A message on behalf of Trustees, Director and Staff of IPCI
Early this morning, 8 August 2005 / 2 Rajab 1426, Sheikh Ahmed Hoosen Deedat passed on to meet his Creator. This was after succumbing to a severe stroke that left him paralysed for more than nine years.Throughout this period, he gracefully persevered under the most difficult personal conditions; however, not forgetting his task as a daee (Islamic worker) and an ambassador of Islam, he continued to inspire, educate, challenge and inform people about the universal message of Islam.It is on this solemn occasion of his demise that we salute the courageous spirit and phenomenal work of this world- renowned personality, a hero of the Muslim World, nay, a true hero of believers all around the globe!
Brief Biography of Sheikh Deedat Sheikh Ahmed Hoosen Deedat was Born on the 01 July 1918 in the Surat district of India in 1918. His father emigrated to South Africa in 1927 with him. Ahmed Deedat was a very bright student and excelled in school. Lack of finance interrupted his schooling and at an early age of 16 he took on the first of many jobs in retailing and short assistant.
After reading a book called Izharul Haq – The Truth revealed, a book about a debate with Christian Missionaries in the then British India, Sheikh Deedat was spurred on in the direction of Dawah – Islamic Missionary Activity to halt the tide of the then Christian onslaught against Islam.
Over the next four decades, he immersed himself into a host of activities. Conducting Bible classes, lectures and debates the world over. He established the first Islamic Seminary in Southern Africa to train propagators at Assalaam educational Institute - Braemar.
He is the founder of the largest Islamic Dawah Organization in the world, the Islamic Propagation Center International and became its president.
He has published more than 20 books and distributed millions of copies of FREE literature and pamphlets the world over. Many of Sheikh Deedat's publications have been translated into the many different languages of the world : Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Bengali, Bangladeshi, French, Amharic, Chinese, Japanese, Mayalam, Indonesian,, Zulu , Afrikaans, Dutch, Norwegian amongst others.
He delivered thousands of lectures all over the world, crossing all the continents and successfully engaging some of the biggest names in Christian evangelists in public debates. Sheikh Deedat's debates and lectures are available all over the world in the various languages in Video and DVD format.
His career in the field of Comparative Religion took him across all five continents and dialogue with the heads of the Protestant world in America and the late Pope John Paul.
So fearless was his stand in defending the truth that Sheikh Deedat was refused entry into France and Nigeria on the pretext that ‘ he would cause a civil unrest'.
Sheikh Deedat also received a personal phone call at the IPCI from former President Nelson Mandela who was in Saudi Arabia at the time, congratulating Deedat for his international icon status in the Muslim World.
He was awarded the prestigious King Faisal Award in 1986 for his sterling services to Islam in the field of Propagation.
May Almighty Allah bless his soul, accept his efforts for the cause of da'wah and grant gracious patience to his loved ones during this trying time.
His funeral will leave his house 49 Trevenen Road, Lotusville Verulam at 5 pm. Proceeding to the Wick Street Musjid and after Magrib Salah / Prayer , he will be laid to rest in the Verulam Muslim Cemetery. ------------------------
DURBAN, South Africa, August 9, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) – Hundreds of people, from across South Africa, have participated in the funeral of Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, who breathed his last in the early hours of Monday after a stroke that kept him bedridden for almost a decade.
They came from near and far to pay their last respects to the man who had made them proud, a man who at a time when the Asian community had everything going against it, raised the morale of Muslims, a man whose voice of courage and truth served as a beacon of light amidst the shadow of oppression, injustice and prejudice, says IOL Correspondent.
The body of the late Sheikh Ahmed Deedat left his home in Verulam, South Africa at about 5 p.m. Monday, in a coffin, covered in a green cloth.
A sombre atmosphere prevailed at the Deedat household, as the coffin was passed from man to man, until it reached the hearse which carried it to the Main Street Mosque, where the funeral prayer was performed by about a thousand men, led by well-known Zambian Muslim Scholar Mufti Ismail Menk.
Earlier, Sheikh Deedat's body was laid in the living room of his house, his 84-year-old wife, clad in a white burqa and jilbab, sitting at his side, embracing the many women who came to express their condolences, assuring them that her husband had experienced a quick, beautiful and painless death.
Those in attendance expressed the sheer sense of loss they felt at the passing of a man whose name had elevated the status of the South African Muslim community in various parts of the Islamic world.
"He was an icon," said Suleiman Vahed, who had shared a working relationship with Sheikh Deedat. "I can't think of anyone who can replace him."
Rehana Badat, a former neighbor and regular visitor to the Deedat household, said that his death, though expected, was extremely difficult to come to terms with.
She described him as having exemplary character, and paid tribute to his humility. "He was a very well-known man, and he could have driven a fancy car or lived in a fancy house if he so wished. But he retained his humility and simplicity throughout his life."
She added that Muslims of his caliber were especially needed in present times when the Ummah (nation) faces many trials and tribulations.
