سلام What is your opinion on Moulana A.S Desai and Themajlis? Jazakallah
Wa alaykum salaam
Mufti A.S Desai has a very unique method of approaching things and he himself acknowledges this fact. Without doubt he is harsh in his tone, language and mannerisms which is obvious from his writings and many do oppose his style of addressing issues. Having understood that, we should know that Mufti A.S Desai is from among the senior scholars of today and if I am correct he is somewhere in his late 70’s in age and for that alone he is deserving of our respect.
Despite disagreements people may have with him on his stances as well as how he goes about them, he is a very knowledgeable man who is respected by all and his peers who too are high ranking scholars attest to that. He is among the senior students of the late Hazrat Maseehullah Khan (Rahimhaullah) and he said of his student that he is “mufti yon ka mufti” meaning “he is the mufti of mufti’s” and that he is “my sword in South Africa” for his abilities to uphold Islam and defend it from falsehood. Anybody who has met him has affirmed and contested to scrupulous character, his high level of taqwa (God consciousness), humility and wara’ (abstinence). I personally know people who have met him and have told me first hand that the man in person is much different to the man that writes and perhaps it is his great love for Allah and his hatred for falsehood that causes him to write in such a manner.
I was told that he was due to study in a top law school in America but insisted to his parents that he wished to study the deen. When they refused he was so upset that he laid out his clothes on the beach having people think that he had drowned in the sea whilst he departed alone to Jalalabad in India to study, such was his zeal for knowledge. We shouldn’t take anything away from this great man due to some disagreements we may have with him, he himself states that we are more than obliged to leave what we don’t like from him whilst taking what benefits and that is perhaps the best stance. Let me finish with what Ismail Ibrahim has to say about him, a sorry victim of some of Mufti A.S Desai’s debilitating fatwas and articles, he is considered his adversary but he still opened up an online thread to say the following about him;
“I want to highlight his Walaa and Baraa, the sacrifices he’s gone through in life, and his love for the Deen of Allah. He is better than me and most people out there no doubt, and he is most certainly a billion times better than all those Salafis.
And of course, besides the insults, his legendary usage of the English language.
Before anybody starts neg-repping me, may I remind you the Mufti AS Desai is the one is in the middle of refuting me as we speak. Politely disagree with the premise of this thread, if you may.”
You can read more about him and what people have said regarding his piety and knowledge here;