journey to become a pious devout Muslim who won the hearts and minds of a whole community.”

He undertook a career in law, studying at the University of Huddersfield.

Mr Mahmood obtained his legal practice course part time while working at Nichols Green, eventually qualifying as a solicitor at Pattersons Solicitors and setting up his own firm AMAL solicitors in Huddersfield. A second branch was opened in Halifax shortly before his death.

As a founding member of the Muslim Association of Calderdale, his family said he always worked to bring communities in Calderdale closer together.

“He worked tirelessly towards integrating our own community into the various functions of society.

“He actively encouraged youngsters and elders alike to get involved in the local decision making processes, voluntary work and helping to reduce the inequalities that existed.

“Over the years, he has been involved with many campaigns which were close to his heart, including Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, human rights issues across the world, and many local issues such as the recent flooding in our area.

“Indeed, he was part of a local team, which helped out in the aftermath clean up operation in Hebden Bridge.

“He had dedicated his life to serving the community and meeting the challenges that the Muslim communities faced. 

“A close friend of his commented ‘his contribution, the respect that he had earned and the work that he did was a very clear example to all of us of the personal characteristics that made him an important person within our community’.”

Mr Mahmood was one of the founding members of the Calderdale Council of Mosques, which represents mosques in the borough.

“He was also nominated as chairman of the group and was delegated the position of spokesperson on behalf of the Muslim community of Calderdale. He worked in partnership with the council, police and other agencies in ensuring that the organisation was recognised and played a substantial role in supporting key agendas within the establishments.

“Furthermore he continued building community relations with other religious institutions, he regularly attended and supported the interfaith work delivered at a local level.

“He was always instrumental in supporting the council, faith sector in coordinating meetings of faith representatives following on from natural disasters across the world, international incidents affecting local people, supporting the work on arranged, forced marriages and CSE.

“A devoted father, husband, son, uncle, Hafiz Amjid was the heartbeat of his family. He took immense pride in his family helping them in any way possible.

“His devotion to his parents was unparalleled amongst his peers, looking after and being the primary carer for his father after a debilitating stroke.

“His children Nurani, Zakariya, Zainab, Yusuf and his loving wife and pillar of strength, Farzanah, all of whom all of whom supported him and allowed him to be as great as he was.

“He passed away in the holy month of Ramadan, and during the time the whole world stopped and mourned and celebrated the life of Muhammad Ali, in Halifax people were mourning their own greatest son.

“Both touched the hearts of people wherever they went. Both were advocates of peace, love and unity to build a better world.”