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Muhammad Yusuf ibn Suleman ibn Qasim Motala (25 November 1946 – 8 September 2019)[1] was an Indian Muslim scholar of Islam. He was one of the students and disciples of the late Shaikh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhalwi.[2][3]

Shaykh al-Hadith, Maulana

Yusuf Motala
Born25 November 1946
Died8 September 2019(2019-09-08) (aged 72)

Ancestry and birthEdit

Yusuf Motala's father was Suleman Motala, whose family hails from Varethi, a village in the district of Surat, Gujarat, India. Though their source of income was farming, Suleman Motala's father, Qasim Motala, relinquished his land on a contract and adopted business as his source of income. Due to Qasim Motala's premature death, Suleman Motala was raised in his mother's care. He later started a business and married a woman from the village of Hathuran. They had one son, Mohamed Ali, but within a few years of the marriage, his wife died. After this, he married a woman from the village of Kholwad, Aminah bint Muhammad ibn Ismail Desai, who would become Yusuf Motala's mother. They moved to the village of Nani Naroli, 10 km from Varethi, and adopted farming as their source of income. Sometime after they bore a son, Abdur Rahim, Yusuf Motala was born at his maternal grandfather's house in Nani Naroli on the night of November 25, 1946.


Motala completed the recitation and memorization of the Qur'an and studied Urdu at Madrasa Targhib al-Qur'an. In 1961, he enrolled at Jamea Hussainia, where he completed the first five years of the Alimia course. Thereafter, in 1966, Motala enrolled at Mazahir Uloom, Saharanpur His classes commenced on 23 February 1966. He studied Mishkat al-Masabih under Shaikh al-Hadith Muhammad Yunus Jawnpuri, Tafsir al-Jalalayn under Shaikh Muhammad Aqil, the third volume of Al-Hidayah under Mufti Yahya, and Mishkat al-Masabih for a second time under Shaikh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhalwi.

In the following year, Motala studied Sahih al-Bukhari under Shaikh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhalwi, Sunan Abu Da'ud, Sunan al-Nasa'i, and Muwatta Imam Malik under Muhammad Yunus Jawnpuri, Sahih Muslim and Sunan al-Tirmidhi under Shaikh Mudhaffar Husain, and Sharh Ma'aani al-Athar under Shaikh Asadullah.


Upon the instruction of Shaikh al-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhalwi, Motala established Darul Uloom Al-Arabiyyah Al-Islamiyyah in Holcombe, Bury, Lancashire, in 1973.[4] He was the founder and patron of numerous Islamic institutes throughout the world and spiritual guide to thousands of Muslims all over the world. His students, who number thousands, are scattered across the world, occupied in the service of din in varying capacities. More than 75% of English-speaking ulama in the UK are graduates of institutes founded by Motala, a number of whom are engaged in the reinforcement of community relations.[5] Motala was a dedicated educationist and devoted much of his life to establishing schools and colleges for the betterment of the Muslim community. His work has been praised by both the community as well as OFSTED,[6] who in 2014 gave them outstanding in all areas. He was included in the 2019 list of the "500 Most Influential Muslims," published annually by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.[7]

Institutions established by him in the UKEdit


In August 2019, Motala travelled to Canada with his family to deliver some speeches. On the morning of August 25, he suffered a heart attack, injuring the brain. The heart procedure was successful but he remained unconscious. Medical efforts continued but he died on the night of September 8, 2019. The funeral prayer took place at Jame Masjid Mississauga (Coopers Avenue Mosque) in Mississauga and he was buried in Paradise Garden, Glenview Memorial Garden in Woodbridge, Ontario.


  1. ^ Sheikh Yusuf Motala - a pioneer of Islam in Britain - dies
  2. ^ [1], Andrew Norfolk, Times Online, 10 September 2007.
  3. ^ 'The Overlooked', London Review of Books, 8 September 2016.
  4. ^ Inside Britain's Islamic Colleges, Dominic Casciani, BBC News Online, 15 January 2004.
  5. ^ Muslim Leader's Detention Condemned Archived 10 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Ahmed J Versi, The Muslim News, 28 November 2003.
  6. ^ Police Harassment of Leading British Muslim Scholar Archived 3 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Iqbal Sacranie, MCB Press Release, 15 November 2003.
  7. ^ [2], The Muslim 500, Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.