Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Hārūn ʻAbbās ʻUmar

By Jamiat Ulama (KZN)

[We have compiled three different articles which shed a little light on the life of Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Hārūn ʻAbbās ʻUmar raḥimahullāh. We acknowledge that much more needs to be done to preserve the life of our illustrious seniors and elders who are leaving us at an alarming rate. We sincerely hope that more can and will be done to continue keeping their legacies alive and most importantly following in their illustrious footsteps. We ask that if you have additional information that can you would like to add to this page concerning our illustrious ‘Ulamā’ than kindly forward this to us. – The Editor, Ḥayāt al-‘Ulamā’]

The night of the 10 Shawwaal 1441 / 3 June 2020 marked the tragic demise of one of the great Ulama of South Africa, Shaikhul Hadith Moulana Haroon Abasoomar Rahimahullah.

Hadhrat Moulana was a giant in Islamic knowledge especially in the field of Hadith. He was an example of unwavering steadfastness in the service of Deen. He served as Imaam of the Isipingo Beach Masjid for over forty years from the late 1970s until his demise. This remarkable achievement displays not only Moulana’s commitment to his community but also their value and love for him.

Hadhrat Moulana was a true academic. As a student, he studied in the renowned Binnori Town Darul Uloom in Karachi, Pakistan under the tutelage of Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf Binnori Rahimahullah. His keen intellect and dedication to studying led to him become the first and only South African to achieve the first position in the national board examinations of Darul Ulooms in Pakistan.

Qadhi Mujahidul Islam Rahimahullah, one of the renowned jurists of the Muslim world in the last few decades, whilst visiting South Africa, commented on Hadhrat Moulana’s brilliant intellect and knowledge during his interactions with him.

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Mawlānā Maḥmūd Madanī Desai

By Madrasah Inaamiyyah

Hazrat Moulānā (RA) was born in the year 1373/1953 in Madīnah Munawwarah during the Hajj journey of his parents. His birth place was close to the home of Sayyidunā Abū Ayyūb Ansārī (Radiyallāhu ‘anhu), which at that time was in front of the Haram. Hazrat Moulānā ‘Abdul Haqq Omarjī, Hazrat Moulānā Mūsā Samrodī and Hajī Kāssim Ahmad Kadwā (father of Moulānā Osmān Kadwā Sāhib) were amongst the South African Hujjāj present during that Hajj. He was named Mahmūd by Hazrat Moulānā ‘Abdul Haqq ‘Omarjī (RA), a close friend of his father.

Early Education:

His Maktab education began in Richmond. Amongst his teachers in Richmond were his respected mother, Muhtaramah Mariam Desai (who is currently at the age of 90+), Sheikh Chacha and Moulānā Yūsuf ‘Omarwālī.

He began his Hifdhul Qurān by his mother, Muhtaramah Mariam Desai. Thereafter, Moulānā Yūsuf ‘Omarwālī took over from his mother. He completed 15 juz whilst in Richmond.

Journey to Mia’s Farm:

In the year 1964, at the age of 11, Hazrat Moulānā (RA) proceeded to Mia’s farm and remained there until 1969. He completed his remaining 15 juz in 6 months. Hazrat Moulānā ‘Abbās ‘Alī Sāhib (DB) was his group leader.

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Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā ʻAbd al-Ḥaq Aʻẓamī

By Shaykh Mohammed Daniel al-Muhajir and Others

Image result for darul uloom deobandThe erudite scholar, the true ascetic, Shaykh Abdul Haq bin Mohammed Umar bin Karīm Baksh al-Azami al-Qāsimi was born in the town of Jagdishpūr in the state of Uttar Pradesh (India) in 1925 CE – corresponding to 1345 AH – and passed away on the evening of Friday, 30th December 2016.

He was orphaned during his early childhood and his upbringing was taken care of by Mawlana  Mohammed Muslim al-Jawnpūri who supervised his elementary study and then placed him on the sacred path at the Bait al-Ulūm Madarsa in Sarai Meer where he used to serve as a teacher of Hadith.

