SYDNEY'S Muslims, who marked the end of Ramadan in Lakemba this week, gathered there again last night to mourn an Australian sheikh and teacher killed in Syria.
Sheikh Mustapha al-Majzoub died on Sunday when he was hit during a rocket attack, his family said.
He had travelled to Syria in June to undertake humanitarian work, which was what he was doing at the time of his death, a statement from the family said.
''Although it is a time of sadness, as we have lost a much-loved member of our family, we are honoured that Sheikh Mustapha died doing what he has been doing his entire life - selflessly serving the community for the sake of pleasing God.''
His burial on Monday was reportedly presided over by his brother, Sheikh Fedaa Majzoub, the only Australian member of the opposition Syrian National Council.
About 1000 members of Sydney's Muslim community, including Sheikh Mustapha's father, gathered at the Lakemba Mosque last night as tributes flooded social media sites.
The NSW counterterrorism command would most likely be keeping a close eye on the situation, given the potential to further inflame simmering tensions between Sydney's Sunni and Shiite communities over the Syrian conflict.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was yet to confirm the death last night due to difficulties obtaining information during the conflict, a spokeswoman said.
The spokesman for the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, Keysar Trad, believed Sheikh al-Majzoub was in the province of Latakia when he died.
''Some sort of a rocket was fired on his town from about 50 kilometres away by the Syrian regime soldiers, indiscriminately shelling his town and he was killed, unfortunately,'' Mr Trad said.
''A man of the cloth whose mission in life is to bring peace to those around him and attend to their spiritual needs was mercilessly killed by the dying Assad regime.''
Sheikh al-Majzoub had addressed a Bankstown protest rally in January, stressing the need to support the Syrian uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
The president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, Samier Dandan, said the sheikh was respected in the community as a moderate, and for his work with Australia's Muslim youth. He had a wife and three young children.
''He was quite a family man, a loving father. He cared a lot for what is happening in Syria,'' Mr Dandan said.
with Rachel Olding