Muftī Afḍal Ḥusayn Ilyās

By Jamiat Ulama (KZN)

Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias Saheb Rahmatullahi Alayh was a senior Aalim of South Africa who contributed hugely in numerous ways for the upliftment, protection and advancement of our Deen.

Mufti Saheb was a remarkable individual who despite his busy schedule, never shied away from engaging and interacting with people, be they young or old. His passion to speak and promote Haqq (truth) was his trademark, which earned him respect throughout the world.

Mufti Saheb was a senior student of Shaykhul-Hadeeth Mufti Saeed Ahmad Paalanpuri (DB) of Darul Uloom Deoband & studied Tafseer under the great & famous mufassir Maulana Ghulamullah Khan RA of Rawalpindi Pakistan.

Mufti Saheb obtained the following Islamic qualifications from Darul Uloom Deoband:

  • Aalim Certificate: Darul Uloom Deoband India – 1983
  • Mufti Certificate: Darul Uloom Deoband India – 1984
  • Completed a course in tafseer under Moulana Ghulamullaah Khan, Rawalpindi, Pakistan – 1983.

Mufti Saheb was also a qualified draughtsman and graduated at the ML Sultan College, Durban prior to his enrolment at Darul Uloom Deoband.

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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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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 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.”Read More »

Mawlānā Muḥammad ibn Mūsa Miān Afrīqī

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

His ancestral native-place is a sleepy village, Simlak, adjacent to Dabhel, in Surat district, but his family had migrated to South Africa some generations ago and had settled down in Johannesburg. He was born there around 1322/1904. For his primary education his august father sent him to India. Here he read at Palanpur under the instruction of Maulana Nazeer Ahmed Palanpuri. In A.H. 1342 he took admission in the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and graduated from it in A.H. 1344. No sooner did he come to the Dar al-Ulum than he joined the circle of Hazrat Shah Sahib’s (Anwar Shah Kashmiri) murids; and Hazrat Shah Sahib’s way of life influenced him so much that in sitting and standing, gait, conversation and in all other modes of  behaviour he became an exact specimen of his teacher and spiritual preceptor. Inspite of being wealthy there was extreme simplicity and humility in his disposition and way of living. He used to lead a simple life like common students but he used to exceed others in taking part in good works and used to spend money lavishly. Besides Arabic, Persian and Urdu, he was well-versed in English and French also.

After having completed his education he went to Johannesburg and there, along with his very vast commercial business, continued to render religious services on a large scale. For the teaching of Islamic and contemporary sciences he founded Waterfall Islamic Institute in Johannesburg. He built a magnificent building for it and used to bear himself all the expenses of the Institute. According to the system of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, along with free education, the provision for the students’ boarding was also made by him. He was president of the Jami’at al-Ulama-e Transvaal for a long time. The construction and progress of the Jamia-e Islamia, Dabhel, owes largely to his huge financial help. He was always interested in academic works also. Under the name of Majiis-e Ilmi1 he established a writers’ guild at Dabhel in which he made arrangements for the publishing of academic books at his own cost. Taking a micro-film of the marginalia written by Allamah Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri in his own hand on Allamah Zaheer Ahsan Nimvi’s (d. A.H. 1322) book, Athar al-Sunan, he published its copies for men of learning. It is from his sons’ financial aid that Maulana Habib al-Rahman A’zami has edited and published Ibn Abd al-Razzaq’s Musannaf.

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Shaykh Ahmad Husayn Deedat

By Prof. Ghulam Vahed

Ahmed Hoosen Deedat, president of the Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI), icon of millions in the Muslim world, and loathed by many because of his polemics, passed away on 2 August 2005 after being bedridden for almost a decade through a stroke. Born on 1 July 1918 in Tadkeshwar, Gujarat, Deedat emigrated to South Africa in 1927 with his father Hoosen. His mother Fathima remained in India and he never saw her again as she died in 1930. He completed standard six at the Higher Grade School in Carlisle Street where he impressed teachers with his quick mind. He gained admission to the prestigious Sastri College but his father’s financial circumstances prevented him attending.

