Vol. 31 No. 6
SHAWWAAL 1438 l JUNE 2017
NO CONFLICT BETWEEN AFRICAN CULTURE AND ISLAM
Eid Nwabisa Sigabaâ€™s Mubarak! journey to Islam UNIVERSITY of South Africa (Unisa) staff member, Nwabisa Sigaba, believes it is important for Muslims in Africa, and particularly South Africa, to start creating a discourse around the revival of critical Islamic theology, more especially in a world that is increasingly becoming Islamophobic. The postgraduate student assistant in the College of Human Sciences, shared this when she spoke to RIVONIA NAIDUHOFFMEESTER of her journey to embracing Islam.
the topic of
- page 8 -
ailing from the Eastern Cape but having spent most of her teenage years and adult life in Gauteng, Sigaba says Christianity was the only religion she was ever exposed to while growing up. She grew up in a predominantly Christian family and was a very active member of the Butterworth Christian Church. â€˜I knew nothing else and also my primary school was predominantly black, with a few coloured people so I had very little contact with people of other races. Moving to Gauteng was a huge culture shock for me because it was my first experience of being in a multiracial school with predominantly white kids. â€˜It was only in my late high school years, however, that I started to become conscious of the role of religion. â€˜Today I can proudly say that I have been Muslim for ten years.â€™ The wife and mother of two,
Nwabisa Sigaba, a postgraduate student assistant in the College of Human Sciences, Unisa, shares with us the narrative of her journey to Islam, explaining the challenges she has had to face, and the importance of Muslims creating discourse in Africa on Islam. Photo GIVEN MALULEKA
who has her honours degree in international politics, says there needs to an epistemic shift in how Islam is being taught to people, and it needs to speak directly to the problems that humanity is facing. Currently, she adds, people still see Islam as an abstract religion that does not offer real solutions to the problems faced by humanity. â€˜I also believe that black consciousness is not only an ideology
that is useful for black solidarity in South Africa but is a philosophy and ideology that has the potential to unite all the oppressed people of the world, and the Islamic world needs to undergo a paradigm shift, or more accurately put, a decolonial one, where Islam enters into conversations with other theologies of liberation in order to solve the problems of the African world and the entire global south is facing.â€™ See page 11 for the full Q&A.
Ramadaan devloped the wings of spirituality for Eid-ul-Fitr
When road rage becomes fatal
Individual conduct will shape the better world we yearn for
Makkah Chronicles Zam Zam: the water without equal
IMA endorses vaccination of children
Yawar Baig interview
Artâ€™s for All In the sun and shadows of paradise
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Wasatiyah symposium: a question of extremisms, not extremism
Muslim Views . June 2017
Celebration and change at Muslim Views
S we approach the close of the sacred month, we reflect on what we have reaped by way of our devotions. The faithful believer strives to be an agent of change and transformation of his or her own faith and practice. The objective is to attain higher levels of consciousness of Allah through both spiritual exercises and social action. It is fortuitous that this month coincides with a process of change and transformation at Muslim Views. The newspaper is celebrating its thirtieth year of publication and, together with its predecessor, Muslim News, we are also rejoicing a combined publishing history of almost 57 years. Muslim News was published for 26 years, from December 1960 to August 1986. The thirty years in the publishing history of Muslim Views have been particularly eventful. For one, Muslim Views was published for eight years under the apartheid regime and for 23 years, to date, under a democratic dispensation. The social and political transformation recorded by the paper across these two eras is testimony to the struggle of a small, community-owned, independent publisher. This milestone in our history heralds further change and transformation in respect of both the content and presentation of the publication. These exciting and innovative changes follow extensive consultation with specialists in marketing, digital, online and social media, with a view to successfully negotiate the convergence of the unique strengths of print with that of digital media. The editorial changes are more gradual and involve the introduction of new writers
and content, including the kind of content relevant to specific segments of our niche target audience, such as the youth. It also involves, as revenue permits, greater investment in local news content, particularly content that is relevant to local communities. We also intend to develop specialised feature content that appeals to more diverse segments of our readership, including our growing number of readers of other faiths. Apart from editorial content, the publishers are implementing changes in the distribution and printing of the paper. More focused attention is dedicated to service delivery at distribution points, expanding our distribution to more mosques countrywide, and penetrating other areas, such as shopping centres and organisations. In addition, the publishers are seeking to serve a growing number of readers interested in subscribing to the paper. The relaunch of Muslim Views in November 1997 was accompanied by the appointment of Formeset, a printing company that invested in the paper. Muslim Views was printed using the heat set process, typically applied in magazine printing. In addition, the use of a superior quality paper produced colour separation and image resolution of unparalleled standard. The trimming process added further merit to an already attractive product, offering a neat finish that distinguished Muslim Views from other papers on the market. However, due to massive increases in costs over the past few years, the process became unsustainable. This Eid edition represents a radical change, indeed the dawn of a new era, in the printing of Muslim Views. After almost twenty years with a single print supplier, the publishers have been compelled to review this vital link in our supply chain and appoint Paarl Coldset as our new printer. While there will be changes in such respects as a different paper type, an untrimmed paper edge and resizing of the existing template, we are assured that the best qualities of the Muslim Views print edition will remain intact. Indeed, with shorter turnaround times and a more cost-effective arrangement with our key supplier, we are confident that we can continue to invest in a better newspaper for our readers and advertisers. To our readers and advertisers, we express our deep gratitude for their enduring support, many of whom have been with us for decades. And to Allah belongs our ultimate and eternal thanks and praise.Eid mubarak!
Our editorial comment represents the composite viewpoint of the Editorial Team of Muslim Views, and is the institutional voice of the newspaper. Correspondence can be sent to email@example.com
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Looking back at Muslim News coverage of June 1976
The Muslim News coverage of the uprisings that started in Soweto in June, 1976, and spread to Cape Town in August that year was regarded as the most reliable account of the events and the authentic expression of the feelings and views of the people suffering under apartheid oppression, as cited by Gerald Shaw, the political columnist for The Cape Times at that time. Unlike the mainstream media – and that included not only the Nationalist Party’s mouthpieces but also the liberal newspapers – Muslim News did not rely on police reports. The voices were those of people in the communities. The Muslim News team was on the road reporting from the terrain of the struggle: the streets and the campuses where protestors confronted the police. And the team visited the homes of the victims of police brutality. The senior member of the team was journalist and photographer, Abdul Quayum Sayed (left), and his partner was Farid Sayed (right), a junior reporter at that time who joined Muslim News in January, 1976. Visiting the recently established archive room at Muslim Views, Abdul Quayum paged through some past editions. Here he and Farid discuss the Muslim News edition that was published on June 25, 1976, a few days after the student uprising. The front page photograph is of a victim of police action in Alexandria, near Johannesburg. Three Muslim organisations in the Cape issued statements to Muslim News condemning the apartheid regime’s actions: Majlis Ashura Al-Islami, Institute of Islamic Shariah Studies and Muslim Assembly. Photo MAHMOOD SANGLAY
Call for back editions of Muslim News, Muslim Views WE call on our readers to support the archive and digitisation project of Muslim News and Muslim Views. Members of the public and organisations that have copies of Muslim News published from 1960 till 1986 are requested to please contact our office. This also applies to copies of Muslim Views published from September 1986 till November 1997. The recovery of missing editions of both titles will help fill the gaps in our archive and preserve our heritage dating back to 1960. Our office number is 021 696 5404 or you may email us at email@example.com
This newspaper carries Allah’s names, the names of the Prophets and sacred verses of the Holy Qur’an. Please treat it with the respect it deserves. Either keep, circulate or recycle. Please do not discard.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Fasting – where the wings of spirituality are developed for Eid-ul-Fitr SHAIKH ALLIE KHALFE
THE word ‘human’ in Arabic is ‘insaan’, and is derived from both ‘nisyaan’ (to forget) and ‘uns’, meaning ‘intimacy’. The blessed month of Ramadaan, a month in which we are reminded of our humanity, culminates in the day of fitrah, referred to as Eid-ul-Fitr. Ramadaan is therefore an institution capable of elevating the human being from a state of forgetfulness (nisyaan) to a state of intimacy (uns) with our Creator, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Eid means ‘to return’ while ‘fitrah’ has many shades of meaning but when linked to Ramadaan, it refers to a ‘return to our innate disposition (al-fitrah)’. It is a return to a condition of eating, drinking and intimacy with our spouses after a month of struggle, uncovering and realisation. Eid-ul-Fitr is a day of celebration when we hymn the praises of our Lord for once again re-injecting into our souls the value of the simplest things during Ramadaan. It is a day in which Muslims give the needy their right, and their right is referred to as their fitrah. On this blessed day, Muslims share their wealth with the needy so as to purify themselves from excess, thereby strengthening communities by spreading love and spirituality across the land. Eid-ul-Fitr is also known as ‘the day of freedom from the fire’ and ‘the day of celebration’ since tradition indicates that on this morning, ‘70 000 people are freed from
Shaikh Allie Khalfe conducting an afternoon class at the Islamic Text Institute in Surrey Estate, Cape Town. Photo SUPPLIED
the fire for each day of Ramadaan’. It is also referred to as the day of prize giving as recorded in the prophetic tradition: ‘When the month of Ramadaan is over and the night of al-Fitr arrives, that night is called the Night of the Prize (Lailat al-Jazaa). ‘In its early morning, Allah, Most High, sends His angels forth to visit all the towns and cities on
earth. ‘Once they have made their descent, they position themselves at the entrances of all the streets and alleys. ‘There, in a voice that is audible to every being created by Allah, apart from the jinn and humankind, they issue a proclamation: “O Community of Muhammad, come forth into the presence of a Noble and Generous
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Lord who will grant you gifts in abundance, and forgive your sins!” ‘Then, when the believers have emerged and presented themselves at their places of prayer, Allah, Most High, says to His angels: “O My angels, what is the recompense of the hired labourer, once he has done his job?” ‘The angels will reply: “Our God and our Master, You will pay him his wages in full!” So He, Most High, says: “I now call upon you to bear witness, O My angels, that I have conferred My acceptance and My forgiveness as the reward for their fasting (siyaam) and night vigil (qiyaam) during the month of Ramadaan.”’ Lexically, fasting (al-saum) means to abstain from something. Technically, it refers to a ‘specific abstention from food, drink and intimacy from the time of Fajr until the time of Maghrib’. The purpose behind abstaining from these acts, which are part of our innate disposition (fitrah) is clear in the Quran: ‘Perhaps you attain a heightened sense of Godconsciousness (la allakum tattaqun.’ (2:183) Ramadaan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as guidance (hudaa) to all human beings. It is a month designated for fasting, and may be seen as a huge farm where the farmer tills the soil and prepares the grounds. He can do one of three things: a) plant seeds and leave them to die, b) do nothing at all or c) nurture these
seeds by providing sufficient sunlight and water so that they bear wholesome fruits in time to come. This is what Allah, Most Generous, intends by ‘perhaps you attain a heightened sense of God-consciousness’. It is not a guarantee but rather a ‘perhaps’, in that God-consciousness could possibly become more alive in our beings. Ramadaan is the month in which we are afforded the opportunity to prepare for the rest of the year. It is a period in which we are driven toward the carpet of neediness before the One who is not in need of anything. It is a month in which we are gifted two wings, one of patience (sabr) and the other of thankfulness (shukr). Regardless of our social status, be it wealth or poverty, fame or obscurity, we are all brought face to face with our humanity and primordial state, which is that we cannot do without a sip of water for one day. In that way we are blessed with the wing of sabr during the day for abstaining, and with the wing of shukr at night when we eat. This is one of the many spiritual realities we celebrate on Eid-ul-Fitr: a return to uncovering and remembering our innate disposition of purity, with which we are all created. There is a serious need for us to re-inject our souls with the classical and more ancient understanding of what Ramadaan symbolises. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
Muslim Views . June 2017
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
Sayyid Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah sanctify his secret, indicated it most beautifully when he said that the word Ramadaan consists of five symbolic letters: ra, mim, dal, alif and nun. The ra stands for ‘ridaa’ (satisfaction) of Allah upon the servant. If the servant wishes to know if Allah is satisfied with him then he should ask himself if he is content with Allah’s Will. The mim stands for the mahbaa or love of Allah, and love demands that we leave off or abstain from certain things so as to make room for it. The dal stands for the damaan (guarantee) of Allah in
that He, Most Gracious, promises us paradise for abstaining during this month. The alif stands for ulfah (intimacy) since we are in a way imitating the One who is not in need of food and drink (Al-Samad) and we become the samadiyyah of Allah, those who imitate their Lord to the best of their ability, thereby experiencing an intimacy with their Creator that is seldom experienced in any other month. The nun stands for the nur (light) of Allah, which in this month penetrates the hearts of the believers to such a degree that words cannot do justice to the feeling one experiences during this month; it is an infusion of light that expands the breast, to say the
least. The greatness of Ramadaan and Eid-ul-Fitr lies in the opportunity they offer us in developing taqwa by planting the seeds needed during Ramadaan, and thereafter striving to nurture them so as to maintain a heightened sense of awareness of the spiritual, starting on the day of al-Fitr. Taqwa is a virtue that allows us to truly participate in the great cosmic celebration in honour of the revelation of the Quran as guidance (hudaa) to all people. It is a virtue furthermore, that allows us to magnify Allah, Most High, as He ought to be magnified, namely, with complete awareness of our earthly duties and spiritual vocation; and, there-
fore, to be of those who are truly thankful to Allah. It is a virtue too, which is ultimately celebrated in the Quran itself for Allah says: ‘The best of you are those who have learnt taqwa.’ (49:13) Shaikh Allie Khalfe spent a decade learning various traditional texts from Shaikh Seraj and Shaikh Ahmad Hendricks, the current shaikhs of the Azawia Institute, in Walmer Estate, Cape Town. He is the first of their students to have received a full ijaza or licence to transmit various branches of knowledge, including Fiqh, Theology and Tasawwuf from them. He spent two years at the grand Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo,
sitting at the feet of some of the foremost scholars alive today, including Shaikh Sa’id Mamduh, Shaikh Ali Jumua, Shaikh Fat-hi Abd al-Rahman al-Hijazi, Shaikh Hasan Al-Shafi’i and Shaikh Hisham Kamil, all of whom he read traditional texts to and received from them licence to teach those texts. He holds a unique chain of transmission in Arabic grammar which goes all the way up to the author of the classic Al-Ajurumiyyah, Ibn Ajurrum. He is the founder of the Islamic Text Institute, in Surrey Estate, where he lectures every day of the week and at the same time lectures Theology at Ipsa. He is currently reading towards his Masters in Theology at Unisa.
