Habibia’s Imams: A Timeline
1903 – 1916: Hazrat Soofie Saheb and Hazrat Moulana Abdul Latief, Imam Hassan Jakoet, Imam Sudley Dollie,
1916 – 1937: Hazrat Shah Muhammad Yusuf Parker al Habibi (Head Custodian), Imam
Abdus Samaad Qazi, Imam Mustapha Qazi
1937- 1986: Imam Abdul Karriem Kagee (Head Custodian), Imam Abdul Latief Parker, Moulana Goolam Qutboodin Kagee, Imam Goolam Hoosain Parker, Imam Yusuf Parker.
1987- 2004: Imam Abdul Latief Parker (Head Custodian) , Moulana Goolam Qutboodin, Imam Goolam Hoosain Parker, Imam Muhammad Yusuf Parker, Sheikh Goolam Hafiz Rooknodien.
2004 to present: Moulana Goolam Qutboodin Kagee (Head Custodian), Imam Muhammad Yusuf Parker (passed away in 2011), Imam Goolam Hoosain Parker, Sheikh Goolam Hafiz Rooknodien, Shaykh Hafiz Mas`ood Ahmad Kagee (d. 2017) and Moulana Luqmaan Kagee.
The first Imams
When Hazrath Soofie Saheb travelled to Cape Town in early 1905 in search of land to build a khanqah, he stayed at the residence of Abdul Ganie Parker in Cross Street, which was later known as District Six. One Friday morning, Hazrath Soofie Saheb requested from his host, who was from Kokan, India, to arrange for a horse and cart so that they could look around for suitable land. After a while, the horse stopped in Rylands, what was then known as Doornhoogte, at the spot where the present institution stands. He got off the cart, accompanied by Abdul Ganie and a few other muslim brothers who had accompanied them on this historical ride. He walked for a while around and then decided to purchase the land.
He stayed for about seven months in Cape Town while the necessary documents were being prepared by his at torneys for the transfer in Trust of the properties concerned. In Cape Town a small wood and iron house was built on this land where the local people came to meet him when news of his arrival spread. He won the hearts of many, including the leading sheikhs, imams and huffaaz, because of his spiritual outlook, character, and his dedication to serve Islam and the ummah. People visited him daily during his short stay. Many entered the fold of the Chistia Silsila.
Meanwhile, his brother-in-law, Moulana Abdul-Latief Qadi, who lies in the mazaar next to the mosque, was in charge of the khanqah in Durban during his absence.
After laying the foundation of the present Masjid and completing the madrassa, which was used as a jamatkhana, he returned to Durban. He then instructed Moulana Abdul-Latief Qadi to proceed to Cape Town and take charge of the khanqah that was being built there. He at once set off for Cape Town. He carried on with Hazrath Soofie Saheb’s mission with extreme dedication. He went about his duties following the tariqa of the Mashaikhe Chist. People were being accepted and enrolled as mureeds (disciples) in the Chisti Silsila. They were also given training in Tasawwuf. Thus, the khanqah was fulfilling the needs of the community under his leadership.
Hazrath Soofie Saheb made a trip to Cape Town in 1906 and was very satisfied to find the khanqah complete and functioning well. There was a masjid, madressa, yateemkhana, musafirkhana and cemetery. The Urs shareef of Hazrath Sayed Abdul-Qadir Jilani, Hazrath Khwaja Moinuddeeen Chisti and Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah were held annually. Ashura in Muharram and all the auspicious nights in the Islamic calendar were observed. After the demise of Hazrath Soofie Saheb on 29 June 1911, and after paying his respects at his mazaar shareef in Durban, Hazrath Moulana Abdul-Latief returned to Cape Town a very broken-hearted man.
On 18 Jamaadul Aakhir 1335 (17 April 1916), at the time of Thuhr Azaan, he passed away. Imam Husain Jakoet of Habibia Soofie Masjid, who was one of his mureeds, gave the ghusl and performed the Janaaza Salaah, as was requested by Moulana.
He was buried in the Darbaar where his mazaar now stands. After his demise, Hazrath Shah Mohammed Yusuf Habibi took over. He went out inviting people to take part in the various activities. Orphans were well cared for. The madrassa was functioning well. He passed away in 1356 AH (5 August 1937). He was buried near the mazaar of Moulana Abdul-Latief.
After his demise, Hazrath Shah Imam Abdul-Karriem Qadi Siddiqui was given the control and the administration of the darbaar.