RIVERSIDE AASTANA

MAZZAAR SHARIEF OF HAZRAT SOOFIE SAHEB SAHEB (R.A)

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As soon as Hazrath Soofie Saheb arrived in Durban in 1895 he bought a piece of land on the northern banks of the Umgeni River in Riverside, a stone’s throw from the Indian Ocean, and built a humble wood and iron house. On this land he chose a spot, where the present Musjid stands, and laid the foundation immediately after Juma Salaah. A few members from the community, including Sayed Fakroodeen, Rooknoodeen and Jhetam were present. The main builder was an Italian.

When the Musjid, was completed, it was also used as a Madressa until 1903, when a Parsee by the name of Rustomjee, at his own expense, built a madressa. An orphanage (Yateemkhana) was then built to house the orphans and destitutes. A portion of the northerly end of the land was used as a cemetery, and adjoining this piece of ground an old age home was built. Next to the orphanage was a kitchen and a place with ablution facilities. At the entrance to the Darbar, a Musafirkhana was built to cater for travellers and wayfarers. An Ashurkhana was also erected here.

Later, in close proximity to the Darbar , a piece of ground was bought in Prospect Hall Road for burial purpose. A portion of the land (western side) was used for residential purpose for those who wanted to live near Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA.

A wood and iron building, which served as a Mawaleekhana (Rehabilitation Centre), was between the present Mazaar Shareef of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA and the cemetery. Alcoholics and drug-related cases were personally attended by him. They were instructed to be physically clean, read Salaah regularly and they were administered home-made medicine from the Darbar. With the very highly spiritual environment and the profound personality of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA most of them fully recovered and led normal lives.

The Babarchikhana (Kitchen) was situated next to the house of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA. Here food was prepared for the entire occupants of the Darbar. Some of the early cooks were Ismail “Kitchen” and Abdul assisted by Hazrath Zainab Bibi RA and Hazrath Haniffa Bibi RA, the wives of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA. The last person to cook for the Darbar was Abdul Rahim in 1968.

Other members of the Soofie Family also cooked from time to time.

The Dawakhana (Clinic) was situated in a room next to the main dormitory of the Orphanage. Every Thursday, people, of all races and religion were attended to by a qualified Hakim and free medicine was dispensed to all.

Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA used the members of his family and mureeds to share the responsibilities by allotting duties:

Langer Feeding - Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA

Feeding of animals - Shah Abdul Kadir Soofie RA

Hoisting of flag - Shah Mohamed Habib Soofie RA

Imam - Hafiz Husain RA

Muezzin - Moulana Chacha (Ismail) Bayat from Verulam

Horse Wagon drivers - Haroon Ally and Abdur Rahman

The construction of the beautiful entrance to the Darbar, known as the Buland Darwaza and reminiscent of the Moghul architecture in India, began in the early 1920’s and was completed in the 1930’s with the help of the community especially one Baseerun, wife of Busawan Mia of Sea Cow Lake.

Minor extensions and renovations took place from time to time to the various buildings in the  Darbar. However in 1968 tragedy struck the Darbar. It was destroyed by bulldozers as a result of the Group Areas Act in order to make way for the White population group. Only the Mazaar,Mosque and Cemetery survived. The Darbar had to be re-located in Kenville in order to continue with its activities in the service of the community. 

A brief biography of the Sajjada Nasheens and Trustees of the Khanqah and Mazaar Shareef Riverside and Durban :

Hazrath Shah Mohamed Ibrahim Soofie Siddiqui Habibi Chisti Nizami RA.

When one stands at the awe inspiring Khanqah of Sultanul Hind Hazrath Khwaja Garib Nawaaz RA in Ajmer Sharif and then suddenly gazes upward towards Mount Tara Gar, one is greeted by a radiant golden dome (half way up the mountain) which connects it to the Chistia Habibia Silsila. It is a simple Mazaar of a humble servant of Islam, Pir O Murshid Hazrath Shah Mohamed Ibrahim Soofie Siddiqui Habibi Chisti Nizami RA.

He was the eldest child of Hazrath Soofie Sahib RA, born in 1880 at Ibrahim Pattan, India. He joined his father in Durban, South Africa in 1897. In early 1901 his father left him in Hyderabad, India in the Khanqah of his Sheikh , Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah RA for Islamic and spiritual training. He remained here till 1904 during which time he had a golden opportunity to serve his spiritual mentor. The latent abilities of both Peer and Mureed produced a spiritual giant. During his stay here he used to travel on numerous occasions to the city of Ajmer to pay homage and to seek spiritual blessings from Hazrath Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti RA. Thus his love for this great saint grew stronger and stronger. 

