Imam Abdurahman Bassier

Imam Abdurahman Bassier

Name: Abdurahman Bassier
Born: 1923, Port Elizabeth
Died: 2004, Cape Town

Imam Bassier was born when his father, Imam Abdul Bassier the Imam at Boorhaanol Musjid in Cape Town, and his Alawiyah Tariqah Jamaah traveled to recite all over the country. His pregnant wife, Gadija, went along.

In 1930 the Bassier family went for Hajj. Abdurahman contracted smallpox and spent a month fighting for his life. He started primary school in 1931 and completed Standard 6.

At 14 he became a tailoring apprentice and a few years later started his own tailoring business. He began Islamic studies under Sheikh Ismail Edwards. Imam Bassier played rugby and represented Western Province Rugby Union in 1948.

In 1949 he undertook his 2nd Hajj. In 1953 he married Mareldia, who bore him 5 children, including twins. In 1962 his father passed away and he was elected Imam.

From 1962-1977 he ministered to Muslim patients at Brooklyn Chest Hospital. In 1964 he co-established the Boorhaanol Recreational Movement to improve the quality of life of the community through adult education, activities for youth and student bursaries. In 1966 they published the first Boorhaanol Newsletter. In 1970 they established one of the first Muslim preschools in the Cape.

Imam served on the Muslim Judicial Council for 40 years, being elected Chairman 1979-1981. He was involved in the establishment of the first Musjid in Mitchells Plain. He also served on the Imaarah, the highest decision-making organ of the MJC.

In 1978 he started missionary work at Robben Island and Pollsmoor prisons. By 1980 he established the Muslim Board for Prison Welfare and State Institutions. He served as chairman from 1982-2002. He set up the National Muslim Prison Board in 1988.

In 1982 he established the Committee for the Preservation of the Tana Baru cemetery to prevent desecration of the graves of the pioneers of Islam in SA.

Imam suffered a stroke in 2002 and passed away in 2004 at the age of 81.