Tuesday, 24 October 2017
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A short biography on Sheikh Dawood

Daudi Major Ebrahim , better known as Sheikh Dawood, by community members and his madrassah students, was born in the Dedza district in Central Malawi.
Daudi is the son of Maajar Edries Ebrahim and the firstborn of his second wife.
His second name was anglicized by British colonial rulers when Malawi was under Queen Elizabeth’s rule (before 1964). During this time in Malawi’s history, the country was named Nyasaland which means “lake land”, given that at least a third of the country’s area is Lake Malawi.
Malawi is a small landlocked country, amongst the smallest in Africa, with nearly seventeen million people.and up until the 1970s nearly 80% of the population was Muslim. The number decreased due to Christian missionary school students being converted to Christianty. The name “Malawi” comes from Maravi and means - The Warm Heart of Africa.

As mentioned previously Daudi was the son of Maajar Edries Ebrahim, who was of the Yao tribe. There are 12 tribes or ethnic groups in Malawi, Yao being the second-most common. With such diversity Malawi is home to nearly 20 languages.
Daudi, a brother to 26 siblings, was raised by his family in the Chilinjiro village in the Kasumbu Traditional Authority in the Dedza District.

Young Daudi was introduced to school life , similar to other children,. but unlike most children, Daudi attended school in Marchese, a distant town from his village. Without the luxury of a car, the only means of transport was to walk, a 15km walk to be precise. Attending primary school is not a compulsory act, but the Malawi constitution entitles all to receive at least five years of primary education. Malawian education comprises of eight primary, four secondary and four tertiary school years.
After school, Daudi would bathe in the river and then attend Madrassah, run and sponsored by Mia’s farm (Darul-uloom in Johannesburg).
At age ten, Daudi started attending a boarding school in the Saleema District. The school was sponsored and run by Saudis and it is here where Daudi engaged in hifz classes and completed standard six ( grade 8).

 

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At age 14 he attended yet a different boarding school in Chikwana, a town near Malawi’s southern and second largest city - Blantyre. This school was also run and sponsored by Saudis, thus Daudi attended many Islam-orientated classes.

 

At the end of standard 8 (grade 10), he took an entrance exam on Quraan and Fiqh for a high school at Markaz Abu Bakr As-Siddique - a Blantyre Islamic Mission. It is here where he completed forms 1 to 4 (one form is the equivalent of one school year).

 

At the end of his high school career, delegates from the Islamic States selected students to study at various universities in those States- in order to pursue a career and specialise in Islamic Studies. Daudi was selected to study at the University of Al-Azhar in Cairo. After many years of hard work, dedication, lots of patience and strength, Daudi completed his Bachelor of Arts in his Da’wah studies and became Sheikh Dawood.

After completing his degree he decided on a change of scenery and hopped on a flight to South Africa, where he stayed for 6 months.

 

He traveled again, to Swaziland, this time not to attend to another school, but rather (after living there for two years) he attended to matters of the heart and married a beautiful bride.

 

Three years later in 2003 he was honoured with the position of assistant Imaam at Table View masjied and it was here in Cape Town where his first son Uthmaan was born.

 

Sheikh Dawood went on to achieve great things ; he became assistant Imaam, at the Markaz al-Quraan wa Sunnah mosque, and now works passionately for Goodwood Islamic Society as the assistant imaam for the Quloobul Moemieneen mosque.

 

From the tradition-driven villages of Malawi to the eminent cities of South Africa. Shiekh Dawood’s story is one of great challenge and strife, yet a symbol and example of greater strength and faith. Faith not only in Allah, but also in himself. May he continue to inspire and uplift himself and many others.

 

Article by Zahraa Schroeder

GIS Madrassah Graduate, Former RCL Chair

Zahraa Schroeder