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Muslim Views . June 2017
Seven scholars address the topic of Muslim disunity MAHMOOD SANGLAY
MASJIDUL Quds, in Cape Town, hosted a series of lectures on the theme ‘An ummah in disarray: seeking common ground towards the path of unity’, on Sunday, June 11. The speakers were Hafidh Advocate Abu Bakr Mahomed, Shaikh Muhammad West, Shaikh Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowi, Mufti Ismail Menk, Shaikh Sadullah Khan, Former South African Ambassador to the USA, Ebrahim Rasool, and Shaikh Fakhruddin Owaisi. The following is an edited summary of the presentation of each speaker. Hafidh Advocate Abu Bakr Mahomed addressed the topic ‘Disunity: betraying the civilisational heritage of the ummah’. He said that our collective thoughts, intentions and actions ultimately determine our state, and that the basic creational principle of Allah is that the good we do benefits us and the harm we do injures us. He argued that unity and multiplicity are complementary dimensions of Allah’s creation. If we reject multiplicity in favour of uniformity then there is no basis for the existence of ihsan. The speaker said the Amman Message of 2005 recognises the validity of eight madhhabs, Sunnis, Shias, Ibadis, Asharis, Sufis and Salafis. The message forbids the takfir among these Muslims and constitutes most pluralistic consensus of the ummah. Mufti Ismail Menk’s topic was ‘The Quranic call for Muslim
Hafidh Advocate Abu Bakr Mahomed. Photo SHARIEF JAFFER
Mufti Ismail Menk. Photo SHARIEF JAFFER
Shaikh Muhammad West. Photo SHARIEF JAFFER
Shaikh Muhammad bin Yahya Photo ARCHIVE al-Ninowi.
unity’. He distinguished between unity and uniformity, saying unity is possible but not uniformity. He said our relations with people of other faiths are often better than that with fellow Muslims. The mufti said in his travels he observed that people in communities that do not speak ill of others are happier. Takfir is a sin and is likely to lead to conflict. The mufti added that social media is typically used to spread fitna.
He exhorted the congregation to avoid the kind of conduct that undermines unity. Quoting Surah Hujarat (49:10) he said we should desist from insulting others and disregarding the good work of people with whom we disagree. Shaikh Muhammad West spoke on the topic ‘Muslims are like one body’ and addressed the youth, saying that, firstly, from childhood, parents should develop the qualities of taqwa in their chil-
dren. Secondly, he emphasised the importance for youth realising their true potential in the face of exposure to radicalism and extremism. Conscious life choices will empower the youth to contribute to ideals such as the liberation of Palestine and addressing global poverty and discovering new sources of energy. Shaikh West says the realisation of these two objectives ensure a bright future for our youth. ‘Their taqwa of Allah will point them in the right direction while pursing their potential will give them the impetus to always move forward,’ he concluded. Shaikh Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy conveyed a ‘message of unity’ based on the message in surah 49:10 which exhorts Muslims to make peace between each
other. The shaikh added that all the Prophet’s (SAW) wives are our mothers and that all believers are one family. He cautioned that we should avoid seeking conformity over unimportant differences between people but rather celebrate our diversity and not cause disunity. The shaikh said our differences were academic and reflected our diversity but, over time, some have developed into cults, undermining the deen. He argued that we need to counter the seeds of hate with seeds of love, unity and understanding. ‘We should attach ourselves to the Sunnah and not to figures,’ he concluded.
He cautioned that we should avoid seeking conformity over unimportant differences between people but rather celebrate our diversity and not cause disunity. The shaikh said our differences were academic and reflected our diversity but, over time, some have developed into cults, undermining the deen.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
Muslim Views . June 2017
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8
Shaikh Fakhruddin Owaisi spoke on ‘Wasatiyyah as a pre-requisite for unity’. Difference of opinion, he argued, is divinely ordained in surah 11:118. The shaikh expounded on the reality of differences of opinion in Islam. He cited differences in Quranic interpretation, variation in the evolving actions and utterances of the Prophet (SAW) over the period of his mission, and divergent views of the Prophet’s (SAW) Companions to his Sunnah. By citing sound precedents from the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition and the legacy of Islam, Shaikh Owaisi showed how these differences can be managed by ensuring that disagreement does not lead to disrespect, disunity and disregard for others. ‘The ummah can move forward if we apply these principles to our differences,’ he concluded. In his topic ‘Why do we remain
Shaikh Fakhruddin Owaisi. Photo SHARIEF JAFFER
Shaikh Sadullah Khan. Photo SHARIEF JAFFER
in disarray and disunited?’ Shaikh Sadullah Khan focused on four contemporary crises of the ummah. In the crisis of relevance, Muslims are challenged by a rapidly evolving world that calls for the
application of Islam as an all-embracing, universal faith. The crisis of image compels Muslims to reconcile the conflicting images of a violent religion and that of the legacy of a Prophet of mercy.
Shaikh Sadullah explained that the crisis of intolerance theoretically reflects extremism as an inversion of moderation that is predisposed towards the periphery. The crisis of leadership manifests the absence of political and
religious leadership, locally and globally, and calls for leadership that is relevant, ethical and pragmatic. Former South African Ambassador to the United States of America, Ebrahim Rasool, addressed the topic ‘Geo-political consequences of a fragmented ummah’. He quoted surah 3:110 in calling on Muslims to first enjoin good and forbid wrong before blaming external enemies for our problems. ‘It is due to our weakness that our enemies prey on us, he said. Rasool cited the ‘intellectual terrorism’ through the denunciation, without just cause, of Muslims by Muslims of kufr, shirk and bidah as main reasons for our loss of power and vulnerability. ‘The West fears Islam when they should be looking at Muslims as a moral compass. Rasool cited extensive data showing that Muslim societies are unequal, exclusivist and patriarchal. He called for a re-imagination of the ummah.
Rasool cited the ‘intellectual terrorism’ through the denunciation, without just cause, of Muslims by Muslims of kufr, shirk and bidah as main reasons for our loss of power and vulnerability. ‘The West fears Islam when they should be looking at Muslims as a moral compass. Rasool cited extensive data showing that Muslim societies are unequal, exclusivist and patriarchal. He called for a re-imagination of the ummah.
Muslim Views . June 2017
NWABISA’S JOURNEY TO ISLAM
No conflict between African culture and Islam UNIVERSITY of South Africa (Unisa) staff member, Nwabisa Sigaba, believes it is important for Muslims in Africa, and particularly South Africa, to start creating a discourse around the revival of critical Islamic theology, more especially in a world that is increasingly becoming Islamophobic. The postgraduate student assistant in the College of Human Sciences, shared this when she spoke to RIVONIA NAIDUHOFFMEESTER of her journey to embracing Islam.
