Mawlānā Muḥammad Mullā Afrīqī

By Mufti Zubair Bayat

Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Mulla Sahib passed away in Stanger in the early hours of Sunday, 11 Shabaan 1422 (28 October 2001), at the age of 56. May Allah Ta’ala bless his soul, fill his grave with light and grant patience to his family members.

His funeral was very well attended by thousands of people from various parts of the province. Maulana was a well known personality, locally and abroad. His name was virtually synonymous with Stanger. Most of the notable senior Ulama and elders from overseas and locally knew Maulana on a personal basis. During his period of illness he was visited by all senior personalities who visited Stanger.

Maulana was a man with many special qualities. His personality was likeable to young and old. One of the most salient features of his life was his unlimited sense of humour and his ability to bear his personal pains and ill health with a sense of cheerful abandon. Even in his acute illness, that he remained so cheerful would leave his guests astounded. In any gathering he would never fail to humour young and old with his little quips and his endless string of jokes. Maulana was well liked by the learned and ordinary people.

His years of unbroken service is something of a record. He served the community of Stanger loyally as the chief Imam of the Jami – Masjid and as a teacher in the Madrasah for a period spanning some 22 years. May his example in this respect serve as a source of inspiration for all young Ulama.

Maulana in his capacity as Imam performed hundreds of nikahs and hundreds of Janazah Salaahs. Punctuality and regularity for Salaah was his outstanding trait. In his capacity as a teacher, hundreds of children studied under him who bear happy and fond memories of his benign and kind disposition and his jovial way as a teacher. May this aspect of his life also serve to inspire many young Ulama in the teaching field. An editor of a local newspaper who was a student of Maulana made the following observation of her experiences as a student of Maulana: “Of all the teachers that taught me, Ml Mulla is the one that is remembered with the most love. I and hundreds of other people will remember Maulana Mulla with joy and pride. We (his past pupils) will always celebrate his warm and kind spirit.”

Besides his services on the local scene, Maulana assisted dozens of Madrasahs, Darul Ulooms and Ulama in India and elsewhere through arranging of financial assistance for them. In this respect he personally travelled overseas on many occasions to disburse funds and also to visit these Madrasahs. He will be sorely missed by these people who appreciated his assistance to them very much.

Maulana was a member of the Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) and attended the AGM with regularity over the years.

Another outstanding quality of Maulana was his hospitality. He would go out of his way to entertain his guest, providing them with a variety of menu. Even in his illness, Maulana would not let a guest go without partaking of something at his home. These were a glimpse of some of the wonderful qualities Allah Ta’ala had blessed Maulana with.

Maulana was born on 8 July 1945 in Verulam. At the tender age of 14 in 1959 he left for India to undertake Islamic Studies. He studied at the renowned Jamia-Ashrafiyya in Ramder, Gujrat for a period of 10 years in which time he completed his Hifz and Aalim course. Among his senior teachers was Hadhrat Maulana Ajmeri (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf (Rahmatullahi Alayh). He returned in 1969, aged 24, and commenced service to the Deen in Tongaat. He then moved to Stanger on the 1 May 1973 where he served until the time when due to ill-health he was unable to continue with his duties. Even in his illness, he was a light of hope and encouragement for others.

Maulana is survived by his mother, wife, 4 sons, 1 daughter and grandchildren. Two sons are Hafiz, one of whom graduated recently as an Aalim. His daughter is an Aalimah. May Allah Ta’ala continue to accept his family for the service of Islam and make this a source of Sawab-Jaariyah for him. Aameen.
(Mufti Zubair Bayat)

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