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Mourning Maulana Yusuf Motala

Those who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return” (2:156)

Maulana Yusuf Motala (1946-2019), may Allah have mercy on his soul, passed away last night in Toronto, Canada. A giant of Islam in Britain, his contribution to the spiritual and educational life of Muslims in this country, for over 40 years, cannot be overstated.

He was born in Gujarat, India, and after completing his Islamic education at the hands of the great scholar of hadith, Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya al Kandhalwi, he founded the first Islamic seminary in the UK, the Dar al Uloom in Bury in 1973, a feat for which he is best known. He went on to found another nine Islamic education institutions in the north of England, with many thousands of students having passed through those classrooms subsequently.

Maulana Motala was not only known for his erudition and knowledge, but also his deep concern and work for the Muslim community in Britain. A spiritual father to many thousands, his wisdom and presence will be sorely missed in communities throughout the world. Maulana Motala was a keen supporter of the Muslim Council of Britain in its early formation, and served as one of the first Board of Counsellors, as well as in more recent years, when he was always quick to give a warm word of encouragement for any endeavour working toward the common good. He not only supported the MCB throughout but strongly encouraged us to establish this broad based platform for the Muslim community.

We pray that Allah elevates his station and rewards him abundantly for all the good he spread and knowledge he disseminated. To Allah we belong and to Him we return.