50th recipient of livelihood bicycle: ‘…. often I happen to randomly meet my ex-students, while I am cycling or walking on the streets or at a Masjid, they stop to inquire how I am and they wish me well, I like that they remember me even though they now grown up and some are even adults and married with children.’
Profession: Maulana/Teacher of the Holy Quran.
Abdul is both and brought up in Kolkatta, and now lives at Nallasopara. He arrived in Mumbai around 15 years ago, to teach children the Holy Quran and Namaaz in Masjids and at homes. His parents are uneducated, and are farmers, and they educated him and his siblings, 7 brothers, all of them teach the Holy Quran! He has two sisters. They had some land of their own but they had some losses in farming and had to sell most of their land.
Abdul’s family lives in the village and he has one daughter and one son, both study in school. He teaches children in the Bandra and Santacruz area and cycles from one home to the other and to the Masjid near Hill road where he teaches too. He needed a bicycle because his own bicycle was stolen a few weeks ago. He has never encountered anyone who ever offered him a bicycle to better his livelihood.
The biggest challenge he’s ever faced is when he fell seriously ill (a liver related problem) a few years ago and could not work. In that same period even his mother expired, so coupled with that it was a very difficult time for him and his family.
His happiest time so far has been when he passed his SSC exams with good marks, he was very happy that he did well in a family where his parents could not educate themselves, but educated him. He said ‘Sadness and Happiness come and go in turns, so I do not think of a bad time or a happy time. Both are passing phases.’
I asked him which is his favorite chapter in the Holy Quran?, he replied, ‘I like it in it’s totality. All chapters are my favorite.’ (Just like a mother loves her children equally, I thought to myself.) Abdul mentioned ‘…. often I happen to randomly meet my ex-students, while I am cycling or walking on the streets or at a Masjid, they stop to inquire how I am and they wish me well, I like that they remember me even though they now grown up and some are even adults and married with children.’
(Appreciation of your work, and respect even after years, are the true earnings of a Teacher, I thought as I saw Abdul Maulana ji ride away, wearing a white Pathani pyjama kurta.
Nearly after a week, I happened to see him riding ahead of me on a busy Khar Danda road. I was driving, I slowed down, rolled down my window, and greeted him with ‘As-salamu alaykum’; with a friendly wave of his hand he reflected my good wish with his ‘Wa-Alaikum-Salaam” )
Thank you to Surabhi Shah for donating a new bicycle to Egg seller Shabbir; we donated Shabbir’s old bicycle, that we received in exchange of the new, to Abdul maulana ji.
And thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good service.