Moulana is a 72 year old,South African(3rd generation iirc) aalim who is a senior khalifah of Ml.Maseehullah Khan Sherwani(r.a.).Moulana gained his initial prominance due to Ml.Maseehullah(r.a.) fondness of him. Moulana was one of the most hard working students in the madressah, completed his studies and was given Ijazah in a very short period of time. Moulana has been involved in various branches of deen. Moulana is a sheikh of tasawwuf,was/is involved in the ta’leem of children,maktab and other levels iirc, also through his awake magazine and al-haq,al-majlis and other publications. Moulana has compiled plenty of books on different speres of deen, including fatawa, tasawwuf, ibadat, responses to baatil, fiqh, aqeedah and many more.
Moulana was also involved in jihad, running jihad camps in the mountains of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa,and he had links to several of the afghan mujahideen. I am not sure if he spent time in afghanistan just as an observer or if he was active in the actual jihad against the soviets. Moulana is a vocifirous votary of the caucus mujahideen. Moulana also runs a humanitarian organisation known as SOSH/servants of suffering humanity. Moulana also runs an extensive project which is known as the maktab project. It is run in many countries, primarily in bangladesh and impoverished muslim communities that have little deen and where christian missioneries are active. In 1999, there were 600 maktab madrasahs run by moulana. I don’t know about the present situation.
It was during one of moulanas visits to the madrasahs in bangladesh that Moulana was arrested and imprisoned in Bangladesh by the CID of Bangladesh and the CIA. Moulana was improsened for 6 months without being formally charged and he was stuck in Bangladesh for another 6 months as his passport was confiscated. During Moulanas detention, he was continously interrogated for 29 days by CID,during which sleep depravation e.t.c. were employed. He was thereafter interrogated by the CIA.During the CIA interrogations he was taken to an elite suburb of Dakha. Amongst the things he was accused of were: Financing al-qaida and Usama Bin Laden; Owning diamond mines with Usama; funding jihad throughn his ‘diamond mines’; conspiring to overthrow the bangali government, assasinating intellectuals, secularists, senior millitary officials e.t.c.; Being part of Usama’s command structure; establishing 421 jihad training units in Bangladesh e.t.c..During Ml. improsenment, he had the full support
of the S.A. govt. and the embassy in Delhi. Embassy officials were sent to report on his well-being and to liase with his legal team and inspect his madrasahs.
Moulana gained a lot of stick during the late 90’s from other deobandis. Moulana was involved in a controversy.He was part of a fact finding mission(of his organisation) to afghanistan. His report on the taliban was critical.He was critical of their ‘wastage of food’, misappropriation of funds, tolerance of bid’ah, acceptance of bay’ah of the shiahs, allowing televisions to be transported through afghanistan,’forsaking the salafi mujahideen on the pretext of them being salafi’ e.t.c. However, in 2000/2001 iirc, when the taliban ‘corrected’ some of these issues he praised them.
Moulana has travel restrictions placed on him.
Moulana is very strict in his fatawa and very harsh in his language. It is not appropriate for laymen to desrespect ulama/certain ulama on the basis of his writings.
May Allah unite the ulama on haq.
Brother Mathbooh, mureed of Ml AS Desai
Mufti Ibrahim Desais (Damat Barakatuhum) explanation of the Muftis tone and language which can be quite harsh at times:
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
The editor of the Majlis, Hazrath Moulana Ahmad Sadeck Desai Saheb Madda Zilluhu is an Aalim of a very high calibre. He has a deep understanding of Shariah. This is clearly gauged from his innumerable publications. Hazrath Moulana is the Khalifa of Hazrath Maseehullah Khan Saheb rahmatullah alayh. Hazrath has been selflessly dedicated to Amal bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar for the past few decades. Hazrath is also engaged in various other activities. It is surprising how much one person can do. Allah has granted Hazrath great courage and strength. He is a person of high level of taqwa and mujahadah. He does not go after position and fame. If that was the case, Hazrath would not have selflessly and openly condemned many wrongs and evils for the fear of becoming unpopular. Many people throughout the world continue to benefit from Hazrath Moulanas publications.
