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.

Mawlānā Qāri ʻAbd al-Raḥmān al-Makkī

By Qāri Muḥammad Salīm Ghaybī (Gaibie)

He is known as the teacher of all teachers in India. It is upon him that most sanads of Qirā`āt in India revolve. Qāri ˘Abd al-Rahmān, the son of Muhammad Bashīr Khan, was born in India. Due to the English colonisation of India and their oppression of the indigenous peoples, Muhammad Bashīr Khan felt it best if they settled elsewhere. Through Allah’s guidance, Bashīr Khan and the remainder of his family settled in the holy land of Mecca in 1867 C.E.

Here he studied under the auspices of many experts. It was in this sacred place that Qāri ˘Abd al-Rahmān memorised the Qur`ān with various other texts in the field of Tajwīd. He embarked on the study of Qirā`āt after he had successfully memorised the Shātibiyyah, the Durrah and the Tayyibah. This he accomplished under the tutelage of his brother and teacher, Qāri ˘Abd Allah al-Makkī, to whom he read the seven and ten Qirā`āt via the Tarīq of the Durrah and the Tayyibah. With the council of his seniors, he returned to India to impart the knowledge he had gained in Mecca.

In 1883 C.E. he returned to Kanpur, India, where he taught in the madrasah of Moulana Ahmad Hasan. He later settled in Ilāh Ābād and taught in Madrasah Ihya` al-˘Ulūm. Even though he had a fervent aspiration to pass on his knowledge, the students were lazy and had little desire to learn. Qāri ˘Abd al-Rahmān therefore contemplated his return to Mecca and preparations for the journey were made. The bags were packed and transport arranged; all that remained was one more night that he would spend in India. That very night he saw the Messenger of Allah (sallā llāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) in his dream who said to him: “˘Abd al-Rahmān! Remain in India. We intend to take lots of work from you.” Upon awakening the next morning, bags were unpacked and all preparations for the journey were cancelled.

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ʻAllāmah Shams al-Ḥaq Afghānī

By Mawlānā ʻAbd Allāh Patel Kāpaudrī
Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy

Born 7 Ramadān 1318 A.H./1900 in Tarang Za’ī, Peshawar. Passed away 6 Dhū al-Qa‛dah 1403 A.H./16 August 1983

Hadrat Maulānā Shams al-Haq Afghānī rahimahullāh was a graduate of Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband and from among the distinguished ‛ulamā’ teachers of the subcontinent. He was a judge in Qilāt where he also delivered Hadīth lessons. We were in the second year Persian class when Hadrat ‛Allāmah came to Jāmi‛ah Dhābel as a Shaykh al-Hadīth. Like the Pathāns of the Sarhad region, he had a strong solid body, a red face, a deep voice and an intimidating personality.  The ‛Allāmah was a distinguished teacher so much so that he was invited on several occasions by Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband to go and teach there.

He was an excellent orator. He remained in Dhābel for about three years. He used to deliver lectures on various occasions. His lectures for this entire period of three years revolved around the verse:

لَقَدۡ جَآءَڪُمۡ رَسُولٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَنفُسِڪُمۡ

There has come to you a Messenger from your own selves. (Sūrat at-Tawbah, v. 128)

The tyranny which was imposed by the British on the ‛ulamā’ of India and the manner in which they broke the Islamic world into bits left deep wounds in the hearts of the ‛ulamā’, especially in the hearts of the students and associates of Hadrat Shaykh al-Hind rahimahullāh. They were filled with hatred towards the British. Hadrat Maulānā Shams al-Haq Afghānī rahimahullāh also detested the British. In his speeches, he would very often refer to them as white-skinned dogs, and make the Muslims feel ashamed of their slavery to them.

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Mawlānā ʻAbd al-Jabbār Aʻẓamī Maẓāhirī

By Mawlānā ʻAbd Allāh Patel Kāpaudrī
Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy

Born 1325 A.H./1907. Passed away 1st Sha‛bān 1409 A.H./1989 on a Friday night.

Hadrat Maulānā ‛Abd al-Jabbār Sāhib A‛zamī was a resident of a town called Pūrah Ma‛rūf. He acquired his primary education in his hometown and proceeded to Mazāhir al-‛Ulūm Sahāranpūr for higher studies. On going there, he derived benefit from the esteemed teachers of that institution. He spent many years teaching in Jāmi‛ah Dhābel. He had an excellent memory. His lessons used to be very clear and well arranged.

He was distant from the formalities of life; he wore simple clothes and sufficed with ordinary simple food. In the course of his lessons or in any outside assembly, he never criticized any teacher or ‛ālim, and never offered his view on what any of them [teachers or scholars] said.

He was an excellent orator. His talks used to be extremely effective. Every Thursday evening he would go to a village of Sūrat or Bharūch where he would deliver a lecture. Hadrat would take those of us who were his attendants. Before he could deliver his talk, he would ask us to deliver a short talk of about 10-15 minutes. If there was any part of our talk which needed correction, he would do it in privacy. Hadrat would then deliver his lecture which used to extend for one and half to two hours. The audience would listen very attentively. Sometimes, loud outbursts would be heard from some people.

