Elham Asaad Buaras
The head of the UK and Ireland’s largest Muslim student group, Bashir Osman, tragically died in a drowning incident on July 4, aged just 25.
Osman, President FOSIS, passed away in Landquart District of Graubünden, Switzerland, where he was visiting colleagues from the Federation of Muslim Youth and Student Organisations.
Osman drowned after the boat he was traveling in capsized in rough waters. FOSIS announced Osman had tragically “fallen under rough waters for over 10 minutes. By the time the rescue services found him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Shortly before he died, Bashir launched a personal campaign to raise £165,000 to pay for new wells and safe, clean drinking water for some of the poorest people in the world.
He was planning to take part in the Tough Mudder event and had already managed to raise more than £50,000 of his target to help build more than 50 wells across East Africa.
A spokesperson FOSIS National Executive Committee, poignantly noted that Osman had died during “the blessed month of Ramadan and whilst drowning, one of the categories of martyrdom in Islam, are sources of comfort for all those who held Bashir dear to them. Bashir’s leadership, compassion, and commitment to serving his community and those less fortunate than him were inspiring traits that make his death such a grave and heartfelt loss to us all.”
FOSIS urged people to pay tribute to Osman by donating to his effort to raise money for wells in East Africa.
“Before he passed away, one of Bashir’s last efforts was to train for a 10-mile obstacle course he hoped to complete later this year to raise money for wells in East Africa,” said the spokesman.
Osman, originally from the Netherlands was a former student at the University of Warwick, before becoming President of FOSIS only last year.
Tributes have poured in for Osman following the announcement of his death, including from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) where Osman served as a National Council member.
MCB Secretary General, Dr Shuja Shafi, said: “I saw in Bashir a man of great humility but also one who was anxious to get things done for the betterment of people around him. Though his life has been cut short, he has achieved much during his brief tenure for British Muslim students and the community. He will be remembered as a role model for us all. I hope the fact that he passed in this blessed month of Ramadan will be of solace to all of us.”
The National Union of Students (NUS) described Osman as “one of the leading sources of talented activists.”
NUS President, Megan Dunn, offered her “deepest condolences” adding that “under Bashir’s leadership for the past year, and earlier as Vice President, FOSIS has grown and become one of the leading sources of talented activists, and supporting many to represent students across the country in their students’ unions and NUS. FOSIS’ work, securing the rights for the Muslim community, fundraising and developing people are a testament to Bashir’s commitment and life.”
Upon hearing of Osman’s passing Senegalese striker and former Chelsea player, Demba Ba, tweeted, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oun [we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return].”