In 1904, Hazrath Shah Saheb RA, as he was popularly known, returned to Durban after having been conferred Khilafat (Deed of Succession) by his Murshid in 14 salaasil (spiritual orders). He began his duties under the leadership and guidance of his father at the Khanqah at Riverside. He served the needs of the community at various levels and at times under difficult circumstances.

Due to his extreme love for his Peer in Hyderabad and Hazrath Khwaja Moinudden Chisti RA in Ajmer, he never married. With the blessings of his parents, he at once set sail for India. On the instruction and advice of his mentor he travelled extensively in the Indo Pak subcontinent. His travels took him around the Khanqahs of some of the greatest Sufis of their time. He followed in the footsteps of his spiritual mentor and under his guidance carried on the missionary work. Thousands of people accepted his hand (ba’it) and entered into the fold of Islam. His brilliant countenance and, his simple and practical way of life won them over and he was able to transform spiritually the ailing, to serve the Creator and Islam by following the simple rules and regulations of the religion.

He made a number of trips to South Africa. He came in 1911 after the demise of his father to appoint his younger brother, Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA as trustee and Sajjada Nasheen of the Khanqah at Riverside and Mazaar Shareef of Hazrath Badsha Peer RA, including the various institutions that were established by Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA.

He came back in 1924 and his final trip to South Africa (a momentous occasion for the Muslims) was in 1950 after the demise of his brother, Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA in 1947. By now he was old and fragile and his visit here was a memorable one, both for the family which had now grown and for the Muslim community at large. He conferred the Khilafath (Deed of Succession) on his brother’s eldest son, Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani RA. He also appointed him to be the Sajjada Nasheen of the Mazaar Shareefs of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA and Hazrath Badsha Peer RA. He also gave power of attorney to his nephew to arrange and handle the legal aspects of the various Trust created by Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA, excluding those places where members of the family were already appointed.

Powers of attorney were also given to his younger brothers, Hazrath Shah Goolam Hafiz Soofie RA (45th Cutting-Sherwood), Hazrath Shah Mohamed Habib Soofie RA (Springfield), Hazrath Shah Goolam Fareed Soofie RA (Overport) and to his nephew Hazrath Shah Abdul Majid RA (Westville).

Hazrath Shah Saheb RA was a selfless human being who was immensely engrossed in human activities and remembrance of Allah. Whenever he came to South Africa he willingly and spontaneously handed over the powers of attorney so that the Islamic work that was initiated by Hazrath Soofie Saheb in 1895 could continue uninterruptedly.

It was a sad, very sad farewell to a humble son of Islam when he left Durban for the last time in 1951 in the ship S.S.Karanja. He passed away at the age of 75 on 12 June 1955 (18 Ramadan 1375) in Ajmer Shareef where he lies buried on the hilltop, overlooking the Dargah Shareef of Hazrath Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti RA, in a small but brilliant mausoleum with a yellow dome.

It is reported that the spot where he is buried used to be the stable where the horses of Hazrath Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti RA were kept.

Announcement

In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

With the view to inform all the members of the Chistiya, Nizamiya, Qadiriya Aaliya, Suharwardiya, Gesu-daraaziya, Nasqsh-bandiya, Maghribiya, Shattaariya Kibrooiya, Noorbakhshiya, Awisya etc. concealed in sanctity.

All praise is due to Almighty, Allah, Lord of the Worlds and greetings and salutations on His Messenger, the Noble Prophet SAW, and on his family, the pious and purified, and on his companions, the guided and perfect, and on all the friends (awliyah) of his followers. (Let it be known)

After which, let it be established that this well wisher’s successor and dearly beloved Hadjie Shah Gulam Muhammad Soofie, may Allah in the love, protection and attention of the magnificent spiritual guides (R.A.), grant him a long life and encompass him with peace.

Because of him, the orders of Chistiya Nizaamiya and Qadiria Aaliya etc. are progressing well in Durban which is in Natal, South Africa. May Allah via the mediation of all the khwaajas and Holy persons and with the love/care of the Peraane A’zam, grant continuity till Qiyaamat for this bounty.

For its permanence and support for the future to be secure, it is necessary that a resident successor be appointed. Therefore his son Anjuman Miya Shah Muhammad Ibrahim Chisti Nizami, whom this well wisher has taught and made happy with the favour of the Peeraane A’zam (R.A.) when he became worthy of the way of Tareeqat.

Then this well wisher granted him permission to take Bay’at in all the Silsilas, and exalting him with khilaafat of the Peeraane A’zam and he became the resident successor to Hadjie Shah Muhammad Soofie Saheb. May Allah in his pleasure keep him alive with love and steadfastness for the favours of all the Khwajegaan.