Thousands of people of Gujarat adopted a religious way of life by virtue of listening to his scintillating talks. Educated people would also attend his lectures and would return most impressed. Many people used to pledge allegiance to him for the sake of rectification and reformation.

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Mawlānā Faḍl al-Raḥmān Deobandī

By Mawlānā ʻAbd Allāh Patel Kāpaudrī
Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy

Hadrat Maulānā Fadl ar-Rahmān Sāhib rahimahullāh hailed from Sarhad. He acquired his early education with much toiling and striving under the ‛ulamā’ of his hometown. He used to say: “There was no system of hostels in the madāris. We used to live in masājid and go to our teachers for lessons. We would also carry out domestic chores for them. We used to go to the mountains to fill water and collect firewood. If the teacher was ploughing his land, we would walk with him and he would listen to our lessons.”

After completing grammar and etymology, he turned to fiqh and principles of fiqh, and memorized certain texts. This had been the methodology of the ‛ulamā’ of the past. That is, they used to study one subject at a time under the expert teacher in that subject. They used to memorize one text book from each subject. On completing the academic subjects [like grammar, etymology, principles, philosophy, logic, etc.] they would present themselves to the experts in Hadīth and tafsīr. Many years used to be spent in studying the various subjects in this manner. However, when they did qualify, they qualified as scholars with a solid foundation.

Maulānā Fadl ar-Rahmān Sāhib rahimahullāh left his hometown and came to Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband to quench his thirst for knowledge. He completed after a good few years. He settled down in Deoband, resided in the Pathān Pūrah section of the town, got married there and became a Deobandī in this way.

He came to Jāmi‛ah Dhābel after 1950 to render his services in the field of teaching. He used to work very hard in teaching al-Hidāyah (Ākhirayn), Mukhtasar al Ma‛ānī, Abū Dāwūd and other books. He was in the habit of preparing for his lessons until 2am.

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Mawlānā Iḥsān bin Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ Hendricks

Compiled by Channel Islam (Cii Radio)

Introduction: It has recently been announced that the tenure of Moulana Ihsaan Hendricks, as the President of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) will in 2016 come to an end. Hendricks has  announced that he is not stepping down, but instead respecting the constitutional ruling of the MJC that only allows individuals to serve as president for no longer than two consecutive terms.

Moulana Hendricks has served as president for 10 years (2 terms) and 7 years as deputy prior to that.

To offer our readers a better insight into the life story and vision of this respected scholar, Cii Radio has compiled the following narrative, based on a biographical interview that Moulana conducted with Cii Radio in 2010. (The narration is in the first person, drawn from Moulana’s exact words, with some adaptations for brevity)

My upbringing

I have an obligation to start my story with that of my elderly father and elderly mother. The reason for starting with both my parents is that all of us know the status of our parents according to the Glorious Quran.

I am not saying that my parent’s story is unique, but for me, they are absolutely unique.

My father embraced Islam at the age of 12. Two families dwelt in the Bo-Kaap region of Cape Town. One was the Hendricks family and the other the Suker family. From the Hendricks family, were 5 children – 2 brothers and 3 sisters. My grandmother happened to be a worker at 5 Roses Tea.

The Suker family was a Muslim family. Through the good example of the Suker family, my father embraced Islam at the age of 12.

In the early 60′s, my father who is a qualified tailor migrated from Cape Town to Worcester in the Boland, where he met my mother in the early 60′s.

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Mawlānā Fakhr al-Ḥasan Gangūhī

By Sayyid Mahbub Rizwi
Translated by Prof. Murtaz Husayn F. Qurayshi

His native-place was Gangoh. Three of the disciples of Hazrat Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi are very famous: Shaikh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi, Maulana Ahmed Hasan Amrohi and Maulana Fakhr al-Hasan Gangohi. He entered the Dar al-Ulum in A.H. 1284 and graduated from it in A.H. 1290 along with Maulana Ahmed Hasan Amrohi. He used to remain in attendance on his teacher, Hazrat Nanautavi, both during his travels and in settled abode. He was very much interested in polemics. He acquired education in the Unani System of Medicine from Hakim Mahmud* Khan in Delhi. His conversation and speech were very sweet and fascinating.

After graduation, he was appointed head-teacher in A.H. 1294 in the madrasah at Khurja. Then he went to Madrasah Abd al-Rabb in Delhi. He published some of Hazrat Nanautavi’s books. The Mubahasa-e Shahjahanpur is of his compilation; its original manuscript is extant in the Dar al-Ulum. In Hadith he has written a scholium in detail on Abu Da’ud which is entitled Al-Taliq al-Mahmud. This scholium has been printed in Matba-e Majeedi, Kanpur, and is commonly current. Besides this, he has written a scholium on Ibn Maja also which had been printed at Nami Press, Kanpur. There is one scholium by him on Talkhis al-Miftah also. He had also written a detailed biography of his teacher, Hazrat Nanautavi, comprising more or less one thousand pages.

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