There Shaykh al-Azami studied the elementary subjects and undertook an intensive study of Arabic syntax and grammar, logic, and Fiqh studying the famous work Sharh al-Wiqāyah and completing four years of study before he travelled to Darul Ulūm Mau where he completed a further 3 years of study focusing on the essentials of Hanafi Fiqh, completing his study of Imam Marghināni’s al-Hidāyah and Imam Tibrīzi’s Mishkāt al-Masābīh.

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Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Salīmullāh Khān

By Jamia Farooqia Karachi
Edited by Faraz Abdul Moid

Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Saleemullah Khan, the son of Abdul Aleem Khan, was born in District Muzaffarnagar, India. He belongs to Hasanpur, Lohari of Doaba, U.P. which is famous for the many learned scholars and respected spiritual leaders who emerged from there. The murshid (spiritual guide) of Hadrat Hāji Imdādullah Muhājir Makki, Shaykh Mianji Nūr Muhammad Jhinjhānawi (khalīfah of Abd al-Rahīm Wilāyati al-Shahīd), spent his entire life in that village.

Mawlana Saleemullah Khan since his childhood sought education at various important religious institutions. In 1942, he enrolled in Darul Ulūm Deoband to complete his scholastic career. At Deoband, he received education in Qur’an, hadith, and other related sciences through the most learned scholars of the time which included Shaykh al-Islam Syed Husain Ahmad Madani, Shaykh al-Adab E’zāz Ali, Mawlana Muhammad Idrīs Kandhlawi, and other prominent religious personalities.

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Mawlānā Muḥammad Badr ʻĀlam Mīrtī

By Shaykh Yusuf Ibn Mufti Shabbīr Aḥmad

Foreword: Two facts have prompted me to learn more about and pen a brief profile of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Badr ʿĀlam Mīrtī (d. 1385/1965). First, on his visit to the UK last year, our beloved Ḥaḍrat Mufti Aḥmad Khānpūrī (b. 1365/1946) mentioned that Mawlānā Badr ʿĀlam’s grave in the Baqīʿ cemetery was dug several years after he had passed away to re-use the grave for burial, as is customary. However, his body and shroud were found to be intact and therefore his grave was not re-used. This exercise was repeated after a few years and once again his body and shroud were found to be intact [Mufti Fārūq Mīrthī (d. 1436/2015) adds that this exercise was repeated a third time and the result was the same. The grave was then sealed and marked that it is not to be re-used, see Fikr Ākhirat, p.404]. Second, upon hearing this, my respected father Mufti Shabbīr Aḥmad (b. 1376/1957) mentioned to Mufti Aḥmad Khānpūrī that his father Ḥājī Aḥmad Ismāʿīl Patel (d. 1409/1988) had a very close relationship with Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Badr ʿĀlam, which probably developed when the latter moved from Deoband to Dabhel, Gujarat, India. Such was the relationship that when Ḥājī Aḥmad decided to migrate from Malawi, where he had moved to from India, Mawlānā Badr ʿĀlam offered to make arrangements for him and the family to move to the blessed city of Madīnah, where he had already moved to. Allah Almighty had planned otherwise and Ḥājī Aḥmad moved with his family to the UK. Ḥājī Aḥmad was not a scholar, however, he had love for the scholars and saints and a passion to build Masjids and spread Islamic books. Famously known as Aḥmad Bāpū in Malawi, the Masjid he built in Zomba in 1962 is a landmark in the city. It is a result of his association with scholars and saints combined with his passion for charitable endeavours that thirty-six of his grandchildren and many more from the great-grandchildren are scholars. I therefore thought it useful to share a brief profile of Mawlānā Badr ʿĀlam Mīrtī who impacted on the lives of Ḥājī Aḥmad and many thousands of people worldwide.

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Muftī Afḍal Ḥusayn Ilyās

By Jamiat Ulama (KZN)

Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias Saheb Rahmatullahi Alayh was a senior Aalim of South Africa who contributed hugely in numerous ways for the upliftment, protection and advancement of our Deen.

Mufti Saheb was a remarkable individual who despite his busy schedule, never shied away from engaging and interacting with people, be they young or old. His passion to speak and promote Haqq (truth) was his trademark, which earned him respect throughout the world.

