This Morning, Walthamstow lost a Father in Qur’an Recitation and teaching; Hazrat Moulana Ahmed Koya. He was someone who has taught literally thousands of students in Walthamstow as well as abroad on how to read the Majestic Quran. Those that knew of him truly can say he was the best of Muslims:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.”

Who was he?

Moulana Ahmed Ismail Koya was born in the village of Kosamdi, in the state of Gujarat, India in 1930. He served in the village of Naroli for a number of years. Masha’Allah did great work in the village and people remember him till today.

Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Motala sb is amongst his students.

He moved to Zambia for employment and then moved to the UK in early 1980’s. He worked in a shirt factory on Selborne Road, Walthamstow, where he would iron shirts into the late hours of the night for 50 pence an hour.

Upon becoming the first imaam of Masjid-E-Umer, he lived in the apartment attached to the back of the masjid. Not only would he lead on the 5 time salah and teach in the madressa, he would also carry out the caretaking duties, ensuring the masjid and wudhu facilities were always clean for all attendees.
In the mid-80’s he moved to his apartment on Exmouth Road, where he was re-united with his wife, Rasul Ahmed Koya, who joined him from India.

Upon retiring as the imaam of the masjid, handing over the reins to our current imaam, Moulana Muhammad Shoyaib Nurgat, he continued to teach the Holy Qur’aan in the madressa.

Moulana is survived by his 2 children; Yakub who resides in Bolton and Farida, who resides in Lusaka, Zambia, as well grand children and great-grandchildren. Moulanas wife passed away a few years ago in February 2019. May Allah ta’ala elevate both of their statuses, fill their graves with Noor, grant them with Jannatul Firdaus and re-unite them for eternity in gardens beneath which rivers flow. Aameen ya Rabb-ul-Aalimeen.

Memoriam Page

We have created this memoriam page dedicated to Hazrat Maulana Ahmed Koya  where people can share their memories and experiences in the comments section below with the intention of implementing those excellent actions and good habits in our lives

When posting your memory of Maulana Koya, please provide: Your name, the years you were associated to him, the nature of the association and the impact it had on your life. The impact could be anything that reminds you of our beloved teacher Hazrat Maulana Ahmed Koya (Rahmatullahi A’layh)

As an example:

Name: Shiraz
Time Period: 1985-2021
Place: Madrassah in Masjid-e-Umer
My memory:
Impact on my Life:

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Sheraz Akhtar

    It feels as though the sun hasn’t risen this morning. To wake up to the sad news of Moulana Koya passing away has deeply saddened not only me but the whole community and everyone that was blessed to have met moulana Koya. Too many memories of all the time I have spent with him have been flooding back making it difficult to hold back the tears as it dawns upon me, the loss we have incurred. I have known moulana for nearly 40 years from the tender age of 3. Not only was he my first teacher, he went on to become my spiritual guide, confidante, my go-to person for all matters not only of a deeny nature but of a personal nature too. I was blessed to have him in my life as a fatherly figure too as he and his wife would lovingly refer to me as their son. Depite the age gap, we were close friends too and were able to share a laugh and joke together too. For me, I feel 4 people have passed away; a teacher, a guide, a father and a friend. I have truly been blessed to have known him and his loss cannot be filled. I take comfort in the fact that he is in a much better place and is no longer suffering. May Allah elevate his status, grant him with jannatul firdaus and re-unite him with his loved ones for eternity in gardens beneath which rivers flow. Aameen

  2. Yunus vadva

    Time period.1967/69
    Place: kanini masjid ndola
    My memory:
    I am profoundly sad and griefstricken to learn of the passing away of maulana ahmed koya in uk.
    Maulana koya taught me Quran recitation in ndola in 1967 till 1969.he was an exemplary humble and kind hearted gentleman who diligently who showed his good natured character by his gentlemanly conduct towards his madressa pupils and never floundered on the very basic principles of showing compassion and humility .I will dearly miss him .
    May Allah grant marhum maulana koya jannat ul firdous of the highest abode.ameen

  3. Fahad Khamkar

    Name: Fahad
    Time Period- 1992
    Place – Madrasah at Masjid E Umer
    Memory – Surah Yaseen/Qur’an
    Impact on my life – I have no doubt that many of the people leaving messages will be ex students, however each and everyone will have had a “friendship” with Hazrat.
    When he spoke, he spoke with respect, he smiled and was always approachable.
    Aunty was also the same, she would welcome us in to the house.
    Hazrat devoted all his time in to the community, especially in establishing the masjid and teaching the young.
    Recently my son memorised Surah Yaseen, and Hazrat was the first person i thought of. He taught us to keep this special surah close to our heart.
    I was fortunate enough to be a student of Hazrat’s from a young age.
    A loss for the community and major loss of his duas.
    May Allah elevate his status to amongst those who are guided. May Allah enlarge for him his grave and shed noor upon him in it. Ameen.

