By Dar al-‘Ulum Zakariyya
“Alaa inna auliyaullahi laa khaufun alaihim walahum yahzanoon”
No Doubt! Verily the Auliya of Allah, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve (Surah Yunus).
Moulana Sulaimaan Sahib (R.A.) was born on the 11 of September 1950 in Benoni. Moulana’s parents hailed from Vesma near the town of Dabhel in the province of Gujarat, India. Moulana’s father Haji Ibrahim Bhai had great love for the pious and was notable for his generosity and hospitality. Moulana’s mother Aamina Apa was the first lady to pass away whilst residing at the Darul Uloom.
Moulana schooled at William Hills in Benoni, he attended the Maktab of Hafiz Ameerudeen Usmani (R.A.) in Boksburg. (who later passed away in Madina Munawwara). Moulana also attended the boarding school in Balfour for a period time.
After attending the first ever Ijtima held in South Africa in the late 1960s, Moulana was motivated to take up higher Islamic studies. Moulana thus left for India in 1969/70 at the age of 20 and started his Islamic Education in Dabhel doing his Hifz by Hafez Ibrahim Sallo Sahib (R.A.). During his time there, Moulana together with his close companion Hafez Bashir Bathia Sahib spent 10 days in Jamaat in the Mewaat area with Hazrat Moulana Sulaimaan Janchai (R.A.), who was the close attendant of Hazrat Jee Moulana Inamul Hasan Sahib (R.A.).
They then travelled to Saharanpur to visit Sheikhul Hadith Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (R.A.) and sat for Itikaaf of the last 10 days of Ramadhaan there. Moulana also travelled once with Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ahmed Partabgari (R.A.) and Qari Tayyib Sahib (R.A.)
After a short sojourn in Dabhel Moulana left for Hardoi to be in the Suhbah and Khidmah of Hazrat Moulana Abrarul Haq Sahib (R.A.). Moulana was the first South African to travel to Hardoi. It is here that he completed his Hifz. Whilst there Moulana called over many of his South African colleagues to study there. Amongst them naturally are Hafez Ibrahim Bhamjee Sahib, Hafez Yusuf Bhamjee Sahib, Moulana Haneef Bhamjee Sahib, Hafez Vaid Sahib, Moulana Yahya Bham Sahib. At one time they were a total of 32 South Africans. Hazrat Moulana Abrarul Haq Sahib R.A. was very fond of Moulana and would address him as “Sheikhul Afriqiyyeen”. Moulana had the privilege of travelling with Hazrat Moulana on many a Haj & Umrah journeys. Moulana was instrumental in bringing Hazrat Moulana Abrarul Haq Sahib (R.A.) to South Africa in the 1980s.
Moulana then took admission in Jalalabad where he completed his Aalim course at the age of 31. His contemporaries there were Moulana Haneef Bhamjee Sahib, Moulana Ismail Khan Sahib, Moulana Shabbier Khan Sahib, Moulana Ayub O.V. Muhammad Sahib and others. Moulana completed his Bukhari Shareef under Moulana Yaseen Sahib (R.A.).
Sometime during his stay in India, Moulana also undertook a road trip for Haj with a French colleague of his traveling through Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, etc. They walked for long intervals and adopted all possible forms of public transport during this strenuous journey.
Upon Moulana’s return to South Africa he initially began teaching at the BMJ in Benoni. He then took up Imamah at the Germiston location Masjid and taught in the Maktab there.
Moulana began teaching Hafiz classes in the morning at Darul Uloom Zakariyya in 1986. He travelled with Moulana Ibrahim Bhhamjee Sahib daily from Parmridge. It was on the 1st of December 1986 that he took up permanent residence at the Darul Uloom. He has lived there for the last 27 years.
Moulana was actively engaged in teaching and taught in the Hifz Class till 2001. During this time many students completed Hifz under him. Moulana was then made in charge of supervision of the Hifz department. Moulana was instrumental in bringing Qari Ameer Hasan Sahib of Hardoi to the Darul Uloom and implemented a unique and famed Hifz system at the Darul Uloom.
Together with this Moulana was assigned the difficult task of raising funds for the Darul Uloom. For this he travelled the length and breadth of the country and created great relationships with the masses. He was loved by one and all for his charisma and style. He shared in the joyous and moments of distress with those whom he had built up relationships with and was thus always welcomed by them.
Moulana also very successfully carried out the Qurbani Project annually on behalf of the Darul Uloom for the purpose of fund raising for the Darul Uloom. Moulana had sacrificed undertaking his annual Haj journey for this purpose and instead performed Umrah annually.
