Fatwa: # 45957
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: African Country
Date: 28th September 2020

Title

Maulana Sadiq Desai of South Africa - The Majlis - Is he a reliable Aalim?

Question

As salaamu alaikum.

I have a question regarding Maulana Sadiq Desai Sb of South Africa, who runs a tabloid known as Majlis. I have found out about him that he is an aalim who graduated from Gujarat, India. He is also a khaleefah of Maulana Maseehullah Khan (rahimahullaah). I respect him as an aalim. The first question that I have is whether he is a Mufti. If he is, under whom did he qualify as a Mufti?

Also, some things he says in the Majlis tabloid has created a lot of confusions in me:

 1. He had accused Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) of having anthropomorphic beliefs and has labelled him a kaafir.

 2. He had criticized Mufti Taqi Usmani Sb on several issues. Recently, he has severely criticized Mufti Taqi Sb for issuing a fatwa in which he asked the Muslims of Pakistan to offer namaz in their homes during a phase of national lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He has even gone to the extent of labelling Mufti Taqi Sb as a munaafiq!

 3. He has also severely criticized several prominent contemporary ulamaa like Mufti Adam Al Kawthari of Leicester, England. I have also observed (my observation might be wrong) that he is quite hasty to make takfeer of renowned ulamaa.

4. The language of his fatawaa seems to be harsh.

5. He had also criticized great ulamaa like Mufti Husain Ahmad Madani (rahimahullaah) and Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahimahullaah) for getting involved in politics during the partition of India.

 Given the lofty credentials of Maulana Ahmad Sadiq Sb, if I assume him to be correct, then I'll be bound to regard most of those those renowned ulamaa as murtaddeen (nauzu billah). On the other hand if I believe those renowned ulamaa like Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah, Mufti Taqi Sb, and other ulamaa as ulamaa e haqq, then it automatically points out that Maulana Sadiq Sb is committing a very serious error by criticizing them so harshly

This is what I'm getting confused about. I am a layman and I need to follow ulamaa. I need to acquire my deeni knowledge from them. But if a renowned aalim makes takfeer of another renowned aalim, then whom should I trust and believe? Please guide me in this matter. I am extremely confused. Even some entire nights have passed thinking about this issue till fajr without even being able to sleep. Kindly provide me an easy guidance on the issue and assist me to get rid of this confusion.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Brother in Islam,

According to our limited knowledge of Moulana A.S. Desai Saheb, he studied at Madressa Miftahul Uloom in Jalalabad, U.P. India. We are not aware of him having graduated from Gujarat India.

We are also not aware if he studied Iftaa. You may refer to him directly.

We are opposed to being hasty in Takfeer and using undue harsh and vulgar language.  This is contrary to the teachings of Islam and against the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). We have also expressed our opinion to Moulana A.S. Desai Saheb on this, in a private correspondence with him.

You may also refer to our article on Takfeer here: http://askimam.org/public/question_detail/38210

We advocate tolerating different views based on academic differences and interpretations.

Our advice is that you maintain your ties with the Ulama you have been affiliated with over the years. You should respectfully overlook Moulana A.S. Desai Sahebs anomalous attitude and avoid reading his publications to avoid confusion.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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