Hailing from the Eastern Cape but having spent most of her teenage years and adult life in Gauteng, Sigaba says Christianity was the only religion she was ever exposed to while growing up. She grew up in a predominantly Christian family and was a very active member of the Butterworth Christian Church. Below is a transcript of the interview. Why did you embrace to Islam; what led you down this path? I remember the day I decided to convert; it was just after Christmas in 2007, before I received my matric results. I had been searching online how to convert to Islam and I had found a brother all the way in Egypt, who was assisting me and mailed me some books on the subject, and he taught me what I need to do to convert to Islam. I remember taking the Shahada via the internet; he sent me a voice record of how to say the Shahada and I repeated the words and that was how I became a Muslim. The events that led me to go down this path were many. I had many light-bulb moments about Christianity and its inconsistencies but one that stands out for me was a debate I had with a couple of high school friends of mine about the existence of God. It seems like quite a topic for high school teenagers but we were really struggling with this idea and none of us could understand some of the things that were happening in our society. One friend of mine narrated a story of an old black lady who works on the same street where she lives (a suburb in Pretoria East) and how devout she is in her faith in God and yet she is subject to a life of poverty while she (my friend) does not believe in God and yet is living a pretty comfortable life. We could not understand this phenomenon and why God would allow people who have so much faith and belief in Him suffer. I also started questioning some of the fundamental principles of Christianity. Growing up in the church, the images of God and his son were always portrayed by a white old man who represented the father and a young and youthful Jesus on his right-hand side. These images have had a negative impact on my idea of who God is and what is the role and duty of God. Upon having a conversation with my friends, I then realised that my entire understanding of God was based on a false idea of
Nwabisa Sigaba, a postgraduate student assistant in the College of Human Sciences, Unisa, talks to Rivonia NaiduHoffmeester about her embracing Islam, explaining the challenges she has had to face, and the importance of Muslims creating discourse in Africa on Islam. Photo GIVEN MALULEKA
God as being a white man. This then led me to question the essence of what it means to worship God. What were the biggest challenges and obstacles you faced when you embraced Islam? I think my biggest challenge was actually having to explain to those around me why I had made the choice of embracing Islam. It took me quite a while to actually come out of my shell and make a bold statement to my friends and family about my embracing the Islamic faith but when I eventually did, people did not understand, and I guess it has much to do with the stereotype that Islam is essentially an Indian religion. My family took it the hardest, I think. For them, they could not understand what Islam was because, like I said, growing up in the Eastern Cape, there is not much exposure to much of other cultures, religions and races so for my family this was completely foreign. I was labelled a devil worshipper, idol worshipper, an antiChrist and all these negating terms that represent the opposite of Christianity, which was holy, pure, salvation and sainthood. It was a tough pill to swallow but my religion teaches me that Islam is a strange thing and that there is nothing wrong with being identified as a stranger in the society. Learning a new language was also part of the challenge of conversion because Arabic is the language in which the Holy Quran is written, and although there are translations in other languages, the five daily prayers have to be done in the Arabic language. I think this has contributed to
creating the image that Islam is a foreign religion that is not essentially African and, in South Africa, is thought to be an Indian religion. The other challenge was getting used to people mistaking me for a non-South African because of my Islamic dress code. People often thought I was Somalian, Tanzanian, Malawian or Egyptian. Some even thought I was Indian or Pakistani and this made me realise just how disintegrated the South African community really is. The fact that people find Islam to be a strange thing that has nothing to do with South Africans and the fact that people assume that black women who adorn the Islamic dress code are oppressed and docile reveals exactly what is wrong with this idea of forced integration. As you have alluded to, many people don’t see Islam as a religion of all race groups; they mostly see it as an Indian religion. Why do you think this is and what do you say to those people? I certainly have come across people who view Islam as a religion of Indians or ‘foreigners’ and one that has nothing to do with African people, least of all South African black people, and this is one of the most difficult conversations to have. The legacy of apartheid created a huge vacuum between people of different races and cultures that when the post-apartheid South Africa was born, people were almost forced to integrate and become a rainbow nation. This created the problem where black people who were isolated from whites, Indians and coloureds had to adapt to different cultures and religions of which they were hardly exposed to, if at
all. Historically, Islam came to the Southern part of Africa through Indian and Malaysian slaves who settled on the coastal areas of the country; and because of colonialism and later the policies of separate development, the growth and advancement of Islam in the southern part of the continent was largely restricted amongst the Indians and the Cape Malays. Black South Africans were largely exposed to Christianity and its various denominations, and other religions were assumed to be foreign or belonging to other racial groups, and I believe this is mainly the reason that has led South Africans to view Islam as an Indian religion or a foreign one. How I usually address such views is to point to these particular conditions that have created this type of ignorance amongst South African people, and also, I try and educate people that Islam is not essentially a new religion but one that is part of all monotheistic religions of the world. What are the biggest misconceptions people have of your religion that you find yourself defending every day? One of the biggest misconceptions is that Muslim women are oppressed, submissive to men and docile, and this could not be further from the truth. Like any other religion, there are a few fundamentalists who take the religious teachings out of context and apply extreme measures in observing religious duties but Islam is a religion that teaches and preaches moderation. Part of moderation is the teaching of modesty for both men and women, and part of a woman’s modesty lies in the way she dresses
and the way she conducts herself in the outside world. I find myself at times having to explain why I cover myself and wear a headscarf, and I explain by stating that in Islam there is no compulsion in anything, we acknowledge a person’s free will to decide, and part of that free will is the ability to choose to obey or disobey the command of God as stipulated in our Holy Book. The other issue is that of Muslims being labelled as terrorists, and this also speaks to religious extremism and certain individuals within the faith who interpret the Holy Quran without context and without the legal authority to do, which results in people conducting themselves in ways that are not prescribed within Islam. Religious terrorism at times is also an invention of Western media that seeks to taint the image of Muslims around the world, and some of these so-called terrorist groups are not even created by Muslims. How do you deal with the above misconceptions? One of the most challenging things about being a Black South African Muslim woman is this constant need for us to explain our identity and why we have chosen this so-called ‘foreign’ religion that has nothing to do with our African-ness. I always dismiss such arguments as provincial, ignorant and based on colonial concepts about what is accepted faith and belief in God, and in South Africa Christianity is the only right theology and articulation of faith that most people know and are exposed to. It also does not help the situation when Muslim communities in South Africa continue to remain isolated from the broader issues facing the South African population. There are very few Muslims, and indeed Muslim women, who are confident enough to wear their hijab (headscarf) in their respective work environments or public spaces out of fear of persecution or having too many people asking them too many questions about the activities of other Muslims in other parts of the world. I mean, I have people asking me about the actions of Al Qaeda and Isis as if I am part of those movements and to explain why they do the things they do. I must admit it really is tough being a Muslim in the modernised 21st century, where images of Muslims in the media are always about a downtrodden people who need to be civilised and democratised and initiated into the eurocentric worldview. How do you address the questions of African culture versus religion? I was a Christian before I became a Muslim. However, it is the Muslim belief that all human beings are born into the natural state of Islam and are converted either by their parents or other societal influences away from this state. Islam is actually not necessarily a religion. In fact, it is not; it is a way of life. Islam means ‘peace through submission’, and this submission is recognised as submission to the creator and source of life. CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
Muslim Views . June 2017
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Islam teaches us to serve mankind, and that this is the purpose of our existence: servitude to each other towards the attainment of peace and harmony. Islam essentially teaches ubuntu, and the social teachings found in the African philosophy of ubuntu are also found in Islam. So for me, African culture is very much close and similar to Islamic teachings and way of life. Islam promotes socialist values that reflect communal, social, political and economic structures of society where all people are equal before God, with no class and racial differences.
Islam promotes socialist values that reflect communal, social, political and economic structures of society where all people are equal before God, with no class and racial differences. I do not essentially see a conflict between my cultural heritage as a Xhosa-speaking woman and the teachings of Islam, which is why I am able to confidently express both my religious and African beliefs without fear or prejudice. It is a myth that African culture and tradition are incompatible with Islam and Islamic teachings. As a decoloniality activist, can you speak on the space of Islam and decoloniality from a personal
perspective? I think decoloniality and decolonial activism have given me a language to articulate the experiences I have as a Muslim living on the darker side of modernity because Muslims are still struggling to negotiate their existence as human beings, just like any group of people who are oppressed in the world. Decoloniality has allowed me to understand the link and intersectionality between racial and religious oppression because Is-
lamophobia in its historical essence gave rise to colour racism. In attending the Decoloniality Summer School, I have been able to link my struggle as Muslim living in South Africa with the struggles of Muslims living in other parts of the world, and with this it gives a new agency to the struggle for liberation as not one encompassing inclusion into the eurocentric worldview. It has allowed me to embark on the decolonial turn which requires
a complete shift away from the current expressions of Islam and Islamic identity often articulated by the West for Muslims, and to seek to create an Islamic worldview (not that one does not exist) which speaks to the reality and experiences of Muslims around the world. Rivonia Naidu-Hoffmeester is the Communications and Marketing Specialist in the College of Human Sciences at Unisa.
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Muslim Views . June 2017
When road rage becomes lethal
Ashref Ismail, who shares monthly motoring news with Muslim Views’ readers. Photo SUPPLIED
IT is Monday afternoon, you have left early from work and decided to take your partner out for a surprise meal. On the way to the restaurant, while enjoying the music playing on the car’s stereo, you notice, in your rear view mirror, an SUV with oversized bull-bars appearing menacingly behind you and flashing at you to move over. You cannot because driving on the yellow line is not safe. He huffs and he puffs and next thing you know, he is passing you dangerously on the yellow line, while hooting and showing you the middle finger. This is not an uncommon scenario. While the circumstances
may differ, aggressive driving is becoming an all too common occurrence on our roads. Needless to say, we are an angry lot. Angry for a variety of reasons: personal issues that upset our moods at a moment’s notice as well as broader issues, such as socio economic and political issues that affect the nation’s psyche. And where better to display this anger than on two public spaces: the public road and social media. Road rage, which refers to extreme anti-social behaviour displayed on the road, is often triggered by what one perceives as bad driving, which includes tailgating, not signalling, driving recklessly, cutting other drivers off and the like. Sometimes, the transgression is private with the victim merely muttering some curses under his/ her breath and the matter ends there. Most times, it can and does become ugly: incessant hooting, waving a fist, shouting obscenities or flipping the finger, all of which provoke a dangerous counter reaction. Because road rage per se is not classified as an offence, no accurate statistics are kept. However, anecdotally, it can be surmised that incidents of road rage are becoming more common.
Poor driver training, fraudulent licencing procedures, corrupt traffic law enforcement and a perceived inept criminal justice system leads to frustrated motorists venting their anger by taking the law into their own hands. Media reports have covered road rage incidents that turned ugly, resulting in death or serious injury when perpetrators opened fire, stabbed or clubbed victims with a knife or axe. What we also witness regularly is that road rage cuts across all races, genders, classes and ages. Whether owners of certain brands of car or types of cars are more likely to be perpetrators is a matter of conjecture though, since no empirical studies exist to back such claims. Dealing with road rage means that it needs to be seen from two perspectives: that of the victim and that of the perpetrator. If you find yourself constantly being in a hurry, being impatient and intolerant, angry with various situations, not just poor drivers who tick you off then maybe it’s time to get some professional help in the form of anger management. If your work colleagues or loved ones have started worrying, noting your quick temper then it is a clear sign to take things easy, especially over things that you have
little control over. The conduct of our usual suspects, the ubiquitous taxi drivers, are the pain of all motorists triggering violent behaviour amongst even otherwise God-fearing and law abiding citizens. Advanced defensive driving teaches skills of identification, prediction and execution in order to help motorists avoid and prevent incidents that can turn ugly. If you find yourself at the receiving end of road rage, here are a few tips to help you deal with the risk: l Start by ensuring that you are not the cause of road rage by driving badly yourself; l If the other driver becomes confrontational then do not engage. Avoid the temptation of retaliating. Remember that you do not know who you are dealing with and what his real gripe may be. He could have just lost his job, gone through a divorce, been declared insolvent and as a result may be under the influence of alcohol or narcotic substances. Do you want to tangle with someone who is not in control of his emotions? Who knows how he/ she will respond? l No matter who is right or wrong, de-escalate by being submissive;
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l Your body language should be unambiguous and apologise by mouthing a ‘sorry’; l Indicate, slow down and move slightly to the left to allow him/ her to pass; l Be empathetic – who knows what crisis he/ she may be in – let him/ her pass and let the incident slide. l This is especially true when dealing with mini bus taxis whose behaviour is all too familiar to all. Consider the facts: the driver is transporting over fifteen people, many of whom have travelled long distances, many times catching two taxis to get to work on time to avoid facing disciplinary action. Most times then, it is the passengers who put pressure on the drivers to speed up. The taxi driver himself has to make as many trips per day in order to give the owner of the Kombi his due. What is left after filling fuel is then his to keep – certainly gives a different perspective doesn’t it? And if all else fails, call 0861 400 800, recording as much detail as possible and, most importantly, the registration number of the perpetrator’s vehicle and let the authorities handle it from there. Remember, be polite, be prepared and be patient. Take care out there!