We have in exaltance and respect for all the various silsilas, announce thus so that it may be accompiled with far and wide and that you may present yourselves to him with love, honour and obeisance. Whosoever revered and honoured him with obedience, should regard it to be in the most important service of myself. 

Countless compliments and regards. Inscribed on Monday, the 6th of Rajjab-ul Murajjab in the 1321st year after the Holy Hijrah.

Translated as best humanly possible by my most humble self; Ustaad Muhammad Is-Haaq Sulaiman Rawoot.

Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie Siddiqui Habibi Chisti Nizami RA

He was the second son of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA, born in Ibrahim Pattan, Ratnagir, India in 1885. He came to South Africa in 1897 with his mother, brothers and sisters to join his father. He came to be popularly known as Hazrath Dadajan. He made a trip to India in 1906 to get married to Sara Bi, the daughter of Abdul Latif. The sons born were Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani, Shah Goolam Hoosain Soofie, Shah Goolam Hassan Soofie, Shah Goolam Ahmed Soofie and the daughters were Khurshid Bi, Kamroonisa, Sharfoonisa, Budroonisa (may Allah be pleased with them all). Hafiza is the only surviving offspring of his.

He was the mureed of Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah RA. He was at the side of his famous father at all times in the absence of his elder brother, Hazrath Shah Saheb RA. He had the honour of travelling overseas and locally on quite a few occasions with him. He also assisted him in the management of the affairs of the various Khanqahs especially in and around Durban, thereby receiving basic training for the responsibility that awaited him. He had the honour of being chosen and appointed as one of the six Khulafas by Hazrath himself.

When Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA passed away in 1911 he left behind a “vast empire” of twelve Khanqahs stretching from Durban to Cape Town, including Butha Buthe in Lesotho. His eldest son and successor, Hazrath Shah Mohamed Ibrahim Soofie RA was busily engaged in India in Silsila-e-Habibia activities.

His second son Hazrath Dadajan RA was only twenty six years old, having spent his life so far under the protective wings of his distinguished father. All his brothers and sisters were in their teens. He found himself all alone with no relatives or elder male members of the family to provide solace and sympathy. 

What was to become of the work of the “empire”? What was to become of his brothers and sisters (who now suddenly looked upon him as their father), and both his mothers and all the inmates including the orphans and the aged? Furthermore, the annual Urs Commemorations of Hazrath Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty RA of Ajmer Shareef was scheduled to take place that very week end. These and other thoughts must have been sweeping through his young and confused mind on that fateful day of Friday, 30 June ( 3 Rajab) as he was peering blankly at the immaculately white shroud of his beloved father who was waiting for the final journey to the resting place.

To Hazrath Dadajan RA it was the end of this world. But, being the descendant of Hazrath Abu Bakr Siddique RA he must have cast his mind back to the time of the demise of our Holy Prophet SAW, when Hazrath Abu Bakr Siddique RA was placed in a similar dilemma so far as Islam was concerned. The rest is history.

As expected in the absence of his elder brother, he was appointed as deputy Sajjada Nashin and trustee of the Khanqah at Riverside and other institutions of the Soofie Saheb Trust including the Mazaar Shareef of Hazrath Badsha Peer RA in Central Durban.

Alhumdolillah! with the spiritual blessings of our Beloved Nabi SAW and the Mashaik-e-Chist, with the help of the dedicated mureeds, and his foresight, sheer determination, diligence, courage and patience he was able to implement his duties admirably in the work of the twelve khanqahs initiated by his illustrious father and to provide for the entire Soofie family that were living under one roof at the time. He was instrumental in getting his younger brothers and sisters married thus fulfilling the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet SAW.

In the late 20’s and early 30’s the population of Durban was growing at an increasing rate and there were much more calls at the various Khanqahs. When he experienced difficulty in the administration of these various institutions, he wrote to Hazrath Shah Saheb RA in Ajmer Shareef about the problems, recommending that his younger brothers be placed at these Khanqahs. He then discussed the matter with his younger brothers and placed them at the following centres in 1935:

1.      Springfield - Hazrath Shah Mohamed Habib Soofie RA

2.     Overport - Hazrath Shah Goolam Fareed Soofie RA

3.     45th Cutting - Hazrath Shah Goolam Hafiz Bhaijaan Soofie RA

4.      Pietermaritzburg - Hazrath Shah Abdul Kadir Soofie RA.

Together with the other Khulafas of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA that were at the other Darbars, the missionary work continued.

This magnanimous gesture on the part of Hazrath Dadajan RA has no parallel in the annals of the Soofie family or of any other family. It amply manifests the immense love and confidence that he had for his brothers above everything else. It also brought an end to the era of the joint family system of the original Soofie family.

