Moulana Suleman Goga Rahimahullah was born on the 3rd of June 1950. He was identified as having a photographic memory at a young age and it was the wish of his parents that the gift of such a memory be used for the memorisation of the Quran. He was sent to Mia’s Farm in the Transvaal for Hifzul Quran. Moulana completed his memorization of the Quran (under Hafez Abdur-Rehman Mia Rahimahullah) at the age of 15 and would for the remainder of his life be remembered as a “very fluent Hafiz-ul-Quran”. He completed his matric at the Waterval High School (Mia’s Farm) three years later in 1968.
Moulana commenced the Aalim course at the Waterval Islamic Institute. After completing four years of the Aalim course at the Waterval Islamic Institute (1969-1972), Moulana left for Darul Uloom Deoband in India where he completed his studies (qualifying as an Aalim in 1975). Among his most illustrious Ustaads were Mufti Mahmood al-Hasan Gangohi and Moulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Rahimahumullah.
On his return to South Africa, Moulana taught at various Madrasahs and performed Imaamat for three years (1976-1978) in Howick and Isipingo Hills. The following eight years (1979-1986) were spent at Darul Uloom Newcastle teaching Hifz as well as lecturing in Arabic, Tafseer, Hadeeth, Fiqh, Aqeedah among other subjects.
At Darul Uloom Newcastle, he was among a group of eleven illustrious Ustaads teaching full-time under Moulana Cassim Mahomed Sema Rahimahullah during the Darul Uloom’s first decade of existence. In 1987, inspired by Ahmed Deedat’s vision to promote Deeni knowledge among the country’s poor, black population, Moulana joined the As-Salaam Institute where he was the Principal together with Moulana Muneer Ahmed Soofie.
In the following year, due to the ailing health of his father, Moulana relocated to Pietermaritzburg where he taught Madrassah and performed Imaamat in Pansy Road (from 1988 to 1997). During this period, he also spent a year (1994) as the Head of Islamic Studies and as an Islamic Studies Teacher at Nizamia Islamic School and was a member of the school’s Education Committee until 1997. Moulana’s final teaching stint was at Al Falaah College in Durban in 2004 where he taught Islamic Studies.
Aside from his dedication to the acquisition and spread of knowledge, Moulana also worked at various community and Islamic organizations. Having relocated to Durban in 1998, Moulana began work at the South African National Zakaah Fund (SANZAF) where he remained until 2003. In 2005 and 2006, Moulana worked for short periods at the Inchanga Islamic Institute and the Islamic Da’wah Movement (IDM). At the IDM, where he worked on a voluntary basis, he served as the National Dawah Co-ordinator, overseeing the Dawah Network Department, Islamic Centres and the daily madrassah activities taking place. Moulana also worked at the Jamiat-ul-Ulama (KwaZulu Natal) from 2007 to 2010, serving as Executive Director and also as Administrator for the organization.
In his home life, with his family, Moulana was extremely particular about implementing the Sunnah of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, teaching his children and grandchildren to implement every aspect that was practically possible. He was always on time for Salaah at the masjid, and he impressed upon his children the need to read their Duaas throughout the day, whether to seek Allah’s protection, or to express gratitude to Him. He hated wastefulness and only acquired what was absolutely essential. He would not waste a drop of water, nor a morsel of food, nor discard an item of clothing until it had exceeded its lifespan. He always made time to talk to people, and would talk to people from all walks of life believing he might influence them in some small way, or that he might learn something from them. Moulana maintained and emphasised close family ties, visited members of his and his wife’s families, and always was welcoming family members to share meals or stayover at his home.
Moulana passed away on the 4th of January 2021/ 21 Jamaad-ul-Awwal 1442, Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon (To Allah do we belong and to Him is our return).
Moulana is survived by his wife, four children, four brothers and one sister. May Allah Ta’ala accept Moulana’s service to Islam, bestow upon him His special Mercy and admit him into Jannatul Firdaus, Ameen. Darul Uloom Newcastle promotion booklet, The First Ten Years: 1973-1983, page 17.  Ibid.  See Darul Uloom Newcastle promotion booklet, The First Ten Years: 1973-1983, pages 16-17 for short descriptions of these Ustaads.
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