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A large crowd attend Janaza Ghaib prayers for Sr. Azaria Nufail

Janaza Ghaib prayers for Sr. Azaria Nufail was held at the Auburn City Council Hall on Saturday 08 January 2011 after Maghrib salat. The event was a great success as more than 200 people attended the prayers that was held following recitation of the Holy Qur'an (Khatam al Qur'an) by members of the community who gathered about an hour earlier than the scheduled Janaza prayer time. It was a very emotional gathering where a few speakers elaborated their experiences with Sr. Azaria who was a pillar for the ALMA community.

ALMA executive committee was well supported by a number of volunteers to organise the event. As requested by Br. Nufail, Janaza Ghaib prayer was a combined community effort. This clearly signified the unifying attributes that Sr. Azaria had on so many members in the community.

Following Khatam al Qur'an and Magrib salat, proceedings for the day began with Br. Mohamed Fazli addressing the gathering with a brief description of Sr. Azaria's life and Services to the community. He described that a number of people could easily relate to her as their own mother, for some she was a very understanding sister, for some she was a guide, for some she was like an aunty, for some she was a person who resolved disputes and for some she lent a shoulder to lean on, when they met with sorrow. He said that even at the height of her battle with Cancer she was mindful of her duties as the editor of ALMA newsletter. As a mark of respect for her contributions to the community, the ALMA executive committee delayed the appointment of a new editor at the last AGM. He announced that ALMA will initiate to compile a fact file containing the contributions of Sr. Azaria to the community under the heading "Celebrating the life of Sr. Azaria" and that it would be published in the ALMA website.

Br. Nilam Mohamed speaking on the occasion echoed the sentiments expressed by Br. Fazli in his address and elaborated further as to how Sr. Azaria had contributed to the community. He reminded that Sr. Azaira was a long standing strong pillar of the community although some newcomers may have not had the chance to get to know her more closely. He said that all senior members of the community have very fond memmories of her contribution to the welfare of the people.

Br. Ubaidur Rahmaan Mahmood who has known Sr. Azaria from his young days as an overseas student studying at the University described her as "like my mother" not only for him but also for his wife Sr. Naleefa. As a university student in a foreign country in the early nineties he said that when he wanted to have a proper Sri Lankan meal, he would simply "drop in" and with great pleasure, Aunty Azaria would serve him a hearty meal.

All three speakers became very emotional during their speeches when they attempted to describe the excellent qualities of Sr. Azaria during her 22 years of community Service for the Sri Lankan migrant community in Sydney. Br. Ashkar Mansoor who has been like a son to Sr. Azaria and Br. Nufail was too emotional to speak and declined the offer with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Following the speeches, Br. Fazli described the Janaza Ghaib prayer details and said that the Janaza Ghaib prayers was for both Sr. Azaria as well as for Br. Marzook (beloved brother of Imthiaz of Punchbowl Sydney) who passed away in Sri Lanka yesterday. May Allah (SWT) forgive the sins of both and admit them to Jannathul Firdous, A'meen.

Br. Ubaidur Rahmaan led the Janaza prayers and performed a powerful Dua that left the audience engulfed with emotions and reducing them to sobs and tears. Her untimely passing has left a huge hole that will be hard to fill.

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