The Muslim Judicial Council’s (MJC) Fatwa department will strive to “preserve and progress” the legacy built up by the late Maulana Yusuf Karaan, according to the scholar’s son and new head of the department, Maulana Taha Karaan. The latter was officially unveiled as the new mufti of the MJC on Thursday, following in the formidable footsteps of his father who passed away in May after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The elder Karaan’s passing left two key positions open within the ranks of the MJC, and senior figures had sought to give both to one of the organisations most senior members, Sheikh Muhammad Amien Fakier.
“After about an hour of deliberation Sheikh Muhammad Amien insisted he would take the one (position) if I took the other, and only under those conditions would he do so. By his insistence I eventually accepted this particular position,” explained Maulana Taha Karaan.
The appointment is significant within the Karaan family which has held a long standing relationship with the MJC and the new appointment has garnered the kind of media attention rarely seen within the organisation. Karaan said the situation was still fairly overwhelming.
As for the visions of the department, the new Mufti said they were hoping to continue the legacy left by his late father.
“There will be very little goodness about this position if it does not manage to preserve that particular legacy. If I talk about the legacy it is connecting to our own elders, and thereafter going all the way back to the earliest sources of Islam to continue that,” he said.
But that does not mean changes are not afoot. Karaan said they would be looking at how best to continue serving the position as per tradition, but also in a manner that would be reflective of the needs of the present day.
“The next important thing would be, and this is something that was actually started by my late father, an expanded kind of membership of this committee that involves the younger generation, in order to prepare them for a takeover some 10, 20, 30 years from today,” he concluded.
The appointment is a positive lift for the Karaan family, which also suffered the loss of former VOC programme manager, Munadia Karaan in February last year. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)