Thursday, the January 16th 2014, is the day which many Muslims in Malawi will never forget following the loss of one of the prominent, renowned and influential Muslim leaders Sheikh Amani Matiya.
Sheikh Matiya, who was also the Director of Al-Manasik Travel and Tours, passed away on Thursday morning at Mwaiwathu Hospital in Blantyre.
Here at Malawi Muslims Official Website, we try to take you through just a little about the life of Sheikh Matiya and how he will be missed.
They say the litmus test for any great and quality leader is not how long but how effective and productive his life was and how beneficial to the people he led and what mattered to him the most. If we judge the late Matiya on those qualities of leadership, nobody will deny the fact that the former special adviser to the President of Malawi has done quite good and with no doubt he would have done more.
Sheikh Matiya was a man who believed in himself, a person with a great vision. He was the only indigenous Malawian who, despite facing several hiccups from other disgruntled, envy Muslims, excelled to set up his travel agent for Hajj and Umrah Al-Manasik Travel and Tours.
Of course, he could make mistakes here and there – after all he was a human being but the concept itself and eager to achieve more Matiya made indigenous Malawian Muslims proud.
Gone is a self-esteemed and confident man who believed what Douglas MacArthur alluded to when he said ‘a true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.’
Gone is a leader from Nkhotakota who possessed not only good preaching skills but practising what he preached to the people.
In masjid, especially during Bayan it is rear to see people smiling, and when the sermon touches their souls, raising their voices making takbeer is something uncommon – but it was norm with Sheikh Matiya’s sermons and speeches. Listening to Sheikh Matiya’s lectures and sermons – you could see that indeed the man was blessed. Of course, what he was preaching was not something new but the way he was putting it using his skills is what made Matiya special.
But one of the most interesting things in him was that he never stood on the podium and say ‘I am one the most skilled or educated sheikhs in the country.’ He was leading a low profile as he believed that whatever he has, be it skills or whatsoever is from Allah.
Gone is a strong leader who did not want to let fear stop him from speaking truth as he believed life is a test and it is only justice that would set people free.
It was on September 18, 2012 when he received a heavy pressure from the US Embassy to explain what he meant when he said “Muslims were ready to defend and die for Islam” after he confidently and fearlessly condemned the US Anti-Islam Film.
The 14-minute film which was distributed online depicted the Prophet Muhammad (saw) as a womaniser and a warmonger.
However after watching the film, the late Sheikh Matiya could not sit idle and let the Holy Prophet’s image be discrated like that, he did not care whether the film was made in one of the powerful countries in the world or what. He openly told the US government to apologise to the Muslim faithful worldwide failing which he would mobilize demonstrations outside the US Embassy in the Capital Lilongwe.
Yes, and he meant it.
Unfortunately, with just a call from the US Embassy on the remarks which late Sheikh Matiya made, Muslim’s mother body Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) was melted with fear and immediately produced a statement distancing itself from the remarks – leaving Sheikh Matiya alone.
But Matiya stood firm, he refused to withdraw the statement which at first was said he was speaking on behalf of MAM.
Instead, he owned it as his own views after MAM rebuffed him and confidently told Malawi Muslims Official Website in an interview that “I am ready and prepared for anything.”
What else can you expect from a good leader apart from this?
Gone is a man who removed a word ‘failure’ from his vocabulary.
“I have come across with many challenges for my firm to be where it is now. People have tried to frustrate me, psychologically torturing me but I never gave up. Instead, many customers have been increasing every year with some coming from Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
“What is important is to believe and accept that this how some human beings behave. When you are doing good things especially the Allah’s work, that is what you should expect and even more. We can be poor yes, but we can do more if we are focused,” Sheikh Matiya once said this at his office last year when asked how he managed to set up his travel agency.
There are many things that we could have talked about Sheikh late Matiya but the space is just limited.
We just say, Oh! Sheikh Amani Matiya, we will miss you. May your soul rest in peace! Inalillah wa ina illah rajiun.
Indeed there a lot of positve things that we can mention about the late Baba Sheikh Amani Matiya. Such is Allah’s Decree (Qadar) we have nothing to go about other to accept it that what Allah the Almighty wished has passed. We have indeed lost the precious figure that won’t be replaced and that’s how knowledge vanishes from this globe through the demise of the influential and knowledgeable figures of such caliber.
May Allah forgive him all his sins and make him rest in peace in his grave – Ameen.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi raaji’oon
the late sheikh was indeed my mentol he was one of the sheikhs that when he was giving lectures inspired everyone in the mosque we shall real miss his lectures we pray to allaah to grant the sheikh janat inshallaah
We really have lost
great leader of his time.
His lectures were always Inspiring…
May Allah Taala grant our Sheiks Jannatul firdous. Ameeen
i will miss him alot
INDEED SHEIKH AMANI ! YOUR DEATH HAS BEEN A SEVERE BLOW TO US MUSLIMS IN THE COUNTRY AND TO ME IN PARTICULAR. A GOOD LEADER YOU WERE, YOUR DEATH HAS LEFT ALOT OF QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS MY CHAIRMAN. LOOK AT AL-MANASIK THE ORGANIZATION YOU ESTABLISHED, NATIONAL HOLLY QURAAN COMPETITION, THE COMPETITION YOU WERE COORDINATING, MUSLIM FORUM FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE , THE ORGANISATION YOU CHAIRED, YOUTH PROGRAMMES YOU HAVE BEEN A DARLING TO, RADIO PROGRAMMES SUCH AS CONTEMPORARY ISSUES AND WHAT HAVE YOU. AMANI OUR EYES ARE SHADING TEARS AND OUR HEARTS ARE TOTALLY GRIEVED, BUT WE CANT SAY EXCEPT WHAT PLEASES OUR LORD ALLAH ” INDEED WE ARE REALLY GRIEVED BY YOUR DEATH.” MAY ALLAH GRANT THE FAQEED (DECEASED) WITH HIS WAASEA( VAST ) RAHMAT AND PUT HIM IN HIS FASEEHA(MAGNIFENT) JANNATIH. FINALLY LET ME SAY TO YOU AMAAN WHAT UMAR SAID TO ABUBAKAR “ATABTA MAN BAADAKA YA ABABAKAR.” WATOPETSA WAPAMBUYO PAKO IWE ABABAKAR. NDIYE INE NDIKUTI WATOPETSA WAPAMBUYO PAKO IWE AMANI! NSAPATO ZOMWE MWASIYA ZAKULA KWAMBIRI NDIPO MAPAZI ANGA ACHEPA ZEEEEEDI MY CHAIRMAN.
My dear brother, you always smiled and gave good advise to me, more importantly you promised to one day take me for HAJI,never the less you are gone but your promise will never go in vain, Allah knows best I miss you so much RIP my dearest brother..