A huge void has been left in Cape ulema fraternity after the passing of the esteemed Shaykh Ebrahim Abrahams, affectionately known as ‘Imaam Rooibaard’. The much-loved scholar and teacher, a senior member of the Muslim Judicial Council, passed away on Monday, following years of ill-health. In his sixty-four years of life, Shaykh Abrahams has accomplished things that most of us could only ever aspire to do. He took it upon himself to carry the Muslim community on his shoulders sharing his passion for tauheed, Quran, Islamic history and da’wah through his teaching.
Over the years, Shaykh Abrahams contributed to numerous haj programmes, most notably, the ‘Haj: A journey’ series, as well as the tenets of salah with the late Munadia Karaan, had a huge impact on listeners at the time. Most recently, Shaykh pioneered the Madrassa on Air programme and has been valued for his contribution to teaching Deen in our community. The alim had a close relationship with the station and conducted various workshops with VOC staff.
“He was a true servant of Allah SWT and was always striving hard in doing righteous deeds. He was a hard worker and lived life with passion. This was palpable in the many lectures and naseegha he gave on air. May our community continue to benefit from his profound knowledge and wisdom. May shaykh’s path in search of knowledge lead to Paradise, Ameen,” said station manger Moegsin Khan.
One of Shaykh Abrahams’ closest friends was Shaykh Ebrahim Gabriels. The pair met in grade one and had been inseparable ever since, even with Shaykh Abrahams switching primary schools in grade two. The pair met up again in high school at Oaklands High, and they both went on to study under the same ustaadh, Imam Ismail Johnstone (May Allah have mercy on him).
Speaking to VOC hours before the janaza, Shaykh Gabriels reminisced on some of the moments the bosom-buddies have shared together.
“Allahu Akbar, we have lost a great leader,” he lamented.
Shaykh Abrahams will be remembered for his humble, kind, soft nature, commitment, and integrity and more importantly his Allah consciousness. He was described by Shaykh Gabriels as one of the purest human beings he has ever met. His love for Allah SWT and the Prophet SAW surpassed many.
“His passion and love for people, and the community, and for teaching people. You can’t describe it.”
Sheikh Abrahams taught both locally, at the Mitchell’s Plain Islamic High School, Darul Arqam as well as intentionally, in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. His commitment to spreading the deen of Islam was clear until his last breath. Just two nights ago, he told his eldest daughter, Mariam that he would start a new class next year.
“That was his commitment, always concerned about the community at large,” said Shaykh Gabriels.
Shaykh Gabriels remembers only good and speaks fondly of his organized trips to Mossel Bay to ready hujjaj for their journey. Whilst on the Mossel Bay trip, Shaykh Abrahams would intentionally ensure the bus breaks down, as to test the patience, and steadfastness of the Hujaaj and prepare them for any and all challenges the would face whilst travelling to the holy cities of Makkah and Madina.
“For me, it’s very difficult to lose such a wonderful friend,” he said.
Shaykh Gabriels shares an intimate piece of advice that he was always offered by his beloved friend.
“When we were young, we learned a hadith from our Ustaadh that when a Muslim asks you for advice it is your duty to offer advice. Whenever I would request a piece of advice from Shaykh Ebrahim, he would tell me the same thing over and over. ‘Ebrahim be a good and obedient child to your parents’. That was always the advice.”