The mature Rashid

  • In the summer of 1990 Soofwan graduated from Glasgow and went on to take a Masters degree in IT at Strathclyde University. Rashid was delighted that all his sons had graduated and all in Aeronautical Engineering. 


  • The early 1990’s was a time of active participation in hobbies and pastimes for Rashid. He loved to read, particularly Urdu poetry and history, and engage in Calligraphy. Additionally he continued his love for photography. In 1992 another grandson, Uzair, was born to Shahbaz and Nazish in California and Rashid was extremely pleased with the arrival of another grandson.

 

  • In 1992 Rashid made his second visit to Pakistan since he had come to Scotland. It was an emotional return, particularly to meet his brother Aziz and sisters Ameena Begum and Ghulam Fatima. He was not sure when he may see them again and therefore he spent some good quality time with them. He also met with his good friend Hamid (son of Mohammed Shifa) with whom he had spent much of his cherished childhood, and attended the wedding of Hamid’s son Jameel. 

 


Community Work

  • Shortly after his return he was engaged in the marriage plans of Rehela. Rashid and Razia had arranged for the marriage of Rehela to Muzaffer Hussain, son of Dilawar Hussain, a friend of Rashid’s from Pollokshields. The wedding took place in October 1993.  It was a joyful time for the family and both Shahbaz and cousin Tariq had returned to Glasgow for the wedding. After their honeymoon Rehela and Muzaffer were to move down to East Grinstead (south of London) to live before later returning to Scotland. 


  • The family home was now quieter with the parting of Rehela, with only Soofwan at home in Mansewood. At about this time Rashid stopped working part-time with Robina and Munir and started engaging further with the Glasgow Mosque, making new friends and attempting to engage in activities. It was at this time he started his interest in community services which was to be his main preoccupation for the rest of his days. Additionally Rashid become more active religiously.


  • The mid 1990’s were quiet years for Rashid as he contemplated what to do with his free time. He took a keen interest in gardening and spent a lot of time tending the front and back gardens in the house in Mansewood, 


  • It was in 1994 that Rashid started increasing his involvement with the Glasgow Central Mosque and the associated care of the Muslim community. He spent a lot of time talking with other elderly Muslims in the community and in the Mosque. At that time he grew aware that the community did not provide enough facilities for the welfare (physical and mental) of the Muslim and Asian elderly.


  • After listening to the concerns of his peers Rashid felt that it was essential to provide for the social needs of the Muslim community to improve their physical and mental well-being. Therefore in May 1994 he got together with other concerned parties in the Mosque Executive Committee; Dr Akram, Taj Bhatti and Bilquis Qadri to lobby the mosque to take on a greater role in providing services for elderly Muslims and mosque activities. These efforts spawned the creation of a daycare centre for Muslims, the Muslim Elderly Daycare Centre, supported by the Glasgow City Council Social Services. This created a new focus in Rashid’s life for the rest of his days as he became passionately involved with social care.


  • In November 1996 whilst Rizwan was visiting Glasgow, Rashid had a stroke and was taken to hospital. He remained in hospital at the Victoria Infirmary for five days whilst the doctors carried out tests. He recovered quickly and was released. However following his stroke Rashid completely changed his diet, reducing his intake of red meat and dairy products and began to eat more salads, fresh fruit and wholemeal bread.


Beginning of Health concerns

  • In late 1997, Rashid and Razia organised the marriage of Soofwan, their only unmarried son. Soofwan had met Samia, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Ramzan from Forfar, and the two quickly formed a liking to each other. The couple were married in the Spring of 1998 in Glasgow, at a venue in Rutherglen, with the Walima was held at a venue in the West End of the city. After their marriage, in September 1999, Soofwan and Samia moved into the family home in Mansewood with Soofwan and Samia working locally. Having his son and daughter-in-law around was a great help.

 

  • With all his obligations to his family with regards their marriages now complete, Rashid could now consider his plans for completing Hajj (the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca). Therefore Rashid and Razia discussed this with their son, Rizwan. It was agreed that Rashid and Razia would join Rizwan and his wife to perform Hajj together and in March of 1998 they flew down to London to join Rizwan. 


  • The four flew to Jeddah (via Amman, Jordan) on Royal Jordanian arriving for an experience of a lifetime. Once arriving in Mecca the four were faced with the chaos of Hajj, having to register and be transported to Mecca where they stayed in very basic accommodation in Mecca. They were joined in Mecca by Imtiaz (son of Qamar ud-Din & Sofia – Rashid’s cousins) and Yasmin (daughter of Inam-ul-Haq and Sughara). It was a difficult ten days battling with the heat, crowds and sickness, with only basic facilities. Rashid at one point collapsed with a minor stroke and hypertension in the crowds at Mina, and was rushed to hospital. But, with the grace of God, Rashid with his wife and the rest of the group completed the Hajj successfully. At the completion of Hajj, Rashid and Razia parted for Madina, where they spend 10 days in prayer at the Prophet’s tomb. It was a time of reflection for both. By the time Rashid had returned to the UK he had caught dysentery and was quite unwell. 


  • Rashid spent a few days recovering with Rizwan in Hampshire, before finally being strong enough to travel to Glasgow. Both Rashid and Razia had completed Hajj but it had left them both physically exhausted. Rashid had decided that he did not wish to travel internationally any more. The Hajj trip was to be his last international travel. The rest of 1998 was spent recuperating at home in Mansewood.

