Obituary: Mohammed Farouk Butt

I first met Farouk, nearly 25 years ago when I began my career in the community sector as a project worker with the South Leeds Elderly Group. Farouk was the chairman and one of the founders and although the organisation was a very small outfit with only two part-time staff, it was clear he had an ambitious vision for the community.

At the time he was running a small timber yard in Holbeck but without fail, he would arrive in the office every day and discus his ideas to improve community facilities in the locality. Encouraged by his passion, we began to form alliances in the community and he was instrumental in helping develop the ‘Faith Together in Leeds11’ consortium, through his links with the different faith and community leaders in the area.

Over the next few years we worked very closely to develop the Hamara Centre and it is fair to say that without Farouk’s selflessness, commitment and drive, what is now a thriving organisation would not have existed. He would often spend more time in the office and attending community meetings than he would running his own business. Even when he eventually moved to London for employment, on his return he would first visit the Hamara Centre, before going home to see the family.

We had no real idea at the outset how we were going to raise the several million pounds to develop and operate the centre but Farouk was an optimist and his enthusiasm rubbed off on the rest of us. Six years after we started the campaign, in 2004 Farouk proudly opened the doors to the Hamara Centre, an organisation he cared about enormously and one where he remained actively involved until his untimely death.

His 30 plus years of unstinting service to the community often went unheralded but his gentle demeanour endeared him to all he met and his among his many attributes was his reluctance to take any credit or be at the forefront for his achievements.

He was one of the most community spirited individuals I had the pleasure of knowing. A man who would put the needs of others before his own and who in his own quiet unassuming manner would get things done quietly and efficiently.

Farouk was a very well-known figure not only in Beeston but throughout the city He will be sadly missed by many, but his legacy to the community, particularly in Beeston is a great tribute to him and his family. He will be remembered fondly by those of us who knew him and will be an enormous loss to the voluntary and community sector.

 

This post was written by Hanif Malik

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7 Replies to “Obituary: Mohammed Farouk Butt”

  1. My name is Nathi Butt pagan Farouk was my brother a dream brother perfect loving caring very good listener and perfect advice very special brother alway there for me took a big chunk out of my heart still in shock my brother was a very patient person in the family walks away from trouble a perfect son as well miss him crazy could go on for ever keep him in your prays x

  2. It is never easy to find the words to express our feelings when there are no words that can fully capture the depth of what we’re feeling –
    Mohammed Farouk Butt My thoughts are with your family and friends in these very hard times! – After all the years of hard work for Leeds 11, R.I.P

    from:
    John Wesley Threlfall

  3. Having good character and helping others are two things that are heavy on the scales.

    Farouk Butt was a gentle giant. Not only in stature, but also in the way that he was like a close friend to everyone. He listened to the opinions or problems that people had, and then would always look for ways to help them. That’s something I’d noticed about him since I met him in the late 90’s, and its what many others have said about him too.
    Someone said at his grave side that; Farouk Butt worked tirelessly for others on a voluntary basis for decades, and in an entirely selfless manner. .. In fact, he helped me with something judt three months before he passed away! …. May our Rabb accept all of that, ameen.

    And athough he was more than 20 yrs older than me, I noticed that myself and others my age wouldn’t call him Uncle, but would use his first name. I believe that’s because of his easy going character, which meant he could relate with people of all ages. . …. RahimuAllaah.

  4. Farouq bhai was indeed very humble person and down to earth.He was my first cousin’s husband but he always had a close affiliation with our family. He won hearts by his kindheartedness. We have very pleasant memories with him that we cherish. His selfless nature and smiling face will always be missed. May Allah pak bless him with highest ranks in jannah and give sabr to his family. May Allah pak reward him for his hard work and efforts for Humara Community.

  5. When I heard the sad news of uncle Farooq’s demise from this temporary world , one thing that crossed my mind was his long lasting tireless hard work for Hamara community project in West Leeds I can recall him sharing his ideas & thoughts about this project over 30 years ago in Pakistan..
    Indeed his death is a great loss not only to his family but greater Leeds community but I am sure that due to his dedication & selfless community work he has earned himself highest ranks in Jannah Ameen.

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