The passing of well-known Mayfair, Johannesburg personality and scholar, Abdullah Deedat – the brother of South African Dawah icon Sheikh Ahmed Deedat – has left a void in the South African Muslim community.
A large crowd attended his Janaaza at the West Park Qabrastaan yesterday afternoon.
In the early days, he played a significant role in the revival of Islam in South Africa. Up to the very end, Deedat (82) was a regular personality on Islamic radio stations and ITV, expounding the works of Allama Iqbal, the great scholar, writer and the chief motivator of the founding of Pakistan.
Like his elder brother Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, Abdullah Deedat, shared a burning desire for the Noble Quran and recently appealed to all Muslims to read the Noble Quran with meaning and understanding. He also called for Muslim unity.
Deedat was fluent in Arabic, Urdu, Persian and a gifted linguist in general.
Durban personality, Ebrahim Jadwat who spent much time in his company, told Al Qalam: “Abdullah Deedat was a stalwart in the earlier period of the revival of Islam in South Africa.”
He was sponsored by the Arabic Study Circle with three other colleagues to study at the famous Al Azhar University in Cairo.
“Upon their return, they established the Islamic Academy and I was one of the first students of this academy at the Anjuman School in Leopold Street. Thus began our introduction to the Quran. They embarked on translation projects including the teachings of the Hadith, Islamic History and the Arabic language. This was our journey to the remarkable introduction to an in-depth study of the deen.
“In the early days, Abdullah and his colleague, the late Ismail Manjra, Yusuf Jacobs, the late Ebrahim Mahida, formed the Al Mujadid group, which at times, challenged Ulama.
Jadwat said that as far as he can remember, Deedat had a life-long love for the works of Allama Iqbal, also having being part of the Iqbal Study Group in Durban. Until recently, he held a weekly ITV programme on Allama Iqbal.
Jadwat said to the very end, Deedat was passionate about awakening the Muslims to the deen of Islam, particularly the youth. “For those of us who associated with Murhoom Abdullah Deedat, his demise is a great loss to all those who love Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW),” he added.
“Abdullah was passionate about the revival of Islam and dedicated himself to the very end to the cause. May Allah grant him the best in the Akhira,” he added.