Moulana’s concern for the Ummah were not confined to the Darul Uloom only but extended both nationally and globally. He was instrumental in the development of homes for the aged and needy as well as the digging of water wells in many rural areas locally and internationally. He worked and supported many welfare organizations such as the Al-Imdaad foundation and traveled to many countries like Bosnia, Indonesia, Aasaam, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka etc for this purpose.
Moulana (RA) was a Khalifa of Hazrat Moulana Shah Abrar ul Haq Sahib (R.A.), Hazrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (R.A.) & Hazrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Mazhar Sahib Damat Barakatuhu.
Moulana would travel regularly to Karachi to spend time in the Khidmah of Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (R.A.). Hazrat Hakeem Sahib (R.A.) would tell those around him that: ‘Aap logh mere mureed hu aar Sulaimaan mera doost he’ (that you people are my disciples whilst Sulaimaan is my friend).
Amongst the many outstanding qualities of Moulana testified to by many was that of: humility, sincerity, simplicity, dedication, clean heartedness, love for the Sunnah, etc.
Ml Abrarul Haq the son of Moulana on the demise of Moulana observed the following: “Abba was a friend, a helper, a mentor, an advisor … and never kept enmity in his heart for anyone …..He had a passion to serve mankind…”
“Moulana always consulted with his seniors regarding important matters, was very strict on principles, loved the entertaining of guests, a well-wisher to people and was very socialable. He had great love for the pious, adopted their ways and mannerism’s and became part of their circle. His was greatly concerned for the welfare of the Ummah and was always ready to offer assistance in any way he could. He passionately loved the Haramain Sharifain.”
Moulana was of late active in the establishment of Makaatibs in neighboring countries and on the South American continent. His last journey for this task was to Brazil, a week before his demise where he traveled for the opening of one such project. His final bequest the morning of his demise was that many more Makaatibs still had to be established and that priority should be given to it.
Moulana was on his way to the Darul Uloom on Saturday morning the 26 of October 2013/ 20 Dhu ‘l-Hijjah 1434 after a short trip to Brazil, when he met up in a fatal accident 500 meters before the Darul Uloom entrance and passed away at the age of 63.
His funeral was truly enviable and attended by no less than 4000 people from all walks of life from all corners of the country and neighboring states as well. Many a politicians who had met with Moulana once only before in his life, paid their respects to Moulana at his funeral.
Hazrat Mufti Radhaul Haq Sahib Db performed the funeral salaah and made dua for the acceptance of Moulana’s Shahadah.
Moulana is survived by his wife, four sons who are all Huffaaz & three of them Ulama and 11 grandchildren. May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala protect them all, keep them steadfast and grant them true patience and solace.
Many a people had narrated admirable dreams before and after the passing away of Moulana wherein Moulana was seen happy in peace and tranquility.
Indeed the passing away of Moulana is not just a loss to the Darul Uloom only but a great loss to the Ummah at large as mentioned by the principal Hazrat Moulana Shabbir Ahmed Saloojee Sahib DB at the funeral salaah. He prayed that Allah Ta’ala grant the Darul Uloom and the Ummah at large a suitable replacement. Ameen.
May Allah Ta’ala grant Moulana Jannatul Firdous and his family & all his associates and beloved students Sabre Jameel. Ameen.
DARAKHT QALAM KI BANJAE SAMANDAR ROSH NA EE KA – QALAM LIKH NAHI SAKTA YE SADMA HE JUDAEE KA
(IF THE TREES ARE CONVERTED INTO PENS AND THE OCEANS INTO INK -THE PEN CANNOT WRITE DUE TO THE SORROW OF SEPERATION)
On the demise of Moulana Sulaimaan Sahib (R.A.), various tributes were paid to him world wide. Please follow the links below to access some of them:
Hazrat Mufti Radhaul-Haq Sahib DB: Sunday Majlis (27-10-2013) at the Darul Uloom
Moulana Shabbir Ahmed Saloojee Sahib DB on: Cii
Mufti AK Hoosen Sahib DB: Tafsir program on Cii
10+ Ulama in a special tribute/taziyat program on: Radio Islam
Shaakir Bhayat and Mufti Zubayr Bhayat Sahib DB on: Radio Islam
Moulana Dawood Seedat Sahib: Zikr Majlis (28-10-2013)
‘A man who always made us smile’ – Tributes pour in for late Ml Sulaiman Ghanchi Sahib R.A. on: Cii