HADRAT MAULANA ABDUL KADIR SAHIB (1322-1419)

Maulana Abdul Kadir Sahib was born in Durban, 4 Safar 1322 (20 April 1904), and lost his parents at an early age. Being orphaned at such an early age, he was fortunate to have found care at the Soofie Sahib Centre at Riverside, Durban, under the great care and guardianship of Dada Jaan, the elder son of Hazrat Soofie Sahib rahimahullah. At an early age he had shown great keenness in Islamic education and he was thus encouraged to pursue higher Islamic education. In the early days of Islam in Natal, the Soofie Centre at Riverside was the hub of Islamic activities.

At the tender age of 15 years, he had completed the study of such great Persian works like the Gulistaan, Bustaan and Kareema, regarded as prerequisites for higher studies overseas. Because of this and other achievements, he was sponsored by some generous merchants of Durban, to further his studies at the Darul Uloom in India. In 1337H (1919) he left the shores of South Africa via ship. He first studied at Madrasah Mazaahirul Uloom, in Saharanpur, UP and there- after at the famous Madrasah Ameeniyah in Delhi under the Grand Mufti of India at that time, Mufti Kifaayatullah Sahib (Rahimahullah). Having completed most of his early studies at these two institutions, he was advised to carry out his final stage of the 'Aalim Course' at the Darul Uloom at Deoband. However, in 1346H (1928) some luminaries and doyens of Islamic scholarship from Darul Uloom Deoband had moved over to Daabhel, in Surat. So he moved over there and graduated in 1348H (1930). Among his Asaatizah (tutors) were Page 15 intellectual giants such as Allamah Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (Rahimahullah) and Allamah Maulana Shabbeer Ahmad Usmani (Rahimahullah).

The young Maulana Abdul Kadir Sahib (Rahimahullah) returned to South Africa in 1349H (1931) and took on his first assignment at Stanger as Imam and Ustaad at a Madrasah there. A year later he married and then moved to Verulam where he was also an Imam and Ustaad. He moved to Durban in 1362H (1943), holding the post firstly as principal at the Madrasah Shaukatul Islam in Essendene Road, Overport and thereafter at Madrasah Mazaahirul Uloom in Villa Road, Sydenham. In the early fifties up to mid-seventies, for twenty five years, he was Imam of the Muhammadiyyah Masjid in Sparks Road, Sydenham. During this time he went to the great Al-Azhar University, in Cairo and successfully achieved the highest diploma, from the Kulliyatul Lughah (Dept. of Arabic Language), equivalent to a Ph.D.

He then moved from Overport to Chatsworth and was Imam of the Masjid An-Noor in Unit seven, for seven years. During the last part of his life, he was in great demand as guest Imam in the various Masaajid in and around Durban, where he delivered lectures and tafseer of the Noble Qur'an. He always stressed the point that people should get back to their roots i.e. the Qur'an and Sunnah. It was a great honour for him to be one of the founding members of the Jamiatul Ulama Natal. He was one of the most senior Ulama, and he passed away on Saturday, 1 Jumadal Ula 1419 (23 August 1998) at his residence in Woodhurst, Chatsworth at the age of 94 years (97 years - Hijri Calendar).

Among those who attended his Janaaza were thousands of his students and members of the community whom he had served very eagerly. They all expressed the same great joy, to be either taught by him, their marriage officiated by him and now to be present at his funeral which they all said was one of the largest ever in Durban. After the Janaaza Salaah at the Grey Street Jumu'ah Masjid, he was laid to rest at the Flower Road Muslim Cemetery in Clairwood, Durban. May Allah grant him Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen.

Acknowledgement:

Courtesy of Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) - Publications Department (Illustrious Predecessors of South Africa)