*A Tribute to my Honourable Teacher Moulana Abdul Rahim Khan Rahimahullah*
*To Allah we belong and to Him will we return.*
*The death of an Aalim is like the end of a world.*
The Ummah mourns the loss of yet another great scholar of Islaam, Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Rahim Khan Rahimahullah, Ustaazul Asaatizah (the teacher of teachers).
Moulana was born in Marianhill, Durban, South Africa on the 13th of May 1945. His early childhood was spent on a farm in the rural area of Marianhill on the outskirts of Durban.
Thereafter as a young boy he completed his Hifzul Quraan in the year 1959 at the Jumma Masjid Grey Street in Durban and graduated as a student of the famous Qari of Cape Town, Hafiz Yusuf Booley Rahimahullah. Hafiz Yusuf Booley spent a few years in Durban as a teacher of the Holy Quraan and many young men graduated under his expert tutelage and guidance. Moulana Khan was very fortunate to have had a teacher of such calibre and expertise.
After graduation of Hifzul Quraan, the young sixteen year old Abdul Rahim Khan was chosen by Moulana Abdul Haq Omarjee Rahimahullah of the Jamiatul Ulama Natal, along with several others to pursue higher Islamic education in India. At the time, there was a great shortage of Ulama in South Africa, particularly in Natal.
A large group of young men under the auspices of the Jamiatul Ulama Natal travelled to India in the 1960s to study at the world-renowned institution, Darul Uloom Deoband. Moulana AR Khan departed from South Africa in 1961 for India. After spending the initial years at Darul Uloom Deoband, Moulana enrolled at Miftahul Uloom, Uttar Pradesh, Jalalabad, India.
Moulana graduated in 1969 under the tutelage of Hazrat Moulana Maseehullah Khan Saheb Rahimahullah in Jalalabad. Moulana Maseehullah Khan Saheb was a luminary of the Indo-Pak subcontinent and a most revered saint of his era.
Moulana AR Khan’s contemporaries in Jalalabad, India include, Moulana Ahmed Sadeck Desai, Moulana Abdul Haq Makada, Moulana Osman Kadwa, Moulana Ahmed Sadeck Mehthar (currently residing in USA), Moulana Ahmed Omar, the Late Moulana Hanif Moosajee Rahimahullah, Hafiz Ebrahim Limalia and Marhoom Hafiz Abdul Rashid Peer Rahimahullah among many other well known Ulama and Huffaaz in South Africa.
Upon his return to South Africa in 1969, Moulana was appointed as a teacher at the famous Orient Islamic School in Durban and he climbed the ranks till he was appointed as Head of the Islamic Studies Department at the Orient Islamic School. In his career at the Orient Islamic School which spanned over 40 years, thousands of students benefitted from his most unique style of teaching. He was undoubtedly a teacher par excellence!
Whilst serving at the Orient Islamic School, Moulana Khan also served in various other capacities for different periods of time:
Served as the Imaam at Merewent Islamic Trust Masjid, Merebank Durban for approximately 12 years
Senior Supervisor of affiliated Madrasahs that fell under the Jamiatul Ulama KZN
Senior Lecturer in the Teacher Training and Adult Education programmes hosted by the Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF) in Durban.
After his retirement in 2009 (1969-2009) from the Orient Islamic School, Moulana Khan joined the Jamiatul Ulama KZN in a full-time capacity from 2010 till 2013, at which point he finally retired from all official capacities.
Despite his official retirement, Moulana continued to serve the Ummah in various capacities on a part time or voluntary basis.
Moulana was a teacher par excellence. He had the good fortune of teaching several generations of students via the various platforms he utilised in his education of the community.
He had an absolutely unique style of teaching and reaching out to every student. In fact, the highlight of the school day for many of his students were his insightful lessons. Moulana was famous for his passion for history and his extraordinary memory. He had a wonderful sense of humour, a trait that was appreciated by one and all and even by his mentor, the great Saint, Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Khan Saheb RA!
Moulana was so attuned to the times that not only did he excel in his dedicated field, but rather interestingly Moulana was an expert in computers, so much so that he taught others in this field.
Moulana Khan served as an exemplary radio presenter on the Al Ansaar radio station in various programmes as well as at the annual Haj and Umrah Seminar held in Durban. The teacher in him always shone out wherever he was present.
*Love for the Haramain Ash Shareefain*
Moulana was an ardent lover of the Haramain Ash Shareefain. He made innumerable trips to the Holy Lands.
While conducting Haj and Umrah classes and in guiding pilgrims during Haj and Umrah, Moulana’s great love and passion for the Holy Lands were vivid for all to see.
He was so passionate about the Holy Lands that he would even visit the homes of prospective Hujjaaj to impart final advice before their departure. Many a time, he would present himself at the airport to see off the Hujjaj and receive them as well.
His book on Umrah, Haj and Ziyaarah is highly acclaimed for being easy to understand as well as a source of reference for young and old, Aalim and non-Aalim. This Kitaab has been republished numerous times due to public demand.
_(Available at the Al Jamiat Bookshop)_
*Jumuah Weekly Programmes*
Moulana never missed an opportunity to educate our community and delivered Jumuah talks till the very end of his life. His talks were insightful and educational. Moulana was famous for educating the audience as a teacher would educate his students. He would frequently ask for feedback from his audience often calling those close to him by name. The classroom teacher was ingrained in him.
*Weekly Tafseer Programme*
Moulana Khan was one of the first Ulama who commenced Tafseer lessons for the public in the English language in the 1980s whilst he was based at the Merebank Masjid in Durban. The youth, in particular, used to flock to these weekly lessons from far and wide.
In the latter part of his life, his Quraan Tafseer lessons used to take place at the NMJ Islamic Centre in Morningside, Durban. At the time of his demise, he had completed the Tafsir of 19 Juz (chapters) of the Quran. The Tafseer lessons continued right until the time of his demise.
Most certainly, the community of KZN and South Africa at large will miss the personality of Moulana Abdul Rahim Khan Rahimahullah. He has indeed left an indelible mark on the South African community which will be remembered for a long time to come.
He served the Deen of Islaam for over 50 years!
Moulana is survived by his honourable wife who was undoubtedly a pillar of support and strength throughout his life, two sons, two daughters and his grandchildren.
He passed away on Monday 18 January 2021, at the age of 75, just before the Maghrib Salaah and was laid to rest on Monday night at the Al Hilaal Cemetery. His Janaazah Salaah was led by Moulana Abdul Haq Makada Saheb, his lifelong friend and contemporary. The sun has set and a generation has passed never to return.
We bid farewell to our beloved teacher, mentor, elder, friend and a great son of Islaam. We will forever be indebted to him. He has indeed left behind a rich legacy of knowledge, which will inshallah be a means of his sawaab e jaariyah (perpetual reward), Ameen.
We make Dua that Allah Ta’ala grants our beloved teacher, Hazrat Moulana, the highest of stages in Jannatul Firdaus. May Allah grant patience and fortitude to his near and dear ones and grant us the ability to benefit from the legacy of knowledge that he left behind, Ameen Ya Rabbal Aalameen.
An unworthy student
Jamiatul Ulama KZN / Orient Islamic School
N.B. Anyone wishing to provide further information on the life of Moulana Abdul Rahim Khan may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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*A Tribute to my Honourable Teacher Moulana Abdul Rahim Khan Rahimahullah*