Muslim Views . June 2017
MINI South Africa celebrates 15 years in South Africa ASHREF ISMAIL
WHEN the first classic Mini, made in Birmingham, went on the market on August 18, 1959, none of the people involved at the time could likely have imagined that the concept of a revolutionary small car would turn into one of the automotive industry’s most impressive success stories, stretching over a period of almost six decades. Fifty-seven years ago, two models were presented to the public which differed solely in their radiator grille, hub caps and paint finishes: the Morris Mini Minor and the Austin Seven. Designer Alec Issigonis’ concept was both simple and ingenious: lots of interior space, combined with minimum exterior dimensions, four seats, perfect driving properties, low fuel consumption and a reasonable price. These brilliant ideas had an impact that has extended into the 21st century. The brand’s underlying principle was confirmed once more when it was reinvented with the market launch of MINI in 2001 by the BMW Group. Since then, MINI has successfully combined the classic values of the early generations with the demands of modern automobiles across its model range.
Is a Mini still a Mini if it’s not Mini?
In April 2002, MINI successfully made its debut in South Africa with the introduction of the first MINI Hatch. Fifteen years later, MINI South Africa has grown from strength to strength. Since market introduction in 2002, a total of 29 167 vehicles across the brand’s model range have been sold in South Africa, through the 14 established MINI dealerships countrywide. Globally, more than 3,8 million MINI vehicles have been delivered to customers.
In the quest to continue the MINI brand’s unique success story, the BMW Group realigned MINI’s product and brand strategy in 2015, which included a refined model line-up, a new corporate identity and marketing strategy that will open the brand to new ideas and new business areas. This was all introduced with the launch of the second generation MINI Clubman. With five model variants now on offer and with stronger characters – the MINI Hatch, MINI 5-door Hatch,
MINI Convertible, MINI Clubman and the recently introduced second generation MINI Countryman and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman – the MINI brand is geared towards reinventing itself in the premium compact car segment. In June, MINI South Africa will introduce the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. The second generation of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is the most spacious and most versatile model, and features the most powerful engine ever to be fitted in
a MINI. With an output of 170 kW, in combination with the standard allwheel drive system (ALL4) and a robust vehicle concept, it takes the MINI experience to a whole new level – in terms of both race track feeling on the road and driving fun over various terrains. The MINI John Cooper Works will be followed by the introduction of a diesel variant of the MINI Countryman in the third quarter – this will be the first time MINI offers a diesel variant in South Africa.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Rolls-Royce realises customer’s dream ASHREF ISMAIL
A ROLLS-Royce is the epitome of a luxury dream car for many motoring enthusiasts, the world over. So, cast your mind when you’re one lucky individual who gets to have a special, once-off car designed by ...wait for it...you! That’s exactly what happened when, approximately a year ago, Rolls-Royce presented 103EX to the world, it invoked its coachbuilding heritage to inspire its future clientele. This Vision Vehicle envisaged a world of completely personal luxury mobility where new technologies would allow every Rolls-Royce to be designed in their owners’ image, should they wish. Such a Rolls-Royce would represent the truest meaning of luxury – a personal, bespoke motor car like no other for each individual commissioning patron. The mere idea of a modern coach built by Rolls-Royce was not enough for one Rolls-Royce connoisseur, however. This individual approached the marque with his own idea of a two-seat Rolls-Royce that he wanted to be created in the here and now. That motor car is here, now and is christened ‘Sweptail’. In a
Rolls-Royce Sweptail, the most expensive car yet?
nod to the swept-tail of certain Rolls-Royces from the 1920s the client admired so much, he asked Rolls-Royce to re-imagine this feature on his one-off motor car. Inspired by the beautiful coachbuilt Rolls-Royces of the 1920s and 1930s, the client’s desire was for a coach-built, two-seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof.
Images GOOGLE PIC
As a connoisseur of RollsRoyces, he was inspired by many of his favourite cars from the marque’s golden era of the early 20th century, as well as many classic and modern yachts. Over the course of a number of years, Taylor and his team of designers engaged with the client in a wonderfully intellectual journey as they worked together to realise
the customer’s distinct vision and bring it to life. The result of this one-off, coach-build project is the completely unique Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’. The ‘Sweptail’ is without question a Rolls-Royce that fits the marque’s DNA. Its initial formality when seen from the front signals that this is one very different and distinct Rolls-Royce. One’s attention is first attracted by the confident and
solid character of the front profile, centred on a new treatment of the iconic Rolls-Royce Pantheon grille. The largest of any modern era Rolls-Royce, the grille is milled from solid aluminium before being painstakingly polished by hand to a mirror finish. The periphery of the front face of ‘Sweptail’ is framed in brushed aluminium. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17
Muslim Views . June 2017
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The coup de grace of the rear is the ultimate homage to the world of racing yachts that inspired the client, with its raked stern. Seen directly from behind, the rear taper contrasts strongly with the front of the motor car. This creates a shaping dimension that brings about a completely new perception of a dramatic Rolls-Royce coupé. Both the roof line of the Rolls
Royce ‘Sweptail’ as it tapers towards the centre line of the car, concluding in a ‘bullet-tip’ that houses the centre brake light, and the sweeping lower bumper area of the motor car, combine to create a greater feeling of elegance in motion. The highlight feature of ‘Sweptail’ however is that specifically asked for by the client. An uninterrupted glass roof, one of the largest and most complex ever seen on a motor car of any marque, allows the cabin to be
flooded with natural light, animating a host of beautifully handcrafted materials and componentry. The size, scale and complexity of the glass roof’s curvature is a marvel to behold, and from above again accentuates the speed and elegance of ‘Sweptail’. Creating the ambience of the interior of the motor car, the glass of the roof is framed by polished aluminium rails that channel it into a vanishing point at the rearmost extremity of the cabin.
The cleanliness and grandeur of the vehicle’s bodywork from the side view, the lengthened side windows and the panoramic glass roof combine to illuminate the two singular occupants of this most singular Rolls-Royce and its modern, minimalistic handcrafted interior. The provision of only two seats in a motorcar of this size exudes the romance of travel for its own sake, and immediately places ‘Sweptail’ in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental
tourers. This is furthered by the overall design of the interior, which has been conceived in a classic twoseat GT configuration, echoing the touring nature of its exterior body lines. A most personal, coach-built Rolls-Royce for a specific customer, every aspect of the material treatment of ‘Sweptail’ exudes handcrafted quality and exacting attention to detail. In short, it is a Rolls-Royce – but like no other before.
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Muslim Views . June 2017
Customers taking delivery of BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition ASHREF ISMAIL
ONE of the most anticipated BMW M models this year, the new BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition, is now available in South Africa. In October 2016, BMW M launched the limited high-performance coupe in honour of BMW Motorsport Works Driver Marco Wittmann (DE) who secured the DTM driver’s title in the 2016 season finale at the Hockenheimring.
Compared to the series production BMW M4, the BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition model, which is limited worldwide to 200 units and 15 in South Africa, delivers a power output that has been increased by 51 kW to 368 kW and a maximum torque of 600 Nm, an increase of 50 Nm (combined fuel consumption: 8.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 199 g/km)*. All 15 units in South Africa are sold out and currently being delivered to customers. Top-class motor racing technology for drive
and suspension as well as a specific design following that of DTM racing cars built by BMW Motorsport render the BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition a high-performance coupe with a focus on racetrack deployment and an exceptional collector’s item. In terms of driving performance, the BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition impresses with outstanding figures. It completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3,8 seconds, for example; top speed is limited to 305 km/h. This remarkable performance is not least possible through innovative water injection technology featured in the straight six-cylinder power unit already known from the BMW M4 GTS. A new definition of the Ultimate Driving Experience. Photo GOOGLE
Cooling of the combustion chambers made possible by this technology significantly raises the engine’s thermally-related performance limits, as the 16 per cent increase in power output vs. the production model proves. The BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition 2016 is exclusively available in Alpine White. Design and shaping of the additional foiling is reminiscent of the look of DTM racing cars produced by BMW Motorsport. These design elements make the edition model’s close ties with the brand’s successes in probably the world’s most popular international touring car series evident at first glance. CONTINUED ON PAGE 19
Muslim Views . June 2017
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Inside the two-seater BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition 2016, both driver and co-driver sit in M Carbon bucket seats covered in exclusive Alcantara/ Leather Merino. Furthermore, the entire interior is lined with exceptionally high-quality covering material Alcantara, also used on the M Sports steering wheel, sporting a grey ‘12 o’clock’ marker. Behind the front bucket seats of the BMW M4
DTM Champion Edition, a white rollover bar replaces the rear seat system. Optimal contact with the road is ensured by Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 high-performance tyres size 265/35 R19 at the front and 285/30 R20 at the rear, designed specifically for use on the racetrack and mounted on light alloys boasting a star spoke design 666 M in Orbit Grey matt. M carbon-ceramic brakes guarantee fade-free braking even in tough racing conditions. The indi-
vidually adjustable 3-way coilover suspension is mechanically adjustable both for rebound and damping, thus allowing the car’s handling characteristics to be adapted according to personal taste. Local pricing for the BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition 2016 is R2 300 000.
The BMW Group With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading pre-
mium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles, and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries. In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2,367 million cars and 145 000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately € 9,67 billion on revenues amounting to
€ 94,16 billion. As of December 31, 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124 729 employees. The success of the BMW Group has always been based on longterm thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. * Performance figures as indicated
Muslim Views . June 2017
Individual conduct will shape the better world we all yearn for ZUBEIDA JAFFER, veteran journalist and current writer-in-residence at University of the Free State, argues that one should start with one’s personal conduct and the conduct of institutions one is connected to in order to tackle the crisis facing us in this country and globally. Photo SUPPLIED the communities we live in and in our own country. As South Africans, we know the difference between right and wrong and therefore must insist that public conduct be restored to right action. We cannot overlook wrong conduct. And we cannot only focus on a few people and harass them publicly. We also have to examine ourselves and the institutions to which we are connected. Are we wasting water? Are we doing back-door business? Are we aware of poor and corrupt prac-
Besides the immediate family that is the most crucial, it is the police, the social workers, the courts, the religious bodies and the local neighbourhood watches who need to be mobilised to bring an end to violence against our children.
alise that the one weakness was that while we emphasised collective action, there was not enough focus on transformation of the individual. We did not make this a crucial element of our struggle. We worked hard at showing the wrongs of apartheid and rightly so. It was assumed that those leading anti-apartheid activities were committed to right and ethical conduct. We were wrong and today see the results of not insisting on personal transformation of each and every person. The Quranic quote above means we must also look inside our souls and work to cleanse it. If we are horrified that children are being abused and killed, the first step is to stop our own abuse in our families. It is not in order for a man to beat his wife. It is not in order for anyone of us to make the lives of our families miserable. It is not acceptable to swear and shout and treat others unkindly. We do not have the right to hurt our children. These are the first steps to bigger abuses endured across our society. Practising kindness will go some way towards reducing the levels of anger floating around and through us. It is not an easy time but each of us needs to start with the small steps of changing who we are and how we conduct ourselves. This is the central message of the month of Ramadaan. We need to be the changed world we want to see. This article first appeared on Zubeida Jaffer’s website www.zubeidajaffer.co.za.
WHAT is happening in our country and in the world? Daily, we are bombarded with shocking new revelations of misconduct of some politicians, civil servants and some business people. Human civility, integrity and right action are flying out the window. At the very moment when our natural resources are under threat, we read that the US president, Donald Trump, has withdrawn his country from the Paris Agreement that commits countries to work together to manage climate change. A poor management of climate change has contributed to us experiencing one of the worst droughts in a hundred years. A year ago, we would not have imagined that we would cry and pray for rain. We are crying, too, when we see our beautiful country gripped by incidents of horror and pain. We watch how our political leaders are tearing us apart. How are we supposed to make sense of what is going on?
