The ability to communicate a scale of values, to impart an attitude to knowledge such as his own that was his supreme achievement.
Maalim Najafali Tejani was born in Zanzibar in 1920 and started pursuing religious training at home as early as the age of six years. Bright, energetic and soft spoken, he then joined Madrasah which was started by his grandfather Haji Rehmatulla Tejani under the two qualified teacher Mulla H. M.Rashid and Mulla M. M. Jaffer. He qualified as a teacher in Urdu and Dinyat and later he became the principal of Faiz Madrasah till he migrated to Dar es Salaam in 1968. He was a man of good understanding and sound judgment, deliberate in forming his conclusions, comparatively of few words, but whenever he spoke his words were appropriate and his views weighty. The subject of religion was at all times and on all occasions his great theme, and perhaps no man was more uniformly devoted to the cause of Allah. (s.w.t). He was pre-eminently a man of prayer, who would be seen at dawn preparing the mosque for mo'mineen for Subh prayers. He took keen interest in the majalises of Allama Rashid Turabi who paid a visit to Zanzibar 1954 and this inspired him to start reciting majalis himself and often his voice was heard in the most exalted strains in his several Majalises encouraging mo'mineen to be reconciled to Allah (s.w.t). Always obliging as a stand by for any absentee reciter. First and foremost he stands out in the memory as a simple personality. As a teacher, Maalim was outstanding. No one who was taught by him could easily forget the experience of his teaching. His teaching was never the mere imparting of information. The ability to communicate a scale of values, to impart an attitude to knowledge such as his own - that was his supreme achievement. His knowledge was never used merely to impress but rather to stimulate and fertilize the minds of our young boys and girls when he was teaching religion in schools in Dar es Salaam.. He also used to train and encourage youngsters to become madrasah teachers and majalis reciters. Marhum Maulana Aqa Hayder strongly and publicly recommended the Jamaat to give him the control of the mosque so that the correct timing of Adhaan be maintained.
He would also voluntary be in the mosque early before the prayer timings to inspect cleanliness of the mosque. His humility and sense of belonging to the community was remarkable, Maalim was a keen listener to people's problems and help them solve their problems by Istekhara and recommending supplications. He was genuinely concerned about everybody and loved them, and everyone felt the same about him. Maalim Najaf is just the most explicit example of that virtue and His imparting of religious teachings will be regarded as one of the greatest gifts ever given to the community. He showed everyone, especially the youths that despite the materialistic nature of the world; a man can serve Allah (s.w.t) and the community if he submits to His will fully. We thank Allah(S.W.T) for sending such a man who is still remembered fondly by the community. In the last few days of Holy month of Ramadhan in 1421(2001) he succumbed to illness and left for heavenly abode on 12th Shavval 1421 (7th January 2001). This eminently pious man was no less remarkable in death than in life. Let us all pray for his maghferat and remember him with a sura e Fateha.
Remembering our Heroes. By: Husseinali Datoo Ex Editor Federation Samachar Issue No 4 2006
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