Murhoom Solly Lockhat: ‘An oak has fallen’

The passing of community icon, Suleman Lockhat, has left a void that few can fill, writes an Al-Qalam Reporter

Hundreds of people attended the Janaza of Murhoom Suleman (Solly) Lockhat on Saturday 06 August, notably one of the great giants who played a leading role in shaping the community in what it is today.

Attorney Solly Lockhat passed away after battling liver cancer for almost two years. He was 63. His janaza left from the reservoir hills musjid and he was buried at the Brown’s Avenue Cemetery in Overport.

Durban businessman and community leader, Ebrahim Jadwat, summed up the passing of Murhoom Solly Lockhat in a few simple words –“An Oak has fallen,” he said.

“Despite running a busy practice, his doors were always open to all and sundry. He had a heart of gold, and was always ready to assist and offer advice. He truly embodied the Islamic spirit and the word ‘NO’ was never on his lips. Murhoom Solly Lockhat was a dedicated activist and participated in numerous Islamic causes. As an executive member of the Muslim Youth Movement (MYM), he played a huge role in building the Cassim Ntombela Musjid in the heartland of Zululand, at Nkandla. He was also instrumental in co-ordinating the first visit of King Goodwill Zwelithini to the Grey Street Mosque in 1976,” Jadwat said.

Another community leader and businessman, Solly Suleman, described Murhoom Suleman as a “dedicated community icon’ who inspired many to work towards upholding Islamic values. He said service to his deen became a passion in his life.

Murhoom Suleman Lockhat was an active member of the MYM in his youth. He was one of the founding members of AMAL, (Association of Muslim Accountants and Lawyers), where he sat as its chairman since its inception in 1982. He saw the organization through a number of obstacles and successes. In 2011 he stepped down from his role as chairman in order to open new avenues for this organization, but continued to serve on the Management Committee of AMAL as a key member despite being ill.

Murhoom Suleman Lockhat was a member of a number of organizations such as Muslim Vision 2020, and continued to uphold strong relationships with other organizations such as the Minara Chamber of Commerce and SAMNET.

The head of Vision 2020, Ebrahim Osman, and Enver Mulla of AMAL, paid tribute to Murhoom Suleman Lockhat.

In their tribute they said: “Mr Suleman Lockhat played a role in the history of South Africa whereby senior members of AMAL recall on many occasions when AMAL members were requested to provide assistance against the onslaught of security police against activists. Mr Lockhat was one of those members at the forefront lending support and assistance.

“Mr Suleman Lockhat was also a founding member of both the Islamic Forum and Muslim Vision 2020. Both these organizations are think-tanks of young professionals, academics and businessmen who have done some significant strategic thinking and planning in addressing local, national and international issues affecting the Ummah. In both organizations Suleman Lockhat made valuable inputs into mapping the road ahead for the Muslim community as an integral component of the new post-apartheid South Africa.

“What is perhaps not widely known is that as an attorney and member of the Immigration Board, Suleman Lockhat rendered service beyond the call of duty and often well into the night in dealing with the challenges faced by immigrants and refugees especially from the other parts of the African continent.

“While he stood as such a well known figure in the professional and social arenas, he was known as the ultimate ‘family’ role-model, dedicating hours towards the betterment of his family both financially and emotionally. He spent the last few years personally nursing his mother (who he had recently lost to old age), while trying to be successful in the upbringing of his children.

“Mr Suleman Lockhat will surely be missed and will be remembered by one and all as a role model for his dedication towards uplifting the Islamic community. Mr Lockhat has proven to be a hero in the face of all leadership roles; as a father, a son, a community socialite, a professional, and a Muslim. May Allah Almighty grant Marhoom Suleman Lockhat the highest abode in Jannah, and accept his ibaadah, good deeds and service to Humanity.

“May the family of Marhoom Suleman Lockhat find strength in the legacy that he built and the love he has earned from thousands of people within the Muslim Community and beyond.”

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