إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعون
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon
Many of us, whether directly or indirectly, are indebted to Marhuma Rubab bai Roshanali Fazel Master. Marhuma Rubab Bai has been instrumental in our learning of the Holy Qur’an and we are no strangers to the colourful and fun books entitled ‘Quran – Learning the Easy Way.’ These books, which have been reprinted many times by various publishers including Ansariyan publication, are now used worldwide as a manual for teaching the recitation of the Holy Qur’an and tajweed. Our shelves are lined with duas books that include Ascension to God, Ziyarat-e-Ashura, Duas from the Holy Qur’an and Selections from Sahifa Sajjadiya – all produced in clear fonts for easy reading under Rubab Bai’s instructions.
Rubab Bai’s love for learning was shown in her zeal and enthusiasm when she completed her GCSE in Arabic language studies in her sixties, and then sought to advance her Arabic studies in Damascus University. Her advice to her students has always been ‘you are never too old to learn,’ which she personified herself.
Her passion for Islamic and Qur’anic education was evident in the way Rubab bai taught her lessons and engaged with her students, adapting to innovative teaching methods to satisfy the need of the time. She pioneered children’s Muharram majalis at her home in Dar es Salaam, encouraging the writing and delivering of eulogies about Imam Husayn (as), whilst delivering majalis herself in numerous countries globally. She will be remembered fondly for the impact she has left on their lives.
After settling in Birmingham, a city quite popular for students pursuing a university degree, Rubab bai opened her home to students who had moved from other parts of the world and welcomed them into the folds of her family. Affectionately known as ‘Ruby aunty,’ she always carried a smiling demeanour. Frequently receiving guests, she was eager to engage in discussions around the Holy Qur’an, Islam and contemporary issues affecting society. Her hospitality and kindness knew no boundaries and she encouraged her family to do the same.
In 2014, Rubab bai suffered an unfortunate stroke. This blow to her health did not diminish her ardour for mosque or community service. She carried on being a regular attendee for Muharram majalis, Shahru Ramadhan dua sessions, and even the regular Thursday night events. Supported by her family, she continued to extend her warmth and charitable activities.
As a token of appreciation for her extensive community service and philanthropy, Rubab bai was bestowed with the Al Qamar award by the World Federation of KSIMC in November 2019.
Rubab bai was the matriarch of a well-known family, who she brought up with great patience and hope. She instilled in her children strong eiman and modelled great akhlaq to them, urging them to always practice sila rahm. She leaves behind three sons – Musaddiq, Arif and Murtaza, and two daughters – Fatimah and Fehmida, and their respective families.
Today, the community is indeed orphaned by the loss of a dear mother. How befitting that she was called to return to her Lord whilst the community commemorates Ayyame Fatimiyyah, and that forever this remains a date etched in our memories.
We offer our deepest condolences to the entire Master family and to our community, on the loss of Marhuma Rubab bai Master, a beacon of faith and inspiration within the Khoja community and beyond. We pray that Allah (swt) grants her a lofty status in Jannah, and for her family to cope with this unfillable gap in their lives with patience and strength.