Mufti Saheb was a senior student of Shaykhul-Hadeeth Mufti Saeed Ahmad Paalanpuri (DB) of Darul Uloom Deoband & studied Tafseer under the great & famous mufassir Maulana Ghulamullah Khan RA of Rawalpindi Pakistan.

Mufti Saheb obtained the following Islamic qualifications from Darul Uloom Deoband:

  • Aalim Certificate: Darul Uloom Deoband India – 1983
  • Mufti Certificate: Darul Uloom Deoband India – 1984
  • Completed a course in tafseer under Moulana Ghulamullaah Khan, Rawalpindi, Pakistan – 1983.

Mufti Saheb was also a qualified draughtsman and graduated at the ML Sultan College, Durban prior to his enrolment at Darul Uloom Deoband.

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Mawlānā Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Raḥmān Miān Afrīqī

By Ozayr Mahomed

I pen these words through a whirlwind of emotions caused by an indelible void in my heart due to the recent demise of my beloved Ustaadh…

From the onset, I would like to mention that I share this not as an accolade to Moulana since fame and glory were contrary to his humble personality, but merely so that one-and-all can derive lesson and spiritual benefit.

Furthermore, many of Moulana’s students scattered across the length and breadth of the country, are unaware of Moulana’s exemplary personality; and might gain a slight insight into Moulana’s life and legacy.

The Early Years

Moulana Muhammad Abdurrahmaan Ebrahim Mia Rahmatullah Alayh (R.A.), the eldest son of my illustrious Ustaadh- Hadrat Hafiz Abdurrahman Mia R.A., – was born in Lydenburg (Mpumalanga) on 25 September 1943. At the age of twleve (12), Moulana Muhammad was sent to Madinah Munawwarah to do his hifz; a great sacrifice by Moulana’s parents and Moulana. On completion of his Hifz, Moulana returned to South Africa after four (4) relentless years. The journey to Jeddah in those days was a two-day trip by air, thus there were no visits home during this time.

Moulana then began pursuing his Aalim Course in Mia’s farm under the tutorship of Mufti Ibrahim Sanjalwi R.A.

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Mawlānā Ḥasan Qāsim Bhūrāt

By Unknown

Maulana Hassen Qasim Bhorat Saheb was born in Stanger, South Africa in 1938. His parents were immigrants from India, originally from the village of Nani Naroli in Gujarat. At the young age of 8 years old, he travelled to India with his elder brother, the late Maulana Mohamed Bhorat (d. 1998), to study deen formally. They completed their preliminary maktab studies at Jami’ah Falah-e-Darayn in Tadkeshwar, after which they proceeded to Jami’ah Hussainiyyah in Rander for ‘alimiyyah studies. In his final (dawrat al-hadith) year, Maulana had the opportunity to study Sahih al-Bukhari under Maulana Ahmadullah Randeri (rahmatullahi alaiyh).

After graduating, Maulana Hassen proceeded to Darul Uloom Deoband to benefit from the akabir there, upon the suggestion of his teachers. Before him, his brother, Maulana Mohamed had already gone to Deoband to complete his dawra year and spend time in the company of Hazrat Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani (rahmatullahi alaiyh); he also encouraged Maulana Hassen to come to Deoband.

Maulana Hassen repeated his dawra year in Darul Uloom Deoband, where he had the opportunity to study Sahih al-Bukhari a second time under Maulana Fakhruddin Ahmad Muradabadi (rahmatullahi alaiyh). After this, Maulana Hassen studied musalsalaat under Shaykh al-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhalwi (rahmatullahi alaiyh). All final year students at Darul Uloom Deoband were given this opportunity, and Maulana Hassen Saheb was able to obtain a sanad in hadith from Hazrat Shaykh in this manner.

