Tributes paid to ‘community lion’ who fought inequality and founded Bristol’s biggest mosque


One of the founding members of Bristol’s largest mosque has died.

Haji Lal Khan died yesterday (Saturday January 29) and was described as a pillar of the community.

The 82-year-old played a key role in opening the Easton Jamia Mosque on St Marks Road in 1986.

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Mr Khan lived in the city for almost six decades, moving to Bristol in 1963 from Jhelum, Pakistan.

The father of eight and grandfather of 16 lived his whole life on St Marks Road and was well known in Easton, being one of the last living founding fathers of the mosque.

Announcing his death, Easton Jamia Masjid wrote on social media, “He was a lion in our community fighting against inequality and for the voiceless in our community – Haji Sahib established our Masjid and was a true leader.”

Abdul Raoof Malik, chairman of the trustees of Easton Jamia Masjid, said the community was devastated by his death but was truly proud of Mr Khan’s achievements.

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He said: “The trustees and congregation of Easton Jamia Masjid on St Marks Road in Easton are today truly saddened by the news of the death of Haji Lal Khan.

“Haji Lal Khan was a pillar of our community and one of the founders of the Easton Jamia Mosque.

A prayer and “first search” at the Easton Jamia Mosque in 2016. (LR) Haji Mohammed Siddique, Haji Malik Sharif, Haji Khizar Malik, Haji Lal Khan Malik and Abdul Malik.

“In 1986, it was he and a few others who bought the building and built the mosque, transforming it from an annex church into a place of worship for Muslims in the city.

“The struggle of that time meant that a huge burden was lifted for the generations to come, who today benefit from this incredible building and facility, making it easy for Muslims to establish their worship and education .

“He was one of the last founding fathers of the mosque.

“It is the belief of Muslims that such efforts will lead to a special place in heaven and as a community we pray for his deceased soul and his family.”

Faizan e Madinah Bristol also paid tribute to Mr Khan on social media.

He wrote: “Haji Lal Khan was a popular figure in the community, who throughout his life worked tirelessly for the work of Sunni Islam in Bristol and was a defender of the truth.

“As well as serving the community, in 2005 Haji Lal was one of the leading figures in establishing Dawateislami’s work in Bristol. He tirelessly helped and supported Dawateislami physically and financially.

“Over the years, he has advised and helped us to thrive in our work and our organizational goals.

Easton Jamia Mosque

“In his healthiest days he was a regular participant in our gatherings and adorned himself in the fine clothes and turban of the Sunnah.

“Also, when Dawateislami Bristol created our very own Faizan e Madinah, the first person to donate was Haji Lal Khan. Subhan Allah.

“Dawateislami Bristol, wishes to offer its deepest condolences to the entire family.”

His funeral will take place tomorrow (January 31) at 1 p.m. at the Easton Jamia Mosque and members of the community wishing to pay their respects are invited to attend.

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