Television is haram and we concur with Hazraths view on that. It is possible that the different radio stations err in some issues. If Hazrath points that out, it should be accepted and corrected. It is incorrect to brand Hazrath of being over extreme when he is fulfilling his obligation on Nahi Anil Munkar. Those that claim that Hazrath is extreme, what is their measure to claim that? If people violate the laws of Shariah and Hazrath rightfully condemns that, how can that be extremism? What do such people expect Hazrath to do? Keep quiet? What will that be then? Complacence, which is a sin.
It should also be pointed out that differences of opinions among academics is regarded as academic honesty. This is common even among academics in secular qualifications. The different views among the Ulama, based on academics is a mercy upon the ummah and should be tolerated. If other Ulama have differing views from Hazraths views and both are based on academic substantiations, then it will be incorrect to brand any one view as being an extreme view. While we concur with Hazrath on the issue of television and open wrongs of television and radio stations, we may differ with him on other issues. However, we will respect his view and tolerate it as Hazraths views are generally substantiated by Shariah.
If anyone claims to have an academically different opinion and he does not stand up to the academic challenges made to him, that is academic dishonesty and such an opinion cannot be tolerated as that is regarded as academic dishonesty.
Another issue is the tone and manner of condemning a vice. This is based of hikmah and wisdom. At times, the Quran condemns certain wrongs in certain ways, medium to harsh. This is based on what is best in the interest of that time and matter. An Aalim of Deen is imbued with hikmah. He exercises that hikmah and whatever he honestly feels between him and Allah is the most efficient tone in condemning a wrong, he does that.
The different ways of Ulama condemning wrongs, some with softness and others harshly etc. should be viewed in this light. Concentrate on the actual issue pointed out rather than focus on the style and tone.
When the laws of Shairah are violated and people, especially Ulama, keep quiet, that incurs the wrath of Allah. The silence of Ulama will lead to distortion of Shariah and Deen. Allah condemned the Ulama of theYahood and Nasaara for keeping quiet against open violation of the Shariah. Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, This knowledge of Deen will be carried by just people from pious predecessors. They will refute distortions of extremists, refute baseless claims and wrong interpretations of ignorant people.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah
A short account by Brother Abu Salih Muadh Khan (ex-USA, current UK, admin of www.central-mosque.com) when he met the venerable Mufti:
—Quote (Originally by Colonel_Hardstone)—
Its also very important to know the person whose Fatwa you are reading so here is a first hand report from a Scholar about our noble and respected Shaykh (Mufti) A.S Desai or Majlis(South Africa:
I met Hazrat Maulana AS a couple of weeks back. He is absolutely a Wali of this time. Where would you find a person in this age with plain clothings, I counted 4 or 5 patches on his clothing. his hair was extremely oiled as though he just took a shower. He reminded me of the ahadeeth about Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam. He was more like bubbly, would talk in hyperness. Extremely witty. Walked with firmly grounding his foot. When he met Mufti XXX’s son the first thing he did was masnoon dua. In the entire time I spent in his company, I grew more and more closer to him. I felt being drawn to him like a magnet. His talk was none of the vocabulary of his writing, but simple English. At time he would explain something trivial but somehow the way he would speak would convince us.
He reminded me of no one but a Wali of Allah. Extremely Mutabi’ sunnah, and pleasant to be in company of. Firm on his stance.
P.S: Now, his Fatwaas and views on Tassawuff make sense as he is close follower of Sunnah and doesn’t like any deviation from it.
The Muftis advice to others is not to adopt his tone and harshness when addressing others. This is his advice to one of his students:
30 Muharram 1430 (26-01-2009)
Abdus Sattaar Syed
Your e-mail dated 24-01-2009 refers.
Islaah of the Nafs is of paramount importance. In all spheres of life,
whether in business, in family affairs, or Deeni matters, never be
neglectful of this aspect. It is essential to always examine the
intention and the motive. Even when embarking on a Deeni project,
refelect, do some soul searching and endeavour to fathom yourself to
detect whether the niyyat is sincere or contaminated with some
When a person always adopts the practice of reflection before action,
then after some time Allah Ta’ala bestows to him the capacity of swift
detection of any thief which may be lurking in his heart. When we
criticize those whom we believe are on baatil, we should do so with
trepidation, recite Istighfaar and think deeply before the criticism
to ascertain whether the criticism is indeed motivated by Ikhlaas and
by a concern for the Haqq.
