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Journey of faith : Moulana Ishaaq Rampai’s inspiring story

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
08 March 2024 | 23:37 CAT
3-minute read

Image: Shutterstock

“My name is Khotso Leon Rampai. Khotso is the name my mother gave me. Khotso means peace.”

Moulana Ishaaq Rampai’s story begins in 1996 in the suburb of Naledi, Soweto. His is a tale of a young boy’s thirst for knowledge; a journey that began with a simple desire for sustenance but led to a quest for spiritual guidance.

After moving to Ennerdale, Moulana Ishaaq tells Radio Islam that he was drawn to madrassah at the Al-Tawheed Centre, which he initially attended in search of bread.

“I decided to go there because I saw that people are going there to madrassah, and they are getting bread after they come out of madrassah,” Moulana Ishaaq says.

His natural zest for knowledge and eagerness to learn about Islam propelled him on his quest, and, by the will of Allah, he reverted to Islam at the age of thirteen.

From the outset of his journey, he received support, encouragement, and understanding from his mother, for which he expresses profound gratitude to Allah.

Moulana Ishaaq describes the way Islamic teaching inspired and changed him.

“So, when I went there [to madrassah], I realised that something is taking place there that inspired me, and I saw learning. So, I am a person who likes to learn. Even at school, in terms of academics, I was doing quite well at school. So, when I went there, I started learning, and they taught us how to make salaah, how to be respectful to our parents. So, when I went home, there was a change to the person I was. Even my mother realised that I have become a different child because of the values that were being instilled at the madrassah there,” Moulana Ishaaq recalls.

He tells the story of his pathway to the noble Qur’aan.

“So, one day came one boy from Finetown. His name is Moosa Kalunji. So, he came to read Taraweeh in Ennerdale. So, when he read Taraweeh, that’s when I realised that here’s someone like me reading Qur’aan. And if he can do it, then I can also do it. So, that is what motivated me to learn Qur’aan. And so, when I learned Qur’aan, I thought that if I can finish memorising Qur’aan, it will be… I have reached my milestone. But the moment I finished Qur’aan, I realised that there is still more to be learned. I still need to learn the Qur’aan and really know what Allah is saying. So, that is what motivated me to become an Aalim.”

Later, he would become an Aalim at the Darul Uloom in Lesley, an event in which Moulana Waseem Laher played an instrumental role, he says.

And then, an amazing moment: his mother accepted Islam at his Bukhari Jalsah at At-Tawheed earlier this year. He says he would always invite her to Islam, but until that moment, she had not taken shahadah.

“I used to tell her that, you know what, on the Day of Qiyaamah, now that I am Hafidh, and the virtues of being a Hafidh is that one of the virtues is that your mother will be crowned on the Day of Qiyamaah,” Moulana Ishaaq recalls.

His recollection of the moment is so incredibly touching: he was giving a talk on the day of his graduation, and when he spoke about his mother, his emotions gave way.

“And my mother was there listening. She realised that, you know what, it’s time to accept Islam now. And someone, some lady went to her, and she spoke to her, and eventually she took a shahadah, alhamdulillah… Yeah, that was one of the greatest gifts I could ever have.”

Looking ahead, Moulana Ishaaq envisions a future where he can work within his community, particularly among Africans, to dispel misconceptions about Islam. He aims to give Da’wah and teach others to understand that Islam is for everyone, regardless of background or ethnicity.

He encourages kindness and compassion as a reminder of the importance of leading by example and embodying the values of Islam in daily interactions.

Moulana Ishaaq Rampai’s is an incredibly touching and inspiring story, reminding us of how blessed we all are to be part of the Ummah of Nabi Muhammad (SAW).

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat here.

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