Biography of Mawlana Shabbir Ahmad Saloojee, principal of Dar al-`Ulum Zakariyyah South Africa:
Hazrat Moulana was born on the 26 of March 1951 in Vrededorp, a suburb of Johannesburg.
Moulana schooled at the Vrededorp primary school up to standard one. Thereafter he attended the Fordsburg primary school to complete his primary school education there. From standard six onwards Moulana went the Benoni high school and travelled daily from Vrededorp to Benoni.
Moulana attended the Madrassah Islamia maktab known as Moosa Hassan Madrassah. Amongst his Ustaadh’s was the late Hazrat Moulana Abdul Qadir Sahib Malikpoori (R.A).
Moulana’s family relocated to Warmbaths due to the group areas act. His elder brother still resides there. Hazrat Moulana’s mother lived there for many years and in her later life moved to Darul Uloom Zakariyya where she passed away. Hazrat Moulana together with all his other duties and travel’s made lots of khidmah of his mother. (May Allah Ta’ala fill her qabar with noor).
In 1967 he departed for India and studied in his hometown of Dhabel. Whilst in Dhabel, Moulana stayed in one of the rooms of the Mia Masjid where Hafiz Farya Sahib was an Imam. Moulana did some paras of hifz under Hafiz Farya Sahib and completed his Hifz under Hafiz Bismillah Sahib. Hazrat Moulana Ayyub Aazami (R.A) who was the khalifa of Moulana Maseehullaah (R.A) and the student of Hazrat Shah Sahib (R.A) was the Sheikh ul Hadeeth at that time. After completing his hifz under Hafiz Bismillah Sahib his father passed away (whilst in namaaz & is buried in the Newclare cemetery).
Hazrat Moulana returned to South Africa and then went back to Dhabel where he started the first 2 years of the Aalim course (I’daadiyah and Arabi Awwal). In the 1970s he went to Karachi to study in Binnori Town under asaatiza such as Hazrat Moulana Yusuf Binnori (R.A), Mufti Wali Hassan Sahib (R.A) and Moulana Idrees Meerati Sahib (R.A). Hazrat Mufti Radhaul Haq Sahib was in the takhasus department at that time. Hazrat Moulana studied Mebze and Sharhe Tahzeeb under Hazrat Mufti Sahib and some parts of Mukhtasarul Ma’ani during free time. During his student days Hazrat was known for spending hours in mutaala’ah (research).
Initial Teaching Career:
After completing his studies in the late 70’s, Moulana taught in Kerk Street at the Hifz class of Qari Abdul Hamid Sahib while Qari Sahib was out of the country for approximately 6 months. He thereafter moved to Lenasia and was appointed as the first Imaam of the Quwwatul Islam Masjid. For many years thereafter he conducted hifz classes there. During the initial stages of Imaamat at Quwatul Islam, Moulana made great effort amongst the Muslims in getting them connected to the Masjid and to perform salaah etc…
Company of the Mashaikh:
Whilst making Imaamat, Moulana took leave and sought permission from Hazrat Sheikh Zakariyya (R.A) to spend some time with him. Upon leaving South Africa and reaching Makkah Mukarramah, Moulana received the news of the demise of Hazrat Sheikh. He thereafter left for Madina Munawwarah and managed to join in the janazah of Hazrat Sheikh. After spending few days in the Haramain, he left for Deoband to spend time with Hazrat Mufti Mahmoodul Hassan Gangohi (R.A). Hazrat Moulana also studied under Hazrat Mufti Sahib Iftaa. Moulana returned home thereafter. He subsequently moved to Darul Uloom Zakariyya in 1984 and has for the last 28 years served as its Principal since 1986.
Bay’ah and Khilafaah:
Hazrat Moulana first took bay’ah to Sheikhul Hadith Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya Sahib R.A. He sat for Itikaaf with Hazrat Sheikh in Saharanpur. Hazrat Moulana received khilaafat from Mufti Mahmoodul Hassan Gangohi (R.A). Many ramadhaan’s were spent in i’tikaaf in the company of Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Sahib. In 1992 Hazrat Moulana invited Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Sahib to sit for I’tikaaf in the Masjid of Darul Uloom Zakariyya. Moulana also took bay’ah to Hazrat Moulana Khwaja khan Mohammed Sahib and to Hazrat Nafis Shah Sahib the khalifa of Hazrat Raipoori (R.A.) Both these akaabireen granted khilafat to Hazrat Moulana Sahib. Hazrat Moulana conducts a zikr majlis daily before the Fajr Salaah in the study hall next to the masjid.
Ramadhaan and Itikaaf:
Hazrat Moulana sits for I’tikaaf during the last 10 days of Ramadhaan at the Darul Uloom Zakariyya Masjid each year. He led the Taraweeh Salaah for many years at the Darul Uloom Masjid during which Hazrat would recite 3 paras of Quran a night and complete the Khatam in 10 nights. Hazrat conducts programmes daily during Ramadhaan which include: Tafseer of the Qur’an al-Kareem, Taaleem, Islahi Majaalis, Zikr Majaalis, Durood and Du’aas etc…
Hazrat has great love for the Haramain Sharifain and has frequently been travelling there since the 1960’s. He has great love for the Sunnah of Rasulullah (S.A.W). He would try his utmost to follow every Sunnah possible. Hazrat’s practise is to recites 3 paras Qur’an daily to Hazrat Moulana Farouk Patel Sahib an ustaadh at the Darul Uloom. May Allah reward him with the best of rewards.
Ulama and Mashaikh:
Hazrat has great love for the Ulama and Mashaikh and frequently travel to meet them and spend time in their company. Many Ulama were invited to South Africa on the invitation of Hazrat Moulana. Moulana also travelled to many parts of the Indo Pak sub continent to meet great Ulama and Mashaaikh, many of whom were not heard of before. Almost every talk of his is on the life of our akabireen and the importance of following in their footsteps.
Moulana was also the first person to introduce the Imams of the Haram to South Africa. In 1992 Moulana was instrumental in bringing over Sheikh Huzaifi, Sheikh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda R.A, Sheikh Abdullah Umar Naseef and many other luminaries for the opening of the Darul Uloom Masjid. Earlier this year Moulana brought down one of the leading Ulama of Hadeeth, Sheikh Muhammad Awwaamah Hafidhahullah, a leading student of Sheikh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudaa R.A.
Concern for the Ummah:
Hazrat has great concern for the welfare of the Ummah at large. He is greatly grieved when he hears the difficulties and hardships the ummah is experiencing. He makes an effort in what ever way possible to assist them. Hazrat Moulana had travelled to many parts of the world to assist fellow Muslims in the time of need.
Many kitaabs and books have been translated under the guidance of Hazrat Moulana. And of much significance is the translation and the printing of Al’E’tidaal of Hazrat Shiekhul Hadeeth Moulana Zakariyya R.A.
Hazrat Moulana forms part of the Shura of many organizations such as Darul Uloom Azaadville, Darul Uloom Newcastle and Jamiatul Ulama South Africa.
Hazrat Moulana has been blessed with 4 sons and 1 daughter. All his sons are Haafidhul Qur’an. Two of his sons completed the Aalim Faadhil course, one is currently in Doura Hadeeth and the other is in his 3rd year. Moulana’s daughter is also currently studying to become an Aalima.
We make Dua that Allah Ta’ala accepts all Hazrat Moulana’s service rendered to the Deen, grant him good health and guide him in all his decisions. Aameen.