Our conversations continue to take place within narrow ideological frameworks. We are stuck in the paradigms we have inherited: African Nationalism, Afrikaner Nationalism, English Liberalism, Socialism and Capitalism. Yet, no single ideology is providing us with all the answers. In fact, our party political system pits us against one another in a very ugly way. We do not have the power to stop wars or bombing in other parts of the world but we do have the power to make a difference in
tices in our organisations, in our companies, in our schools? Are we unkind to others? These practices will daily weaken our institutions and eventually wipe out all that we have worked so hard to build in our lifetime and in the new South Africa. Nelson Mandela understood that the quality of life of our children would determine the quality of the society we are building. There are many institutions in our country that are set up to protect children. Besides the immediate family that is the most crucial, it is the police, the social workers, the courts, the religious bodies and the local neighbourhood watches who need to be mobilised to bring an end to violence against our children. Often we complain but do nothing to improve the situation. Somehow, we find it easier to blame than to combine with others and act to root out bad practices. In Surah Ra’d (13:11), in the Holy Quran, the injunction is clear: ‘Verily, never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).’ This does not only mean that we must combine with others to act. It means that we have to wrestle with ourselves at all times when we are tempted to do something unethical – we have to clear our negative impulses from our souls. When I look back on the years of struggle in South Africa, I re-
Sheer Driving Pleasure
As we enter this auspicious celebration, the team at Auric Auto would like to wish you and your family a happy Eid-ul-Fitr. We hope that the road ahead is blessed with happiness, peace and prosperity.
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EID MUBARAK Auto Atlantic would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our Muslim clients, suppliers and friends a happy and blessed Eid.
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Muslim Views . June 2017
Leadership development for East and West MAHMOOD SANGLAY
‘FROM 1983 till 1994 I did not take one single day’s vacation; no vacation at all.’ This was the nature of the sacrifices made by Mirza Yawar Baig, an Indian expert in leadership development and family businesses. Baig hails from India and was the guest of the Imam Development Project (IDP) in their retreat from April 14 to 17, this year, at the Waterval Country Lodge, in Tulbagh, 122 km from Cape Town. It was in this idyllic setting that Baig gave Muslim Views of his time to talk about his life and work. He studied in Hyderabad, qualifying as an alim at Jamia Ilahiyat Nooria and graduating in History and Political Science at Osmania University. At the age of 21, he worked at a mining company in Guyana as administrative manager for five years, from 1979 till 1983. Baig says one of his good friends at the time was Sam Hinds, who became prime minister of Guyana from 1992 to 2015. He obtained his MBA at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, the leading business school in the country and distinguished by its affiliation to the Harvard Business School. In addition to his work in the mining industry, Baig gained another eleven years of ‘hands-on general management experience’ in the tea, coffee, cardamom and
Mirza Yawar Baig, left, was the international speaker at the Iman-Net retreat, in Tulbagh, on April 14. He is pictured here with Shaikh Riad Fataar, the second Deputy President of the Muslim Judicial Council. Photo MAHMOOD SANGLAY
rubber plantations. In this time he was also learning, teaching and preparing for the launch of Yawar Baig and Associates in 1994. The business thrived and in 1997 their operations expanded to the United States. Baig has published 36 books, mostly on Islamic themes. Six are on leadership for an audience broader than the Muslim reader. Baig says he has always tried to marry secular knowledge with that of the Quran, Hadith and the Seerah. He refers to this as his peculiar fusion of the values of the
East and the West, as well as presenting the values of the 7th century as relevant to the contemporary age. However, the vast majority of his clients are not Muslim and they are diverse in terms of nationality. He says he is the first and only Muslim in history on the leadership development panel of the General Electric Corporate University in New York. His professional services have nothing to do with his faith, and his faith is neither a secret nor a
barrier to his success, even in his travels to and from the US since 1997. Baig says even after 9/11 he has never experienced any prejudice or profiling. Nor has he ever been searched: ‘My average time at immigration in the US is like 30 seconds.’ The unique selling proposition of Yawar Baig and Associates, he says, is that it is the only leadership development consultancy that marries the East and the West. He also says his company is unique in bringing together the Quran and Sunnah with the notion of leadership development. Baig speaks five languages, namely English, Urdu, Tamil, Malayalam and Creole. He has been issued official state invitations to lecture on leadership to the Sultan of Oman, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf. Baig clarified before the interview that he would not be answering political questions. When asked why this bifurcation between politics and social issues, he answered that he does not recognise it as a bifurcation. He says he does write and speak about politics but he does not write or speak about individuals, organisations or governments. Rather, he addresses the principles of social and political justice. His reason, he says, is derived from the Seerah and Sunnah. Quoting Imam Nawawi, Baig says, ‘Not every truth needs to be
spoken, and not everything that is heard needs to be broadcast.’ Also, quoting Imam Ali (RA), Baig says, ‘Wisdom is to speak to people in keeping with their level of understanding.’ He adds that what we say to each other in private on political affairs ‘would and should differ, if necessary,’ from what we would say on a public platform. This does not mean, says Baig, that we are liars or cowards but that we are wise and sensible. The public, he says should be addressed at the level of the ‘one with the least possible understanding’. Baig argues that this is consistent with the example of the Prophet (SAW). When asked if this is inconsistent with speaking truth to power, he responded in the negative. Speaking truth to power, he says, is also a Prophetic practice. ‘The peak of imaan is to speak the truth before a tyrant. But speaking truth before the tyrant, the way I interpret that, is to speak one-on-one to the concerned person.’ Baig, therefore precludes open, public dissent with unjust rulers. In particular, he proscribes dissent with authority through the media. Baig says he has given advice to leaders in three countries, and ‘said some very straightforward, hard things, face-to-face things to them’. ‘One must speak the truth but one’s truth must not become a fitna for somebody else.’
Muslim Views . June 2017
Wasatiyyah Symposium on Isis: not a question of extremism but extremisms SHAFIQ MORTON
THE seventh annual Wasatiyyah Symposium hosted by International Peace College South Africa (Ipsa) held this year in conjunction with the Afro-Middle East Centre (Amec) was part of the annual Spice Mecca-Radio 786 pre-Ramadaan festival held at the Castle of Good Hope. For the first time, the Wasatiyyah Symposium with its working title ‘Isis in South Africa, measuring its scope and mitigating its influence’, was held off-campus. However, it did expose the symposium to degrading off-campus triviality, especially when some obscurantists argued that a historic Jumuah could not be held at the castle. Their bizarre reasons varied from it being ‘commercial’ and ‘Shia orientated’ to there being a non-halaal coffee shop at the castle – and surprisingly – the Jumuah being against the views of Imam Shaafii. Suffice it to say that no one made Jumuah inside the coffee shop nor were the principles of Imam Shaafi’i violated. If that wasn’t enough, the Independent Media Group made a royal hash of the symposium, its
We share a common ancestry and a common humanity. Muslims could not justify seeing the world via unipolar perspectives that separated from, or excluded, others... reporter claiming that Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, had said that the roots of Islamic terror were in the Cape. In fact, in his keynote address, Mbalula expressly stated that Islamic terror was not a state priority. This did not mean that the state was not vigilant but in the Western Cape gangsterism was a far greater problem. The two other keynote speakers were former ambassador, Ebrahim Rasool, and Shaikh Seraj Hendricks, Ipsa lecturer and imam at the Azzawia institution. Rasool said that the world today was not dealing with one extremism but several extremisms. ‘Extremism has also risen in the citadels of the West,’ he said, referring to the rising right-wing conservatism of the US and Europe. He said extremism arose in societies where certainties were eroded. Author John Galbraith had written that the more uncertain
people became, the more dogmatic they were. The response to uncertainty, fundamentalism laid the path to extremism where ‘justice became judgement’. Extremism, he suggested, had flowed into political vacuums in places such as Syria and Iraq. The best of Islam, he said, emanated from the centre where it had to be judged in relation to the extremes surrounding it. Shaikh Seraj Hendricks said that Muslims had to use the ‘best of the past to create the best for the future’. There was a massive need for proper education amongst Muslims. ‘Why are we so exploitable?’ he asked. He said that literalism (extremism) excluded, and even killed, those who disagreed. There was ‘structural violence’ within the deen via the words ‘bidah’, ‘kufr’ and ‘shirk’. We are theomorphic beings; education has to have spiritual values. We cannot throw majaz – or
metaphor – out the window. Wasatiyyah, he added, could not be seen in a linear fashion. We share a common ancestry and a common humanity. Muslims could not justify seeing the world via unipolar perspectives that separated from, or excluded, others. Mail and Guardian editor, Khadija Patel, said that the media suffered from a ‘deeply serious crisis of relevance’ due to globalisation. ‘The work we do is in peril. The independent media is under threat,’ she said, adding that credible journalism relied on specifics, which has not been the case on reporting Isis. Raeesa Cachalia, from the Institute for Security Studies, said there would be extremist expression where youth lived in human rights challenged environments dominated by relative deprivation, economic exclusion and unemployment. Imam Abdul Rashied Omar, from Notre Dame University, said that an acknowledgment of extremism did not undermine our faith. He said that reverts to Islam were vulnerable to extremism. He pointed to the FBI, saying it had 15 000 informants who used entrapment to feed the counterterrorism industry. Space precludes mention of the relevant presentations by Naeem
Jeenah, Shaikh Ighsaan Taliep, Dr Andrea Brigalia, Prof Ebrahim Arnold and Moulana Suleiman Rawat, though Advocate AB Mohamed – loved and respected by us all – did indulge in some cringing Don Quixote-type conspiracy. Well organised and well attended, the symposium did, nonetheless, reveal gaping holes in our understanding of fiqh. One questioner said that the Caliphate was a fiqhi question, a fard kifayah, a communal legal obligation – his message implicit (I thought) that there had been a failure on our part. This, however, ignored the Mardin fatwa of Ibn Taimiyya – one that enables Muslim minorities to live under even-handed, non-Muslim governments. The edict of Sayyidina Umar to lift the hadd during a drought and the views of Abu Hanifah reveal a dynamic, as opposed to static, interpretation of fiqh. Another commentator suggested we take ownership of the backwardness in our fiqh. Again, a well intended but dangerously absolutist statement; what about the brutal backwardness of Isis fiqh? Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion, next year’s symposium title should be ‘The classical fiqh of wasatiyyah?’
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Muslim Views . June 2017
Radically transforming the notion of Islamic finance? MAHMOOD SANGLAY
THE South African National Zakah Fund held an international conference on May 5 and 6 at the Academia Centre auditorium in Lansdowne, Cape Town. The theme of the conference was ‘Zakah for Humanitarian Relief’ and hosted some notable local and international speakers. The keynote speaker of the conference was Professor Osman Khieri of Sudan. His topic was the contemporary challenges and opportunities of cyber and hyper
globalisation. Lawal Maidoki, Chairman of the Sokoto State Zakat Endowment Commission of Sokoto State in Nigeria, addressed the role of zakaah on the fulfilment of the basic needs of the poor. Shamsuddin Bolatito spoke on his national organisation, the Global Union for Zakat Rite in Sudan. Dr Nunung Nurul Hidayah, from Indonesia, spoke on zakaah for Islamic economic revival.
Ethical finance One of the South African pre-
sentations was that of Basheer Moosagie who addressed the topic of ethical finance. He says financial uncertainty has the potential to bring out either the best or the worst in people. In defining the relatively new concept of Islamic finance (IF) Moosagie defines both what it is, as well as what it is not. The first myth he exposes is that of IF as the sponsor of terrorism. He argues that IF is legitimate, that its key standard is shariah compliance and that its products are offered as alternatives to conventional financial products.
