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Obituary of Mufti Ebrahim Desai Rahimahullah (1963 – 2021)


The Death of an Aalim is like the end of a world.

The sun has set and the twilight has disappeared
The sky has darkened and our vision is bleared

with flowing tears, our hearts constantly grieve
for we are orphaned and restless with unease

We cry to Allah on our beloved Mufti Saheb’s passing
no longer will we feel his hand of compassion
nor the warmth of his considerate gaze.



It was the 5th of Zul-Hijjah 1442, the blessed night of Jumuah. News had been received earlier of Mufti Saheb’s increasing sickness and thousands from the Ummah were making Dua for Shifa. But death is predestined and Allah Ta’ala’s decision must prevail. Mufti Saheb closed his eyes from the ephemeral world and commenced his journey to the hereafter.


The news of his passing sent a tremor through the Muslim world. Unbidden tears flowed from the eyes of thousands affecting even those whose with a distant relationship to Mufti Saheb. Such is the effect of the passing of the devoted servants of Allah Ta’ala.


Mufti Saheb’s life was one of distinction and excellence. He excelled at whatever he set his mind to. Allah Ta’ala creates people to fulfil different duties in this world and Allah Ta’ala created Mufti Saheb for the dissemination of Divine Knowledge. Mufti Saheb’s day and night were devoted to this pursuit.


As a young lad, Mufti Saheb enrolled in the famed Mia’s Farm institute in South Africa where he completed the Hifz of the Noble Quran. He then travelled to India where he pursued the Aalim course in Jamia Islamia, Dhabel for seven years. After graduation, Mufti Saheb completed the two-year Mufti course under the excellent tutelage of Shaykh Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri Saheb. He thereafter completed an additional year of studies in issuing Fataawa under the late Grand Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband, Shaykh Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan Gangohi Rahimahullah.


Upon returning to South Africa, Mufti Saheb immersed himself in the dissemination of the blessed knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah.


For ten years Mufti Saheb lectured in Fiqh, Tafsir and Hadithat Madrasah Taleemuddeen, Isipingo Beach. He was thereafter the senior lecturer in Hadith and the Head Mufti of Madrasah Inaamiyyah, Camperdown for another ten years. During his tenure in Madrasah Inaamiyyah, Mufti Saheb commenced tutoring graduate Ulama in the Mufti course and also initiated the Shariah-compliant business campaign through which hundreds and thousands of Muslim businesses brought their establishments in line with Islamic teachings.


In the year 2011, Mufti Saheb moved to Sherwood, Durban where he established the Darul-Iftaa Mahmudiyyah, a specialist institute for issuing Fataawa and training Muftis. Graduate Ulama from across the globe flocked to the Darul Iftaa to study under Mufti Saheb’s guidance. During his stay in Durban, Mufti Saheb travelled daily to Darul Uloom Nu’maniyyah, Chatsworth where he taught Sahih Bukhari as the Shaikhul Hadith.


Mufti Saheb had a special relationship with the Jamiatul Ulama KZN. In 1993, the first formal Fatwa Dept of the Jamiatul Ulama KZN was established when Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Haq Omarjee Rahimahullah and Hadhrat Moulana Yunus Patel Rahimahullah appointed Mufti Saheb as the Mufti of the Jamiat. From that point until his demise, Mufti Saheb’s attachment with the Jamiat never ended.


All matters of import from the Fatwa Department were referred to Mufti Saheb. Mufti Saheb would officially preside over the Jamiat’s Judicial Hearings and would also bring his students from the Darul-Iftaa to witness the practical aspects of dealing with such matters.


The Jamiat has indeed lost a beloved mentor and a spiritual father with Mufti Saheb’s passing. His passing has left a vacuum in the Ummah that will be immensely difficult to fill.


We offer our heartfelt support and deepest condolences to Mufti Saheb’s family, students, associates and whoever had a relationship with him. We feel your loss and pain as well. May Allah Ta’ala grant them the strength and patience to bear this great loss and bless their hearts with peace and tranquillity, Ameen.


Mufti Saheb is survived by his wife, four sons and one daughter.


May Allah Ta’ala accept Mufti Saheb’s efforts in the service of Islam and grant that his legacy of knowledge remains in perpetuity as a continuous reward for him. May Allah Ta’ala grant him the highest of stages in Jannatul Firdaus and admit him in the company of His chosen servants, Ameen.



Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians

223 Alpine Road, Overport
Durban, South Africa

Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099
Fax : +27(0) 31 2074163
Website : www.jamiat.org.za

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