Shaikh Dr Thaika Shuaib (fondly addressed as “Shaikhuna” by both his disciples and devotees) was born on 29 July 1930 in the town of Kilakarai—a long dominant and distinguished Islamic centre of South India for centuries. He is the second of three children. His two siblings are Shaikh Ahmad Mustafa (elder brother) and Sitti Aliya Umma (younger sister).
His parents are the renowned scholar and guide, Shaikh Thaika Ahmad ‘Abdul Qādir (d. 1369 AH/1976 AD) and the pious Sitti Maryam ‘Aisha Umma (may Allah have mercy on them). When his beloved father passed away in the morning of Sat 13 Safar 1369 (14 Feb 1976), he was away overseas. He returned almost immediately to lead the funeral prayers and lay him to rest at the Arusiyya Tekke—in the company of his spiritual forefathers.
His grandfather is the ardent missionary and knower of Allah, Shaikh Shahul Hamid (known as “Sahib al-Jalwa” or “Jalwat Nayagam”), who passed away whilst en route to perform Hajj and is laid to rest in Jannat al-Mu’alla in Makkah al-Mukarramah. His grand uncle is the venerated ascetic and poetic genius, Shaikh Abdul Qadir (known as “Sahib al-Khalwa” or “Khalwat Nayagam”).
His great-grandfather is the acclaimed 19th century mujaddid or “religious renewer” of South India, Sayyid Muhammad (known as “Imam al-Arus” or “Mappillai Lebbai Alim”). He is revered to this day as a pivotal figure in the revival of Islam in the Arwi region (modern day South India and Sri Lanka). He authored, amongst many others, the popular Shafi’i fiqh compendium “fathu-d dayyan fi fiqhi khairi-l adyan”.
In a sign of things to come, Shaikhuna was born with a caul. The ancients considered caul birth as an indication of one destined for greatness. Such a child is endowed with intuitive powers and special abilities. Many become miracle workers, by Allah’s immense leave.