Eulogies are streaming in following the passing of one of South Africa’s most respected and influential scholars, Maulana Yusuf Karaan. The MJC stalwart passed away om Sunday morning at the age of 79, having long battled illness.
There were emotional scenes in Strand on Sunday afternoon as Maulana Karaan was laid to rest, with scholars and community members alike coming from across the country to pay recognition to his life.
“He was a person of the community, and today we have never seen so many shuyukh come out. We are going to miss him, we are going to miss him very much, said an emotional Maulana Goosain Rhoda.
Those touched by his personality and life, sought to emphasise the role he played in uplifting the local Muslim community in the Strand.
“We have lost not only our Ustaad and Imam. He was our mentor, and he was someone who was responsible for a lot of things Islamically that were established here. He has left a great legacy for us that we should hold onto, and try to build up,” said the principal of the school set-up by the late scholar.
Not only did Karaan serve as imam of the Jamia Masjid in Strand, but he also headed the Muslim Judicial Council’s (MJC) fatwa committee and played a role in the foundation of the United Ulema Council of South Africa (UUCSA).
The MJC’s current first deputy president, Sheikh Riad Fataar said when came to the passing of an alim of Maulana Karaan’s calibre, it was in fact a loss to the entire world. He described the late scholar as someone always available and willing to give his opinion and knowledge on any particular matter.
“Every time you walk away from the office of Maulana Yusuf Karaan, the mufti of the MJC, you would have learnt something new. He would’ve always shared something new with you,” he stated, adding that Maulana Karaan’s views were well respected by scholars across the country.
Despite his passing, Fataar said that Karaan’s legacy would live with his surviving children, Maulana Taha Karaan and Prof. Abdus Salam Karaan, the latter serving as dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at Stellenbosch University.
“Maulana leaves behind children and grandchildren who are Hafith-al-Quran and that are close to their dean. It is our dua that Allah (S.A.W) grants us all as parents to successful as Maulana Karaan has been as a parent. May Allaw (S.A.W) grant him Jannatul Firdaus, and grant sabr in the hearts of his family,” he added.
Karaan’s passing comes roughly 15 months after the demise of his daughter, the late VOC icon Munadia Karaan, also considered a source of pride for the Strand Muslim community.
The Janazaah salah took place at the Jamia Mosque, before Maulana Karaan was laid to rest at the Strand Muslim Council Cemetery. VOC