Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Shaykh Seraj Hendricks r.a passed away - Obituary by Shaykh Muhammad Bin Yahya Ninowy

Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, Johannesburg Lectures, June 2013
Inna Lillah wa Inna Ilayhi Raji'oon.
To Allah Ta'ala we all belong, and to Allah Ta'ala we all return.
Our world needs Siraj.
The Shaykh of Azzawiya in Cape Town, the first Dean of Madina Institute, the Hakim of the Cape, a true brother in arms with me for the last decade united on means and objectives for reform, a reviver of our traditional learning in many ways, a scholar with a genuine concern for the Ummah especially and humanity as a whole, a companion in the vision and mission against all kinds of extremes and abuses with a Muhammadan direction, a teacher, an absolute down to earth human being, a friend, and much more Sayyidi Shaykh Siraj Hindricks has passed on after a downturn in his treatment of covid-19.
Siraj means a lantern, a light, means illumination, gives warmth, comfort, and peace. My loving brother Shaykh Siraj combined all these meanings and more. ِAn anchor of balance, of decency, of faithfulness, of knowledge, and of hope. Shaykh Siraj was the Siraj, not just of the Cape, but in the world. My beloved brother Siraj's persona was founded on facts rather than fiction, substance rather than suspicion, love rather than hate, construction rather than destruction, Adami (in his means and objectives: brings life) rather than Iblisi (in both or either: bringing fire and divisiveness), Muhammadi rather than Abu Lahabi, hopefulness rather than hopelessness, ...Shaykh Siraj (light) always saw the light, after all light emanates from the lantern (Siraj). The name and the named are in synchrony here. My beloved brother Shaykh Siraj took the function of the lantern in our difficult times and not just the name.
Ibn Ata' is attributed to have said: "The whole world is darkness. The only light in it, is where there is Haqq".
With more and more Rabbani scholars and Murabbi's departing, and the increase rise in charlatans, abusers and their enablers, the presence of light (Siraj) is never been more sorely needed and painfully missed. Withstanding all kinds of abuses, marginalization attempts, slander campaigns, and much more did not affect Shaykh Siraj's determination, resolve, direction, or focus a bit. He stood as tall and unwavering as the mountains of Cape Town that he loved so much, and remained as giving as the Cape point, where not just one, but two oceans meet, in love, generosity, depth, beauty and peace.
We use lanterns or lamps when power outages render us in complete darkness, and wherever Siraj (lantern/lamp) is, is where light shines. This was my beloved brother Shaykh Siraj.
Shaykh Siraj was also the light for the campsites of those training to serve others and sacrifice (walkers not talkers, builders not Shaytani destroyers), on boats with people sailing the harsh, endless and dark seas look for hope, and for those lost in the jungle of Akhlaqless-Deen (info/looks kind of Deen with no Akhlaq), Deen for Dunya, and the (spiritually) blind.
But as you all know, oftentimes the Siraj (lantern/lamp) sustains excessive heat due to combustion and burning bad stuff getting rid of it, suffocation at times because of bad smoke, and even blackening soot tarnishing some of its beautiful look preventing light from those who blind to see through.
In some occasions, the Siraj burns itself to give light to those around, in an ultimate offer of self sacrifice.
Welcome to the world of Shaykh Siraj.
Numerous nights and days we spent together in Azzawiya or Madina, talking, sharing, and learning from each other, with a profound concern not just for the Cape Muslim's identity, education, deeply rooted old religious tradition, future direction, and refining how we can help the preservation of the beautiful Cape independence and the Cape Muslim's contribution to the rest rather than losing for imported rigidity and narrow-minded exclusionism, but also what can we do to be part of the reform movement in the Muslim community globally, with a wish for a better world for all. Shaykh Siraj, and this poor slave profoundly adored and deeply respected the hundreds of years traditions, identity, ways, sacrifices, moderate, spiritual and beautiful methodology of the Cape Muslims. After all, it is not called the mother city, or the city of good hope, and surrounded by all the Awliya (Karamat) who sacrificed their lives for His sake to give light to their community, for nothing. I learned a lot from my loving brother Shaykh Siraj, and I learned a lot from the beautiful community of the Cape especially. I am, forever, indebted to them all, for holding on their traditions and history, which is still teaching us many things. Academically, my beloved Shaykh Siraj displayed a tolerance level to academic differences that I have rarely seen, then we would discuss all kinds of issues, and we both knew well, at the end of the day we go back to our solid and firm traditions. We wanted to be part of bring back things that started disappearing, and to call people to the religion of Love they've always known, chanted, sung about, and dreamt about. Al-Barazanji Mawlid Qasida's, the Ratib, and the beautiful voices of the Cape people started to fade, and we wanted to partake in calling them back. Back to basics..back to love, back to hope, back to beauty, and back to work and sacrifice, back to walk, not talk.
