Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

It is with a great sadness that we inform you about the passing of Syed Abdul Hekim (fondly known as Bason Miah) on Tuesday, the 1st of June 2021.

He was an extraordinary person. Coming from very humble beginnings, he became an accomplished entrepreneur. In the early sixtes, at the tender age of 14 he was sent from a small village in Bangladesh to England with no prior knowledge of the language or culture. He worked in many cities in the country all the way from Newcastle, Liverpool to London. During his time in London he juggled several jobs; in the day he was selling prawns, radios as well as sending money back home for people in Bangladesh, while in the evening, he was left in charge of running a busy restaurant on Drummond Street in Euston. Due to his tenacity and drive he overcame many obstacles and became the owner of multiple restaurants himself.

He finally settled in Cambridge, where he changed the curry scene forever by introducing the city’s first ever tandoori oven. When ethnic foods were only available in London, he was the only man able to drive there to supply the Bangladeshi families of Cambridge with their essentials. He helped many people fill out forms as well as took them to doctors, council offices and other official matters to act as their translator. He also employed many young men of the Bangladeshi community providing them with stability and financial security. Many of these same men are now successful entrepreneurs themselves. He quickly became a much loved and highly respected figure in his local community.

At the same time he supported numerous families in Bangladesh by building homes, feeding the poor, fund-raising for mosques and financing the education of disadvantaged children.

Many remember him as a man with pockets full of pound coins, that he would hand out to the kids at the local mosque, so they could buy themselves sweets after prayer. Others talk of how frustrated they used to get at never being able to beat him at saying ‘Salam’ first. Whether old or young, rich or poor, people remember him as the man with the kindest smile on Mill Road.

Devoted son, loving husband and a father to eight children, grandfather to 24 grandchildren and a great-grandfather to three. He has achieved in life what others can only dream of. He has left a lasting legacy for his children and loved ones of kindness and generosity. He has also taught us how to never give up in the face of adversity and shown us how to be charitable simply with a smile. An inspiration to all, may Allah bless his soul and keep him in peace.