In keeping with the policy of his honoured father of expanding the mission of the Deen, he bought land next to the Darbar at Riverside in 1913. A piece of land was also bought in Prospect Hall Road (Riverside) next to the Soofie Saheb Trust land which was used as a cemetery. Land was also bought adjacent to the Soofie Saheb Trust land in Kenville. All these lands that were purchased were known as the Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie Trust. All the properties were Waqf (foundation for public charity). Title deeds, documents, and correspondence in the name of Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie that are kept in the Archives in the Darbar, Riverside, bear ample testimony of his involvement in the administration of the various Soofie Saheb Trusts.

He was responsible for building the famous “Buland Darwaza” (Gateway to the Darbar at Riverside). He also built a dome with side arches on the building of the Mazaar Shareef of Hazrath Sheikh Ahmed Badsha Peer RA in early 1917. In 1920 a wood and iron verandah was added and in 1938 it was changed for brick verandah.

Mureeds, friends and the general public flocked to him for consultation on various matters and many paid him courtesy calls. All day long, especially on Sundays and public holidays, people used to stream into the Darbar which was reminiscent of Eid. They visited the Mazaar and then spent some time with Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA. It was his daily routine after Fajar salaah to take all the children to the Mazaar Shareef of his father. Shijrah Shareef was recited after which Fateha was read. Thereafter he proceeded to the cemetery to read Fateha, after which the children sat in the verandah of the Khanqah to recite the Quraan and learn their lessons. They then prepared to attend Madressa.

In 1943, a plan complete with dome, was drawn up to upgrade the Mazaar Shareef of his honoured father. It had to be shelved because of the Second World War.

He passed away on 25 May 1947 corresponding to 2 Rajab 1367 which is also the wisaal date of his father. He was buried in the cemetery behind the Mazaar Shareef of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA. The Janaza Namaaz was performed by Hazrath Imam Abdus Samad Qazi RA, his brother-in-law. Thousands attended the Janaza Namaaz. It is reported that from the cemetery the crowd extended to the entrance of the Darbar.

Having lived first, in the shadows of his brilliant father, and then of his brilliant brother, the services of Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA are understandably the most under-estimated and the most under-revered personality in the Soofie Family. Single-handedly, he held together the family and at the same time he was not only able to continue with the work of his noble father but he was able to build upon it also. That he achieved all this was due to the fact that his father had prepared him to be an administrator. He was sent to the Higher Grade School in Carlisle Street (which now forms part of the Durban Girls Secondary School) where he passed Standard Four, the highest standard of education that an Indian student was allowed to acquire at the time, which was generally considered to be a rare and remarkable achievement.

The female members of the Soofie family have played and are still playing a meaningful role in the methodical functioning of the Darbar from the time of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA. First it was his wives, and then it was his daughters and daughters-in-law. One daughter-in-law who stood out like a beacon of light, is Sara Bi RA, the wife of Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA. She was a tower of strength to the Darbar. She was very conscious of the health of the family and nursed the members of her family in their illness. She was well versed in home remedy and cures and was also of great assistance in the clinic for the public. In her time she also played the role of mid-wife in the family.

Her daughters followed in her footsteps, particularly Kamroonisa Bi RA and Hafiza Bi, both of whom did not marry in order to give their whole-hearted attention, especially to the orphans. First they served their father at Riverside, and then their eldest brother, Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani at the Riverside and Kenville Darbars. Khurshid Bi RA, Sharfoonisa Bi RA and Badroonisa Bi RA (who carried on with the work in the Westville Soofie Darbar when she was married there) also bore their duties diligently.

Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani Siddiqi Habibi RA

He was the eldest son of Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA and was born in 1912. He was also known as Bhaimia Soofie.

A few days before his demise, Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA called his son Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA and told him that a son will be born to him and that he must be named Goolam Mohamed. Indeed a year later a son was born and the wishes were fulfilled. 

Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani RA grew up at the Khanqah in Riverside. From childhood he was in the company of his illustrious uncles and under the guidance of his parents. He gained his Islamic education at the Habibia Soofie Saheb Madressa at the Khanqah, Riverside. His ustad was Hazrath Shah Goolam Hafiz Soofie RA. In 1936 he married Nizam Bi RA (the eldest child of Hazrath Shah Mohamed Yusuf Habibi RA of Soofie Darbar, Cape Town) who later, as the eldest daughter-in-law of Hazrath Dadajan RA, proved to be a tower of strength to her husband and to the Soofie household especially when the head duties were entrusted to her. She was patience personified, cool with a composed personality. Although she kept away from the public, she was the perfect hostess in her conduct with them at home. Her mother was the youngest sister of Hazrath Zainab Bi RA. (the wife of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA) Six children were born - Rookaya, Mohamed Farouk, Mohamed Saeid, Farida (who is presently in charge of the inmates at the Orphanage in Kenville), Abdul Aziz and Zainab.

