End of an Era: Moulana Cassim Sema

The passing away of Moulana Cassim Mohammed Sema, founder and principle of Darul Uloom Newcastle, signals the closing of a glorious chapter.
We cannot go into all the details on his achievements, but here is a glimpse:

Born 12 May 1920 in Newcastle. Completed standard six and began Hifzul Qur’aan. Went to Jamiah Islamiyah in Dhabel, India in 1935 and completed Hifz and Aalim course. Due to the ship transporting him being torpedoed by the Japanese, Moulana spent a year in academic work in Simlak, India. He returned to SA in 1944.
In India he learnt under and met senior Ulama like Moulana Yusuf Binnouri, Moulana Ilyaas (founder of Tableegh) and Sheikhul Hadith Moulana Zakariya rahimahumullah.

Went in first Tableegh Jamaat in SA;
Went in first SA Jamaat to go for 4 months to India;
Organised first Da’wah Ijtima in SA;
Began propagation in Black townships in 1949;
Helped organise first Tableegh Jamaat Ijtima in SA in Ladysmith;
Devised first structured syllabus for afternoon Madresas in SA. Adopted in 1967;
Did Da’wah work in black townships despite Apartheid restrictions. Arrested for this;
Helped build Masjids and Madresas in Black areas;
Set up SA’s first Darul Uloom in 1973 - possibly the first in the world that taught through the medium of English;284 Huffaaz and 373 Ulama qualified 1975-2005;
Helped with first translation of Qur’aan into Zulu.

Moulana passed away 9 June 2007. About 4,000 people attended his funeral, one of the biggest in SA. Moulana married in 1945 and got four sons and a daughter from this marriage. His wife passed away in 1998 and he married in 1999, getting one daughter.
Moulana Sema’s humbleness was his key feature: he ate at the homes of the poorest of his students, lived in a humble home and made the poor feel welcome. We can only conclude that Moulana Sema was the person chosen to revitalise Islam in SA in the past century. His passing has left many orphans, children he had groomed in Islam. May Allah reward him.