Celebrating the Life of Daa’iyah Nasheed Fardan-Ali
Daa’iyah Nasheed Fardan-Ali was born Anita Renee Hardney on October 6, 1953, to Josephine Kelly and Jim Frank Blue in Philadelphia, Pa. She was raised in East Orange, New Jersey alongside her siblings. A natural nurturer and caregiver, as the second oldest child, she helped to raise her little brothers and sisters. Her siblings describe her as intelligent, caring, and “a soldier for what is right”! She attended Peshine Avenue School, Weequahic High School, and ended her academic career at Montclair State University. Daa’iyah worked for Essex County Welfare for 14 years and retired early in January of 1999.
Daa’iyah met her husband of 43 years, Sameeh Ali, at Temple #25 on South Orange Avenue in Newark, NJ in 1977. They were married on April 21, 1979. A couple with a true entrepreneurial spirit, their first major investment was an 11-unit apartment building that also housed 2 businesses at 202 Camden Street in Newark, NJ. This building was across the street from Masjid 25 where Sameeh and Daa’iyah met, and their 4 oldest children attended Sister Clara Muhammad School. They bought their first home, 103 Oak St in East Orange, NJ in 1986. In 1993, they moved their family to Willingboro, NJ. Together they raised 6 children of their own, along with any child who came to their home who needed help and guidance…too many to mention!
Daa’iyah was passionate about children’s education. She always wanted to write children’s books. She was so passionate about the education of children that she purchased the entire Encyclopedia Britannica set for her children and challenged them to look up the answers of topics they were curious about. She was known as the “diction Queen”, often correcting you when you used improper grammar and made you repeat yourself until the lesson was understood. If she had an opinion, she spoke it…a trait that runs through all her children (and her husband). She loved to play spades, sew, and eat crabs by the bushel and other good foods. She made the best bowl of Cream of Wheat and taught her children to “start around the edges” so they wouldn’t burn their mouths while eating. Most meals were prepared from fresh foods, the first ingredient being love. This love for fresh and delicious food was instilled into her children and their children. She loved to watch her “stories”, watch game shows, and tell corny, knee-slapping jokes while spreading her infectious laugh that forced you to laugh too as if it was the funniest joke, you ever heard! To know Daa’iyah was to love her because she was truly a selfless, loving being. A presence as bright as hers can never be dulled nor forgotten.
Daa’iyah is predeceased by her sister Vick L. Doris and her parents George C. and Josephine Kelly, Sr, and her grandmother Amanda Hardney.
Her legacy continues through her husband, Sameeh Ali, her 6 children Sakinah Kelly, Tauheedah Ali (Phil), Radee Ali, Ajeenah Harmon (son in law Charles Harmon), Shaheerah Fardan-Ali, and Basheera Fardan-Ali, her stepson Hassan Giles, her 8 grandchildren Chela Humber, Ty’Lise Throckmorton, Maya Burgess-Williams, Jessy Harmon, Jadyn Humber, Liela Harmon, Ajanae Harmon, and Christina Harmon, her great-grandson Carter L. Johnson, her brother-in-law Bertram Wilson, her 7 siblings Keith A. Kelly, George C. Kelly, Jr. (Cynthia), Rodney J. Kelly, Stephan R. Kelly (Tanya), Stephanie R. Kelly-Cox (Martin), Djuana Y. Kelly, and Micah T. Kelly, and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, extended family, friends, and honorary children. We would like to honorably mention Aunt Geneva Hardney, her mother’s only surviving sister, Aunt Rose Kelly, her former sister-in-law/best friend Lisa Kidd, and her honorary son Joseph Smith.
She is loved by every one of us and will truly be missed.
Min Allah ‘iinaa lilah wa’iinaa ‘iilayh rajieun (From Allah we come, to Allah is our return.)