Mufti Siraj Desai

In this series, we look briefly at the life and achievements of the Ulama and Mashaaikh of PE/Uitenhage. The profiling is in no particular order.
Name: Siraj Desai
Born: 1956 in North End, Port Elizabeth
Mufti attended St Marks school until Grade 7. He did his early Madresa education at Humphries Street Musjid. Early teachers included late Hafiz Abdul Muttalib Patel and Mr Syria who put Mufti into Qur’aan. Moulana Moosa Moosagie started Mufti on Hifz and he completed 8 paras. In 1971 at 13, Mufti left for India where he completed his Hifz in 6 months in Jalalabad under Moulana Irshaad Ali. Mufti returned to SA that year. In 1972 he went to Ladysmith where he did Hifz revision by Moulana Kathrada. He performed his first Taraweeh at Ladysmith’s Central Musjid.
1973-76 Mufti taught Maktab in Musjidul Fuqara and started Aalim books under Moulana AS Desai. 1977 Mufti went to India and completed 4th-6th year Aalim course and 2 years Iftaa. Among his teachers was Moulana Maseehullah rahimahullah. Back in SA, Mufti took on the Maktab at Musjidul Fuqara and Imamat. The Maktab got land in 1998. A Musjid as well as Darul Uloom, the first in the Cape, were built. Over 50 Hufaaz have qualified and others have gone on to complete the Aalim course in other Darul Ulooms. Mufti serves as Imam at Musjid Abubakr at the Darul Uloom, is a member of the National Board of Muftis, and SANHA’s board of Muftis. The Darul Uloom is the nerve centre of many projects initiated by Mufti: arranging Jumas and Taraweeh for the Eastern Cape, running Maktabs, EC Muslim Prison Board, publications and more. Mufti has authored several books on Islam. He answers questions via email, phone, fax and an SMS service, the first in SA. He also runs Q&A sessions on Muslim radio stations.