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Here’s our full story from today’s service which was attended by mourners from across the UK and Europe.

Click here to read it.

That’s it from our blog today. Thank you for joining us.

Our thoughts are with Mr Patel’s loved ones.

Prayed side by side

Savile Town playing fields - the former Yorkshire cricket ground - was the only venue large enough for the open air service, relayed on a public address system.


Funeral of Muslim religious leader Hafez Mohammed Patel, Savile Road Playing Fields, Dewsbury.
Funeral of Muslim religious leader Hafez Mohammed Patel, Savile Road Playing Fields, Dewsbury.


Free buses ran from surrounding towns and mourners from near and far gathered in the rain to pray side by side.


Picture

Several thousand people attended the funeral of Hafiz Mohammed Patel in Savile Town this afternoon. Here’s another image showing the sheer scale.


Funeral of Muslim religious leader Hafez Mohammed Patel, Savile Road Playing Fields, Dewsbury.
Funeral of Muslim religious leader Hafez Mohammed Patel, Savile Road Playing Fields, Dewsbury.


Busy isn't the word

Here’s a tweet from Abdul Kalam which sums up the problems on the roads in Dewsbury after the Hafiz Patel funeral.



Gridlock

Dewsbury is virtually gridlocked and it’s going to take some time to clear. Looks like Savile Town and Thornhill into Dewsbury is taking the brunt of it.


Great images

These images from @TheAbdulKahhar on Twitter tells the story. Sounds like Dewsbury is pretty much gridlocked judging by comments on social media.



Police warn over traffic

West Yorkshire Police have issued a warning over traffic congestion in and around Dewsbury. If you don’t need to go into town I’d stay away for at least an hour.



'He preached tolerance'

Mourners came from all corners of the UK for the funeral of Hafiz Patel (below).


Hafiz Mohammed Patel. Credit: Dewsbury Markaz Facebook
Hafiz Mohammed Patel. Credit: Dewsbury Markaz Facebook


Clr Salim Mulla told Asian Image: “He was a great spiritual leader and wanted people to live together and hated friction between people.

“He did not believe in segregation between different faiths and preached tolerance. It is a great loss to the community.”


Islamic pioneer

Another tribute has come from Ishtiaq Ahmed, of the Bradford Council for Mosques.

He told the BBC: “We are all very saddened and shocked by his death. He will be missed by thousands in Britain and Europe.

“He was a pioneer, a visionary when it comes to the Islamic identity, and the place of the Muslim community in Britain.

“He established Dewsbury as a centre for European Muslims in Britain as far back as 1978. He also was a strong believer in British home-grown Islam.”


Very busy on the roads

People are making their way to Dewsbury Cemetery now. It’s said to be very busy along Huddersfield Road.



Thousands have attended

This picture from Twitter shows the size of the turnout at the funeral.




Helped people from all walks of life

It’s probably fair to say there’s not as many people as first predicted for the funeral but still upwards of 5,000 at least. As always with these things it’s hard to estimate.

There are lots of tributes on Twitter. Many people from all walks of life have turned to Mr Patel for guidance. Here are some more.



Tributes are paid

Solly Adam said Mr Patel “sacrificed his whole life for Muslims” and would go door to door spreading the word, while Dewsbury South councillor Masood Ahmed said: “He was always respectful, humble and approachable. He will be a big loss to the Muslim community as a whole as a spiritual leader.”


Mourners queue up to pay their respects at the funeral of Muslim leader Hafiz Mohammed Patel in Savile Town, Dewsbury
Mourners queue up to pay their respects at the funeral of Muslim leader Hafiz Mohammed Patel in Savile Town, Dewsbury


Please have patience

Drivers and bus passengers are asked to have patience in and around Dewsbury for the next hour or so.



The local roads have been really busy and buses have been delayed.


Mark of respect

We’re told that all study for children at local mosques have been cancelled for tonight as a mark of respect to Mr Patel.

Such has been the turnout several local schools were opened up in half-term specially to allow mourners to park their cars.



Big turnout

It’s raining in Dewsbury but the turnout is huge.



Prayers about to start

Prayers are due to start at 3.45pm with the funeral itself at 4pm. I understand the funeral will only last about 10 minutes.

There will be a burial at Dewsbury Cemetery, for family and close friends only, at 4.30pm.


A 'unique' funeral

Community leader Solly Adam has described the funeral as “unique” and believes Dewsbury has never seen the like.

He described Mr Patel as the “ameer of Europe”, head of the religion, the highest ranking. “You will never see a funeral like this in the whole of your life.”


Mourners queue up to pay their respects at the funeral of Muslim leader Hafiz Mohammed Patel in Savile Town, Dewsbury
Mourners queue up to pay their respects at the funeral of Muslim leader Hafiz Mohammed Patel in Savile Town, Dewsbury

Savile Road playing fields

The funeral is being held at the former cricket ground in Savile Road, Savile Town.

Yorkshire used to play there and the ground hosted 53 first class matches between 1867 and 1933. It’s now playing fields for the community.




Dewsbury has been busy all day with mourners arriving from across Britain and Europe. Mourners have flown in from France, Spain and Portugal.

Hazrat Hafez Patel came to Dewsbury in 1960 and was instrumental in setting up the town’s first mosque.

He reputedly tramped the streets, spreading the word of Islam and became one of the most respected scholars. He dedicated his life to the Tablighi Jamaat movement.


Paying respects

It sounds incredible but up to 30,000 mourners could attend the funeral of Hafiz Mohammed Patel in the next hour.

He was an imam, or Muslim priest, and one of the founders of the Markazi Mosque in South Street, Savile Town.

The mosque is the largest teaching mosque in Europe and is the European headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat movement.

The mosque serves as a centre for Tablighi Jamaat’s missionary activity throughout Europe.