Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sir Razik Fareed Kt. OBE, JP UM (1893-1984)

Sir Razik Fareed, was born on 29-Dec-1893 and educated at Madrasathul Zahira and Royal College, Colombo. He held the prestigious positions of President, All Ceylon Moors’ Association, Member CMC, HR, Senate, First Member Colombo Central, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Pakistan. Gifted lands to establish Muslim Ladies College. Founder Member Moors’ Islamic Cultural Home in 1944 and held the position of its first President. Established Maternity Homes in the City of Colombo and rural hospitals in predominantly Muslim areas. Died:23-Aug-1984

Sir Razik Fareed's birth anniversary - December 29

Sir Razik Fareed was born on the 10th day of Muharram 1312 (29th December 1893) at the Layards Broadway. He is the son of W.M. Abdul Rahuman and Hajara Umma his mother passed away when Sir Razik was only three years. He was the grandson of Wappichchi Marikar. He came into residence at 'Hajara Villa' Fareed Place, Colombo in 1915.

Sir Razik Fareed inherited from his ancestors the spirit of service to his community and country. Wappichchi Marikkar founded Zahira College Colombo, while Sir Razik founded the Muslim Ladies College two leading schools for boys and girls.

Sir Razik championed the cause of Sinhala - Moor unity and a united Sri Lanka, thus demonstrating that the interest of the Moor community and the welfare of all Sri Lankan were near and dear to him. In this respect he proved his sincerity by his relentless service to the Muslim community and the country. No wonder he was popularly known as the 'Uncrowned King of the Ceylon Moors.'

In 1930 he entered politics and was elected a member of the Municipal Council. He was a Senator and a Member of Parliament in a long political career capped by his appointment as a Minister in 1960. Later he moved into the diplomatic field and was Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Pakistan. He wanted the Muslims to be politically mature and that they identify themselves with national parties. He left the choice with the people in selecting the national party that they should support.

Muslims were elected as representative in majority Sinhala voter electorates like Borella, Akurana and Beruwala. The majority community reposed confidence in Muslims.
In 1946 Sir Razik was associated with Mr. D.S. Senanayake in founding the United National Party. He established the Muslim Ladies' College to give every educated Muslim boy and educated Muslim bride. Former principal of Zahira College Colombo Marhoom A.M.A. Azeez said that he would live in the history of our country as the 'Father of the Government Muslim School.'

Sir Razik was a person with a generous heart. He has spent much of his wealth on the poor without many knowing it. He served the community as president and later life president of the Moors Islamic Cultural Home (MICH) for more than 40 years. His grandfather and father had done a great service to Muslim Community. In 1932 Marhoom Sir Razik was made a Justice of Peace and an unofficial magistrate.

Sir Razik Fareed lived with unity with other communities in this country. Sir Razik's father was a good friend with the Sinhalese Tamils and Burgher communities leaders. Sir Razik was example Sinhala-Muslim Ekamuthukama. He was good example today's Muslim politicians and follow the examples of Mahroom Sir Razik Fareed, Dr. Baduidin Mahmood, Dr. M.C.M. Kaleel and Dr. T.B. Jayah who made an effective contribution to the community and country. They lived with self-respect maintaining the dignity and well being of the community.

The late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike said, "I regard Sir Razik not only as the leader of the Ceylon Moors but also one of the greatest Ceylonese Leaders."

A grateful community has established a foundation inspired by a sense of gratitude called the Sir Razik Fareed Foundation to foster and preserve for posterity the humble service rendered by him.

He passed away on August 23, 1984 at the age of 91.
'Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Illahi Rajioon'

written by M. Ruzaik Farook JP, President Sri Lanka Islamic Society

Sir Razik Fareed's 20th death anniversary is tomorrow:
Flame that lit lives of thousands

by P. P. M. Saheed SO Aug 22 2004

Twenty years ago today, a flame that lit the lives of thousands in this country was extinguished. But the light of the great are never really snuffed out. They continue to fire our spirit, our wills, give us courage, help us to sacrifice and continue to illumine every dark corner if our lives... as long as we continue to remember and honour that great goodness of soul that make such men unique.

