Ebrahim Moosa – Cii News (09-08-12)
“We feel that he was one of the very special friends of Allah,” reminisced his colleague Qari Basheer Patel as he spoke to Cii yesterday. He was remembering close associate and long-time acquaintance, the late Moulana Ahmed Habib who had passed on to Allah’s Mercy a few hours earlier.
Moulana Habib, a senior member of the Al Tawheed Islamic Centre in Lenasia succumbed to an illness on Wednesday leaving many who knew him nationwide shell-shocked at the loss. “This is a very great loss. He was the backbone of Al Tawheed – in the hierarchy he was the Number 2 figure after our Ameer, Sheikh Bassiouni,” lamented Qari Basheer.
He described Moulana Habib’s life as one of continuous service to humanity. “Wherever you see, he was always helping people; this was how Allah took him till the last breath. His life was Al Tawheed, he didn’t know any other life – when he wakes up its At Tawheed, when he is awake it’s al Tawheed and when he goes to sleep its al Tawheed..I am not talking just about the organisation, but the activities, he was more of a field worker.”
Originally from Pakistan, Moulana Ahmed Habib arrived in South Africa in mid-80′s, spending his first few years as a teacher for the Lenasia Muslim Association(LMA). Initially dividing his time between the LMA and Al Tawheed, he eventually came to relinquish his post at the former due to his increased work responsibilities with Al Tawheed.
His occupation included dawah, teaching, welfare and managerial duties. Qari Basheer described him as very efficient in all his pursuits. “I truly don’t know who will ever be able to fill his void; nobody can do his work as efficiently as he did.” He revealed that the Moulana had a gift for teaching the basics of Quraanic recital. “At Al Tawheed, he did a very good job of teaching Quraan. The new Muslims with him – within 2-3 months started reading Quraan.”
He said patience was a key ingredient to his success. “I remember in the early days when I used to teach Hifz, I used to be a bit more impatient. Once in the Taleemul Islam Masjid I saw a student reading to him and he was making mistake after mistake after mistake, and Moulana Habib was correcting him but not a bit of anger ever came onto his face. The student continued making mistakes for a day or two, but then he came to know his lesson very well.” Even though he was not a Hafiz, Qari Basheer said many Hufaaz and students chose to come to him for dhor(revision).
Although not his mother-tongue, Moulana Habib had a working knowledge of Zulu, Chichewa and English and could speak Arabic as well. His welfare efforts, many of which are only coming to light now, were regular and consistent. Qari Basheer says he used to look after a number of widows every month whom he used to give a steady stipend.
He says persistent health problems over the past few years including a heart attack and failing kidneys never hampered his commitment. “When he was faced with heart difficulties, it was suggested to him that he relinquish his Madressah responsibilities and take up the office job instead. He refused,” said Qari Basheer. “I remember him saying – ‘I don’t want to sit in an office, Allah did not create me to sit in an office! I am supposed to be in the field.”
Moulana Habib persisted with his work until his last day on earth. Even as preparations were being made for his funeral, Al Tawheed received a call awaiting his arrival at a Dawah programme he had arranged at the Sun City prison.
Qari Basheer says he has been inundated by calls since news of Moulana Habib’s passing broke. “People are calling and breaking into tears. One of the signs of a good person Insha Allah, is that Allah makes the loss felt in many people.”
“He used to say, when I pass away, I don’t have any family here(in South Africa) so just quickly and quietly go and bury me,” recalls Qari Basheer. “How I wish he was alive now to see how much family he has. The whole of SA is calling. Everyone is his family.”
Moulana Habib is survived by his wife, 2 sons and 2 daughters.
May Allah accept all his efforts and allow him to ascend to the Highest stages in Jannah, Aameen.Al Tawheed, Ebrahim Moosa, Moulana Ahmed Habib, Qari Basheer Patel, Quraan, Ramadan, Sheikh Basiyouni, Sheikh Bassiouni, Ulema