This will be followed by burial in the jama'at graveyard.
Willingboro Al-Nasr Mosque:
Address: 500 Bridge Street Willingboro, NJ 08046
Tel.: (609) 877 2833
In his own words
Born on June 1, 1938 as Maurice, Munir Hamid grew up in Pennsylvania. During an interview in 2003, he recalls, "my mother and my father were not Muslims. My mother was the spiritual force in our family, but my father was not a religious person at all. My mother encouraged me to join any church-related activity, to the point that she even wanted me to become a minister of a church. Much of the spirituality in my early days was due to my mother, and I think she was indirectly responsible for my eventual conversion to Islam. Many Christians may questions how Christianity can lead to Islam, but in my case that is what happened. The fact that I joined Islam at such an early age, 15, also helped me strengthen my relationship with my mother and family. I was the 9th of 10 children in the family. I am the only one among my family to have embraced Islam, and as it turns out, I am the only one who has a connection with any kind of a church. In fact, before my mother passed away, God bless her soul, we had a conversation in which she confided to me that she was surprised that of all the children I was the only one that had a spiritual backing. My siblings were very much opposed to my conversion.
I remember once when my mother was sick in the hospital, my siblings purposely left out my name from the list of her children because they didn't like the fact that I had legally changed my name to a Muslim name. Interestingly enough, however, she would only talk to me during those visits. My siblings noticed that she would remain quite in their presence, so one day my sister asked the doctor why she doesn't speak. The doctor told her that there's nothing wrong with her. In fact, a man with a white cap and beard comes here often and they talk all the time. My sister realized that I was that man and ne day she asked me to accompany her to the hospital. She saw that we talked about spiritual things, about the Bible, the stories in the Bible, such other matters. We talked about all the things she taught me as a child, and it was easy to relate to her that way.
One day my mother told me that she was really upset at my conversion to Islam, but she also made it clear that of all the children I was the most spiritual. In a way she had approved my decision to accept Islam. She told me that we were on the same [spiritual] train, but sitting on different seats."
First experience with Islam
"As a youth I was into experimenting with different things. Keep in mind, I grew up in an environment in which kids were experimenting with things like alcohol and even drugs. Often times I would hang out with my friends on the street asking for money to buy such things. One day I saw an old friend and asked him for some money. He told me that he wouldn't give the money because I would use it for some illicit purpose, but he would give me something better than money. He gave me a copy of The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam and told me to read it. He then invited me to attend a meeting in his house to discuss the book.
Fearing that I would have to lie, I began reading the book, and once I picked it up I couldn't stop. I attended the meeting where I met missionary Nurul Haque Anwar and also Muhammad Sadiq. I was very impressed with their knowledge and wanted to accept immediately, but because I was a minor, I was asked to get it signed by my mother, so I took the Bai'at form home to her. She wasn't happy at all. She refused to sign the Bai'at form and tried to convince me that I had made a mistake. Family members would call me to try to convince me to change my attitude. In fact, it got so difficult that I decided to forge my mother's signature, but I was reminded by the missionary that Allah sees all and it wouldn't be worth it."
Signing the Bai'at
"Once I began to study Islam, I was repulsed by some of my activities. For example, I had to join gangs because some of my family members were in charge, but I wondered why I was involved because I began to question their behavior. I finally decided to leave school and join the military. Of course, since I was not even 16 yet, I needed permission from a guardian. Finally, an uncle agreed to sign the paperwork and after joining the military I was stationed at Fort Andrews in Washington. One day, I called the missionary in Washington and he invited me over to come to the mosque.
When I arrived at the mosque, I began to think about what I was doing, and after deliberating over my decision for a long time, mostly walking around the block, I decided to go inside. Once inside, I met the missionary and he greeted me warmly. He also greeted every other brother who walked in. I read two pamphlets:"My Faith" and "Why I Believe in Islam." After watching this beautiful personality and reading those pamphlets, I decided to sign the Bai'at form without any hesitation. This was in 1957, and later that year I received a letter from Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II that changed my entire life. I used to carry the original in my pocket, but I noticed that it was fading so I made several copies of it."
Munir Hamid Sahib is survived by a wife, a son, and two daughters.