This is why today, I stand in testimony to this great light and recall that surging spirit of a man who served his country so well, so ably, so dedicatedly. He was as Dr. W. Dahanayake called him, "the uncrowned king of the Moors of Sri Lanka." He was Sir Razik Fareed, a man so towering in mental stature, so noble in word and deed, that all honour sat lightly upon him and the minutes of his everyday moved in slow, measured tread, as though time itself passed and paused at his feet in order that he could make the fullest use of every ticking second.


I pen this note to acknowledge him... not to merely remember him. We in Sri Lanka, will always remember. not only the Muslim community but the people of all races and creeds. We have all of us benefitted from this one life; and I may well quote Shakespeare in saying that this, indeed, was a man......." whence cometh such another."

His long years of national and community service are studded with many milestones. Member of the Central Muslim Youth Conference in 1913....Lieutenant of the Colombo Town Guard in the civil strife of 1915.....President of the All Ceylon Moors Association for nearly 40 years.....President of the Moors Islamic Cultural Home for over 30 years.....Founder member of the United National Party....Member of the Colombo Municipal Council for 16 years....Member of the then State Council and Senate.....Member of the House of Representatives for Colombo Central for three terms.....High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Pakistan in 1968.......President of the Ceylon Kennel Club.....President of the Ceylon Poultry Club and Orchid Circle.... steward of the Ceylon Turf Club.

He straddled the political scene of our country for over a generation and was also a distinguished member of the Peace Council of Sri Lanka. Above all, he put country first evidenced by what he maintained both publicly and privately many times over. When Great Britain wanted to give us our independence, he said:

Let us (Muslims) not think of our own selfish interests. We join hands with the majority community and we say we want independence: we want freedom for Sri Lanka". All his life, he also worked for the amelioration of the conditions of the Muslims of this country.

His doughtly efforts saw the establishment of schools for Muslims all over the island as well as Muslim Teacher Training Colleges at Addalaichenai and Aluthgama. He gave Muslim education the massive impetus that has put it in seven-league boots today, and furthermore he never detracted from his great vision of a united Sri Lanka - a nation of multi-racial, multireligious, multi-cultural unity where all communities lived in harmony, equality and peace.

Sir Razik Fareed was also the "Father of the UNANI system of Medicine in Ceylon." In paving the way for our independence he said on the floor of the House in 1945:

"It is our political sanctity if I may say so, and a sense of justice, that made us stand up and fight side by side with the Sinhalese in the course of obtaining Dominion Status". To Sir Razik, Sinhala-Moor unity - Sinhala Yonaka Ekamuthukama was almost an article of faith. He was, above all, a great bridge-builder between communities, and here, above all, in his loss felt most keenly.

Many of us remember Sir Razik as the last surviving Sri Lankan knight... for he was the link with British honours. But Royal conferment only served to emphasise the true nature of the man. He had been a true knight all his life with all those knightly qualities impelled him to serve, alleviate pain, ease the pangs of distress, set to right the wrongs of public and community life, defend the oppressed, succour the enfeebled, uplift the downtrodden.

I still remember with pride his words in his presidential address at the opening at the new building of the Moors Islamic Cultural Home in 1965:

"The island needs the close co-operation of all creeds and communities to develop its resources with patriotic zeal and, if need be, with sacrifice. This must transcend all other considerations. Let me therefore appeal to you and to all right-thinking citizens to sink all differences in the national interest and strive to make Ceylon a happier place to live in and die for. I exhort my fellow compatriots to remember what the Prophet of Islam meant when he said: Patriotism is part of the Faith."

When I consider the breathtaking arena of Sir Razik Fareed's life's, work I have often wondered how such frail shoulders could bear all they carried. This, to me, was the wonder of the man who my close personal friend for a great many years. Everyone's just battle became his own. He fought the British-owned Gas Company of Colombo a long time ago so that the city of Colombo be lit by electricity. He fought for the education of Muslim girls and set up the Muslim Ladies College, which is today one of the biggest educational institutions for Muslim girls in this country.

Fought for a cause

What is more, he fought for the cause of the Moulavis - the Islam and Arabic teachers who were at the mercy of mosque trustees and carned a pitiful pittance of about Rs. 30 or Rs. 40 as salary. Sir Razik Fareed brought them into recognition as government teachers on par with the others, thus giving these skilled, erudite scholars a place in the educational sun.