It is best and safest for laymen to strictly adhere to the issue and
not deflect therefrom. For example, when you criticize Sanha, only
point out to them their flaws, their errors and the harm they are
causing with their halaalization projects. Do not degenerate to a
personal level where you will brand them with labels and epithets in
the way in which we (Mujlisul Ulama) do. We have our own Deeni agenda
and we understand what we are doing. It is not for everyone to adopt
If for example a person’s father is committing haraam, then it is the
duty of the son to offer naseehat. He shall plead and advise his
father. He will speak with affection and respect, addressing his
father appropriately. If his father consumes liquor, he may not begin
his naseehat by saying: “Drunkard! Faasiq, Faajir! On the other hand,
if the father admonishes his son for the latter’s misdemeanours, it
will be proper for him (for the father) to say: ‘O faasiq! O
shaitaan!, etc. etc.
Thus if a layman admonishes a Molvi who has strayed, he should not
address him as we do, e.g. ‘Ulama-e-Soo!, etc. Relationship, rank and
position should be taken into consideration when criticizing.
Everyone does not have the same right of acquittal.
Furthermore, make dua of hidaayat and general goodness for those who
are being criticized and for those whom we believe to be on baatil,
and at the same time supplicate for our own safety and protection of
Imaan, for we do not know what the morrow holds for us.
So, do speak out strongly against baatil, but restrict the criticism
to the acts and save the culprits from epithets. Don’t imitate our
example in this respect.
Your e-mail dated 12 March 2011 refers. While we do not answer
letters questioning our attitude and methodology, we shall go this
extra mile to assist you to understand reality.
People who have no real intention of following the Deen, present
the excuse of ‘harsh attitude’ and ‘akhlaaq’ to justify their
misdeeds. With this red herring they deflect the minds of people
from the problem and the corruption.
For example, when a Molvi sits in a church under twelve crosses
alongside priests and engages in prayers, these critics do not see
the harshness, the lack of akhlaaq and the kufr of this practice.
But when someone criticizes the kufr, he is reviled on the basis
of his ‘harshness’.
When molvies commit capital kufr by abrogating the ahkaam of the
Shariah with their kufr MMB, people accept such harsh perpetration
of kufr. But when we criticize this perpetration, we are reviled
for being ‘too harsh’. Furthermore, what you are blissfully unaware
of is that our ‘harsh attitude’ is instituted after all other
methods of consulting and convincing the miscreants have failed.
When they are not prepared to listen and meaningfully discuss in
privacy, then our ‘harsh’ attitude becomes Waajib, nay Fardh.
Since all of these critics enjoy the haraam activities which the
molvies have halaalized nowadays, they try to justify and defend the
evil practices and the errant molvies. But in the process of doing
so they are unable to refute our arguments. They only harp on our
attitude and methodology. In this way they detract attention from
Our attitude is commensurate with the crime. If our tone appears to
be ‘too harsh’, then their crime is too vile. The attitude is the
effect of the villainy of the sin.
Most people fail to understand the permissibility, efficacy, and
necessity of the ‘harsh’ attitude because they lack knowledge of the
variety of attitudes among the Ambiya and the Sahaabah. While they
harp on one dimension of Rasulullah’s attitude, they are ignorant or
deliberately blind to the other ‘harsh’ dimension which dictated
even gourging out the eyes of criminals. They forget that in Daarul
Islam the consequence of the type of kufr they are perpetrating
nowadays is execution with the
sword. We do not know if execution with the sword is ‘too harsh’ or
within the confines of ‘good akhlaaq’. We do not know if whipping
in the public is perhaps ‘too harsh’ or not within the limits of
Once Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) remarked to a person
who looked into the house, that he felt like throwing a scissors
into his eyes. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that hot iron
rods will be inserted into the eyes of a man who looks at the beauty
of a strange woman. Are these comments perhaps ‘too harsh’, and do
they not form part of ‘good akhlaaq’.
Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) without making the slightest
investigation to establish the factual position grabbed hold of the
hair and beard of Nabi Haaroon (alayhis salaam), his elder brother,
and violently shook him. Allah Ta’ala did not upbraid him for this
act. Allah Ta’ala upheld it. Was his violent act against his elder,
Nabi brother perhaps ‘too harsh’. Was his action beyond the
confines of ‘good akhlaaq’?