 


  • In summer of 1999 Rashid developed strong abdominal pains and was immediately driven to hospital by Soofwan and Samia. He was admitted into the Victoria where it was discovered, after performing blood tests, that he had developed pancreatitis. After some procedures his pancreas improved and the doctors asked Rashid whether he wished for the pancreas to be operated on. Rashid at this time declined fearing further complications resulting from operation. He was discharged a few days later feeling much better. But the pancreas problem had not disappeared and lay dormant for a number of years, only to resurface tragically later in his life.


  • After the summer of 1999, following a period of almost a year living in Mansewood, Soofwan and Samia decided to take a place of their own and moved out to a home in Robslee Crescent in Giffnock, less than a mile away from their Rashid. They still visited Rashid and Razia regularly and to keep an eye on their parents.


  • At the same time, in September 1999, Rizwan left the UK. Rizwan was to take up a position in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was to be a five year assignment for Rizwan and although he returned regularly, he did not return permanently to the UK till 2004.


  • During the late 90’s Rashid’s involvement with the Glasgow Central Mosque grew. He had started the Muslim Elderly Daycare Centre and was beginning to work on other projects. The centre was to create activities for the elderly folk. These included exercise classes, field trips, arts and crafts classes, heathcare visits and dietary advice. 


  • Rashid’s activities with the newly-started Muslim Elderly Daycare Centre kept him busy and pre-occupied. Everybody appreciated his voluntary and tireless support to improve the well-being of the elderly community.


  • In the Summer of 2000 Rizwan and wife had their first baby and named her Amber.  Rashid was delighted.

 

  • It was on the night of the 5th of May 2001 that Rashid learned of the passing away of his last brother Abdul Aziz in Lahore. Rashid was very saddened by the news as he was extremely close to Aziz, who was a true gentle and considerate person and despite his many ailments always wished well of others. Rashid was disappointed in that he was not able to attend the funeral.

 

  • On the 15th of January 2002 Rashid celebrated his 75th birthday. The family all got together and took Rashid for a special meal to celebrate at the Village restaurant in Glasgow. He remarked how he looked and felt great for his age and joked about how me intended to make it a full century.


Keeping himself busy

  • In 2003, Rashid started to develop cataracts in his eyes. As a result he was taken to hospital and after consultation the cataracts were removed. He was offered the chance to improve his vision with laser surgery at the time and Rashid accepted. Rashid, who was always very short-sighted from birth had his vision significantly improved and was able to wear very light spectacles that significantly improved his quality of life and image.

 

  • Although Rashid’s health was stable during the early 2000’s, unknown to him, his pancreas was not functioning properly. Its main role of producing digestive enzymes to help digestion was not being carried out. Therefore his food was not being digested properly and the release of toxins as a result was resulting in quite severe rashes on his skin. He had the local doctor and other specialists carry out many tests during this time, however they could not relate this to the abnormal function of the pancreas.

 

  • In 2004 Rashid started additionally working with Age Concern Scotland, an independent, recognised charity working throughout Scotland to help make the lives of older people more secure and comfortable. He liaised closely with the Equalities Section of Age Concern Scotland, headed up by Helena Scott, and supported Helena in targeting resources towards the Muslim elderly persons. He connected the Muslim Elderly Daycare Center with the Age Concern facilities projecting the image of ethnic minorities, not only Muslim but all Asians, and worked to promote equality and diversity within the boundaries of City Council.  He was the delegated spokesperson for the group and worked tirelessly to promote the needs of the elderly in Glasgow. His involvement in calligraphy was an innovative activity at the centre and he instructed many of the other members of the group to lean this skill and contribute.


  • In 2005 Rashid became an Executive Member of the management committee of the Muslim Elderly Daycare centre and one of the honored signatories for the center’s account.  He played a key role in raising its budget from around £10,000 annually to almost a quarter of a million pounds by lobbying from funding from the Scottish Executive and other government sources. Dr Iqbal Anwar was the Chairman of the Muslim Elderly Daycare Centre and relied heavily on Rashid for his energy and unwavering support to the cause of the Glasgow Asian elderly.


  • As photography was his passion, Rashid was always at forefront to support and capture photographic memories of every cultural and social event for the elderly group. He also contributed with the production of videos of these events.


 

  • Rashid was always politically active and never missed voting at the elections. He was a staunch Labour party supporter and had a great deal of respect for the traditional labour values of Harold Wilson, Dennis Healey, Tony Benn and James Callaghan. However since 2003 due to the Labour support for the Gulf Way he abstained from voting, as a result of his very strong disagreement with the Labour party over the War in Iraq.


  • In the Summer of 2006 Shahbaz and Nazish visited Glasgow with family and Rashid and Razia spent some good quality time with Shahbaz including many barbeques and trips up North to the Scottish Highlands. 


  • However the same summer Rashid’s skin problems worsened with the heat. He was not aware at that time that the rashes he was experiencing were related to his pancreas malfunctioning. He avoided spending too much time in the sun and instead spent more time on his calligraphy and reading.


  • Once during a visit in June 2007 to the recently re-furbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow at the “New Scots” exhibition, Rashid was very pleased to see two photographs he had personally taken being displayed, they were two color photos of a Pakistani bride he had taken in 1976.


  • The year 2007 was a great year for Rashid.  On the 15th January 2007 he celebrated his 80th birthday. He was relatively fit and healthy and remarked how well he looked and felt relative to his peer group.  Rehela and Muzaffer came with Adil to celebrate his birthday and bring him a present of a printer he could use with his new computer.

 

  • Also in 2007, Rashid was to be a grandfather three times over. In July 2007, baby Malaika was born to Soofwan and Samia. Also in November 2007, twins Amir and Amara were born to Rizwan and Saliha. By this time he was the proud grandfather of thirteen children. He was completely devoted to his grandchildren.