Mr Kazim Hussain, 89, the founding Secretary of AFIC, an educationist and a well-known community leader passed away in Sydney on Tuesday 11 June 2019. His Janaza (funeral) was held at Lakemba Mosque followed by his burial at the Rookwood Cemetery, the following day.
A Quran recitation program followed by dua was held on Sunday 16 June at Rooty Hill Mosque where his longtime family friend Dr Sikandar Naseeb Khan presented a eulogy while Mr Hussain’s youngest son Dr Gazi Hussain welcomed and thanked the community members gathered at the event for remembering him.
Mr Hussain leaves behind his life long partner Mrs Sultana Hussain, sons Zaki, Fahmi and Gazi and daughters Safinaaz and Azra and a number of grandchildren.
Mr Hussain has been the driving force behind many foundational Islamic, educational and cultural institutions in Australia, Sydney in particular and leaves a huge legacy of achievements. He has helped and shaped the academic and social achievements of many people over his lifetime including thousands of students who he taught both in the Public school system and trained through the Muslim Youth Camps.
After the Melbourne based Australian Federation of Islamic Societies (AFIS) was restructured as the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) in 1976 and established in Sydney, together with its founding President Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, a long time close friend and colleague of him, Mr Hussain played a significant role in consolidating the Muslim federal body to become the representative organisation of Muslim Australians.
In a landmark paper tiltled, ‘Islamic Education and Schools, presented in March 1989 at the AFIC Federal Congress, Mr Hussain gave a blueprint for the development of Islamic Schools in Australia in a strategic and coordinated way sharing vision, policies and resources.
Mr Hussain, being a school teacher with extraordinary skills in mentoring young people from diverse backgrounds, together with Dr Mohammad Ali Wang and Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad organised AFIC Muslim Youth Camps on an Australia-wide level for more than a decade that became the role models for later Muslim Youth Camps.
Mohammad Kazim Hussain was born in Hyderabad, India on 6 February 1930 and after completing BSc and MSc worked as a researcher and lecturer in Physics in India before serving in Nigeria and Zambia in the field of education from 1962 till 1973.
He migrated to Australia on 2 February 1973 and was recognised as the 10,000th candidate in Bankstown for receiving his Australian citizenship on 27 May 1974.
In Australia Mr Hussain subsequently completed MEd from the University of NSW and worked as a Senior Science Teacher at Liverpool Boys High from 1973 to 1982 and at Asquith Boys High from 1982 to 1994. He also served as the Principal of the Australian Islamic College, Sydney from 1998 to 2002.
Mr Hussain, in addition to Muslim community organisations, also founded and worked with many other social and cultural organisations including Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu, AMU Alumni of Australia, SAMAA, Islamic Sunday Schools, Islamic scripture classes in Public schools and also represented Muslim community on Rookwood Cemetery Trust.
I grew up from a teenager seeing Hussain Saheb as a best friend and colleague of my father Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad who had great respect for Mr Hussain as a most sought after colleague and adviser. Hussain Saheb had a cool, analytical mind and had a great sobering effect on his mostly excitable colleagues, he was surrounded by within the Muslim community.
I, and I think, many in the South Asian community admired his unique skills in relating most competently jokes both in English as well as in Urdu with equal ease making the listeners laugh and smile while Mr Hussain always keeping a straight face.
During the early seventies with no mosques, community centres or halls to gather, the Muslim community in general and the South Asian community in particular, frequently met at three residences namely that of Mr Mohammad Afif in Mosman, Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad in South Hurstville and Mr Kazim Hussain in Bass Hill (Bankstown) hosted generously by their respective wives and families.