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Due to potentially catastrophic economic consequences, the financial industry is a most rigorously regulated sector. In South Africa, for example, Fica legislation is designed to prevent and expose financial crime. The shariah, says Moosagie, does not condone the unlawful use of violence, especially against innocent victims. Above all, IF precludes investment in the defence and military sectors. The second myth, according to him, is that IF is a domain reserved exclusively for Muslims. The proliferation of IF services among
South Africa’s leading commercial banks is evidence of this phenomenon. Furthermore, people of other faiths are free to both use and offer IF services. It is interesting that the prohibition of interest is not exclusive to Islam. Moosagie says Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism also proscribe this practice. Muslims are the world’s leading faith community advocating an interestfree financial order. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Muslim Views . June 2017
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25
Furthermore, the broader moral and ethical values espoused by Islam have a universal appeal. This includes the prohibition of sectors with interests in the alcohol, gambling and pornography industries. A third myth, according to Moosagie, is that Islamic Finance is simply conventional finance rebranded. Apart from the moral ethical considerations already mentioned, Islamic Finance proscribes excessive risk and ambiguity in investment. The relative resilience of Islamic Finance in the face of the financial crisis since 2008 is one reason
leaders of conventional finance are developing a serious interest in Islamic Finance. A fourth myth is that Islamic Finance is governed solely by the shariah, and that it functions in isolation of civil and common law systems. The latter systems coexist, interact with and function in parallel with the shariah. This is particularly applicable to disputes arising from Islamc Finance contracts where the shariah does not always apply. In such cases, the default legal systems are typically common law, civil law or commercial law. This is indicative of integration of Islamic Finance within the global financial system. ‘The interface between the
shariah and civil or common law systems is bound to occur,’ says Moosagie. A final myth is that Islamic Finance is set to become the dominant financial system. He argues that the materialist nature of the global financial system is an indication that it will remain the preferred system. By way of analogy he says the dramatic growth of the halaal foods industry certainly does not mean the end of the non-halaal foods industry.
A new way of thinking Moosagie advocates a greater focus on ethical finance. This, he says, will foreground the broader universal appeal of Islamic Fi-
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nance, especially in respect of the IF aversion to the alcohol and weapons industries. Investment flow away from these industries are for the greater good of society. There is no extant financial or banking model within classical Islamic thought. An Islamic state bears responsibility for the welfare of its citizens, and is sustained by a transparent and accountable management of its resources. ‘The market that finances and uses Islamic finance models and products is a much smaller group (not in size, or population numbers, but in terms of economy of scale),’ says Moosagie. While this offers opportunities typically associated with niche markets, it also
presents challenges like higher costs, agency issues and limited scope for diversification. IF is vibrant, dynamic and constantly evolving. Its protagonists should promote its ethical benefits for society. This includes favourable working conditions, caring for the environment and economic justice. Moosagie appears to suggest a review of the way Islamic Finance is marketed in his call for a shift away from a narrow focus on its religious values to a focus on broader ethical values. This does not simply involve a name change or a rebrand. It involves, if you will, adopting and implementing some principles of radical economic transformation.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Zam-zam, the water without equal SALIM PARKER
IBN Abbas narrated that after Haajar (RA) and Ismail (AS) were left alone in Makkah, the infant continued to suckle on his mother. They drank from the water that Nabi Ibrahim (AS) had left for them in a skin flask, and she ate of the dates and some provisions which they had taken along. After a while, the water was depleted and both became thirsty. Ismail, as any infant would do when the need to quench their thirst and relieve their hunger became intense, started to cry. Haajar was greatly distressed and soon it became evident to her that her child was becoming more and more distressed and would not stop crying. She could no longer bear looking at him writhing in agony, and looked around. The hillock of Safa was the nearest high point that she could see and she decided to ascend it. Her intention was to see from that high vantage whether there were any other humans around or any forms of sustenance that would alleviate her child’s acute hunger and thirst. She ascended the hill of Safa and looked, hoping to see somebody but in vain. When she came down to the valley, she ran till she reached another hill, the hill of Marwah, about 450 metres away. At one point she looked at her baby and realised that he was famished and was frantically kicking the sand. She continued her search for any form of help and again traversed the distance between Safa and Marwah. She completed seven rounds of running between Safa and Marwah, all the time desperately looking for help or food and water. Her motherly instincts again drove her to go look at her child. Suddenly, she heard a voice that was not familiar to her. In utter despair she cried, ‘Help us if you can offer any help.’ The voice was that of Archangel Jibreel. Allah in His infinite mercy and wisdom would not abandon Haajar and her infant. It is reported by Ibn Abbas that Jibreel struck the earth with his heel. When Ibn Abbas related this incident as narrated to him by Nabi Muhammad (SAW), he demonstrated the event by stamping his own heel on the ground. Other traditions relate that Jibreel struck the earth with his wing. Water started gushing out at that very spot. Haajar was completely astonished and she started digging at that place. She drank from the water and the flow of her breast milk increased and she could feed her little boy. She started to make something like a basin around the place where the water was coming from by using her hands, and started filling her skin flasks, scooping up the water with her hands. According to the Saudi Geological Society, as the water gushed out, Haajar uttered, ‘Zome Zome,’ which means ‘stop flowing’. This water was the water without equal, the water that we now call Zam-zam. Jibreel said to her,
Up to the 1990s, one could access the area from where the Zam-zam was flowing, below the mataaf in Makkah’s Haram. There were steps leading down to the area Photo https://aswjmedia.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/zamzam_well_hajj_mecca-101.jpg from where the Zam-zam was pumped to various parts of the Haram.
‘Don’t be afraid of being neglected for this is the House of Allah, which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘May Allah bestow mercy on Ismail’s mother! Had she let the Zam-zam flow without trying to control it or had she not scooped from that
water to fill her water skin, Zamzam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.’ The miracle of Zam-zam per-
The ‘Zam-zam pit’ in the Haram was closed during the expansion of the mataaf and there is now no trace of the area from where the Zam-zam originates. Photo SALIM PARKER
sists till this day, and its virtues are unquestionable. Ibn Abbas said, ‘The people of Makkah used to be the fastest when it comes to sprinting, and the most powerful when it comes to wrestling but as soon as they stopped drinking Zamzam water, they started to suffer from a disease in their legs.’ He also said that Muhammad (SAW) said, ‘Zam-zam water is for what one intends to drink it. When one drinks it to be healed, Allah heals him; when one drinks it to be full, Allah makes him full; and when one drinks it to quench his thirst, Allah quenches it.’ Our Prophet (SAW) further said that, ‘The best water on earth is Zam-zam water.’ One of the miracles of Zamzam water is its ability to satisfy both thirst and hunger. One of the Companions of the Prophet said that before Islam, the water was called ‘shabbaa-ah’ or ‘satisfying’. It was filling and helped them nourish their families. It is also reported that the Prophet (SAW) rubbed the gums of his two grandchildren, Hassan and Hussain, with dates and Zamzam. It was also reported that the Prophet used to carry the water of Zam-zam in pitchers and water skins from Makkah back to Madinah. He used to sprinkle it over the sick and make them drink it. Most scholars agree that this natural spring has never run dry. It is known, though, to have been buried during certain times.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Our connection to the Creator demands care for the environment World Environment Day, spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Programme, is commemorated annually on June 5 to raise global awareness to take positive action to protect the environment. The theme for World Environment Day 2017 was ‘Connecting People to Nature’. DR FATIMA HENDRICKS, a student at Madina Institute, in Atlanta, USA, argues that our connection to Allah and His creation will give meaning to our civic responsibility in caring for the environment.
THE World Environment Day (WED) theme requires deep reflection, and challenges us as Muslims to interrogate our own role in narrowing the gap between civic responsibility and environmental protection and promotion but in ways that require not only an overhaul of counter-productive environmental attitudes but a critique of ourselves and our communities’ engagements with connectivity to nature on a number of levels. It is significant that the WED theme utilises the word ‘connecting’ because by its use there is a profound reference to interaction and humanity’s connection or disconnection to self, God, each other and the environment. The Holy Quran, in Surah Az Zalzala, describes this powerful,
The receding level of Theewaterskloof Dam in the Western Cape, exposes the rocks and debris that used to lie underwater. The writer argues that it is our interpersonal connection to Allah’s creation that sustains campaigns such as saving water in an effort to protect the environment. Photo courtesy Where The Light Is: Photography JON KERRIN
yet intimate inter-connectivity between the human being and the earth. Surah Az Zalzala describes the convulsions of the earth and the parallel convulsions of human beings as each casts out its burdens on the day the debts are due. It describes a day when the earth will narrate whatever happened to her, when the earth is shaken with utmost shaking, casting out her burdens from within and relating whatever happened to her. The surah ends with a powerful description when groups will be shown their deeds and whoever has done an atom’s weight of good or its converse seeing it. As a reflection, it is a significant
reminder that the goodness or evil of the human being in obedience or disobedience to God, in connection or disconnection to God, the Creator of Connectedness, impacts on our ability for environmental protection and promotion. Therefore, at a fundamental level, in this interdependent universe, we need to critically reflect on where the pressure points of disconnection by Muslims related to the environment are and how we can act as catalysts for change. We have become accustomed to binary thinking in terms of the lines of separation between us and the environment. However, we are inextricably part of the environment in the air we breathe, the earth we till, the
water we bathe in and the earth we build our lives on. It is apparent that the significant degradation by human beings of our environment is linked to a symptom of the intrapersonal disconnection to God. We are all too familiar with Hadith Qudsi – hadith of Jibreel – where ihsaan is defined as ‘to worship God as though you see Him, and if you cannot see Him then indeed He sees you’ (Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim). Hence the need for introspection in terms of how we as Muslims can claim ihsaan yet continue to play our role in the depletion of water resources, the destruction of ecosystems, habitat destruction, pollution and the resultant extinction of our wildlife. As a sign of our times, even our bees are disappearing, with the bumble bee on the endangered list and contributing factors for colony collapse being named as toxins, pesticides and fungicides, changing weather conditions and even possibly wi-fi. It is ironic that in the surah of the bees (Surah Al-Nahl: 90) God demands of us higher levels of behaviour: ‘Allah commands justice, (ihsan) the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you that you may receive admonition.’ From this verse it is clear that Islam is clear in its requirement for goodness and harmony in the land. In fact, the Holy Quran is rich in descriptions of the beauty of
God’s creations, His majestic artistry, oaths involving nature, not to mention guidelines for how to live off the land in a balanced way, with water as a life-giving theme. Even the longest oath (kasm) in the Holy Quran, in Surah AshShams, calls on us to reflect on Allah’s splendid creations where just as the sun and moon, day and night, earth and sky are different from each other in results and effects, so too are good and evil different from each other and their effects. In conclusion, the theme for World Environment Day 2017 of ‘Connecting People to Nature’ is compelling if we as Muslims are able to step up to the challenge for personal and communal renewals of our faith. While it may be easy to make the superficial, all too familiar suggestions to save water when making wudu, to recycle, to not litter etc., we need to examine the root cause of why these behavioural changes do not last long. The key audit is based on our intrapersonal connections to God and our interpersonal relations to His creation, which ultimately is a call to reconnection to the Holy Quran and the authentic Sunnah. It is only in our personal and community renewals and transformations that we will start to see traction in narrowing the gap between civic responsibility and environmental protection and promotion. This article has been endorsed by Shaikh Dr Muhammad Bin Yahya Al-Ninowy
