Hazrath Hajee Shah Goolam Mohamed Soofie
Saheb Siddiqi Chisti AI-Qadiri Habibi RA, more popularly
known as Hazrath Soofie Saheb, was born in 1848 in the town
of Ratnagir on the west coast of India. He was the son of
Hazrath Ibrahim Siddiqi RA, a direct descendant of Hazrath
Abu Bakr Siddiq RA, the first Caliph of Islam.
When his whole personality and outlook
on life changed, and Mysticism and sufistic ideas were imbued
in him,he went to Baghdad in Iraq in search of a Pir (spiritual
guide). He met Hazrath Shah Goolam Mustapha Effendi AIQadiri
RA and was accepted in the Qadiri Silsila. He received his
spiritual training in the Mazaar Shareef (mausoleum) of
Hazrath Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani RA. He returned to India
and met his Chisti Pir in the form of Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah RA of Hyderabad, Deccan and was immediately
accepted in the Chistia Order.
Upon the instructions of his spiritual master and with the
blessings of his family, Hazrath Soofie Saheb left India
for South Africa in 1895 to propagate and strengthen Islam
and spread the Chistia Order.
He established the first Khanqah on the northern banks of
the Umgeni River near the Indian Ocean, an area which was
known as Riverside and Lower Umgeni. Hazrath Soofie Saheb
built a mosque, madressa, orphanage and catered for the
wayfarers, old age and destitutes. He also established two
cemeteries in Riverside.In 1897 his family arrived from India to join him. The welfare activities included shelter for widows, finding employment,
prison and hospital visits, free burials, solving of domestic
problems, maintaining a clinic and offering spiritual help.
Being a friend of Allah (wali), he was able to recognise another friend of Allah. He located the grave
of Hazrath Badsha Peer RA (who had come here as a labourer
in 1860) in the Brook Street cemetery in Central Durban
in 1895. He held the first Urs Shareef (Death Anniversary
Commemoration) and erected a shelter over his grave.
With Riverside as the centre he gradually expanded his missionary
work around Durban (Westville, Overport, 45th Cutting, Springfield
Kenville) and other parts of the country (Cape Town, Tongaat,
Ladysmith, Colenso, Butha Buthe in Lesotho and Pietermaritzburg).
These are still in existence carrying out the duties for
which they were originally instituted.
Hazrath Soofie Saheb passed away
suddenly on 29 January 1911 (2 Rajab 1392)
at the age of 63 years and lies buried in Riverside where
a magnificent mausoleum has been erected over his tomb.