Cape Town has lost a Qur’anic luminary, Shaykh Moosa Allie Ebrahim Goder, one of the last few remaining elder shuyookh of the Muslim community. The 86-year-old Shaykh, who died in the early hours of Thursday morning, was a co-imam at Masjidus Salaam and was a respected teacher within the hifth fraternity, being instrumental in the establishment of Jam’eyyatul Qurra (JEQ). The Shaykh is also the father of Moulana Ali Goder, the principal of Darun Na’im Institute of Higher Islamic Learning.
Chairman of Masjidus Salaam, Moosa Lawrence, said that his relationship with Shaykh Goder strengthened in 1988, when Shaykh Mogamat Salie Dien returned to his post at the masjid, his tenure as co-imam stretching from 1985 until his passing.
“He [Shaykh Mogamat Salie Dien] was very clear that he would like to have Shaykh Moosa Goder as his assistant. We had a very interesting arrangement at the masjid then; we had Shaykh Yusuf Booley being the Qari together with Shaykh Goder and Shaykh Saleh Deen would do the necessary talks.”
Shaykh Goder was seen as an individual who remained in the “background”, even during his work within Jam’eyyatul Qurra. Lawrence says that while he did not wish to be directly involved in the running of masjid, he consistently enquired about the state of affairs of the masjid.
“One day I said Shaykh, we are struggling to get the parents to pay for madrassa and shaykh said that our sadness differs. [Shaykh Goder] said to me ‘whenever a parent can pay for their children’s education and they choose not to [then] Allah does not bless the knowledge of the child fully, because a father is supposed to give a child three things; a good name, a good mother and an education. So if he does pay for a child’s education and he can afford to do it, then you will see that there will be a shortage when you look at the youngster and his/her life and contribution.’ That for me was always one of the things that stood out,” Chairman of Masjidus Salaam, Moosa Lawrence.
As a man who was known to have ‘lived the Qur’an’, Lawrence says that Shaykh Goder’s dedication to his personal preservation of the Qur’an continued until his passing, having led his life with the conviction that if it was not for the Qur’an then he would be an “unknown entity”.
“He said Qur’an has its own dynamics in terms of people knowing you, people loving you and you getting necessary respect and status that only Qur’an can give you. He said that if you want to test that [theory], then know your Qur’an and begin to forget it and you will see how the very people who drawn to you will slowly move away from you as they discover that you have nothing to offer,” Lawrence stated.
Shaykh Goder’s early life
Having lived with his parents in bustling Salt River, Shaykh Goder travelled daily to Goodwood, where he worked as a green grocer in his father’s (Allie Goder) store.
Shaykh studied in Makkah during World War II, where classes were held in the Haram and studied alongside Shaykh Naziem Mohamed, Shaykh Amien Fakier and Shaykh Yusuf Booley. Shaykh Goder specialised in Qiraa’aat.
During his studies, it was one of his duties along with other students to light the oil lamps in the Haram before Magrib Salah.
“In the 1960’s as children, my brother Hoosain and I used to play football alongside Shaykh in Black River. I joined the Masjidus Salaam board in 1988 and since then Shaykh became like a father figure to me. We spent a lot of time together. He was a very righteous and forthright man. He never minced his words and always stood up for what was just. I was very fortunate to have seen him briefly on Sunday. I will miss our interactions especially on a Friday when he would call me every week between 11am and 11h15am to remind me that he would be coming for Jumuah. Recently his health concerns did not allow him to attend Jumuah prayers,” Life-long friend, Allie Ebrahim.
He married in the 1950’s in Cape Town, moving from Salt River to Black River in the 1960’s with his family.
Following the institutionalization of the Group Areas Act, the family moved to Garlandale in the early 1970’s
Shaykh Moosa Goder ran a successful chain of shoe stores, Zenobia Shoes. The business is now called Shado Shoes, which is run by his son, Shadley.
He was appointed as the Imam at the Mowbray Masjid in the 1960’s and was later appointed as assistant Imam at Masjidus Salaam (St. Athens Road) in 1988. He served alongside Shaykh Mogamat Salie Dien, Shaykh Ismail Soeker and Shaykh Ameen Soeker.
In recent years, Shaykh Goder worked closely with Imam Abdurahman Hendricks, who took over the imaamat duties of Masjidus Salaam following the passing of Shaykh Salie Dien.
During the 1980 riots
During the volatile 1980 riots, the Shaykh played a pivotal role in providing support to Shaykh Salie Dien and the community.
During the St. Athens Road Masjid siege by the security police in 1986, as co-Imam, he ensured the safety of the congregants who were inside the mosque.
Shaykh Goder’s tenure at the Muslim Judicial Council
He was a dedicated member of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and played an important role in the administration of the MJC’s Halaal Trust (MJCHT), serving as the treasurer of the trust and providing scholarly support and training to the administrators.
Over the years, he took up more responsibility as a senior member of the Imaarah of the MJC, a role which he held in high esteem until the very end.
WATCH: MJC Executive Members visited Shaykh Moosa Goder at his home earlier this year.
Beautiful duah by our dear and respected senior member of the MJC, Moosa Goder.
Posted by Muslim Judicial Council – SA on Thursday, 22 June 2017
Laying the foundation of JEQ
Shaykh Goder was a founding member of JEQ, the Centre of Excellence in the Memorization of the Holy Qur’an, where he later played an administrative role. He loved the Qur’an.
As a man who established himself as both a community leader and a spiritual advisor, the Shaykh spent the past 60 years of his life as a member of a group of reciters who perform a Khatamul Qu’ran every Sunday.
Upon his return from Makkah, Shaykh Goder was the leading qurrah in Cape Town and was often called upon to recite at various formal functions across the Western Cape.
In addition to his numerous accolades, the Shaykh was also known for his love of sport, in particular his skill in the games of soccer and cricket.
During his time in Makkah, he played soccer in a tournament for a local club, which won the competition. He was subsequently awarded a gold watch from the late King Faisal.
A devoted Muslim
In keeping with the their father’s devotion to the deen of Islam, the Shaykh’s son’s, Moulana Allie Goder and the late Moulana Adnan Goder, followed in his footsteps and studied Islamic Studies.
The shaykh is survived by his wife, Zuleigha, his sons Ashraf, Shadley, Moulana Allie Goder. His son Adnan Goder has passed away.
May Allah SWT grant Shaykh Moosa Goder Jannatul Firdaus and forgive his shortcomings, Ameen.