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Muslim Views . June 2017
No money a good root
Even though the sun had set on his financial means, it dawned on his awareness of his spirituality in Madinah. Photo SALIM PARKER
I have witnessed this many times before and was not certain what to expect next, writes DR SALIM PARKER. ‘I SPENT all my money, Doc,’ he said. We were in Madinah and Hajj was still nearly a month away. Yet, he did not appear sad at all. In fact, he appeared unfazed, even jovial. He recounted how he got carried away with buying presents for all and sundry with working on some sort of budget completely thrown out amongst the mazes and alleys of the souks. First, there were the compulsory gifts for the immediate family and friends who had worked tirelessly to entertain and feed the streams of well-wishers just before their departure to Saudi Arabia. There was never a shortage of savouries, food and beverages on the tables as some watchful eye somehow immediately replenished whatever had been consumed. Those people were uppermost in his mind when he went on his frenzied buying binge and he, within a few days, had ticked off all the names of those for whom he had wanted to buy gifts. He had also ticked off names that had not been there in the first place. Then, of course, there were the irresistible bargains that he thought he would never again be lucky enough to encounter – until he entered the store next door, that is! He was sheepishly grinning when he recounted his experiences. I have witnessed this many times before and was not certain what to expect next. Sometimes, it was a prelude to prudent behaviour, sometimes, it led to a disguised demand for dealing out a bit of charity. There were cases where a pilgrim in such a situation, either due to pride, embarrassment or uncertainty, would suffer from severe
hunger pangs amidst mountains of waste food excess. He admitted though that he had been influenced by the advice he was given by previous hujjaaj who had very readily given their expert advice. ‘Buy everything in Madinah as it is cheaper, of better quality and available in all shapes and sizes,’ was a common theme of what he was told. ‘And I obliged without keeping count of the number of rands I had left. At least, I have no more items to purchase, I have done all I want to. In any case, I can’t, even if I wanted to!’ he added. ‘At least you won’t have to worry about food,’ I replied, and we talked about the Hajj packages that included most meals in the price. ‘You know Doc, I only realised how lucky I am yesterday. Every evening I would go shopping in Madinah for the past few days but last night, because I had no money, I just went to the Prophet’s Mosque. Yes, it was still relatively busy but it was busy in an unhindered way. ‘It was so peaceful, so serene and it made me realise the value of detaching myself from the material world. Of course, I want to reward all those who assisted me before I undertook this journey but now I am not sure whether clothing or some other souvenir can do
justice to my feelings of appreciation. ‘I would rather want to tell them how supremely blessed I felt just being close to my beloved Prophet (SAW) and the wonderful tranquillity of Madinah,’ he confessed. ‘Well, you bought the presents, so now you can do both!’ I replied. ‘Hajj is still a few weeks away and, if you are already so spiritually inspired now, Insha Allah, you will feel even more close to your Creator when you stand on Arafah. Maybe the fact
‘That is the irony, Doc, I am not out of money,’ he replied. I was confused. Did he mean that he had spiritual currency in abundance now or was he going to live extremely frugally? Or both? He clarified his statement virtually immediately. ‘The morning that I left South Africa, an old friend of my late father came to greet me. I have not seen him in years and, in fact, I felt a bit embarrassed when he arrived as I had completely forgotten about him and had not informed him of my intended pilgrimage. ‘My father always reminded me to never forget our elders but somehow I slipped out on this particular person. Frail, weak and an octogenarian I felt humbled by his visit. He was the man who had set up my father on his first business venture decades ago and trusted him enough to repay the debt over a prolonged period. The gentleman moved to another city some time after that but always maintained close contact with my father,’ he started to tell me. He added that the gentleman had heard via the grapevine that my patient was going for Hajj and, as he was visiting Cape Town, decided to pay him a visit. The old man told him that it was his honour to visit an intending hajji and that the young man must in no way feel obliged to have informed him. When the gentleman left, he slipped, as is customary in Cape
‘Hajj is still a few weeks away and, if you are already so spiritually inspired now, Insha Allah, you will feel even more close to your Creator when you stand on Arafah’ that you have no money is a good thing!’ I mischievously added. I attended to his medical issues after which he made his way to the Haram. I met him the next morning at the breakfast buffet of the five star hotel we were staying in. ‘If you have only one indulgence from this lavish spread, you will not need to buy another morsel for the rest of the day,’ I remarked. There were probably over twenty different cereals, pastries that would do a Parisian patisserie proud, and orchards of fruit.
Town, an envelope into the hajji’s hand. ‘Use it as your late father would have used it,’ were his parting words. For some reason, he had not opened the envelope but, instead, had put it in a small prayer book that his father had given him some time back. ‘I was sitting in the mosque last night and opened the prayer book. The envelope was still in there and I opened it. No, there was no money in there, just a small piece of paper. My first thought was how could I use it as my father would have used it? A mere piece of paper. The side I looked at was blank so I turned it around. It was a deposit slip. A deposit slip for a substantial amount of money,’ he said. His father’s friend had somehow got hold of his account details and had deposited the gift without any obligations. ‘Do you need medication, Doc?’ he asked. I gratefully indicated that we were well stocked. I was aware of a lady who had been swindled out of some money that she had painstakingly handed over to a relative to save for her Hajj. Her operator was aware of her situation and had made arrangements for her to pay off her debts after the holy journey. ‘I am only going to use this money for good causes like that,’ he pledged. He came to my consulting room later that day, carrying a plate of the most exotic chocolate cakes. They were not included in the Hajj package and I was well aware of the ridiculously high prices the hotel charged for such luxuries. ‘Don’t tell me you bought such expensive items!’ I gently admonished him. ‘Oh no, these are with compliments of the pastry chef that you attended to earlier, ’he said. Winking, he added, ‘Would I spend good money on a chocolate addicted doc?’
Muslim Views . June 2017
AWQAF SA SIGNS HISTORIC AGREEMENT
Istanbul hosts first Al-Quds Awqaf forum SHAFIQ MORTON
THE first international forum of the Al-Quds Awqaf, with its focus on the development and status of Islamic Jerusalem and Palestine, was held in Istanbul last month. Hosted by the Turkish Directorate of Waqf in the Prime Minister’s office and the Malaysian International Institute of Awqaf, the event carried the blessings of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). It was attended by the Prime Minister of Palestine, Rami Hamdallah, Prince Ghazi of Jordan, Dr Yousef bin Ahmad al-Othaimeen, Secretary General of the OIC, and addressed by Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Acting on the recommendations of an OIC meeting in April last year, the forum brought together representatives of foundations, experts, academics, government ministers and high-ranking officials from around the world to discuss the needs of Palestinians and the state of Muslim heritage in Jerusalem. Addressing the forum, President Erdogan expressed Turkey’s support for the Palestinian struggle against the illegal occupation of Jerusalem, calling on Turks and Muslims to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque as frequently as possible to protect the Muslim identity of the holy place. ‘As a Muslim community, we need to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque
The first international forum to discuss the development and status of Islamic Jerusalem, from a waqf perspective, was held in Istanbul last month. Many buildings in the city which are of special significance to Muslims, such as the Dome of the Photo SHAFIQ MORTON Rock, are endangered following the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.
often. ‘Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us,’ he said, warning Israel to leave the city’s Islamic heritage alone. He added that the international community remained silent on Israel’s human rights violations. Israel felt it was immune to any punishment for its crimes.
The international community had to take a stand. ‘It is impossible to establish peace in the region if international law remains indifferent to [Israeli] massacres and cruelty,’ he said. Erdogan also commented that Israel’s policy towards Muslims was like that of South Africa [during apartheid], and accused the Is-
raeli administration of establishing an apartheid regime. Awqaf South Africa’s founding spirit, Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, attended the forum together with deputy CEO, Mickaeel Collier, who delivered a paper penned by Dr Anwah Nagia and him entitled ‘The Advancement of Palestine in South Africa through Awqaf Proj-
ects – the case of the Palestine Museum and Human Rights Centre’. Collier said that the centre in District Six, Cape Town – the brainchild and creation of Nagia – was ‘resistance in motion’, the first of its kind and size in the world. It, therefore, is intended to become a political museum and educational institution. Collier also spoke about the unique features of the centre, such as its representation of the Via Dolorosa, the fourteen centuries of Islam and seven-hundred years of peaceful coexistence of people under Ottoman rule, its virtual amphitheatre and facilities for learners. A significant outcome of the trip was the signing of an MOU between the Ummet Vakfi, a waqf instituted by Palestinian leader Shaikh Raed Salah – this after he donated monies from an international award – and Awqaf SA wherein the two organisations agreed to collaborate on humanitarian, educational, economic development and sustainable projects in Jerusalem and Palestine. The forum also made calls for solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, and supported the decision of the United Nations and Unesco, which acknowledged the occupation of Jerusalem by Israel. It emphasised that the 144-acre Masjid Al-Aqsa sanctuary belonged solely to Muslims, and that no division of it would be acceptable.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Al-Azhar High School students spoil mothers at Mother’s Day luncheon AMEERA MARTIN
ON Sunday, May 14, which coincided with Mother’s Day, Al-Azhar High School hosted their annual luncheon at Muizenberg Civic Centre. This annual fundraising event is hosted in aid of much needed funds for the renovations of the school, which include the extension of the girls’ bathroom, upgrading the school library, Al-Azhar’s boys nasheed group: Uthamaan Shabudien, Umer Daniels, Ganief Robertson, Amin Paleker, Saligh Van Der Schyff and Shadley Photo NABEELAH MENTON Tofaa.
building a mini hall and a locker room for the rugby team. The event was well attended, with the mothers being treated to a three-course meal. The event opened with a qiraah melodiously rendered by Abdullah Taliep, in Grade 9, followed by a duah by Shaikh Nabiel Majiet, the head of Islamic Studies at the school. The keynote address was delivered by Chief Education Specialist and Head of Independent Schools at the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), Dr Nazli Domingo. Speaking as a mother and a fe-
male growing up in a Muslim community during apartheid South Africa, Domingo inspired many young people in the audience to never compromise on career, family or deen, in pursuing success. Other prominent guests and speakers included the second deputy of the Muslim Judicial Council and MJC Head of Education, Shaikh Riad Fataar, and the President of the United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA), Shaikh Ighsaan Taliep. CONTINUED ON PAGE 37
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Muslim Views . June 2017
Cape Town to host UJ Summer School on Islam PROFESSOR FARID ESACK
THE Religion Studies Department of University of Johannesburg (UJ) has come up with a very exciting international project, which somewhat surprisingly, will be held in Cape Town. UJ will be hosting the first of a seven-day Summer School in January 2018 and plans on making this a two-yearly event. Billed as the ‘Cape Town Critical Muslims Studies (CMS) Summer School’, the programme is expected to draw post-graduate students and academics from across the globe. Critical Muslim Studies (CMS) is inspired by an identified need to open up a space for serious intellectual and socially committed ways of thinking through issues related to Islam and the current state of the Muslims as they face various challenges – religious and ideological. Critical Muslim Studies does not regard Islam only as a religiospiritual tradition or a civilisation. Instead, it holds that Islam is a serious option for a decolonial perspective. It believes that Islam is not a dead tradition where Muslims just have to respond to the demands of the powerful around them. Islam, contrary to the way imperialism and its allies want to define it, is not a religion just of ‘peace’; it is also a religion of justice, a path to shatter the so-called ‘peace’ if it is based on occupation, injustice and discrimination.
