Sheikh Yusuf Booley was born on 28 December 1930 in Pontac Street District Six. He was born to Achmad and Rabia Booley. At the age of 15 years it was decided that he follow a career and study to become a wood-carver. It was during this time that the decision was made, for him to persue and read Quranic studies in Makkah.
During 1946 he was introduced to his Ustaadth Sayed Abdurrahmaan Al-Maliki. The eminant teacher was one of the foremost Hafith teachers in the Arabian Region and a person of high stature in the Quranic community. He played an important role in Sheikh Booley’s learning and was a great inspiration to him. On completion of his study all Qurraa’ of the area, he was invited to attend the graduation ceremony.Two months later the honour was bestowed upon him when he became the first Capetonian to perform the Salatut Taraweeh in the Holy Haram in Makkah. This was the spring board of his Taraweeh career and crusade that continues up till today.
Immediately on his return from Makkah during the year 1951 he started a Madrasah in his birth place and for the next 4 years performed Taraweeh Salaah in the town of Tongaat in Natal. During the year 1956 he was appointed as Imam of the Grey Street Mosque in Durban where he started his first Hafith School. Even though he only spent five years in Durban, he successfully taught forty boys and girls Hafith. This resulted in spawning the teachings of Hifths in Durban.
Sheikh Yusuf Booley’s reputation as a leader in Hifths stems not only from achievement as a Hafith, but more from the exacting standards he has established as a teacher of Hifths. He believes that when one teaches the Kalaam of Allah, one must adhere to strict discipline, strive for excellence and approach the task of committing the Quran to memory with devotion, sincerity and humility.
The Sheikh’s ideals and concern about the preservation of the Holy Quran has kept him involved throughout his Hifths career and preasently although he is of ill health he remains unfettered in his striving towards excellence in Quran-reading and teaching.
Returning to Cape Town during the year 1961 found him contemplating the situation of Quranic education and at the end resulted in the formation of THE JAM EYYATUL QURRAA’ QURANIC INSTITUTE (The Society for the promotion of the Holy Quran).
Even though Sheikh Yusuf has a string of tributes to his name and more recently the tribute from the Ahmedi Mosque Society in Grassy Park he prefers to tread this path without seeking any material gain. Sheikh Yusuf has also been the instrument of bringing many famous Qurraa’ like the late Sheikh Abdul Basit and more recently Dr Ahmad Ahmad Na-inaa’ to the shores of South Africa.
At present Sheikh Yusuf is not only the Life President of JEQ, but also the driving force of this Society and he remains a tireless servant in the service of the Holy Quran.
His ultimate ideal is the establishment of a Hifths School in Faure, or elevates it to a dynamic Islamic Centre near the tomb of Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar, with complete boarding facilities. Even though this seems to be a dauntless task, Sheikh Yusuf remains unfazed knowing that this would be a milestone achievement not only for the Huffaath but also for the Muslim Ummah in the Southern Hemisphere.