South Africa has lost one of its top scholars and Quranic reciters, Shaykh Abd Al Rasheed Brown. Shaykh Brown passed away on Wednesday evening after a brief illness. News of his death has seen an outpouring of sadness from all quarters, particularly in the ulema and hifz fraternity. Shaykh Brown comes from a lineage of scholarship. He was the great grandson of Shaykh Abdullah Taha Gamieldien and great grandson of Imam Shaheeboe of Chiappini Street Masjied. He had ten siblings – his five brothers and three sisters are also well-known hufath.
The internationally renowned qari began his formal Islamic education by memorizing the Quran at an early age. After high school he completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology at ICOSA. He then went on to study Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, and obtained diplomas in Management, Counselling & Conflict Management, HR Development, and IT training. He then spent several years studying traditional texts privately with shuyukh and specializing in Tajwid, Qira’at & the Maqamat of Quran recitation at the Dar Ubaiy Centre.
In 1999, he founded the Ibn al-Jazary Institute of Qur’anic Sciences. Under this institute, he then established and integrated the Imam Hafs Qur’an Academy in 2007, a school of excellence for the memorization of the Holy Quran, with a unique and successfully integrated academic program. As an international speaker, lecturer, and accomplished Qari’, he recited in many international Quran competitions, has traveled and lectured widely; visiting a large number of Muslim communities across Canada and the United States, and appearing on numerous TV programs.
Over the past several years has frequently been invited to share his expertise on Muslim minorities in the West, culture and identity, with students at various universities and at international conferences in Canada. He currently teaches Tajwid and Fiqh al-Sirah at the Madina Institute. While running his highly successful hifz school, for the past two years, he also spent his time as the director at the Madina Institute in Cape Town, founded by Shaykh Muhammad Bin Yahya Al Ninowy.
Shaykh Brown was also the imam at Masjidul Quds in Gatesville and later at Masjidus Sunni in Kromboom.
The eloquent scholar has made numerous contributions to VOC on air. His most valued contribution was his participation in VOC’s ground-breaking Khatam-al Quran programme, carried over one week in June 2013 to launch the station’s new independent frequency 91.3fm. The Khatam recital drew the Cape’s most revered Quranic reciters.
Shaykh Brown also delivered regular naseegha over the years, and until recently, did the Arabic recitals on birds and animals mentioned in the holy Quran.
In a statement on Facebook, the Madina Institute SA said expressed its sadness at his passing:
“With deep sorrow and submission, the Alawi Husayni Ninowi Zawiyah South Africa and Madina-Institute SA announces with pain in the heart and tears in the eyes the passing away of one of its Shuyukh and pillars; the pious, selfless, faithful, beautiful Shaykh Sayyidina Abd Al-Rasheed Brown, may Allah Ta’ala shower Him with His Mercies and envelope Him with His special care and love.”
“Shaykh Abd Al-Rasheed was amongst “Ahlul Allah” who worked hard and took all difficulties with a smile. Sayyidi Shaykh Abd Al-Rasheed touched the hearts of all seekers at the Zawiyah, and students at Madina Institute. Filled with simplicity, Adab, and love for Allah, His Messenger, Ahlul Bayt, Sahaba, and Awliya; Sayyidi Shaykh Abd Al-Rasheed’s light will be missed dearly. He was not just a son of the Zawiyah, but beloved to all young and old, with his pleasant personality and quickly forgiving nature.”
Details of his janazah will be announced on air. VOC