A Mosque teacher, who ‘inspired a generation of students’ has sadly died from coronavirus aged 50.

Hafiz Salim Master, a father of three started teaching Islamic studies in his early twenties and went on to serve institutions such as the Noor Mosque, Preston, the Iqra Education Centre and Lancaster’s Masjid-e-Raza.  

He was described as ‘a teacher, leader, role-model, and a friend’ by students past and present. In his role he showed ‘immense dedication to his students above and beyond’ what was expected and whilst in hospital continued to remind his pupils to study.  

Mr Master had worked at the Lancashire Evening Post, the Citizen newspaper and the DVLA. 

Many of his former students who he helped nurture have gone on to become active members of the local community and qualified as accountants, doctors, engineers and lawyers. 

Mr Master’s family paid tribute to a ‘loving caring father to his three sons, husband and son to his elderly mother’ who died on Saturday 6 February.

His 18-year-old son Samir said: “Not only was he a father, he was a role model to us and a best friend, and I am extremely proud of him and don't want anyone to be sad at this loss as this isn’t what my father would have wanted.

“He took pride in his love for his children and all his family, showing us all how to not only be a good member of the community but also a loving and valued member of the family.”

Tributes have poured in from people across the community.

A tribute from a former student and friend read: “I have really struggled, my tears haven't stopped every time I think about our beloved teacher, close friend neighbour and elder brother.  How he managed to give such quality time to so many people leaving them always smiling and happy is nothing short of a miracle. 

“Without a doubt he shaped my life and so many others for the better. What he did for us we will be indebted to him forever and never forget. 

“I have no doubt he was blessed by his creator with these qualities and he is in a place much better than we can imagine, I honestly look forward to my afterlife and pray I’m fortunate enough just to be in his company once again.”

Students have said he would take care and consideration of their problems even delivering food and necessities to their house when their parents were unwell. 

Others described how he would sacrifice his spare time helping not only his students but younger people and families in the wider community ‘with social and domestic issues, persevering often until early hours of the morning’. 

In his roles Mr Master, a Liverpool fan was keen to encourage everyone become an active citizen he strived to ensure all those he knew 'never walked alone'. He also fostered close relationships with people of all faiths, background and different walks of life. 

His commitment to helping the youth led to him hosting a separate Taraweeh (Evening Ramadan prayers) group, accommodating young Huffaz who were given the opportunity to lead and perfect prayers in a safe and nurturing environment. 

He took on the sole responsibility for organising and running this for over 15 years where he would personally mentor and tutor the students. Many of those Huffaz have gone on to lead prayers all around the UK and beyond.

A further tribute read, “An astonishing reflection of Hafiz Salim’s life has been how he managed to dedicate so much of his personal time to the community; this has been described by many as nothing short of a miracle as his works have recently come to light and continue to do so.  

“Amazingly, at a young age of 50 he touched thousands of lives something many of us would struggle to achieve in a fuller lifetime. 

“On February 6, upon hearing the news that he had breathed his last the community came to a stand-still and felt the loss of the hidden pillar of the community. 

“He respected the elderly and showed love to the young. Humbly solving the problems of the community without asking for reward was his life mission. Undoubtedly, a hidden gem was amongst us, whose departure has left a whole community in sorrow.

“Although we can never re-capture the moments we had with our dear friend, we can strive to learn from him, the friend who always approached everyone with a warming smile, showed the most excellent of manners and character even in the hardest of times. 

“The friend who knew the value of dedicating time to the youth and beyond, making them feel valued and empowering them to achieve their potential.”

A GoFundMe page has already raised £19,000. It has been set up in his memory by his children, with all proceeds building a mosque and supporting young orphans in devastated communities.

You can donate here