Building the Islamic moral self: Sufi Abed’s Bustān Fāṭimah ma‘a Bustān ‘Ā’ishah

Yousuf Dadoo, Mohammed Auwais Rafudeen


Sufi Abed Mian Usmani (1898–1945) of Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, authored some ten religious books in Urdu and Gujerati, which appeared to have a considerable impact on the local community there, as well as more broadly for South African Muslims of Indian descent, and even for some Muslims of India. However, apart from two academic contributions, his work and legacy remain largely unexplored. This essay aims to build upon those contributions by analysing another of his hitherto unexamined Urdu works, namely, Bustān Fāṭimah and Bustān ‘Ā’ishah (The garden of Fāṭimah with the garden of ‘Ā’ishah). It argues that these two works, when seen as a totality, seek to build the moral self.


Bustān Fāṭimah; Bustān ‘Ā’ishah; moral self; remembering God; South Africa; Sufi Abed; Urdu literature

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