Maulana Sayyid Qasim Ali (R) was the second son of Hazrat Maulana Sayyid Zubair Ali (R). This noble family hails from Tonk which is in Rajasthan. Tonk is famous as it was once a great seat of learning. Hazrat Maulana Abul-Hasan Ali Nadwi (R) spent a great part of his childhood in Tonk where he had attained his initial education. Maulana Qasim Ali was born in September 1952 in Leslie, now renamed Leandra, a small town in Mpumalanga. His family linage links up to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) through Hasan bin Ali (R) hence he was a 'Hasani Sayyid'.
'A Man of the Mimbar and Mihrab’
Maulana Qasim Ali (R) was an excellent Imam and orator, 'a man of the Mimbar and Mihrab'. He used to travel weekly to perform Jumu'ah at various Masajid around the country. There would be very few Masajid in South Africa wherein he did not deliver a Jumu'ah talk. He frequently rendered the ladies bayan in many towns on the stipulated days wherein they had their weekly ladies Ta'leem.
‘A People's Man'
Nusrat of Jamaats, Khususi Mulaqaats, visiting the sick at home and hospitals, visiting the prisons, rendering ladies Ta'leem, giving bayans, etc. was part of his daily routine. If a baby was born to someone or someone passed away, he made a point of visiting the family at the first given opportunity. He had made the welfare of the Ummat his life-mission. He was a ‘people's man’. He would travel great distances to accomplish this. Upon closer observation, one would have noticed that Maulana never sat idle. At every given moment he was involved in some useful activity; either he was engaged in reading the Noble Qur'an, or making Mutala'ah of his kitabs which he carried in a bag (“thela” as he called it) with him everywhere he went, or he was speaking to someone concerning Deen, or he was making some important notes, etc.
An excellent Hafiz
Maulana Qasim Ali (R) was an excellent Hafiz of the Qur'an. Like his other brothers, he was very punctual with performing the Taraweeh Salaah every Ramadan. Not a Ramadan would pass without him having led the Taraweeh, and he used to always go for maximum Rakaats. Whilst in Actonville, he led the Taraweeh Salaah from the Actonville Jamea Masjid with great vigour and enthusiasm. He possessed a loud and booming voice. He had a unique style of reading the Noble Qur'an which was very captivating. During his student days in Deoband, Mufti Mahmood Hasan Sahib (R) had a great liking for him and appointed him to lead the Taraweeh Salah in Chatta Masjid.
A simple and likeable person
Maulana (R) was a very simple person. He lived a simple lifestyle as far as his person and his home was concerned. No matter where he went or which gathering he attended, he was dressed in his usual simple and neat manner. His code of dress was simple. He always wore a black Amamah (turban), white Kurta and sometimes he wore a waistcoat. He was always very simple in his choice of dressing and foot wear. He made sure that he had the Miswaak and his Turban with him at all times. He was always dressed simple but neat. Once a person remarked, “When l saw him I immediately thought of our Rasulullah r”.
When he left this temporary abode, all his monetary dealings were clear. He did not owe anyone even a cent. Towards the latter part of his life, he often sat with his wife and went through the details of all his assets. Everything was clearly sorted out. He was a very humble and simple man as far as his personal lifestyle was concerned. He did not have the love of the world in his heart. He preferred to remain hidden and to be low profile. He never caused difficulty to anyone. He greeted everyone that he came across, even if it was drunkards and non-Muslims. He had an excellent memory and was gifted in remembering names of people. After meeting a person once, if he met the same person after years, he would immediately call him by his name! This made everyone feel special. He related to everyone according to their level. With the young, he was young, with the old he was old. He always gave due honour and respect to all Muazzins. Whenever he went to any Masjid, he would look for the Muazzin, meet him and make some friendly conversation with him. He was also a very jovial, jolly, lovable and humble person, because of which people never got tired of him and wanted to be with him all the time.
Passion for reading Kitabs
Maulana (R) had a great passion for reading Kitabs. He would pick up any Kitab that he came across. He would read any pamphlet and literature on Deen. If he went to any Aalim's house, he would stand up and look at the Kitab shelf of that Aalim. If any Kitab appealed to him, he borrowed it from that Aalim. He would write the owners' name in the Kitab, read it, and return it duly to the owner. From all subjects and topics, he loved Seerat-ur-Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) the most. Whenever he went for Hajj and 'Umra, he would go to the bookshops and ask only for books on Seerah. The Kitabs that he bought, he would pass on to others who would have interest in them, such as Ulama, family, friends or his wife. As an Aalim, he was indeed very generous with his Kitabs. After reading a book he would pass it onto someone who would make use of it.
Regular use of a notebook
Another quality that Maulana (R) possessed was that he always kept a notebook in his pocket which he used greatly. He always noted down anything of importance. If he heard of someone that was ill, or someone passed away, or a baby was born to someone, or if someone returned from spending time in Jamaat or from Hajj, or someone is going in Jamaat or for Hajj, or someone is getting married, etc. he immediately took out his notebook and made a note of it. He used to then refer to his notebook regularly and plan his mulaqaats. This was one of the major reasons that he had Barakah in his time and managed to accomplish so much in such a short life-span. He always planned himself and never wasted time.
'A man for the Ummah’
Maulana Qasim Ali (R) loved the creation of Allah Ta'ala, and he exerted himself in every possible manner towards uplifting the Ummah. He had a burning desire for every Ummati that how he can be saved from the punishment of Allah Ta'ala. He was restless with this worry and concern. He concentrated on bringing people close to Allah Ta'ala and to His Deen. He loved the creation of Allah Ta'āla to such an extent that he regarded himself as a Khadim of the Makhluq. His day and night revolved around the fact that how can he be of service to mankind and thereby draw them closer to Allah Ta'ala and his Deen.
Clean hearted and pleasant nature
He was a very clean hearted and straightforward man. If something had to be said, he said it as it was. He always said the truth and never kept anything in his heart. He never feared anyone from the Makhluq (creation). He disliked arguments and friction, especially between the 'Ulama fraternity and he kept a good relation with all 'Ulama and organisations.
Maulana Sayyid Qasim Ali (R) passed away in 'Masjide-Tawheed', Rynsoord immediately after rendering the Jumu'ah lecture on 7 Safar 1429, 15 February 2008, at the age of 56. He was buried after Asr at the Rynsoord Qabrastan. May Allah Ta'ala elevate his ranks and make his biography a source of inspiration for the Ulama and the Ummah till Qiyamah.
Extracted from: Maulana Qaasim Ali (Rahimahullah) - Personality & Services, Al Qaasim Publishers
Maulana Qasim Ali (Rahimahullah) - An Exemplary Imam & Da'ee
Maulana Sayyid Qasim Ali (R) - Family Background