When the Qur’aan and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
describe the believers and doers of immorality and kufr to be
kaafiroon, fasiqoon, faajiroon, jaahiloon, munaafiqoon, etc., are
these epithets ‘too harsh’ and beyond the confines of ‘good
Is the halaalizing and consumption of rotten, diseased haraam
carrion a tolerable deed? Is it not ‘too harsh’ to make halaal what
Allah has made haraam’. Does ‘good akhlaaq’ allow that we feed
carrion and poison to your children? If your beloved child is about
to ingest a lethal poison and we who are observing this suicidal act
leave the child to consume the poison because he/she refuses to
accept our soft and ‘akhlaaqi’ approach to abstain from the poison,
will you praise and commend us for our ‘good akhlaaq’ and not
adopting ‘too harsh a tone’, when you see the dead body of your
child – dead because of the poison and dead because we contented
ourselves with ‘good akhlaaq’? Or will you praise us and shower on
us other rewards if we had harshly grabbed your child’s hand and
rudely snatched the poison from his hand and left him kicking up a
tantram like Sanha and Radio Shaitaan?
Once when a molvi said that he felt like becoming a Christian,
Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) gave him a
full and a hard clout full in the face and shouted at him:
‘Shaitaan! Get away and become a Christian!’ Those who have read the
writings of Hadhrat Thanvi can testify to his ‘too harsh’ attitude.
So ‘harsh’ was his attitude and methodology that even The Majlis
would not have become his mureed if it (The Majlis) had existed
during Hadhrat’s lifetime. Was the action and attitude of Hadhrat
Hakeemul Ummat then ‘too harsh’ and beyond the confines of ‘good
akhlaaq’ merely because we may not be able to tolerate it?
Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) said in his fatwa that those
who believe against and propagate against polygamy like the MMB
crowd, will ‘hang upside down in Jahannum’; they are ‘kaafirs,
murtads, enemies of Allah, enemies of the Rasool,etc., etc.’ Was his
attitude ‘too harsh’ and beyond the limits of ‘good akhlaaq’?
Brother, we can write a volume of examples from the lives of the
Ambiya, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah and
the Auliya to show the beloved ‘harsh attitude’ which by Allah
Azza Wa Jal is an act of ibaadat of the highest merit. You will not
hesitate to permit the doctor to treat you harshly by stabbing into
your body and cutting you up and opening up your heart to save you
from the disease which threatens to destroy you. Because you
understand physical and worldly benefits, you will praise and
reward the doctor who had treated your harshly. But since deep down
in your heart Deeni benefit is an insignificant issue, the ‘harsh
attitude’ argument is a convenient scape-goat for justifying the
maladies of kufr, fisq and fujoor. But when we adopt ‘harsh
attitudes’ to operate on Muslims who are suffering from spiritual
cancer and spiritual Aids, then there is a clamour of baseless
People should look at their crimes and their harsh attitudes of
pride and arrogance, not at our ‘harsh’ remedial attitude. The
problem, disease and cancer are their sins while our ‘harsh’
attitude is the medicine and the cure for the malignant cancer which
is devouring their hearts, souls and bodies.
Mujlisul Ulama of S.A.
Maulana Ahmad Sadeck Desai
Maulana Ahmad Sadeck Desai is a senior aalim of very high calibre. He has a deep understanding of the Shari’ah and this is gauged clearly from his innumerable publications. Maulana is a senior Khalifa of Maseehul Ummat Maulana Maseehullah Khan Sherwani (Rahim). His Shaykh was extremely fond of him and he was a very hard working student at the madrassah of his Shaykh in Jalalabad, India. He completed his studies and was given Ijazah in a very short space of time.
Maulana has been selflessly dedicated to “amal bil ma’roof wa nahi anil munkar” (promoting good and forbidding evil). He is engaged in several activities. Besides being a Shaykh in tasawwuf he is also involved in in the ta’leem of children from the maktab level and others. Hid “maktab project” in 1999 was running 600 maktabs in Bangladesh and other impoverished Muslim countiries where Christian missionaries run riot. It is suprosing how much one person can do and Allah has granted Maulana great courage and strength. He is a person of high level of taqwa and mujahad and he is the leat bit concerned about fame and position.
Maulana was also said to have been involved in Jihad.