After the demise of his father in 1947, he took over the administration of the Khanqah at Riverside including the Mazaar Shareef of Hazrath Badsha Peer RA. Emotionally he was in a similar situation in which his father was in 1911.

In 1948 he undertook major repairs of the Habibia Soofie Saheb Madressa at Riverside. The Musjid was renovated on several occasions. The Mazaar Shareefs of Hazrath Badsha Peer RA and Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA were also renovated on several occasions especially in 1962-63.

In 1950, his eldest uncle and Pir O Murshid, Hazrath Shah Mohamed Ebrahim Soofie RA on his final visit to South Africa, conferred Khilafath (in the Qadiriya, Chistia, Nizamia, Habibia Silsila) on him and appointed him as his Khalifa-e-Azam in Africa, and as the Sajjada Nasheen of the Mazaars of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA and Hazrath Badsha Peer RA. At the time of the conferring of the Khilafath he was already administering the affairs of the Khanqah at Riverside and the Mazaar Shareef of Hazrath Badsha Peer RA since 1947, (after the demise of his father). He was also given the power of attorney to manage the legal affairs of the Soofie Saheb Trust where members of the family were not stationed. Although the mantle of responsibility was officially placed on him, he felt it a great honour and a matter of satisfaction and happiness to be appointed firstly as a Khalifa of such a great personality of the calibre of Hazrath Shah Mohamed Ebrahim Soofie RA, and secondly to be appointed the Sajjada Nasheen of the Mazaars of two great saints, Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA and Hazrath Badsha Peer RA.

The greatest upheavel to befall the Soofie Family to date was when part of the Darbar at Riverside was destroyed by the then White government in 1968 under the Group Areas Act. However, Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani RA was undaunted. He built a mosque, madressa and an orphanage and a residence on Trust land in Kenville which was lying vacant after the madressa building was expropriated by the railways in 1963 for road widening, and was thus able to continue uninterruptedly with the mission of his grandfather that was initiated in 1895.

Tribute must be paid to the prominent part played by all his brothers and sisters in the rehabilitation of the Darbar. They, together with their families and the support of the Soofie Family at large rallied round him and gave him their faithful and undivided devotion and laboured incessantly in the transfer and the re-establishment of the Darbar from Riverside to Kenville. His brothers assisted in the daily affairs and in all the public functions that were held at the Darbar at Riverside, and later at Kenville also. Hazrath Shah Goolam Hoosain Soofie was also in charge of burials, while his wife, Khatija Soofie (daughter of Hajee Wazir Parker of Cape Town), with her command of the English language was of great assistance in the administrative affairs. Hazrath Shah Goolam Hasan Soofie was also entrusted with the feeding and the distribution of food to the public. Hazrath Shah Goolam Ahmed Soofie was engaged in farming at Riverside and was able to supply the Darbar and the locals with fresh vegetables. He was also in charge of the cooking in functions held at both the Darbars. Their wives, Hajrah Soofie (daughter of Imam Abdus Samad Kazi RA) and Ayesha Soofie (daughter of Hazrath Shah Goolam Hafiz Bhaijaan Soofie RA) respectively, were also important major role players in the Soofie household. May Almighty Allah be pleased with all of them.

The disciples, well-wishers, sponsors and the public at large, also deserve the highest commendation for the philanthropic manner in which they gave their unstinting support and assistance in order to re-instate the Darbar to its former glory. May Allah bless all and give them a place in Jannah.

Meanwhile, the functioning of the remains of the Darbar at Riverside continued unabated. Daily Salah, including Juma Salah, observance of auspicious nights, Taraweeh and Eid Salah were conducted. The Sundal Shareef programme of the Urs Shareef, the Wisaal dates of important personalities and Ashura were commemorated as usual. Thus Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani RA was able to resume his work of the Darbar by holding activities at Kenville and at Riverside, one supplementing the other.

As a result of the re-organisation of the Darbar he was able to make only one trip out of the country - to perform Haj in 1973. At the same time he visited Baghdad. In India he visited the main Sufi Centres especially in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bombay and Ajmer Shareef, where he visited the Mazaar Shareefs of Hazrath Khwaja Garib Nawaz RA and his spiritual master, Hazrath Shah Mohamed Ebrahim Soofie RA. He went to Ibrahim Pattan in Ratnagir district from where his forefathers had come originally. He also visited Lucknow to make ziarat of the grave of his eldest son, Moulana Shah Mohamed Farouk Soofie RA, who passed away in 1961 while a student at the Darul Ulooma here.