  4. Imran Siddique

    Time Period: 1991-2021
    Place: Student of Maulana in Masjid-e-Umer initially and later Maulana was a Spiritual guidance.

    Maulana Koya was one of the Imams that taught me Quran in my early years as a student at Masjid-E-Umer. Maulana teaching style was unique in that he would not move you onto next page of Quran until he felt that you had perfected your recitation. Many times as i child i felt i was ready to move on to other sura’s, Juz’s but Maulana didn’t do sub-standard. Only later on as i came to the end of my Quran Education i valued Maulana teaching style. My recitation had not only improved but also i could read at relatively fast speeds without getting stuck on any words. Later when i had finished my academic education too I (along with a few of Maulana’s other students) would visit him at his home. He was always welcoming as was his wife. Maulana would guide us on all aspects of our life and would share his wisdom. As the years passed i noticed many other people in the community would visit Maulana too which brought a smile to my face as i knew its because people valued him as person and the knowledge/wisdom he passed onto us. Maulana despite his serious demeanour could also share a laugh and joke even in his later years. He had a sharp memory and could recall events from decades ago. Maulana was a simple man who lived a simple life and valued teaching others. He will be missed sorely.

    Maulana’s passing has left a huge gap in the lives of the people who respected and loved him. May Allah elevate his status, grant him with jannatul firdaus and re-unite him with his loved ones.

  5. Zaheer Rashid

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

    I had the pleasure and privilege of being a student of Maulana Saab for quite a number of years at Madrassa in the early 90’s and then subsequently became a student of Maulana Shoaib Saab for a couple of years. The late Maulana Ashraf Saab R.A. was also a legend in his own right. I used to look forward to coming from Leyton to attend Maulana Koya’s classes. Saying he was one of the most humble, soft spoken and intelligent individuals is an understatement. His beautiful smile and his words of wisdom, together with his mild humour will forever live in my heart. Not just Walthamstow, but the Ummah has lost an amazing person and he will never be forgotten In’Shaa’Allaah. May Allah Subhanahu Wa’Ta’ala forgive Maulana Koya Saab for all his shortcomings in this Dunya and elevate his status to a lofty one in the Aakhirah and make the test of the grave easy for him. May Allah Ta’ala grant him Jannah Al’Firdous and give his family and loved ones the Sabr and Unity during these difficult times. Ya Allah please relieve the Ummah of their suffering and make them victorious over their oppressors and the enemies of Islam. May the sick be given Shifa’a and a long beneficial life and may all the deceased be united in Jannah Al’Firdous. آمین

    وسلام علیکم

  6. Abdullah Goolly

    Innalilahi wainna ilayhi rajioon
    I was very sad to learn of the passing of Moulana Koya this morning especially after I thought his health was slightly improving since admitted to hospital.
    My family and I have known Moulana Koya and Rasul Mah my whole life. We would visit Moulanas house regularly as children. Moulana also taught me Quran at Masjid e Umer. I remember he gave alot of importance to memorising of surahs, i think he would do this every Friday. He would also do practical lessons on how to perform salaah correctly.
    Also Mashallah what a lovely beard and build Moulana had. He was tall and built but had the softest and gentlest voice and actions.
    Moulana will be immensely missed in the masjid and community. We make dua moulana is granted jannatul firdaus, any of his shortcomings are forgiven, he is reunited with mah and other loved ones and give the family sabr.

  7. Rizwan Akbar

    A huge loss to the Muslim community. He has left a legacy behind a man so humble & dedicated to the Deen & teaching of the Qur’an. I used to teach in the madrasah downstairs with him. At his age he used to walk to the masjid to pray & to teach what ever the weather. A figure that will be missed greatly. Alhumdulillah he used to love his roti & daal lol he used to tell me at the mosque. Used to give brilliant advice always dressed beautifully with his beautiful orange beard & always coordinated. After losing his beloved wife who he spent most his life with he was very heart broken. I make dua that Allah unites Molana Saab & auntie in jannatul firdos & grants aafiyah to the family. Although the Muslim community that knew him are saddened for his departure but insha’Allah he will be happy as he will be greeting the people that had left before him. His way of life till the last moment makes me think & realise how far behind we are to reach such calibre. May Allah be please with him may his grave be the garden from paradise may Allah give us all the taufeeq to live a life like he did & prepare for our aakhirah in which Allah will be pleased with insha’Allah. Ameen ya rabb!!!

