On Monday 3 January 2022, the community of Reservoir Hills lost a prominent, dedicated Apa at the local Maktab, Apa Bilkis Seedat (rahmatullahi alayha). Apa had taught for over 25 years at the maktab and was extremely dedicated to her work. She focused her special attention on each child and was concerned about every child’s education and upbringing.
Towards the latter years of her life, she was given the post of the principal and ran the madrasah with much enthusiasm and passion.
On Saturday mornings she would conduct classes for ladies which she did as a khidmat from her side.
Passion to learn
She herself was very passionate about learning. She attended every Ta’limi Board workshop and would pay careful attention to the advices that were given by the different Ulama. She would make careful notes and implement the advices given.
Apa was doing hifz up until the last few days of her life. Two weeks before she passed away she had resumed her dhor again, which had stopped due to her illness. A person who passes away without completing the hifz of the Qur-aan is made to complete it in the grave.
Many a times, during a staff meeting at the Madrasah, if a young apa mentioned something that she didn’t know or knew and forgot about it, apa would say aloud, “I didn’t know that.” JazakAllah for teaching me something. This was her deep rooted humility.
Passion to teach
The Maktab was her life. She dedicated all her time and effort for the students of the Madrasah. She had great fikr for the Madrasah and for each student irrespective of his race or colour. Apa would regularly check on their progress, see to their transport and ensure that the needy families have enough groceries at home. Apa would sew purdahs for the baaligh girls, and hem the kurtas above the ankles for the boys. She saw to all the needs of the Madrasah. If the blankets at the Madrasah needed a wash, which is used as musallas, she would take it home and have it washed.
At times Apa would give away her entire salary in charity. Towards the end of her life when she was diagnosed with cancer, she did not accept a salary from the Madrasah even though she continued making fikr for the Madrasah and would spend whatever time she could teaching the children.
Apa had a way with teaching children. During the load shedding period she once asked the children how they felt at night in the dark to which many of them said that they did not like it and were afraid of the dark. Apa would then say to them that the light in the grave will come from the daily recitation of Qur-aan Shareef.
Apa Bilkis had very little to no attachment to worldly things. She was a very simple person who lived a simple life in a simple home. Apa would give away new abaayas or any extra items in the home. She gave preference to the poor over herself.
Apa was always smiling, always! Apa was someone who would laugh easily and would often joke with learners. This would make the learners feel very comfortable around her.
Apa was one who would try to support and assist anyone in whatever little way possible. If she heard that a widow or single mother is selling something from home, she would not hesitate to support that person.
She was punctual on Tahajjud Salaah and would always make dua for all the apas, students and families. It was apa’s daily mamulaat to get up for tahujjud and make dua for each one by name.
She was always pleased with the decision of Allah. When Apa was diagnosed with third degree cancer, she mentioned happily, “Allah Ta’ala is so Ghafoorur Raheem. He has still kept me independent from people.” (arta farta .. as Apa would say in Gujarati).
Apa always showed motherly love to all the students and the Apas which made everyone feel special.
These are only a few aspects of her life.
5 days before she had passed away someone had a dream of her in Makkah Shareef with her husband. Apa was looking towards the Kabah Shareef and her health seemed perfect. She was very happy and full of smiles. Alhamdulillah.
Apa is survived by her husband, two sons and two daughters.
May Allah Ta’ala fill Apas qabr with noor, grant her maghfirah, and shade under his arsh on the day of Qiyaamah as well as the highest stages of Jannah. Aameen.