"My beloved brother" is not a casual term, Shaykh Siraj and I exchanged. He was a brother in arms (in a non-violent sense). The only difference was that our mothers were not biologically the same. I remember about 7 years ago or so, when I brought to him the idea of Madina institute in Cape Town. He looked at me with his usual wide loving smile, excitement, and overwhelming love, saying: Habib, I've been waiting for this. Let us do it. We agreed that titles between me and him are irrelevant, so he became the first Dean of Madina Institute, SA. He worked, lectured, designed, developed and remained committed to the last minute. Today, Madina Institute in South Africa stands tall on his shoulder and sacrifice. Being an accredited Institution of higher learning and tertiary studies offering Degree Programs in Islamic studies was no easy task, and this -in part- is due to Sayyidi Shaykh Siraj Hindricks. This accomplishment is also yours Habib. I used to call him that too; Habib. For there is no exclusivity in these things, but the Habib to Sayyiduna Rasoolul'Allah, sallallahu Ta'ala alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, is al-Atqa (the most God conscientious), and based on what I know, Shaykh Siraj was, and Allah is the one who knows best.
I will miss his beautiful voice saying: Habib what do you think about this, and what is that Habib, and why would people do that Habib...
I woke up this morning with thinking about him, before knowing that he had passed on, but i felt a sense of comfort coming (warid) from him, so i smiled and came down to look at my phone and see the message. I hope and pray that my brother Shaykh Siraj, who stood for valor, chivalry, brotherhood, knowledge, walking the walk rather than talking the talk, and sacrifice, is accepted in the court of heavens as one of Allah's Awliya who have illuminated the corners of this world with their beautiful life and sacrifices.
May Allah Ta'ala forgive his shortcomings, multiply in many folds his rewards, and assemble us with him around our Beloved, sallallahu Ta'ala alayhi wa aalihi wa Sallam, inseparably.
To the family, Azzawiya, and Madina, we have al lost a leader, a teacher, and a shoulder. May Allah Ta'ala help us with whatever remains for us in this world to do good, avoid pitfalls and errors, and we all shall be there soon.
Habib Shaykh Siraj, rest in peace insha'Allah my beloved. This is Him whom you loved, worked for, and awaited all your life. He will treat you in a way suitable to His Generosity and Love insha'Allah. May you, my beloved brother and companion, be in the company of our Master, sallallahu Ta'ala alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, his family and companions, and all the Awliya of Allah.
This troubled world of ours will miss its Siraj...
Our Madina graduations in Cape Town will never be the same without Sidi Shaykh Siraj..
Drinking tea and having a peaceful, spiritual, intellectually stimulating time, will not be the same without Shaykh Siraj.
When we were together in this deceptive dimension, when he talked I smiled, and i talked he smiled.. May Allah Ta'ala grant him a long and lasting smile always in Jannah.
May Allah Ta'ala grant him the highest level in Jannah, and the best of company...
To my other beloved brother, Sayyidi al-Habib Shaykh Ahmad b. Hasan Hindricks; the Shaykh of the Azzawiya and the learned torch-bearing scholar who devoted his whole life for the preservation of the traditions, and to my children Alia and Rashid and the whole family; we all love you..we are praying for you, and we are with you. May Allah Ta'ala bless, protect, and preserve you, and use you as an instrument to bring more love and knowledge around Cape Town and the world.
Inna lillah wa inna Ilayhi Rajioon.
The family has requested we continue with the scheduled dhikr gathering tonight at 8.15pm on Azzawia's Facebook Live , which we will do, and we will ask and beseech Allah


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