Remembering Brother Mumtaz Akhtar: Ottawa-Based Muslim Canadian Community OrganizerWritten by Imam Anver Malam
Dear Community members of Ottawa,
As-salaamu alaikum WW. I hope and pray that you and your loved ones are all keeping well and staying safe from the pandemic effects.
[Recently], the greater Ottawa community lost a very dedicated community member, our dear Br. Mumtaz Akhtar. He had been serving the Ottawa community in various ways for over 40 years until he passed away. He studied biochemistry in Carleton University and then started his career with Health Canada where he continued to pursue his career until he retired. He was one of the founding patrons of Masjid Jami Omar and served our first shura committee for several years. When the first mortuary of Ottawa at Jami Omar got designed, built, and approved by the Ontario Funeral board during 1995, he was one of the volunteers to support our service to the community.
The unique thing about our dear Br. Mumtaz was that he was an avid community worker. He was driven to serve the community, as he would always find a cause and join the cause whole-heartedly. In the past, he also served on the board of the Ottawa Muslim Association as President. He served on the board of the Muslim Canadian charity Human Concern International in various capacities. He made great efforts to support Sadaqa Food Bank in the city. He also contributed to our community on funeral matters.
One of the amazing qualities that I personally observed in Br. Mumtaz was that he was always optimistic. To him, no tasks looked difficult. When the need to do something came about, sure enough, Br. Mumtaz would be there, ready to jump in with you. To him, no amount of fund raising seemed unattainable. Something too slow to move was not his type. While working together with him, I learned that “Things will happen insha-Allah”. He seemed to be assured of the fact that when you are working with sincerity for the sake of Allah (S), Allah’s help is bound to come.
Br. Mumtaz was also an amazing cricketer. He played cricket everywhere – on Governor General’s cricket ground to Jami Omar’s turf. Anyone played cricket or had something to do with cricket, he would have a good friend in Br. Mumtaz. He was an honest and straight talking person. You get from him what he had in his heart. He was extremely well connected with the people and he knew them well whom he knew.
Sadly enough, the Muslim community did not lose only a long-time resident who called Ottawa his home, but also a dedicated volunteer, a sincere honest friend, a courageous and confident activist and someone you can always count on.
We ask Allah (S) to forgive all his shortcomings, enlighten his grave and make it one of the gardens of the Paradise; and grant him Jannatul firdaus. We ask Allah (S) grant sabr to his wife, Sr. Talat, his beloved daughters Nadia, Sarah and Maria and the rest of the families. Aameen.
Imam Anver Malam