The Passing of Maulana Umerji Ahmad Saheb (1942—2014)
This Sunday I woke up to a flurry of activity on Whats App. Upon checking the messages it was filled with the saddening news of Maulana Umerji. I did not realize the impact Maulana Umerjee sahib’s demise would have on me. Although, I was not in any regular correspondence with him since leaving Darul Uloom Bury, the news of his demise made me weep and compelled me to write these words. It dawned on me that this is the first of my long time teachers who have departed the dunya for the next world. I am finding that it is not easy to deal with this loss. Many thoughts and feelings betake the mind. Maulana Umerji (and the rest of our Darul Uloom teachers) have probably been the most influential factors for us Darul Uloom students during the most formative years of our life. As we were away from home they replaced our parents at the Madrasa. Being from London we would only go back home about four times a year and remain in the Madrasa for the remainder of it. Therefore, it is difficult to deny the impact they have had on us and how they have shaped us in dealing with this life. I believe with all my heart they will have a share in every bit of good we do outside and any service we provide to the community.
Maulana Umerji will particularly stand out for many of us because of his wisdom, practical advices and constant tarbiya in the classroom. He was strict but principled, and filled with compassion for the students who he treated as his own. He would became irate at students if they did not use their time wisely. Nothing would bother him more. You could sense a genuine concern from his heart when he spoke to his student and provided his counsel. Hence his words made an impact and resonated with us all. He would from time to time digress from the lesson of Usul al-Shashi, Mu’in al-Mantiq, al-Fara’id, the Hidaya or whatever else he was teaching and impart his beautiful advices. His heart was filled with love for the divine. His counsels would generally be in the form of an anecdotal story, or some of his social experiences. Students would really look forward to these welcomed departures from the lesson of the day, because they provided the students practical perspective on how life was beyond the Madrasa boundaries.
Maulana Umerjee had been in charge of the Madrasa text books library from the beginning under the stairs at the end of the lower passage beneath the teachers entrance to the building. He spent much of his non-teaching time their keeping abreast of current affairs among the books on the four walls surrounding him. Such was his attachments to books that he passed away while asleep in the library of Darul Uloom Blackburn surrounded by the books he so loved and among which he had spent his life. This on the auspicious occasion of the program of the completion of Sahih al-Bukhari among the students of the Madrasa and among many of the great scholars of the UK along with the Hadith Master Shaykh Yunus Jaunpuri of Mazahir Uloom Saharanpur, India. He was 72 years old.
It has been related by some students of the current graduating class of 1435/2014 of Darul Uloom Bury that after completing the last lesson of Imam Tirmidhi’s Al-Shama’l al-Muhammadiyya last week, he mentioned how our Hazrat Maulana Yusuf Motala Saheb had encouraged him to teach one of the larger collections of Hadiths for many years. His words were “I have been teaching Shamail for a long time and Hazrat has been telling me to teach other books of Hadith but what is my status that I can teach Noble Hadith.” He then burst into tears and started the final du’a.
Maulana Umerjee Saheb will be remembered dearly by all his students worldwide. He will remain a fond memory for his kindness, generosity and his loving and merciful heart. May Allah grant him the highest levels of Jannat al-Firdaws, in the company of the Most Noble Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) whose din he so lovingly served in his life. May Allah grant his family and all of his students beautiful patience at this loss and may he magnify their reward.
Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera
10 Sha’ban 1435 | 8 June 2014