Basit Khan Sahib: Compassion for the Youth

By Affan Younus

Basit Khan in the middle chatting with friends at Garrison Blvd Mission House

In the summer of 2021, after a year in lockdown, my friends and I were finally able to return to Masjid Bait-us-Samad. From Zuhr to Asr, we played cricket in the Masjid parking lot. Everything was perfect: a friend’s old bat, a trash can for a wicket, and the parking lot stripes for a boundary. But there was one problem: a sliding metal gate behind our wicket which had large openings from where the ball would go to a busy road. One of us would run after the ball to retrieve it.

Basit Khan sb was a regular for salat. He would often stand outside in the minutes leading up to Azan, watching us play. Thinking back, I believe he noticed our problem. So, one day he asked me “what are the dimensions of your cricket area?” essentially asking how wide and high the ball would go. I got a tape measure and gave him the approximate numbers.

A few days later, he came back with a box. “This is for you guys,” he said. Confused I thanked him and went to open the box. Inside was a mesh net for the sliding metal gate, which would stop the ball from going on the road.

He didn’t “suggest” an idea. He didn’t remain indifferent. He noticed a danger, took time out of his life, spend his own money, and resolved a problem without telling anyone. He cared.

This was not the only time when he cared. Basit uncle encouraged us to excel in education. He was always there for daily salat, he came to our Ijtemas, he led Iftar arrangements. He pushed us to be better.

Two years later, we still have that very same net. We use it every time we play. This net will serve as a memory of Basit uncle’s thoughtfulness and compassion for the youth.

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