Shaikh Abdul Gaffar Sullia

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Shaikh Abdul Gaffar Sullia
Shaikh Abdul Gaffar at study desk.jpg
Shaikh Abdul Gaffar at his study desk
Title Abdul Gaffar Saheb
Born (1922-02-02)February 2, 1922
Mangalore, India
Died January 16, 1998(1998-01-16) (aged 75)
Ethnicity Indian
Era Modern Era
Region India
Religion Islam
Creed Quran and Hadith - Hanafi
Main interest(s) Translation, Tafseer

Shaikh Abdul Gaffar Sullia (Kannada: ಶೈಖ್ ಅಬ್ದುಲ್ ಗಫ್ಫರ್) (February 2, 1922 – January 16, 1998), was an Indian Sunni Muslim scholar from Karnataka. He had undertaken numerous activities for the welfare of Muslims and was one of the first to translate The Holy Quran into Kannada Language which took him around twelve years to complete. He has also written several books and conducted many public lectures.


Shaikh Abdul Gaffar was born in the city of Mangalore, Karnataka in the month of Jumada al-Thani 1340 A.H(Gregorian year 1922) to a family with renowned interest pertaining to religious study and development. His father Shaikh Burhaan Saheb was a School teacher and mother Wazir Bi a homemaker. He was a very hard working person, despite the fact that he had to put in great efforts toward supporting and upbringing his family, he made it his objective to study the Qur'an, Hadith, and Tafseer extensively. At the age of sixty nine, he suffered partial paralysis and moved to his family home in Sullia and lived there till his demise.


Shaikh Abdul Gaffar was the eldest of five children to his parents, with three brothers and a sister. In the year 1945 he got married to Umm-Habeeb , with whom he's had seven children, two daughters and five sons.


He was intellectually brilliant and hence educated himself to great heights of wisdom. Though he never held any acclaimed University degree, his knowledge and presence was scholastically high.


He had assumed a number of posts and responsibilities:
Worked in 32 schools and also as Imam of several Mosques simultaneously.

  • Started working as a School teacher in 1940
  • High School Teacher (Udupi)
  • Worked in Udupi Board High School
  • Head Master of Urdu School (Karkala)
  • Principal of Urdu Higher Primary School and later retired from it.

Major works[edit]

Shaikh Abdul Gaffar had undertaken numerous charitable,social and religious activities. He opposed Shirk and Bida'at (Religious Innovations) with extreme austerity,as such practices were prevalent in the town of Udayawara (Udupi Dist.)at the time. He jeopardized his own life by venturing into substantial acts, refuting religious innovations during his tenure as the Imam of Town Mosque in Udyawara. He made great effort in establishing the weekly news paper and named it 'Sanmarga'.

There are a number of books written and translated by Shaikh Abdul Gaffar and the subject matter covered several topics.

  • Hajj Guide (written in Kannada) - 1975
  • Quran Tafseer[diyya quraan] In Kannada -1978
  • Urdu - Kanada Dictionary- 1984
  • Parda (Translated to Kannada)
  • Khutbaat (Translated to Kannada)
  • Analagni (Book Against Dowry)
  • Kareneedu Kanda (A Book of Religious Poetry)
  • Nanda Deepa (A Book of Religious Poetry) – Printed in 1975
  • Pavitra Quran – (Quran Translation in Kannada) reviewed by Moulana Syed Yousuf, Ibrahim Saeed, Mohammad Saadullah


Shaikh Abdul Gaffar was well versed in Kannada, English, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Malayalam, Tulu and Byari


On Friday, 16th of January 1998, Shaikh Abdul Gaffar Sullia breathed his last at the age of 76. The next day, the congregational prayer was followed by his funeral prayer, led by one of his sons after which he was laid to rest.