I wrote the following article a few days ago and did not mention the Aalim’s name. Then the sad news came of Moulana Yunus Patel rahimahullah’s demise in Makkah Mukarramah in the Haram and feel I should now reveal that the Aalim in the article is Moulana Yunus Patel rahimahullah. It is a small indication of his great character, and I hope this post can serve as a small tribute to a man who played an enormous role in my and hundreds of other people’s lives:
I recently discovered some interesting anecdotes on the lifestyle of one of South Africa’s senior Ulama. Knowing that he might not want his name mentioned, yet feeling that there are valuable lessons for us in them, I recount some episodes:
Maids. This Aalim had the distinction of having all his maids over the years convert to Islam after having seen his lifestyle. The maximum period needed was 3 months.
On one occasion, his landlord’s maid needed to go to hospital in the middle of the night to give birth. This Aalim, with his wife, took the lady to hospital and waited with her until she was released, as the landlord had refused. Another maid accepted Islam and wished to take up Islamic studies. This Aalim sponsored her studies and set her up with household basics when she got married.
Mother. This Alim’s mother recounted that once, when she was old, and her son was also advanced in age, he came to her house and saw her working. He made her rest while he cleaned the place and tidied everything up. His high status did not stop him from caring for his mother.
Ulama. This Aalim being does not feel it below his dignity to visit junior Ulama.
We need to seek out these senior Ulama who are gems among us and benefit from their company and teachings just as the Sahaaba benefited from the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. These are Ulama who epitomise the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and are described in the Hadith as the heirs and inheritors of the Prophets alaihimus salaam.
The more I got to know Moulana Yunus Patel rahimahullah, the more I became captivated by his great character and adherence to the Sunnah. The last time I met him will be engraved in my mind: on his last trip to Port Elizabeth I met him after a talk he delivered in Musjid Mansoor. How little did I realise it would be the last time I would see him.
We take consolation from the fact that he was granted a blessed death in Makkah Mukarramah and buried in Jannatul Mala.
The adoration of his followers is a reminder of how the Sahaba adored the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. The sadness and shock at the news of his passing makes one think of how the demise of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam affected those who loved him, the Sahaba.
A special thanks to Radio Islam and Channel Islam for allowing us to share the last days of Moulana Yunus Patel rahimahullah while he was in the Holy Land. I shall treasure the memory of his voice.
We make dua with a sore heart that Allah Ta’ala unite us with Moulana Yunus Patel rahimahullah in Paradise and we can enjoy his blessed company once again. The Muslims of South Africa salute a man who gave his life to preserving and promoting Islam in this country.