Deedat, instead, became a retail assistant at O.N. Mahomed, a country store on the south coast of Natal. The store was situated opposite Adam’s Mission, a training school for Christian missionaries. Students often taunted him that the Quran was plagiarised from the Bible, the Prophet Muhammad was a womaniser, and so on. Deedat told a reporter of the Daily Reveille while touring the USA in 1986 that he was ‘driven by the challenges of Christian missionaries to read and study Islam and the Christian faith as well’. He was inspired by Izhar-al-Haq (‘The Truth Revealed’), which chronicled a debate in Delhi between Reverend Founder and Mawlana Dehlawi (b 1746), which he stumbled upon by chance. He used Dehlawi’s rational refutation of Christianity to go on the offensive against students of Adams. Their failure to respond satisfactorily raised Deedat’s self-confidence. He studied the New Testament in detail and read profusely on comparative religion. Deedat was the archetypal self-educated man. He `did not graduate from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, or any high citadel of learning, but from the “University of Muhammad”’.1

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Shaykh Mawlana Ibrahim Mia (Miya)

Compiled by ‘Abd Allah bin Muhammad al-Afriqui

Mawlana Ibrahim Mia was born on the 19th November 1947 in Lydenburg, South Africa. He was the son of the late Hafiz ‘Abd al-Rahman Mia who was known as “the father of South African Huffaz”. After his initial learning locally, Mawlana Ibrahim proceeded to Dabhel to study at the Jami’ah Islamiyya Talim al-Din. Mawlana’s grandfather, Haji Ibrahim Mia of Simlak, Gujrat was instrumental in establishing this madrassah. Mawlana Ibrahim once said that he feels it was due to ‘Allamah Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri spending some time at the home of his grandfather, after he had left Deoband, that piety has been passed on through the family generations.

Mawlana Ibrahim went on to Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband were he completed the last two years of his ‘alim course. Amongst his teachers were the likes of Mawlana Sayyid Fakhr al-Din al-Muradabadi, Mawlana Sayyid Anzar al-Kashmiri, Mufti Mahmud al-Gangohi and others. Mawlana Ibrahim use to go to Saharanpurupon the advice of his teachers, in particular Mufti al-Gangohi, during the holidays to sit in the company of Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Zakariyya al-Kandhlawi. Once, during the second ten days of Ramadan he along with his colleague, Mawlana Nanabhay of South Africa, had the privilege of taking the bay’ah (pledge) at the hands of Mawlana al-Kandhlawi physically placing his hands in the hands of Mawlana al-Kandhlawi. When Mawlana al-Kandhlawi migrated to Madinah he also went with him and spent a period of time. He was later granted khilafat (successor) as well.

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Mawlana Qari Isma’il Ishaq


Ismail bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Sulaiman bin Ahmad


Qari Ismail Sahib R.A. was born on the 31st of July 1955 in Newclare, a suburb of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

Initial years of education

After spending six years with his parents on the farm in Skeerport – where the family lives – Qari Sahib R.A. went to live with his grandaunt and began primary school and Madrasah. Thereafter, he went to live with his grandfather in Primrose and continued his schooling and Madrasah. As a little boy, Qari Sahib R.A. used to travel daily to Germiston by bus to attend school and Madrasah.

Mia’s Farm…Becoming a Haafidh:

After spending some years with his grandfather, Qari Sahib R.A. enrolled in Mia’s Farm and began the Hifz of the Qur’aan under the great and famous ustaad of Hifz in South Africa; Hadhrat Hafiz Abdurrahman Mia Sahib Rahimahullah.

In Mia’s Farm, Hadhrat Hafiz Abdurrahman Mia Sahib Rahimahullah liked Qari Sahib R.A. due to his beautiful tilaawat and appointed him to lead the Maghrib Salaat in the hostel.

Here too, Qari Sahib R.A. spent most of his time listening to, or reciting the Qur’aan.

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Mawlana Sulayman Ganchi Shahid

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.).

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