He passed away suddenly on Friday, 13 January 1978 (3 Safar 1398). He lies buried in the cemetery behind the Mazaar of his grandfather, Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA. Thus ended the life of one of the greatest benefactors of the community of his era in the Soofie Family. He very religiously upheld the missionary work of his honourable grandfather, a mission which he ably took over from his noble father. He was a man of integrity and strong personality. He did not demand respect, his outstanding character commanded respect. He treated everyone alike. He was always freely available to the people, whether rich or poor. He communicated even with the ordinary laymen for their views on matters pertaining to general issues. He was flexible but he did not compromise on matters of religion. Outwardly he showed much determination, tenacity and harshness, but inwardly he was tender, gentle and compassionate. These attributes held him in good stead in the preservation of the “Soofie Domain”. Through his inspiring leadership, the Soofie Darbar was restored to its former glory, thus paving the way for his successors to continue unabatedly with the sacred mission.

Hazarth Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani RA was in charge of the Darbar from 1947 to 1978, a period which proved most turbulent in the history of the Darbar (including a civil court case that was instituted against him regarding the Mazaar Shareef of Hazrath Badsha Peer RA and in which judgment was given in his favour). That he was able to keep the Chistia light burning so brightly is indeed ample indication of his honesty, sincerity, resoluteness, dedication and foresightedness.

To summarise, the following were the Sajjada Nasheens and Trustees of the Soofie Saheb Darbar, Riverside :

1.     Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA - the Founder, 1895-1911

2.     Hazrath Shah Mohamed Ebrahim Soofie RA (the son of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA), 1911-1954.

3.     Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie RA (son of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA), 1911-1947

4.     Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani RA, also known as Hazrath Bhaimia Soofie (son of Hazrath  Shah Aziz Soofie RA, 1947-1978

 

The present Sajjada Nasheens and Trustees from 1978 are Hazrath Shah Mohamed Saied Soofie and Hazrath Shah Abdul Aziz Soofie (Deputy), who are the sons of Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani RA.

Deed of Succession

All praises are due to Almighty God and may His choicest blessings be bestowed upon the Apostle, Muhammed, upon whom be peace.

I, the insignificant and humble Sufi Shah Muhammed Ibrahim Habibi, son of Hazrath Sufi Shah Ghulam Muhammed Sahib Habibi, came to India due to my old age and continual illness, after nominating my nephew, Sufi Shah Ghulaam Muhammed Habibi, son of Sufi Shah Muhammed Abd-al Aziz Habibi, for the position of Khalifa of the brotherhood of the Habibiya in Africa, as well as appointing him Keeper of the tomb (Sajjadah Nashin, Mutawali Dargah) in Africa, with a view enabling him to conduct the functions appropriate to the said spiritual centre (Khanqah) during my absence.

As I now find it impossible to return to Africa owing to my indisposition, I write these lines from Ajmer the Noble, India, on the sixth day of Rajab, 1374 Hijrah in order to assert my confirmation of the above nominated and to appoint my said nephew, so that this may serve the purpose of a testament and that the Centre may continue to function under his leadership, according to the order of the supreme Chishtiya Nizamiya Habibiya in conjunction to function with the order of the supreme Qadiriya Habibiya. I would like to emphasize that the Urs and other religious ceremonies and discourses, together with the attendant functions appropriate to the Centre should be held as hitherto, as was the practice of the founder of the institution and his predecessors.

Further, I wish to convey to my nephew that, in his capacity as Khalifa in Africa, he must take instructions from Hadrat Janab Pir Khwaja Habib Ali Shah Sahib the second of Katalmandi, Hyderabad, Deccan, India, who is the guiding light of Kokan, India, and who is the accomplished disciple of Hazrath Janab Muhammed Habib Ali Shah Sahib. The former being the only luminary of the order, it should be considered essential to serve him and take instruction from him, so that it may give me the utmost joy in both the worlds.

Witnesses:

01 Diwan Sayid Inayat Hussein, Keeper of the tomb Gharib Nawaaz

02 Habib the second, Keeper of the tomb Astana Habibiya, Hyderabad, Deccan

03 Sayid I’ yaz Hussain son of Sayid Niyaz Hashimi Khadim e Khwaja Sahib, Ajmer the Noble

 

04 Hajee Muhammed Maqbul Elahi Shah, Chisti Nizami, Delhi

Signed : Shah Muhammed Ibrahim, Ajmer 6th Rajab 1374 Hijrah (1954).

 

Deed Of Succession

Spiritual Successors: Soofie Mohamed Saeid and Soofie Abdool Aziz were officially appointed by their father as his two successors a few days before his demise. Below is a given translation of the Khilafath (Deed of Succession).

