Sharifan Yusuf — Centurian

A Biography

The Message, March/June 2007 Issue, p. 27

Sharifan Yusuf was born on 4 September 1906. She was the daughter of Rahamut and Samoondaree. Her father, Rahamut, came to Trinidad on the SS Indus in 1872 at the age of five years with his parents, Tursoo and Soogeah, and his brother, Ishmael, and sisters, Gaindeah and Bhongee.

Her mother, Samoondaree, was born on the ship, hence her name.

Sharifan lived with her parents on Prince of Wales Street, San Fernando where they settled after the five years indentureship.

She was married at the age of 16 years to Muhammad Yusuf of Curepe. They had five children: Zarina, Hamzine (deceased), Iqbal-un-Nisa, Habib-ur-Rahman and Mahaabin. They too lived on Prince of Wales Street on the property given to her by her father on marriage and on this same spot she resides up to today.

Besides taking care of her five children, she loved to grow houseplants and help her husband tending to the highbred milking goats which he reared.

Sharifan was on active member of the (San Fernando) Prince Albert Street Jamaat [branch] as well as the San Fernando Muslim Women’s Association since its inception in 1948 and is considered now an honorary member. She has an affinity with this masjid [mosque] which was given by her father to the Muslims of San Fernando in 1894. Here she attended maktab [school] and learnt to read Arabic and speak Urdu.

She took baiat [pledge] at the hands of Maulana Sadr-ud-Din in 1970 when he came to Trinidad.

She was an ardent supporter of Maulana [Sheikh Muhammad] Tufail, who frequently visited her home and partook of her sumptuous meals during his station in Trinidad and his numerous visits.

She was fortunate to be able to attend all the conventions to Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, Guyana and Suriname, and as far as Lahore in 1973 where she had the pleasure of being accommodated by the families of Mian Farooq Shaikh and Mian Fazl-i Ahmad.

She had the distinctive opportunity of meeting two Ameers [Heads of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement] — Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din and Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan.

She is still mobile and loves to walk out into the garden to see flowers. She loves to recite the Quran and sing songs of Islam in Urdu. She is still quite alert and has a sense of rest.