Strand-based scholar Maulana Tauha Karaan has been announced as the new Mufti and head of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) Fatwa Department on Wednesday. In addition, Sheikh Mohamed Amien Fakir has also been assigned the position of Chief Judge of the department as well.
Maulana Tauha’s appointment comes after the passing of his father, Maulana Yusuf Karaan who previously held the position of the department’s head and MJC’s Mufti.
Praised by many for his wisdom and foresight, Maulana Yusuf passed away in May this year after a long a battle with cancer.
MJC president Maulana Ihsaan Hendricks says senior members of the body undertook hours of deliberation before conceding to the decision of appointing Maulana Tauha as the new head.
Maulana Tauha is a renowned Shafi’i scholar, recipient of numerous chains of ijazaat and the founder of the Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah, a well-known Islamic educational institution in South African.
“We all recalled the great role and contribution of the great Maulana Yusuf Karaan. His position was indeed not an easy one to fill. The Fatwa department is the most important function of the MJC. Executive members continue to pay tribute to Maulana Yusuf Karaan and all contributed to the deliberations regarding our new Mufti,” Hendricks explained.
In addition, Hendricks said Maulana Tauha’s relation to Maulana Yusuf was not a factor contributing to the final decision.
“Maulana Tauha has not been appointed as the new Mufti simply because he is the son of our previous Mufti but by virtue of his own qualifications that the MJC recognized even in the lifetime of his great father,” Hendricks added.
Maulana Tauha completed his Quranic memorization in one year at the Waterfall Islamic Institute, the oldest Islamic seminary in South Africa. During his stay, he assisted in the editing of the Quranic prints that the Institute has become famous for the world over. After finishing four years of the ‘alim course in two years, he journeyed to the Indian sub-continent and Dar al-Ulum Deoband, graduating from there in 1991 with the highest of distinctions as did his father in a class of over 700 students. He then traveled to the Middle East and completed a two-year graduate diploma at the Higher Institute for Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt.
Meanwhile, Maulana Mohamed Amien Fakir, a long-standing jurist of the MJC will be appointed as the Qadi (Chief Judge) of the MJC.
“This in itself is extraordinary. These are the two most important positions at the MJC. We ask the community to give full support to our new Mufti and Chief Judge. This was formerly conducted during a ceremony, in the presence of the most senior members of the ulema body,” Hendricks said.
The announcement comes as the MJC continues its 70th anniversary celebration.
Hendricks further thanked the Karan family for their continuous contributions to the MJC and the broader Muslim community.
Tune into VOC Breakfast Beat on Friday at 7.20am for a chat with Maulana Tauha Karaan. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)