A delegation of Ulama from Darul Ihsan undertook a visit to Darul Uloom Newcastle with the sole intention of visiting Hazrat Maulana Qasim Sema Saheb (R) and benefiting from his valuable Nasihah (advices).
This group from Darul Ihsan was extremely fortunate to meet Maulana Qasim Sema Saheb (R) - the founder and rector of Darul Uloom Newcastle – on 23 April 2007.
Maulana warmly received the delegation in his office and was pleased to meet them. After formalities were exchanged, Maulana gave some sterling advice which is summarised below.
1. Maulana spoke about one of the most important responsibilities of the Ulama which is to warn the people about the wrath, anger and punishment of Allah Taála. This has been neglected to a large extent. Maulana then quoted some verses of the Noble Quran that substantiates this point.
"So, should it not be that a group from every section of them goes forth, so that they may acquire perfect understanding of the faith, and that they may warn their people.”
“O You, enveloped in a mantle, stand up and warn.”
“And it is all equal for them whether you warn them or do not warn them."
Maulana emphasized the importance of creating awareness in the Ummah by warning them of the consequences of their corrupt actions. This was also the mission of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) .
2. After creating this awareness, Allah-consciousness and Taqwa will develop within them, which will be a means of attaining true Hidayah (guidance).
3. He further advised that the Ulama should take advantage of the Mimbar (pulpit). Maulana quoted Hazrat Maulana Yusuf Binnori (R) saying, “As long as the Ulama have control over the Mimbar, there is a hope for the reformation of the general masses”. Hazrat mentioned that the Mimbar should be used in such a manner that the Ulama should teach the people the different branches of Deen in lesson form starting from Imaan, Taharah, Salah, Zakah, etc. at every Jumuah. Maulana explained that he did the same and in this manner the people learnt a lot about Deen.
4. Maulana also emphasized the importance of elementary Maktab education in our times. He pointed out that they had estimated in 1963 that at least 100 Ulama would be required to serve the area of Newcastle & Northern Natal alone. If the Ulama do not pay attention to this important branch of elementary education, it could result in the retrogression of the Ummah. Deen will gradually leave the Ummah and in a few generations the only thing that may be left of Islam will be the Muslim names as is evident in some countries and indeed some areas of South Africa as well. Maulana mentioned that Maulana Yusuf Binnori (R) echoed exactly the same advices on elementary education when he visited Darul Uloom Newcastle in the early 1970's.
5. Maulana finally touched on the point of “charity begins at home”. South Africans donate large sums of money to foreign collectors which is rewarding. However, more emphasis should be given to the funding of local projects as there is definitely a great requirement for the funding of Deeni projects on our own shores.
Thereafter some general discussions followed during which Maulana enquired about the activities of the Darul Ihsan Humanitarian Centre. Mufti Zubair Saheb (Ameer) gave a brief resume of activities whereupon Hazrat Maulana gave his duas and blessings.
Maulana was requested for Sanad (permission to narrate Hadith from him) in Hadith. After having read Hadith from Bukhari Shareef, Maulana granted Ijaazat-ul-Hadith (permission) to the Ulama. With great humility Maulana then bade the group farewell with Duas and prepared to commence his Dars (lessons) of Bukhari with the final year students. It was both remarkable & inspirational to observe Hazrat Maulana's presence of mind, his remarkable memory, the dignified serenity on his face, his humble demeanour, his eagerness and zeal to teach Hadith despite his old age (approx. 90 years). Subhanallah! When most men his age would become senile, Hazrat Maulana appeared fresh, energetic and committed to continue his life-long passion of teaching and educating.
Maulana Ismail Akoo has prepared a biography of Maulana Qasim Sema Saheb (RA) which is available from the Darul Uloom. The delegation also met some of the senior lecturers including Mufti Faiyaz Raheem and others. The delegation then departed for Durban after having spent about an hour in the tranquil environment of Darul Uloom Newcastle.
A Brief Biography of Hazrat Maulana Qasim Sema Saheb (R)
Maulana was born on 12 May 1920 in Newcastle, KZN. Allah Ta'ala had blessed him with many bounties, one of which was a long, healthy and highly productive life. With very limited means and in the most difficult circumstances, Maulana undertook remarkable efforts for the preservation and promotion of Islam in South Africa.
Some of his many achievements and virtues:
1. Founded the first Darul Uloom in South Africa.
2. Translated the noble Quran in the Zulu language for the first time.
3. Among the pioneers conducting Da'wah among the local population.
4. Served as secretary of the Jamiat (KZN) for many years.
5. Travelled extensively & widely to lecture on various aspects of Islam.
6. Among the foremost Ulama who was well versed in English, along with other languages.
7. Had a miraculous rescue at sea upon his return to South Africa from India after his studies.
8. Many Ulama and people benefited from his advices and Mashwaras (consultations).
9. Thousands of people from all over the country flocked to his Janazah Salah which saw one of the largest gatherings in recent times.
Maulana passed away on 09 June 2007, corresponding with 22 Jumaada al Ula 1428
It is our fervent Dua that Allah Ta'ala grant Hazrat Maulana the highest abodes in Jannatul-Firdous, illuminate his resting place, grant him complete Maghfirah. May Allah Ta'ala continue to bless and protect Darul Uloom Newcastle and make it a superb Sadaqah-Jariyah for Hazrat Maulana Saheb (R). Aameen.
Advice to the Ulama By: Hazrat Maulana Qasim Sema Saheb (R)
Founder of the first Darul Uloom in South Africa) (At the time of going to press, the sad news of Hazrat Maulana's demise was received. This report which was written in Maulana's lifetime was changed to reflect this sad reality.)