Many paid tribute to Sheikh Deedat's wife, speaking of her patience and strength. "She was Pappa's strength," said daughter-in-law Yasmin Deedat.
"She is a really positive person, and remained positive throughout his illness, never complaining about his condition."
Yasmin said that the phone had been consistently ringing, with people from all over the world calling to confirm Sheikh Deedat's death and express their condolences.
She tearfully related the story of Muhammad, a young Deedat fan from Saudi Arabia, who is presently in South Africa, studying English.
"He would spend day after day with Pappa, and had even visited him last night. When we told him that he had passed away, he refused to believe us, and came in today, heading straight for his room, wanting to spend time with him."
Muhammad entered Sheikh Deedat's room to find that he wasn't there, but was instead laid, shrouded in his funeral cloth, on the living room floor.
"He just broke down and was hysterical, and has been quiet ever since."
Sheikh Deedat was buried at the Verulam Muslim Cemetery after the Maghrib Prayers Monday.
The legacy he left behind wasn't solely for his family, but was for the entire Muslim Ummah, said Yasmin.
On May 3, 1996, Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, born in 1918, suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed from the neck down, and also meant that he could no longer speak or swallow.
He was flown to a hospital in Riyadh, where he was taught to communicate through a series of eye-movements.
He spent the last nine years of his life in a bed in his home in Verulam, South Africa, encouraging people to engage in da`wah.
He continued to receive hundreds of letters of support from around the world.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT: To make the message of Islam heard and understood in our time, and to make the Muslims a blessings unto mankind.
Does an organisation with the calibre, charisma, and charm of its founder, Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, have a life span of its own; or one that will outlive its founder? This is a question often posed to us? In many respects Sheikh Ahmed Deedat was the personification of the Islamic Propagation Centre International, and he did not have a mentoring style to groom a successor.
Our answer is simple, not simplistic, that Islam continues after the death of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and likewise the IPCI has a life span of its own that will last many lifetimes longer than its magnetic leader, Insha'Allah. Personalities, no matter how magnificent, will come and go, but it is the organisation that will remain, Insha'Allah.
Sheikh Deedat has put in place an organisational infrastructure from which the present leadership of the IPCI, the trustees and management will build a first class organisation to meet he challenges of the 21st century, Insha'Allah. The IPCI without its venerable founder, Sheikh Deedat, will not focus to mould a single person to succeed him, but has put in place training programmes and are creating conditions within the organisation from which new generations of Deedats and leaders will emerge.
The IPCI, in the last four years since Sheikh Deedat fell ill, has been grappling to rebuild an organisation that was essentially moulded around the charisma of an internationally renowed person. The transition from an organisation governed by a strong willed charismatic personality to one run by a dedicated, passionate, committed, and competent team of people has been painful, stressful, and daunting, but achievable, Alhamdulillah.
Of course, a great deal of emphasis is being focussed on the IPCI's transformation. This entails putting into place a team of people building an IPCI that is driven by a collective and collaborative management.
The Deedat legacy is living on way beyond the expectation of the IPCI and its founder. So many people throughout the world have benefited from his speeches, debates, and literature through which he made his impact. His work has spawned so many more Deedats who are now even better equipped than their mentor to further the mission of delivering Islam to the rest of humanity. Sheikh Deedat himself said there would emerge after him those who will not only be equal but better than him in the pursuit to propagate Islam.
The IPCI is well placed and positioned to build an organisation that will attract the best talent in the world, train them and put them into the service of delivering Allah's Last Testament to humanity.
Sheikh Ahmed Deedat had the foresight to transform the IPCI, which was a local organisation, into an international and world-class player with a global outlook and outreach. The IPCI will continue to live up to this global responsibility to make Islam understood in our time and to reach out as far as possible to every human being with its message.
There are encouraging signs that the IPCI which Sheikh Deedat so painstakingly built for close to half a century will outlive its founder and continue his legacy to which he dedicated his entire life, Insha'Allah. This will be to him his most monumental accomplishment and fulfilment of his wish and dream that Islam should prevail over all other ways and paths.
MIM: The IPCI has made a point of targetting Zulu's in their conversion drive and one convert urged the Zulu king to lead his 'nation to Islam'.
ZULU KING GRACES ISLAMIC FUNCTION
A milestone was achieved for the Muslims of South Africa when King Goodwill Zwelithini opened the skills training centre at As Salaam Education Institute at Braemar on the 25th October 2002 and was the guest of honor at the book launch of "Ubhaqa" by IPCI trustee attorney Dawood Ngwane.
During the authors speech at the book launch brother Dawood Ngwane explained his reasons for his transition from catholism to Islam. He also explained to the monarch and the audience why Islam is better suited than other faiths to overcome the problems of the Zulu Nation and the people of south Africa, in particular the problem of aids, crime and alcoholism.
The author urged the monarch to lead his nation to Islam and let the book be the guiding light for the Zulu Nation. This is a a historical occasion for Muslims and Zulus of the province