  8. Zaffar I karim

    Inna Lilahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon
    I met Molana Koya when he first moved here and started
    Teaching in a house on Edinbourgh road Walthamstow it was a double room and on one side Hafiz Ismael Sadiq (late) use to teach I was his student and on the opposite side the Molana koya use sit under the rear window and he use to teach. A great person who spent his life passing on Islamic knowledge. I remember once before jumma salaat he delivered a lecture on how to do istinja which was a very difficult subject and yet he did it perfectly without any hitch or awkwardness. Will be missed by all who knew him. May Allah bless him accept his good deeds and reward him for his efforts.

  9. Abdul Khaliq

    I have been attending this mosque for past 30 years, I remember Maulana khoya for his distinctive voice while he lead the Salah,as always was humble and polite may Allah talla grant him Janatul firdous ,he will surly be missed by all.

  10. Shoaib

    السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

    Inna Lilahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon

    I am very saddened to hear the news of maulana koya may Allah grant him the highest rank of jannat. Im also very proud and happy to have met and too have been taught by such an amazing person, humble and the master of the Quran. Hazrat moulana koya taught me for a good 4-5 years with completing the Qur’an numerous time, with the guidance of the pioneer I achieved a 1st place in madressa for the pure recitation of the qur’an . Hazrat will be very missed especially in the jammat hall of the masjid e Umar.

  11. Ali

    Name: Ali
    Time Period: 1982-
    Place: Madrassah in Masjid-e-Umer

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi rajiun. The world is a much poorer place for losing such a special and pious person. Indeed he was the best amongst us.

    I first met Moulana Koya and the late great Maulana Ashraf as a little child joining Madrassah at Masjid-e-umer in the early 80s. My early memories were of his amazing Mehndi coloured beard and how he always had the best ironed clothes.

    He was also the imam who led the janaaza prayer for my late father as well as conducting nikah ceremonies for family members. Ever present and each time you were lucky enough to see him on the street you felt in the presence of someone really special. He had a lovely voice and in particular, hearing his heartfelt duas after prayer were special. Both Moulana Ashraf and Moulana Koya had incredible smiles and humour.

    May Allah grant him with jannatul firdaus and give his family and friends sabr. Aameen

  12. Rashida Thornewell (nee Bobat)

    This lovely, gentle & elegant imam taught me the Quran whilst growing up in Ndola, Zambia in the late 60s. He always had a smile for all of us. Growing up, there was a bunch of us girls who used to say that he would be the Imam of choice for our wedding day vows . Sadly I didn’t have that honour but I sincerely hope some of them did. His lessons, presence & thoughtfulness have not been forgotten nor shall he. May Allah grant him Jannat. My thoughts are with his family & Allah grant them patience.

  13. Aslam

    I have know Maulah Koya for a short time when her late Mrs was admitted in Hospital. Me and my wife and kids were very fund of them. I was bless for having given the chance of knowing this amazing couple. May Allah bless both and give them Jannah. Every Ramadhan I see him going to the mosque with his bag and will speak to him but this Ramadhan he was not seen. On Eid day I thought of him but did not see him. I do not have my parents with me in this country and miss them. I wish people who have them look after and cherish them.

  14. Ebrahim Surti

    Ebrahim Surti
    Hazrat Moalana Sahib was my teacher and had taught me for a number of years in the old and new building Alhamdulillah.

    He was a loving, friendly and humble person, someone who was easily approachable. Whenever I saw him he would be smiling Subhanallah.

    He was very smart and well dressed but at the same time he was a simple person. He would wear nice salwar kameez which were always neat and ironed and would apply nice perfume.

    He gave much importance to Jumu’ah salaah and would attend the masjid being one of the first to enter and would sit in the front row despite his ill health. Mashallah.

    He was very particular when it came to memorising the Qur’an. I can never forget his Ihsan upon me as he played a great role in myself joining the hifz class and wanting to memorise the Qur’an.

    A great loss to the community and the ummah. May Allah forgive his shortcomings elevate his ranks and grant him Jannat Ul Firdaus. Ameen

  15. Yasmin

    Allah grant maulana the highest place in Janatul Firdous…remember him well from ndola …i prayed by him occasionally…soft spoken beautiful voice when he recited quran …Allah grant all his loved ones sabrune jameel aameen ….
    Alhamdulillah for a noble kind ustad and a lovely childhood in kanini .. memories to treasure forever

  16. Khurram Shabbir

    May Allah grant him highest place in jannah . I am so heart broken to hear that news. He was my teacher who thought me how to read Qur’an. Kind and gentle . He will be missed alot .

  17. Bint Ahmed

    The comments shows how a soft and gentle approach to teaching leaves a positive impact on students. I too was a student of his in Ndola and it is his beautiful akhlaaq, loving manner and his simplicity which stands out in my memories. Allah ta’ala grant acceptance and maghfirat and elevate the status of our beloved ustadh and grant his loved ones Sabrun jameel, aameen

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