To mark the death anniversary of our founder, Marhum Mulla Asgherali M M Jaffer, The Khoja Heritage Project of WF took the opportunity to speak to his son, Shaykh Abbas Jaffer, to find out more about what Marhum Mulla Asghar was like at home with his family and how he divided his time between his job as an optician, his community work and his family.
Behesht-e Zahra بهشت زهرا
The Paradise of Zahra
On the 31st December 2019 coinciding with the birthday of Bibi Zaynab AS – Imam Hasan Centre entered into an agreement to establish a new cemetery for the Muslim community in Sydney.
The cemetery is in a separate section within the Castlebrook cemetery in Rouse Hill and after a POLL was taken it was named Behesht-e-Zahra with 66% of those who voted choosing this name.
The initial area has 1,000 cemetery plots capable of double depth burials, thus able to accommodate 2,000 burials. An agreement was entered into, after clearances from the NSW Cemeteries and NSW Health, to ensure all of their religious requirements of burial are met.
The official establishment ceremony was held on the 15th of February 2020, coinciding with the Birthday of Bibi Fatima Zahra AS.
The Imam Hasan Centre cemetery committee will manage the facility and has provided options to the community to either purchase the plots outright or via a payment plan over 3 years. The cost per plot at is currently $6,900.
Masjid Ar Rahman, Imam Husain Islamic Centre, Al Zahra Funeral Services (part of the Al Zahra Mosque) joined Imam Hasan Centre to ensure that the community has the required facilities for burials.
The total cost to the community to complete the current project will be just under $8,000,000 totally funded by the community in Sydney.
Behest-e-Zahra cemetery was required urgently as the existing cemetery in Castle Hill was full (all plots sold), the Castle Hill Muslim cemetery was established in 2006 with Hills Shire council and Imam Hasan Centre and had 300 plots available and served the whole Muslim community, as all Muslims are welcome to use the facilities.
Alhamdulillah, on April 30th 2020, the ground works at Behest-e-Zahra cemetery were completed. There were delays due to the safe distancing requirements for the construction and preparation of the cemetery.
A cemetery is a sad place for us to attend, however it is an important requirement and they now have place that will serve our community and will be considerate of the requirements of our community.
We thank everyone who have contributed towards the purchase of a plot on the cemetery - May Allah grant you a long and healthy life.