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Maulana Karaan passes away

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One of the South Africa’s most illustrious Islamic scholars has passed away. Maulana Yusuf Karaan died on Sunday morning, at the age of 79, after suffering from illness for a long time. Maulana Karaan is the mufti of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and has headed its Fatwa Committee for decades. He is also the imam of the Jamia Masjid in Strand and has played a vital role in uplifting the local community.

He is seen as one of the eldest and most distinguished scholars in the country. Maulana Karaan is well known for his translation of many of Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhlawi’s seminal works. The scholar was also one of the founding members of the United Ulema Council of South Africa (UUCSA) in 1994. His death leaves a vacccum within the ulema fraternity, which has seen many elders of the ulema pass on in recent years.

Meanwhile, MJC president Maulana Igsaan Hendricks paid tribute to the late scholar, praising his contribution to the Muslim community in South Africa. Hendricks says South Africa has lost one of its most exemplary scholars.

“Everyone is familiar with Maulana Yusuf Karaan. We are all aware that he wasn’t enjoying the best of health. So this is very sad and emotional news for us today. We convey our sympathy to his wife, children, grandchildren and the Strand community who produced a son for the South African Muslim community,” he told VOC.

“The death of Maulana Karaan is a great loss to the South African Muslim community. He is one of the finest scholars our country has ever seen.”

Senior members of the ulema visited the late scholar this past week, sharing emotional stories of his last days.

“Over the last few days we sent regular delegations to visit Maulana Karaan. My last visit was on Thursday reminiscing of his days at the MJC. I saw deep emotion as he shed a tear.”

Hendricks said the alim’s passing was sad as he would not live to see the MJC’s vision for its new Shaykh Abu’l Hasan Ali al Nadwi Academy for Leadership Training. Shaykh Nadwi is a famous Indian Deobandi scholar who authored over 50 books on history and theology.

“With the plans for the academy, we spoke a lot about Shaykh Nadwi. Maulana Karaan was the last South African to visit Shaykh Nadwi before he passed away in 1999.”

Former MJC president Sheikh Ebrahim Gabriels said Maulana Karaan had played a central role in the lives of Strand Muslims.

“The community of Strand are so lucky to have had Maulana Karaan as a the leader of the community. He really transformed the Muslim community through education, da’wah and his love for the deen,” he said.

The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa’s secretary general Maulana Ebrahim Bham said: “One of the most senior Aalim in South Africa,Moulana Yusuf Karan has passed on. He was the father of Moulana Taha Karan. May Allah elevate his status.”

Mikaeel Collier from the Awqaf Foundation sent condolences to the community of the Boland and the MJC on the passing of Maulana Karaan.

“Our fondest engagement with moulana was in the boland during the bicentennial anniversary of the unbanning of Islam run by awqaf sa, when moulana karaan positively put the history of Islam in sa into proper perspective. May Allah grant our ustaadh the highest place in Janaatul firdows insha’Allah. The vacuum Maulana leaves will be difficult to fill.”

Hafith Mahmood Khatib from Masjidul Quds wrote: “He was undoubtedly a rolemodel for all scholars throughout the world. May Allah accept his life and service of deen.”

Qari Ziyaad Patel tweeted: “As the Arabic saying says, “the death of an Aalim is like the death of this world.” May Allah forgive and grant Ml Yusuf Karaan Jannah.”

For VOC, Maulana Karaan has a special place as the father of stalwart presenter Munadia Karaan, who passed away in February 2014. Maulana leaves behind his wife Zuleigha, children and grandchildren.  Maulana Karaan will be laid to rest after Asr on Sunday afternoon following janazah salah at the Jamia Masjid in Strand. VOC

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