Under a Mahmood Shade

My Time with Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb

I was fairly young when I first met Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb (May Allah protect him). He would frequently travel to the UK. During one of those visits I met him in London. I was awestruck at the very first glance. He was wearing a black turban and a white Jubbah. Mufti Saheb had a jet black beard. I then had the privilege of accompanying him on his journey to Leicester in which I saw his soft and compassionate nature. He showed me so much love and care throughout the trip. It was beyond my imagination that in a mere few years I will be travelling to his country to study at his feet.

As the years passed and I approached later years of the Alimiyyah Course I decided to study the Iftaa Course after graduation. When I was in my 5th Year of Alimiyyah, I made a plan to visit Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah in Durban, South Africa during my stay in East Africa. I stayed as a guest at the Darul Iftaa for few days. This time our meeting was of a completely different nature. I was already acquainted with Mufti Ebrahim Desai; hence he took a much formal approach in hosting me. I expressed my desire to study at Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah. He listened to my desires attentively and using much care & shafqah advised me regarding some guidelines and rules to follow.

By the time I returned back to England my outlook on studying had changed. I was inspired by Mufti Sahebs advices and hence had a vision. I tried to make whatever preparations I could for my post-graduation studies. At the approach of my final year-end I met my colleagues & teachers, sought their Duas and prepared to undertake the migration to another continent.

After Ramadan 1436/2015 I embarked towards South Africa. Mufti Saheb welcomed me and gave much of his precious time listening to my eager aspirations. The more I remember those sittings, the more I am overwhelmed over his shafqah in tolerating my recounting of feeble happenings on my travel. Thereafter, he personally showed me my accommodation and other arrangements. I was astounded at his friendly nature towards his students. A world renowned personality personally taking care of his student’s needs.

As the days passed, I nestled into the Darul Iftaa premises and it became my home away from home. We were given a biography of Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Saheb Rahmatullahi ‘alayhi as reading assignment. As I went through it, I found striking similarities in Mufti Ebrahim Saheb to all that I read. Mufti Ebrahim Saheb must have made rigorous mujahadah moulding himself into his Shaikhs mizaaj. This is a lesson for us all – A person is not born excelling in good qualities instead, one has to grind himself & his nafs to become selfless. Mufti Sahebs qualities and heart-warming accommodation of Darul Iftaa al Mahmudiyyah has provided me a Mahmood shade during my journey of knowledge. I am forever indebted to Sayyidi Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb Daamat barakaatuhu wa fuyudhuhu, Aameen.

I am also indebted to Aapa who took care of us like her own children and would go out of her way to prepare delicious meals for the students. Everything was at our disposal. When I was ill and had a surgery, Aapa would prepare special meals according to what I was advised by the doctor. She was very particular in regards to the needs of the students and would always ask regarding their health. May Allah Ta‘ālā reward her immensely and grant her khair in both worlds. Aameen.

A few good traits I observed in my beloved Ustadh:

  • He goes out of his way to make his students feel comfortable.
  • He never rebukes a student when the student errs.
  • He is very soft & gentle
  • He would never ridicule a student for not knowing a Mas’ala or for having academic deficiency.
  • Students are free to discuss academical differences. Mufti Saheb does not take academical arguments personally.
  • His dedication to the Darul Iftaa is remarkable.
  • Mufti Saheb gives due attention to each student without any student being felt left out.

These are just few out of the many good traits and qualities that I observed during my stay with Mufti Saheb at the Darul Iftaa.

I pray from the bottom of my heart that Allah Ta‘ālā grants Mufti Saheb, his family and all those associated to Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah in whichever way they contribute, khair & barakah in their lives. I ask Allah Ta‘ālā to lengthen Mufti Ebrahim Sahebs shadow over us for many years to come. Aameen ya Rabb-al- ‘Aalmīn.


Bilal Issak – Student, Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah

18 Rajab 1437/ 26 April 2016

Durban, SA – Leicester, UK


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