This is only as it should be. Sir Razik inherited from his family, a love for education.
His grandfather, Wapiche Marikar, built and nurtured Zahira College and a number of Arabic schools in Colombo. Sir Razik Fareed's father, W. M. Abdul Rahman, was President of the Muslim Educational Society and superintended the educational progress of the Muslim community. This is the mantle Sir Razik inherited and wore with such grace all his life. He it was, who was instrumental in founding a Department for Arabic studies in the University of Peradeniya.

How does one measure the worth of such a man? It is said that the soldier is measured by his medals; the politician by his words; the artist by his canvas; the craftsman by his hands.
How, then, does one consider the worth of this distinguished son of Sri Lanka? As his friend and associate for many years, I have only one yardstick as I look around and see all who honour him on this his 20th death anniversary. I see the outpouring of love, of deep respect, and feel the keen sense of loss. Yes, dear brothers and sisters, this is how I would measure him: by the love he awakened in us, the respect he so easily earned, the admiration he commanded, the valour of his every action, the fortitude of his every earthly hour.


My association with Sir Razik Fareed, then (A. R. A. Razik) started in 1947, when I went to him to get a job as an English Assistant Teacher, which I received on the same day. This was a miracle. This association lasted till his death in August 1984 - a period of 37 years.
To him I was always "dear Saheed" or "dear M.P.M.".

I recall with what great joy I congratulated him by letter on June 12, 1981, when he was honoured as a national hero of Sri Lanka. It was also then that I decided to put this tribute into more concrete form. I had already established a fully equipped meeting hall in Kandy to cater to the social and cultural needs of the Muslim community. What better name, I decided, than the Sir Razik Fareed Assembly Hall and so it was.

And so did hundreds gather at this hall on Saturday the 28th November 1981 to honour Sir Razik Fareed and acknowledge that if today, we as a community can raise our heads to be equal with all others, it is because of the single-handed efforts of this great and good man.
On that occasion my heart was too full for words. But I could say with prayerful conviction that this was a full man-living a truly Islamic life and devoting himself to the service of man... which ultimately is the one and only way to seek God as enjoined by all the great religions of the world.
Such then is the pith and substance of this man we never can forget. Generosity was the very nature of his being. He gave away all he had to the people he served, eventually living in a rented room in the last days of his life. And, like an intricately-cut jewel, many other facets of his nature gleamed and glowed and enriched all about him. His love for the beauty of nature led him to cultivate the orchid and learn the many enchanting secrets of the flower.

Even his home in Fareed Place, Bambalapitiya held a small orchidarium where trailing vandas and large-clustered dendrobiums where trailing stars in glorious profusion. How often have I seen him among his orchids, tending them along with his wife, Lady Ameena who shared his love for beauty.

It was Mr. Eric Garth of Kundasale, Kandy, who at my request, paid gracious tribute to Sir Razik in naming a new hybrid orchid he grew after Sir Razik. To this day, orchild lovers around the world see this clear blue flower with its deep-blue lipped sepals and know it as the Sir Razik Fareed....and so does a flower perpetuate his name.

This orchid was registered with the Royal Horticultural Society of England on 15-11-1984.
For us, however, he will always be as a flower in our hearts. Sir Razik Fareed was a beacon, a guiding light, a tower of strength, a fortress of courage, a champion that belonged not only to each of us individually but to all the nation and moreso, all the Muslim world.

It behoves us, surely, that Allah sends us such men with rare frequence and this, the, is our greatest joy - that we in our lifetime have seen the passage of such a man as this. May i conclude by recalling the words of Shakespeare.

"His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world: 'This was a man'"

Yes, this indeed was a man.... and, dear brothers and sisters, the mark he has left on all over lives will never be erased:

"Those who are not grateful to their Fellowmen will not be grateful to Allah" Nabi Muhammed (O.W.B.P)


At 12/16/2008 08:16:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr U M Abdul Cader was a Lecturer at Addalaichenai Teachers Training College until March 1960.
There was a hall named in his name and the Anthem was supposed to have been composed by him.
Does anybody know of this?

At 12/16/2008 08:18:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr U M Abdul Cader was a Lecturer at Addalaichenai Teachers Training College until March 1960.
There was a hall named in his name and the Anthem was supposed to have been composed by him.
Does anybody know of this?

At 12/16/2008 08:53:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr U M Abdul Cader was born in Mannar and he was a lecturer at Aluthgama Muslim Training College before moving to Addlachenai.
He was well known to many people in the community. His family now is in various parts of the globe including UK, USA and Canada.


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