President of Britain’s largest Muslim student society, Bashir Osman, drowned on Saturday in Switzerland.
Osman, 26, president of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (Fosis), UK’s umbrella student body representing about 115,000 Muslim students, was known for his compassionate fundraising.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Osman died in a river in the Landquart District of Graubünden, after entering the water for a swim and being swept away by a freak current. He remained under water for more than 10 minutes before rescue services reached him.
Osman was pronounced dead by the rescue services at the scene, according to a statement issued by Fosis.
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“Bashir’s leadership, compassion, and commitment to serving his community and those less fortunate than him were inspiring traits that make his death such a grave and heartfelt loss to us all,” the statement further said.
Osman, who was a civil engineering graduate of the University of Birmingham, came from Netherlands and had been re-elected for a second term as president of Fosis. The student leader was visiting his colleagues at a youth organisation for European Muslims.
“I have never seen or been in a more beautiful place than this. Switzerland I have no words,” he had written in his last social media post on Facebook.
A lot of people showed their appreciation for Osman’s leadership.
Secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain Dr Shuja Shafi in his statement said, “I saw in Bashir a man of great humility but also one who was anxious to get things done for the betterment of people around him.”
“Though his life has been cut short, he has achieved much during his brief tenure for British Muslim students and the community. He will be remembered as a role model for us all.”
Osman’s friends who he had been travelling with said in an online post, “This is the very last picture we’ve taken together with our dear brother Bashir Osman just moments before he tragically passed away.”
“The five of us were spending a few days in Switzerland during the holy month of Ramazan in order to share moments of spirituality and togetherness, brotherhood and reflections on the commitment and engagement of young Muslims in Europe.”
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“Everything happened in a glimpse of an eye, and even though we and the rescue services did everything we could to try saving him, God has decided otherwise.”
His friends on social media said Osman was a Hafiz-e-Quran and this year he was planning to travel to Makkah with his mother for Hajj.
Fosis said Osman’s family had travelled to Switzerland to repatriate his body and added, “They will be liaising with the Swiss authorities, and providing us with updates as to when they will be coming back to the UK.”
Meanwhile, students posted their memories and condolences on social media.
Our thoughts are with everyone at @fosischannel today after the tragic loss of their President Bashir Osman— Labour Students (@LabourStudents) July 6, 2015
Slept/woke up to eulogies which make hearts smile & weep. Feels like I missed out on knowing a giant. May God make us like him. #BashirOsman— Razan Saffour (@RazanSpeaks) July 5, 2015
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oun https://t.co/hHzHHac0jg— Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) July 5, 2015
This article originally appeared on The Guardian