I, the humble servant, Peer Khwaja Habibi Ali Shah Saani, President of the Habibia Silsila (Order) and direct Grandson of Hazrath Khwaja Habibi Ali Shah Saahib Qibla (R.A) of Hyderabad and shrine Superior and Trustee of Tomb and Musjid of the above mentioned Hazrath, situated in District Ahmed Baag, Katalmand, Hyderabad City (India):- On this day dated 12th Rabiul Awwal 1398 A.H. 20th February, 1978 A.C. Monday announce to all Mureeds and devotees and adherents of Silsila Habibia that my Grandfather, Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah (R.A) of Deccan Qutob of Kokan, Chisti, Qaderi, Hafiz, Sulaimani, Noori, Fakhri (R.A)’s River of spiritual bounty has not only been confined to Hyderabad India but reached the border of Peshawar, Teheran, Khorasan, Middle East and Africa.

In Africa the Propagation and Circulation of Silsila Habibia was conducted fully by Hazrath Soofie Shah Goolam Mohamed Siddiqi Habibi (R.A) (Khalifa of my Grandfather (R.A.). Praise be to Allah.

After him his eldest son Hazrath Soofie Shah Mohamed Ibrahim Siddiqi Habibi (R.A.) not withstanding the distance from the Sultanul Hind Gharib Nawaaz Khwaja Moinudeen Ajmeri (R.A) chose to live in Ajmer Sharief, India. As is the case that on Mt. Taragar from far distance his beautiful yellow dome points out his connection with Silsila Habibia. During his stay in Ajmer Sharief, following my advice he presented his nephew Soofie Shah Goolam Mohamed Siddiqi Habibi II (R.A.), the son of the Soofie Shah Abdul Aziz Siddiqi Habibi (R.A.) a properly written Khilafath Nama in which he had appointed his nephew as the shrine superior and trustee of the Tomb of Soofie Shah Goolam Mohamed Siddiqi Habibi (R.A.), situated in Umgeni, South Africa and Tomb of Hazrath Badsha Peer (R.A.) and also instructed him to continue receiving education and guidance from me and regard the service of the Head Quarters Astana Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah (R.A) situated in Hyderabad as his first and foremost duty. This historical Khilafath Nama Hazrath Soofie Shah Mohamed Ibrahim Siddiqi Habibi (R.A) wrote in my presence during the Urs Sharief of Hazrath Khwaja Gharib Nawaaz (R.A) in the Dargah Sharief on the 6th Rajab 1374 A.H. He not only signed the Deed of Succession but also obtained my signature.

Soofie Shah Goolam Mohamed Habibi (R.A) has appointed his eldest son Soofie Shah Mohamed Saeid Habibi as the Tomb Superior during his life through my office and also present the Khilafath to his second son Soofie Shah Abdul Aziz Habibi II. But the Will of Allah was otherwise. He passed away before accomplishing the festival of succession.

It is the order of Allah Taala, certainly Allah orders you to hand over the entrusted to its rightful owners. So now, according to the wishes and ambitions of Soofie Shah Goolam Mohamed Habib II (R.A), acting in my capacity as President of Silsila Habibia hereby appoint his eldest son Soofie Shah Mohamed Saeed Habibi as Sajada Nasheen and Trustee of:-

1. KHANQAH HABIBIA

2. TOMB OF HAZRATH SOOFIE SAHEB (R.A)

3. TOMB OF HAZRATH BADSHA PEER (R.A)

and empower him to obtain Baiat (Pledge) in the Chistia and Qadiria Silsila (Order), organise and propagate the Silsila Beside this I have also blessed his brother Soofie Shah Abdul Aziz II with the Khilafath of Silsila Habibia, Chistia and Qadiria so that both these brothers can continue serving Silsila Habibia, Chistia and Qadiria in the form of accepting Baiat, Propagation Circulation, and Langar till the day of Hashr (Judgement). Ameen.

Let it not remain a secret that I also 20 years ago on the 5th Zilhaj 1375 A.H. 14th July, 1956 (during the Urs Sharief) have appointed my eldest son Peer Hafiz Paasha Habibi as the Sajada Nasheen and trustee of my Grandfather’s Tomb. As a result I emphasize to these 2 Soofie brothers, may Allah safe guard them and after me they should receive guidance from Peer Hafiz Paasha Habibi the Sajada Nasheen and Trustee. I pray that these brothers continue according to the tradition of our ancient elders, Urs gathering, Majaalis and Khatam on specified dates. May the spiritual bounty and propagation of the Silsila continue eternally. It is encumbent for all connected to Silsila Habibia, residing in Africa to adhere closely knit themselves with these two Soofie brothers.

