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From Student In Madinah To Sheikh In Kenya: The Extraordinary Life And Adventures Of Sheikh Suhaib Hasan

The book is available on Amazon platforms. UK link:

This book covers the Memoirs of Shaykh Suhaib Hasan for the periods of Pakistan, Madinah and Kenya

Forward by Ustadha Khola Hasan:

The tragic events surrounding the partition of India and the birth of Pakistan included the displacement and forced migration of millions of people away from their ancient homes. My father was one such boy, clinging to the abaya of his mother while the family desperately climbed a train carriage bound for Pakistan. The life of a refugee is always tough, often with little understanding of the huge trauma created by the wrench of being made homeless and even stateless. Life in Pakistan was not easy for the new family, but they exhibited a resilience that came from deep conviction and faith, and strong family bonds. My grandfather was studious and academic, creating an atmosphere in the home that was passionate about faith, personal growth, highest levels of education, and service to the community. But most importantly, he taught a life that was dedicated to worship of Allah.

My father was the third in a family of one sister and seven brothers. During our annual visit to Madina and later Karachi, I recall my grandfather being slightly aloof with me, perhaps because he was simply too busy to worry about a little girl in pigtails. But my uncles were warm, jovial, and affectionate, each in his unique way. The youngest two played cricket with my brothers and took us to the park for ice cream, playing tricks and cracking jokes.

The last time I met my grandfather was in the summer of 2002, when I had four young children of my own. He asked me what I did to serve the Muslim community in England, and I responded with some self-pity that I was rushed off my feet with little children. He smiled and said quietly, “Take some burden off the shoulders of your father.” A little later he repeated this request.

When I returned to London, Dada Abba’s words rang in my ears, and I suddenly felt ashamed. This was when I took the decision to start a weekly class in Islamic studies for the ladies and young people of my community. Twenty-two years later, this class is going strong, with students from the early years attending today with their children and even grandchildren. This is a sadaqah jariyya for Dada Abba.

As I read these memoirs, I marvelled at my father’s thirst for adventure, the risks he took for his family and his work, the life that he has dedicated to his mission to bring Islam to the masses, and the numerous projects he has started. Abbu has never been one to stay in a simple mould but has been a trailblazer across continents. His early life sees him chasing giraffe across the plains of the Masai Mara, establishing a boarding school for Somali refugees in Kenya, speaking out against bid’as among most of the Asian Muslims, with threats to his life forcing him to emigrate to London.

He remains a passionate orator in Urdu, Arabic and English, with his Friday khutbahs bringing tears to one’s eyes. He pens beautiful Urdu poetry, writing some lovely Odes to my son and daughter on the occasions of their marriages. He has always loved travelling; our holidays to distant lands were usually preceded by lessons in the history of the places we were to visit. His love of books, especially Islamic jurisprudence, means that the library in the family home spilled into every room except the kitchen. His dedication to his faith and teaching it remains strong to this day.

Abbu says about himself that he was born in India, grew up in Pakistan, studied in Madinah, served in Kenya, and ended up in London. His legacy is huge, traversing continents, cultures, and languages. The British Muslim community has been blessed to have someone of his calibre walk among them for decades.

Khola Hasan

February 2024, London.

222 pages

About Me

Sheikh Suhaib Hasan Abdul Ghaffar is the Secretary of the Islamic Sharia Council of Great Britain.

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