Friday, April 27, 2007

Harold Hasan (rh) honored in local media

Muslim prayer leader honored during services today


Prayer services will be held this afternoon for a pioneer in Detroit's Muslim community.
Harold Hassan, 82, who often led the call to prayer at Masjid Wali Muhammad mosque on Linwood Avenue, died of complications from liver cancer on Tuesday at his home in Detroit.

Hassan was born and raised in Detroit. He joined the Nation of Islam in the 1950s when its Temple No. 1 was located off Hastings Street.

Hassan knew Malcolm X well and was active in the African-American Muslim communities of Michigan. He also sold fruit and fish at several markets and carts in Detroit.

When he gave the call to prayer, Hassan’s voice was heard by thousands of Muslims and others driving by the mosque during prayers. “He’s a legend,” said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “I looked up to him as a role model.”

A few months ago, Hassan completed the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Walid said. Hassan was awarded a certificate for his journey during a speaking event Sunday at Cobo Hall with Imam W.D. Mohammed.

Memorial services for Hassan were Thursday at Masjid Wali Muhammad.

Mosque caller saw community evolve
Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

Harold (Holley) Hasan the prayer caller at the Masjid Wali Muhammad on Linwood, died of liver cancer Tuesday at age 82. Hasan also had operated produce businesses until he retired two years ago.

"He was a role model and an inspiration for the Muslim community," said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council of American Islamic Relations-Michigan. "He experienced joining the Muslim community in the 1950s and seeing its evolution. He was such a valuable resource that even academic researchers spoke to him about his experiences, in their work on the development of Muslim community in Detroit."

Hasan operated a fruit and fish market on Dexter for 10 years. He also owned and operated four fruit carts in downtown Detroit.

After attending Detroit Public Schools, Hasan served four years in the U.S. Army in the 1950s. In 1957, he joined the local mosque.

Hasan married Amelia Rice Collins, who died two years ago. Survivors include seven nephews and three nieces.

"He had just completed his pilgrimage to Mecca, for the first time, this past Hajj," Walid said. "And he continued to conduct his duties as the prayer caller of the mosque while battling liver cancer. He will be sorely missed."(MORE)

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