Imam Tahir Anwar 2h · We received the sad news yesterday that Mufti Ebrahim Desai passed away in Durban, South Africa yesterday at the age of 58. إِنّٓا لِلّٰهِ وَإِنّٓا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنْ His askimam.org site was the first of its kind in the 90’s and early 2000’s for people to search for answers related to deen. While many may not know this, the visit & brother referred to in the tweet below is from San Jose, California. This young man in his early 20’s was the one that put all the wheels in motion and created the first askimam website. This young brother died suddenly at the age of 26 in 2000 or 2001, while he left behind such an immense Sadaqah Jaariyah for himself and of course for his teacher. May Allah grant them both Jannah, grant their families Sabr, and allow us sincerely serve Him and leave behind immense Sadaqah Jaariyah for ourselves. Aameen.
Source: (7) Facebook
Mufti Ebrahim Desai Death – Obituary – Dead – Passed Away – Cause of Death.
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This is a developing story that Mufti Ebrahim Desai passed away in Durban, according to some statement posted on social media on July 16. 2021.
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Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Within the last hour (July 15, 2021), we heard the very sad news that, as per the Decree of Allah the All-Wise, the renowned scholar from Durban (South Africa), Shaykh Mufti Ebrahim Desai, has departed this temporary abode and returned to where we all have to return soon. إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون
The respected shaykh was an expert mufti and jurist, and known for establishing one of the earliest online fatwa services in the English language: the AskImam.org website. He initiated the website (an online Islamic questions and answers service) during the mid 90’s, when no such service – as per my knowledge – was available. I remember when we thought about starting our fatwa website (DarulIftaa.com) around 2003, there were only two other such services available for English speaking Muslims: the Ask Imam website and the Sunni Path website. Thousands of Muslims across the globe grew up during those years, relying on the fatwas and answers published on the Ask Imam website. Later, the shaykh established the Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyya, where students from different parts of the world studied and trained under him in the fiqh and fatwa specialization programme. As such, he leaves behind thousands of students who now themselves are serving the deen as muftis in different corners of the globe. The outpour of grief and sadness on social media amongst his students is clear testimony on his great relationship with his students and their mutual love.
The shaykh also served as a senior Lecturer of Hadith, and was an expert in Islamic finance. He was also known to be a very pious man of Allah. He has obtained ijazah in the science of tazkiya/tasawwuf from the late Grand Mufti of India, Shaykh Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan Gangohi (may Allah have mercy on him). His literary works include the publication of his fatawa, entitled Contemporary Fatawa in four volumes.
Unfortunately, I was not in much contact with him and, thus, cannot say much about his qualities and attributes. It would be good to learn about his life, services and character traits from the many tributes being expressed by his students and those who knew him well. Al-hamdulillah, I was fortunate, however, to have met him on a few occasions, during his visit to the UK. I last saw him approximately two years ago when he visited our city of Leicester. Despite not having much of a connection with him, I witnessed his greatness, love for the deen, sincerity and exemplary character via a correspondence I had with one of his students in February this year (2021). The student, a mufti in his own right, sent me the following message, in relation to an issue that we had been discussing and the possibility of Shaykh Mufti Ebrahim Desia’s position/fatwa being opposed to my stance:
“Mufti [Ebrahim Desai] saheb has immense respect for you and the khidmat you provide to the public. By issuing such a statement, he does not want to put you in any uncomfortable position nor would he want your integrity to be questioned…”
Subhan Allah, in these few lines, there is great wisdom and lesson for students like me on how to disagree with someone.
May Allah Most High have mercy on his soul, be well-pleased with him, grant him a very high station (maqam) in the hereafter, reward him for all his services to the deen, and grant his family and students the ability to endure this loss with paitence (sabr). May Allah grant his students, spread across the globe, to contiune his legacy and follow in his footsteps. Amin Ya Rab al-A’lamin.
Write a comment…
JazakAllah khayr for sharing. As someone who came of age in the mid 90s in Australia, askimam was a pioneering work. It was probably the first time we read a fatwa, let alone a deeni site. I remember only 2 or 3 authoritive sites existed at the time. May Allah Talaa fill his grave with noor. Ameen
· Reply · 18h
I remember reading his fatwas, it’s his fatwas that made me draw closer to Islam.
I never seen no website except for Mufti Ebrahim’s website that was in English.
His manners was excellent in dealings with people who where different to Muslims and Sunni Islam.
I known him by his Q&As, articles etc