PRAYER mats were laid on the streets and cars were abandoned in the road as up to 600 mourners turned out to pay their last respects to a murdered Sheffield student.
There were unprecedented scenes at the Taqwa Mosque in Andover Street, Pitsmoor, yesterday afternoon for the funeral of Mubarak Ali, aged 23.
Mubarak, who was known to family and friends as Yahya, was stabbed to death in broad daylight on Crowther Place, near Sharrow Primary School, on Friday, September 30.
The student, of Headford Grove, Broomhall, was taking his younger brother, Abdi Shuker, 17, for a haircut on London Road when he was killed.
Yesterday scores of men crowded into the small Taqwa Mosque to pay their respects.
Hundreds more, predominantly from Sheffield’s Somali community, gathered outside the building.
Prayer mats were laid all around the mosque, with mourners filling the adjacent car park and nearby streets.
All faced east, in the direction of Mecca, as they bowed their heads for funeral prayers.
Traffic came to a standstill as cars packed Andover Street, Montfort Drive and Kilton Hill. Many vehicles had been abandoned on the pavement or in the middle of the road.
The undertaker who brought Yahya’s coffin to the mosque said he had never seen so many people attend a funeral and estimated there were at least 600 men in and around the building.
At the end of prayers, Yahya’s coffin was carried out to be taken to Tinsley Park Cemetery in Darnall, where a burial service took place.
Yahya had just completed a degree in sociology and criminology at Sheffield Hallam University. His family described him as someone other young people in the community looked up to - a respected young man who was ‘loved and cherished’.
n James Knowles, aged 22, of Norfolk Park, has been charged with murder and remanded in custody.