MUHAMMAD HASSIM MUHAMMAD KAMIL
His exit was poignant. He had had his pre-dawn meal of Suhoor with the intent of observuing the fast of Ramadan. He moved to his living room and rested on his sofa in order to invoke Allah. Shortly after, he passed away.
Kamil was the second son of the late WM Hassim, founder of that reputed firm in Main Street, Pettah, in Colombo. He was an old Royalist. His early public life was involved in the Ceylonese Textile Traders Association that was created to promote national trading interests. He was also involved with the Ceylon Moors’ Association with a view to work for and protect the welfare of the community. He was elected as one of the Joint Secretary’s and Treasurer of the Moors’ Islamic Cultural Home (MICH) in 1947, and was annually re-elected to these two positions, which was an indication of his dedication and commitment to foster cultural affinity and serve the needs of the Muslims of Sri Lanka. He also held the position of Joint Treasurer of the Maradana Mosque and Member of the Boardof Governors of Zahira College, Colombo.
Kamil held the position of Vuice President of the Jiffriyathul Alaviya Thakkiya and a Trustee of the Salih Thakkiya, which is father-in-law, WM Abdul Majeed had built, at New Moor Street. He also found the time to serve as a Director of the Ceylon Muslim Educational Society Ltd. And a Committee Member of the University Mosque Association, Peradeniya.
He was no noisy debator but his voice reached the ears of many, far and near, in any crucial issue in all the activities and organizations he was involved in. As the President of the Sufi Study Circle he gathered a section of the mystics in Sri Lanka. He stretched his hands covertly to aid and assist laudable and deserving projects. He headed a large family. Although he shunned politics he allowed his only son, Omar Kamil, to dabble in it and eventually hold the prestigious position of Mayor of Colombo. He is survived by many daughters well settled and one younger brother, MHM Ameen.
He lived a full life and many a milestone was reached during his participation in movements that had contributed to national unity and economic stability, education progress, cultural revival and social welfare.