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Selfless brother and dedicated Christian campaigner who co-founded first Asian Christian Church in the UK dies suddenly.

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Dr Mujeeb Ul Rehman Chowdhry B.A (Hons) M.A Dip Lib Sc FRAS (London)

19th July 1934 – 9th March 2017 RIP

In pre-partition India on 19th July 1934 a first son was born to a Mr and Mrs Charag Uddin in the city of Sialkot, now in modern day Pakistan.

For all intents and purposes Mujeeb Ul Rehman Chowdhry was a very normal child, his physical attributes were akin to the many other children born in the city, however time would reveal that he was one of the brightest minds to emerge from the city.

Until the 8th year of his schooling Mujeeb would undertake his learning at CTI boarding School, where his father’s eldest brother was head teacher. Aziz Chowdhry was the first Christian Gold Medallist for his studies at Alam Ghar University and soon Aziz Chowdhry left Pakistan for India to take up a more lucrative post. Mujeeb Chowdhry was his favourite nephew and it was decided that Mujeeb would be sent to India with his uncle to continue his education in the best possible environment.

Mujeeb eventually left the home of Aziz Chowdhry and started living with his father’s younger brother Jalal Uddin Chowdhry who was also in India by now. At this point Jalal was single and had no children and Mujeeb provided good company as a surrogate son. Whilst in India Mujeeb Chowdhry completed his studies at St Stephens College a constituent of Delhi University and attained an undergraduate degree in English literature.

By now Mujeeb had become the eldest of seven siblings including brothers Najeeb Chowdhry, Waheeb Chowdhry, Habeeb Chowdhry and Nakeeb Chowdhry. He also had two sisters Naeema Gill and Kauser Gill. In the early years of Pakistan’s formation the current animosity towards the mother nation had not set in and the family would unite with Mujeeb by travelling to India or via his visits to the family home.

Life was good to Mujeeb and in no time at all after completing a Masters in History and a Masters in English literature, he progressed to a PHD in Muslim Philosophy.

In 1958 Dr Mujeeb Chowdhry was a competent, confident and successful professor at Kirori Mal College at Delhi University. His career trajectory was everywhere he had hoped it would be - he had made himself and his parents proud.

However, In the 1960’s with his younger brothers languishing in Pakistan within careers with little scope for progress, Dr Mujeeb’s mother called him and asked him to save them from an abject life. Despite every grain of his being telling him not to give up the comfort and safety of his very vaunted position, he could not refuse his mother.

Only five years after initiating his role as a professor at Delhi University in 1963 he was suddenly peeling potatoes in a factory, knowing full well that by working hard he could gain the necessary vouchers required to bring his two younger brothers Najeeb and Waheeb Chowdhry to the UK providing hope for his family.

In 1964 the two brothers joined him in the UK and in 1965 Dr Mujeeb brought his sister Naeema to the UK too. The four of them were living at Golders Green initially but through hard work and endeavour and by combining their income together they were able to purchase a grocers shop and some flats in Upper Street, Islington in 1967.

During this period Dr Mujeeb had been offered a professorship in both Columbia University in the USA and the United Nations University in Germany. However he sacrificed both these potential careers so that he could stay with his less disciplined brothers and vulnerable sister to guide them towards a better life.

Dr Mujeeb was very protective towards his sister Naeema Gill and because his brothers Najeeb and Waheeb led more social lives, he did not feel they would provide the care that she required. So Naeema spent a lot of time with Dr Mujeeb and was involved in his numerous business meetings and church meetings, thus improving her confidence and awareness of the world in a safe environment.

The smaller family unit of four had stayed focused on God throughout their lives and regularly attended St Mary’s Church, which was presided over by a Revd Johnson. Recognizing the growing number of Pakistani Christians in the area younger brother Waheeb suggested it was time for creation of a local Urdu Fellowship. Under the supervision of Dr Mujeeb, brothers Najeeb, Waheeb and a friend called Emmanuel Din connected with the local diaspora and together they founded the first ever Asian Christian Church in the UK. This pioneering project is believed to have triggered the birth and expansion of ‘Urdu fellowships’ across the UK.

Always committed to help those in need, In 1972 Dr Mujeeb led a protest against the usurpation of Christian schools in Pakistan realizing then that it meant the demise of free education for many impoverished Christian children and would undermine the exemplary progress made by Christian schools, which at the time provided the most elite education in Pakistan. This was one of many protests he led for Christians suffering in Pakistan.

In 1973 Dr Mujeeb travelled back to Pakistan as his mother and father had arranged his marriage to a bright spark of a woman Hameeda Karam Ellahie, a Chemistry graduate and teacher.

In 1977, Dr Mujeeb and Hameeda moved to East Molesey in Surrey after buying a Post Office and General store. A few years later after several successful business ventures they moved to a house where they lived till 1988. During this time Dr Mujeeb became a fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies and participated on many religious debates.

Tragedy hit and after a fraudster placed Dr Mujeeb into a difficult financial position they were forced to give up their large home.

Despite the pain and trauma of such a change Dr Mujeeb and Hameeda continued with their faith in God and enjoyed a forty year history of attendance at St Paul’s Church, East Molesey.

In the 90’s their love for God led them to co-fund and host Gospel Asia Ministry with Rev Noble Samuel, which ran a series of Christian Themes using Venus TV as a platform. This pioneering programme shared the gospel to Asian Christians across the globe long before any other UK-based Pakistani Christian Channel.

Click here to view one Gospel Asia Ministry show (click here)

Committed to the development of the Pakistani Christian Community in 2007 working with Javed and Imran Iqbal, Dr Majeeb co-founded Christian Social Link, a group that became a vehicle for unity amongst Pak-Christians in the UK. Part of their work included leading protests and challenging the UK to intervene and improve the lives of minorities in Pakistan. It was at a protest for victims of Gojra in 2009 that Wilson Chowdhry nephew of Dr Mujeeb Chowdhry was inspired to form the British Pakistani Christian Association.

Dr Mujeeb has been described as a lifelong Scholar. He has written scores of unpublished books and was dedicated to his chosen research areas of comparative religion, theology, apologetics and polemics. BPCA is hoping to publish the completed books to maintain a legacy that will help inspire many future academics. We have also contacted St Mary's Church to seek permission to place a plaque at their building to remind people of the pioneering contribution of some of the earliest Pakistani Christians.

Dr Majeeb died peacefully and quickly after being taken to hospital on 9th March 2017. His family have organised a funeral for Dr Mujeeb on 3rd April and extend a welcome to anyone who knew him.

Funeral for Dr Mujeeb Ul Rehman Chowdhry (RIP)
3rd April 2017
11:15 am service 
St Paul's Church East Molesley
Church Road
Molesley
Surrey 
KT8 9DR

Telephone Mr and Mrs Gill on 020 8311 3870 or Christopher Gill on 07740264887 for more details.

A gathering will take place outside the family home for the transfer of Dr Mujeeb Chowdhry's body.



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