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Shaykh Qāri Anīs Aḥmad Khān

By Qāri Muḥammad Salīm Ghaybī (Gaibie)

The well-learned, skilled and proficient Sheikh Muhammad Anīs Ahmad Khān was born in the village of Jaganpūr in Fayd Ābādī. His father, an ardent follower and student of Sheikh al-Hind Moulānā Mahmūd al-Hasan Deobandī, was an ascetic, renowned for his piety and excellent character. In their district, none was more devout in fulfilling Allah and his Prophet’s (sallā llāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) commands than Sheikh Moulānā ̆Abd al-Ra`ūf Khān, the father of Qārī Anīs Ahmad. After completion of his studies of Arabic, Hadith, Fiqh, and other sciences in Deoband, his father also mastered the science of Qirā`āt. He returned to his village and taught the youth correct recitation of the Qur`ān, as well as writing various fatwās (legal verdicts) on many issues. Many books were authored by him.

Qārī Anīs was deprived of his mother’s love and affection as she passed away while he was still a young boy. He became his father’s shadow and accompanied him wherever he went. It was to be anticipated that his father’s knowledge, as well as his likes and dislikes, would be inherited by his son. Thus Qāri Anīs gained his father’s love for Allah, His Prophet (sallā llāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) and his father’s aversion to the transgression of Allah’s commands. It was also expected that he would gain his father’s love and passion for the Qur`ān, Qirā`āt and the other Qur`ānic sciences.

While still in his youth, Qāri Anīs left his father’s loving care and went to Deoband to learn Islamic studies, specifically Qirā`āt. This he did under the Sheikh al-Qurrā`of Deoband, Qāri Hifth al-Rahmān, completing the narration of Hafs as well as the seven Qirā`āt by him. However, Qāri Anīs mentions that after completing the seven Qirā`āt, his thirst for the science was not quenched, and he thus traveled to Madrasah ̆Āliyah Furqāniyah in Lucknow which hosted a number of specialists in the field of Qur`ān and was known as the centre for Qirā`āt during that time. Qāri Anīs benefited and learnt as much as he could from these specialists who included Qāri Muhibb al-Din, Sheikh Muhammad Sābiq al-Lucknawī and Sheikh ̆Abd al-Mālik ibn Jīwan amongst others. It was under the skilful guidance of Qāri Muhibb al-Dīn that Qāri Anīs Ahmad spent years studying the many texts and books in the field, eventually completing the rendition of the seven Qirā`āt , as well as the 10 thereafter, via the Tarīq of the Durrah and the Tayyibah . Due to his brilliance in Qirā`āt, he also taught at Madrasah Furqāniyah for 10 years after he qualified.

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Qāri ʻAbd Allāh al-Makkī

By Qāri Muḥammad Salīm Ghaybī (Gaibie)

Due to the oppression of the people in India by the English occupation, Qāri ̆Abd Allah moved to Mecca with his father Muhammad Bashīr Khan in 1284 A.H./1867 C.E. Bashīr Khan had three sons: Muhammad  ̆Abd Allah, Muhammad  ̆Abd al-Rahmān and Muhammad Habīb al-Rahmān. In Mecca he ensured that they all received a good education.

He studied various sciences under Moulana Rahmah Allah al-Kayrānway in the Haram of Mecca and in Madrasah al-Soulatiyyah. It was his fervent efforts in the field of Qirā`āt that resulted in him rendering the Qur`ān according to the seven and ten Qirā`āt via the Tarīq of the Shātibiyyah , the Durrah and the Tayyibah to the Egyptian expert Sheikh Ibrāhīm Sa ̆d. After mastering these sciences he was appointed as teacher of Tajwīd and Qirā`āt in Madrasah al-Soulatiyyah.

He would practice Qirā`āt (mashq) for one hour as his daily routine. He would tell his students: “If this (practice) does not become a regular habit (for a reciter) then he will never control his ability in recitation and pronunciation. Therefore, every reciter should not neglect his daily practice (mashq).”

He got married in Mecca and stayed there till the end of his days. He taught and served the Qur`ān until his last breath. He died in 1337 A.H./1919 C.E.


  • Moulana Rahmah Allah al-Kayrānway – he was an ardent student of Moulana Kayrānway under whom he studied various sciences of Islam.
  • Sheikh Ebrāhīm Sa ̆d – he read the seven and ten Qirā`āt to him.