MASTER HAJI ALLAH DITTA
A family friend, met him a couple times only but could tell in short time this man is unique and a pure gem.
May Allah (swt) grant him the highest ranks. Ameen.
PS. Not matter what you bench/ lift, this mans handshake was power and solid! MA
Known by his students as Master sahb, by young people as Uncle ji, affectionately by his community as Haji and lovingly by his family as Abbaji.
He was a man who played a fundamental and significant role in the lives of many people. From children to adults.
He had this unique ability of being able to draw people in and converse with them, regardless of their age, colour, race or religion. And then strike a unique relationship with each of them, that was initiated with a firm, testing handshake and a cheeky smile.
The earlier part of his life was spent teaching at a state school called Millat High School based in Channan, Gujrat, Pakistan. He spent 14 years teaching there, so had interacted and taught thousands of children. Many of whom migrated to several different parts of the world and would fondly remember their Master sahb.
He migrated to Oslo, Norway in 1976. He decided to register the name Islamic Preaching Institute as an organisation in 1986, with the intention of providing a space for Islamic education and learning. He took up teaching Quran to a handful of children, in his own home, and then to a few dozen in community centres and hired empty spaces. At the same time he took on the challenge of teaching Hifz to a handful of children (some of whom now lead Taraweeh annually). It's here, he was called Uncle ji by the young children of Stovner, along with their parents and the local Pakistani community. He taught hundreds of children and continued to teach as long as his health allowed him to.
He eventually found a place for the local Muslims to call their own. Purchasing the current site in 2001. Prior to this, there was no other masjid within a 5 mile radius. Up until then, people in the locality were deprived of praying 5 times a day and would often only attend other mosques to pray Jummah once a week, which would entail driving 20-30 minutes. Taraweeh was prayed in a different place every year, such as nurseries, cellars, libraries, bomb shelters amongst many other open spaces. People would be waiting eagerly in the days building up to Ramadhan to find out if he had managed to secure a place. Often it would even boil down to the Maghrib of the 1st Ramadhan before something was arranged, followed by frantically calling people in the community, to inform them that Jamaat for Isha & Taraweeh will stand in 30 minutes time.
The new masjid started to be populated by Muslims from around the world and became a melting pot of nationalities and backgrounds. They affectionately gave him the tag Haji, which would stick with him til the end. He would welcome each and every one of them with open arms. Whether they were Somali, Moroccan, Bosnian, Turkish, native Norwegians, he loved them all the same, and they loved him back.
He was a loving brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, to his family. He held a unique relationship with each relative and cherished them all. They find themselves fortunate to have been related to such an incredible individual who will be remembered by everyone and leaves a gap that no-one can fill.
There have been many testimonies and memories of Haji shared between friends and families. If you have a fond memory of Haji or would like to share some words about him, please do so by filling in the form below.