Well Wishers:-

Peer Khwaja Habib Ali Shah Sani, Sajada Nasheen and Trustee Dargah Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah Qibla (R.A). Situated Mohalla Ahmed Baag, Katalmandi, Old Hyderabad City, India.

Witness:-

Peer Hafiz Paasha eldest son and successor of Hazrath Peer Khwaja Habib Ali Shah Sani - Sajada Nasheen.

Tribute to Hazrath Shah Moulana Mohamed Farouk Soofie Habibi Siddiqui RA eldest son of Hazrath Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie Sani RA.

He was born in 1941 in Darbar, Riverside.

He attended the Habibia Soofie Saheb Madressa at Riverside under his Ustaad Osman Mustan. In October 1959 he was sent by his parents for higher Islamic studies in India. On the advice of Hazrath Moulana Aboobaker Khatib RA, who was then the Imam of the Juma Musjid in Grey Street, Durban, he was sent to Lucknow U.P. India where he enrolled at the Darul Uloom. Lucknow is about 80 km from the city of Khairabad where Hazrath Khwaja Hafiz Mohamed Ali Shah RA, the Pir O Murshid of Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah RA lies buried.

After a stay of eighteen months in Lucknow and studying under the leading Ustaads of the time, Hazrath Shah Moulana Mohamed Farouk Soofie RA contacted typhoid fever. After a short stay at the hospital in Lucknow, he passed away on Thursday, 4 May 1961, corresponding to 18 Zil Qa’da 1382.

Also studying at the same Darul Uloom was his cousin, Hazrath Shah Moulana Goolam Qutboodeen Qadi, who immediately informed the family in Durban by telephone. He was buried the same day at the Dali Ganj cemetery in Lucknow in the presence of thousands of students and friends.

The following is the translation of a newpaper report that appeared in Urdu in one of the dailies:-

South African Student’s Death : Nadwatul Ulama in mourning

Lucknow: 4/5/61

A South African student, Mohamed Farouk, a student in the special classes in Darul Uloom, Nadwatul Ulama, died this morning at 8.30 a.m. He suffered an attack of typhoid fever a few days earlier and 2 days later was admitted in hospital where his condition was described as stable until 8.00 this morning.

Mohamed Farouk, 19 years of age, came to Nadwa two years ago and was well-liked by all the companions. On receiving the news of his death, the teachers and students flocked to the hospital and later returned with the body to Nadwa. The institution was closed for the rest of the day.

After telephonic contact was established with the parents, permission was granted for his burial and at 4.00p.m. the same afternoon the deceased was buried at Dali Ganj cemtery. The entire student population, teaching staff and people of the city attended the funeral.

Letter dated 8/6/61 received from Darul Uloom, Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, U.P., India.

Respected and honoured Brothers-in-Islam.

Assalamo Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakahtu!

Your letter vividly expressing your loss and grief was received. I am at a loss to express in words how your letter rekindled the memory of a past incident. Whenever we remember the death of the late beloved al-Marhoom, our hearts are filled with grief and sorrow which I am at a loss to express in words. Indeed for us it was as if we have lost our own son or close relative. His strength of character and lovable nature was the reason why every student in this Darul Uloom was grief-stricken and sobbing tears. In fact I will not be exaggerating when I say that the doors and walls of this institution were also in mourning and grief-stricken. For three to four days the entire institution was embraced in a cloud of sorrow and sadness and everything was silent. 

However, we have to accept the decision of Allah even if we did try to do the best of our ability to give him the best medication and treatment. Qualified physicians and hakims were employed to see to his medication and everything was done according to their advice. Nevertheless who can stop the decision of Allah? I beseech you to again accept our condolences and sympathy to the parents and the deceased.

According to the authentic Hadith of our Prophet SAW his death is equivalent to a shaheed (Martyr), because he passed away while in the Path of Allah. Indeed this is our hope and duaa that Almighty Allah, the Merciful, crown the deceased with martyrdom.

During the illness of the deceased, his cousin, Moulvi Qutbooddin was continuously running around for him. He had kept us informed that you were aware of the health and condition of the deceased and it is for this reason that we never contacted you directly from the offices of this institution.

We are happy indeed to hear that Moulvi Qutbooddin has arrived safely. We remember vividly the sadness this young man felt at the death of the deceased. In fact we feared for his welfare and condition. Such loss and sadness have seldom been seen even at the loss of real brothers.

You will be able to get all the valid information regarding his medical expenses, kaffan and burial from Moulvi Qutbooddin. All his belongings have been entrusted into his custody.

Greetings

Your associate in sadness and loss

Abul Irfaan Nadvi

Deputy Principal: Darul Uloom.