By: Ismael Mukhtar
I met Br. Mirghani for the first time in our Masjid at St.Vital on a Sunday evening, where he used to regularly attend a weekly Islamic study circle conducted by Br. Waleed, a PHD student at University of Manitoba. When I first met him and introduced my self to him, he received me with a friendly smile and with his typically warm welcome. We became friends from day one and our brotherly and friendly relationship continued to grow through out the years.
Br. Mirghani was a very active member of our community. He was always available to serve, to help and assist in the work of the community. His involvement was widespread and far-reaching. He volunteered in the weekend school, in the library committee, the camps, the MSA; he was elected as MIA trustee, MIA Vice President, MIA president and many others. He rarely missed any community gathering or event. He played an important role as a mediator and conciliator in many disputes and disagreements. His message was always the message of compromise, forgiveness, understanding and working together.
Even when he became ill, the community and the affairs of the community were always in his mind. Every time I visited him he asked about the community; the advice he offered to all of his visitors was consistent: reach out to every body, be united, open and clean your hearts and sort differences and disagreements by way of dialogue and discussion.
Br. Mirghani was ill and suffered physically for many years, but despite all his physical ailments his spirit and his faith in Allah remained high. Once I went with a group of brothers to visit him after he had a major health set back, and despite his serious illness, he surprised all of us by his smile and cheerfulness. He was praising and thanking Allah (SWT) and telling us how fortunate he was for having the kind of medical attention and care he was receiving, which he said many people in other parts of the world can’t easily afford.
There were times when I had disagreement with Br. Mirghani on certain community issues. Being a man of principle, he stood for what he believed was right and disagreed with me cordially and respectfully without compromising our brotherhood or our friendship. At times of disagreement he has proven to be a man of character and high moral standard. He was a man who made a clear distinction between differences of opinions and judgments and brother hood and sisterhood. He proved that it is possible to disagree but still remain close friends and brothers.
For many years Br. Mirghani and his family was the only visible Sudanese in our community. However, he never felt he was a foreigner among his brothers and sisters. He intermingled and made close friendship with all people from different regions of the world and gained their love and respect. He was above nationalism and ethnicity and truly believed in the universality of Islamic brotherhood.
Br. Mirghani’s contributions to this community are many and he will be remembered as a pioneer, a leader and a great brother. May Allah bless him and shower him with his mercy and may Allah save and protect his family.
(Published MB Muslim news letter Aug 2002)