Professor Farid Esack, one of the instructors at the seven-day Summer School on Islam to be hosted in Cape Town in January 2018. Photo CHARLENE LOUW
The term ‘decoloniality’ has become common in South Africa and UJ is trying to develop a niche – or a specialised area – for how this relates to Islam. As we see so visibly in the Gulf States these days, colonialism lives on in new forms. We, therefore, have to continuously challenge the way power is exercised over Muslims and other communities even after the
colonists have formally left our countries and spaces. For us, decoloniality basically means that the powerful countries should not have the right to define Islam and make demands on what kind of Islam Muslims should be identifying with and living out. Critical Muslim Studies is part of a global intellectual network which offers an opportu-
nity to interpret and understand Islam and Muslim communities in ways that does not reproduce Whiteness, an obsession with the needs of Europe and America, Islamophobia or takfiri exclusivism. (Islamophobia is a type of disease rooted in an irrational fear of Islam and Muslims, and ‘takfir’ is the tendency to call other Muslims ‘kafir’.) Locating the Summer School in Cape Town is an interesting choice. The presence of Muslims in South Africa more broadly, is also unique. Our history is not one of submission and enslavement to European conquerors but one of active and creative resistance. The first urban uprising in South Africa took place in BoKaap in the 1880s against Dutch colonial police, and a number of Muslim individuals and organisations played key roles in the antiapartheid struggle. South Africa has also recently become a major centre for implementing the broader calls of decoloniality as massive Black-led student social movements in 2015 and 2016 have been engaged in decolonising knowledge and power. The Cape Town Summer School places the conversations on Islam and decoloniality more firmly in the Global South. While the programme is inspired by the Granada Summer School in Spain, Spain – where a similar two-week programme has been running for seven years – The Cape Town Summer School differs in that most of the lecturers are ei-
ther from or teach in the Global South. The Cape Town Summer School will also engage with forms of conscious and thoughtful living out Islam among the South African Muslim community. This includes looking at issues of gender, sexuality, race and diversity and how these can be more centrally located within decolonial Muslim conversations. The Summer School Convening Committee is headed by Professor Farid Esack and Alexander Abbasi, a post-graduate student at UJ. The instructors are mostly internationally recognised scholars and intellectuals from a range of disciplines: Farid al-Attas (National University Singapore), Gabeba Baderoon (Penn State University), Farid Esack (University of Johannesburg), Ramon Grosfoguel (University of California, Berkeley), Nelson Maldonado-Torres (Rutgers University), M Shahid Mathee (University of Johannesburg), Michael Mumisa (University of Cambridge), Salman Sayyid (University of Leeds), Sa’diyya Shaikh (University of Cape Town) and Fatima Seedat (University of Cape Town) The deadline for applications is August 11, 2017. For further information, kindly look at the Summer School’s website criticalmuslimct.com Professor Farid Esack teaches at UJ and is the President Emeritus of the International Qur’anic Studies Association.
Muslim Views . June 2017
IMA endorses vaccination of children Recent discussions on social media forums regarding the permissibility of vaccinations have caused some confusion with some Muslims taking the position that they are not permissible. As a guideline to Muslim parents, the president of the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (Imasa), SOLLY SULEMAN, issued a detailed statement on behalf of the National Executive Committee of the organisation.
DISEASE prevention is one of the goals of public health, and vaccination is an important component that assists in the facilitation of this goal. Undoubtedly, vaccines protect both people who receive them and those with whom they come into contact. Muslims should note that through global vaccination initiatives, many infectious diseases such as polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps and tetanus, that were once common in the different countries of the world, have finally been brought under control and, in many developed countries, have been virtually eliminated. Muslims should therefore take cognisance
of the fact that over the years vaccines have succeeded in preventing countless cases of infectious diseases and their complications, resulting in reduction of disabilities and literally millions of lives saved! Imasa is well aware that the Glorious Quran forbids Muslims from consuming pork (6:145), and in view of this particular ayah, Muslims in general are uncomfortable when they come to learn that porcine elements are used in the manufacturing process of certain vaccines. However, it is important for Muslims to take note of the fact that as far back as 1995 more than 100 Muslim legal scholars participated in a seminar convened in Kuwait by the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences on the topic: ‘The Judicially Prohibited and Impure Substances in Foodstuffs and Drugs.’ At the conclusion of this seminar the consensus arrived at was: ‘Transformation of pork products into gelatine alters them sufficiently to make it permissible for observant Muslims to receive vaccines containing pork gelatine.’ Imasa further wishes to draw the attention of the general Muslims to the Objectives of Islamic Law that are termed as Maqasid al-Shariah, which are: 1. Preservation of Religion (Hifdh al-din). 2. Preservation of life (Hifdh alnafs).
3. Preservation of progeny (Hifdh al-nasl). 4. Preservation of intellect (Hifdh al-aql). 5. Preservation of wealth (Hifz almal). Interestingly, vaccination fulfils all of the above five objectives of the shariah: l Firstly, insofar as preservation of the religion is concerned, Muslims who are vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases will be in a better position to uphold and practice all the faraid (obligatory acts of worship) of Islam. l Secondly, vaccination initiatives by facilitating universal access of safe vaccines have succeeded in the preservation of the lives of millions of people across the globe, thereby reducing global morbidity and mortality. l Thirdly, parents who opt to have their children vaccinated would have fulfilled the preservation of their progeny by safeguarding them from succumbing to the vaccine preventable diseases. l Fourthly, preservation of intellect/ sanity is achieved through vaccination in that those who implement the vaccination initiatives in their community and country at large will enjoy peace of mind knowing that their community and citizens have been protected from contracting the vaccine-preventable
diseases. l Fifthly, vaccination contributes to the preservation of wealth. It is an extremely cost-effective intervention and makes good economic sense in that it is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it and its resultant complications. According to Sanha: ‘Administering medication that contains prohibited/ unlawful substances would only be deemed permissible under the following circumstances: 1. The patient’s life is endangered or the ailment would worsen if the medication is not administered. 2. No halaal alternative or substitute medication is available. 3. The medication is prescribed by an experienced Muslim medical practitioner of religious integrity and acknowledged repute. Although vaccination of your child does not treat a life-threatening disease it does prevent one. Not vaccinating a large group in South Africa like all Muslims is also likely to seriously jeopardise public health efforts to control or eradicate measles. The current vaccine being used by the Government is Measbio, which contains gelatine. There are alternative vaccines available, which includes Rouvax (measles only) or Priorix (combined MMR). It is understood that these
do not contain gelatine. Based on the above the Imasa recommendations are as follows: 1. Your child must be vaccinated against measles. 2. It would be preferred to use Rouvax/ Priorix in children older than nine months of age if available and affordable. Communities should cooperate to try to help those less fortunate to afford this vaccine if possible. 3. If your child has not been vaccinated and is unable to gain access to a non-gelatine containing vaccine it would be advised to take the vaccine available. The Imasa together with other Muslim groups should advocate and promote the use of the nonporcine gelatine containing vaccine if medically equivalent. We should apply pressure to make this vaccine available and affordable. Finally, Imasa endorses vaccination of Muslim children because the overall benefit of vaccination at the individual level is to strengthen their immunity and to protect their bodies from fatal diseases while at the community level it leads to healthy, productive and useful members of society. May Allah guide us all.
Muslim Views . June 2017
What is haematology? DR SHAHROCH NAHRWAR
Haematologists are physicians who have specialised in the study of blood diseases, which is haematology. Their routine work mainly includes diagnosis and treating patients with the following blood diseases: Lack of red blood cells: This is called anaemia. If there is a lack of red blood cells or haemoglobin it can lead to fatigue or abnormal tiredness. Anaemia affects more than a third of the world population. More than half of these cases worldwide are due to iron deficiency because of parasites, and, in first world countries, including South Africa, which is mainly due to heavy menstrual periods in young women and colon cancer in the elderly. Haemoglobin is the protein in our red blood cells bound to iron that transports oxygen in the blood because very little oxygen can dissolve in plasma. Sickle-cell anaemia: This occurs where abnormal haemoglobin causes misshapen blood cells to obstruct blood vessels. This condition affects millions of young people in central Africa. Thalassemia: This is caused by one of the most common worldwide genetic mutations, and affects hundreds of millions of
people with underproduction of haemoglobin. This leads to various degrees of anaemia, enlarged spleen and abnormal bones due to the abnormal expansion of bone marrow in hundreds of thousands of children. G6PD-deficiency: This is caused by the most common genetic mutation worldwide and affects hundreds of millions of mainly males, causing fragile red blood cells. Lack of white blood cells: The lack of immune cells or antibodies causes infections. Lack of platelets: Platelets are cells that form plugs in injured blood vessels, and the lack thereof can cause bleeding. Haemophilia: This occurs when there is a lack of proteins that form clots around platelet plugs. Haemophilia leads to various degrees of severity of bleeding in the joints, muscles and brain, and is caused by a deficiency in factor VIII. Von Willebrand’s disease is the most common genetic blood clotting problem affecting one per cent of all people. However, it only causes significant bleeding in one per cent of all patients. Deep venous thromboses: This is also called abnormal clotting, and occurs in 15 per cent of all hospitalised patients. Haematological malignancies:
Cancer of the blood and reticuloendothelial* and lymphatic* systems cause about ten per cent of all new cancers per year (about 14 million new cases per year and increasing) leading to eight per cent of all cancer deaths (eight million per year and increasing) worldwide, and ranking about ten of top 20 cancer deaths in SA with about 40 000 dying per year. Half of them are widespread at diagnosis but with more than survival rates, which is better than compared with any other widespread cancer. * Reticuloendothelial system: This consists of the bone marrow (factory of all blood cells), spleen (organ that filters old blood cells and fights bloodstream infections) and liver (the biggest organ that detoxifies your body). * Lymphatic system: This consists of the lymph nodes, lymph vessels and lymph fluid and is the home for the white cells in every single tissue or organ of the body.
Treatment of blood diseases There are various forms of treatment for different types of blood diseases. Diet: Adjust your diet so that you take in foods that enhance iron absorption. Vegans need monthly vitamin B12 intramuscular injections because there is too little vitamin B12 in plants.
While receiving chemotherapy it is important to increase one’s fluid intake. This allows the drugs to flush out through the kidneys. An increased fluid intake will also thin the blood or plasma in patients with ‘thick’ blood or plasma and therefore prevents stroke, heart attacks and poor overall circulation. Vitamin K is recommended because four clotting factors depend on it. This vitamin is mainly produced by bacteria in the gut.
Medication Oral medication – in tablet or liquid form – is prescribed as for any other condition. l Antiplatelet therapy (‘to thin the blood’): aspirin or Ecotrin and clopidogrel for mainly ‘artery calcification’ causing heart attacks and strokes. l Anticoagulation therapy (‘to thin the plasma’): heparin, warfarin, Clexane, Xarelto, Pradaxa to prevent worsening of clots in the legs and lungs or prevent stroke by irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). l Chemotherapy (against cancer). Intramuscular injections, for example, vitamin B12 injections, antibiotics, chemotherapy and vaccinations or immunisations. Intravenous blood transfusions with blood products like red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Do-
nated blood is very safe, with less than a million chance of contracting HIV. Chemotherapy uses chemicals that kill all fast dividing cells, resulting in possible hair loss, drying and peeling of the skin, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, variable bone marrow suppression (low blood counts) and possible injury to the internal organs – depending on the type of chemotherapy – which usually recover after chemotherapy has been discontinued. Bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant is used to replace your bone marrow, for example, when you have leukaemia, and after destroying the leukaemia and bone marrow with chemo-radiotherapy. Radiotherapy administers high energy rays that destroy all cells in its way – usually given in fractions over many days to avoid organ toxicity. Venesection (‘bloodletting’), also known as therapeutic phlebotomy, (for iron overload or polycythaemia; ‘too much blood’) where ± 450ml of blood is tapped of the patient with a large needle in a large vein. Dr Shahroch Nahrwar is a clinical haematologist at Melomed Tokai Hospital. He can be contacted at 021 712 5089 or via e-mail: email@example.com
Muslim Views . June 2017
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Ramadaan with Islamic Relief SHANAAZ EBRAHIM-GIRE
AS we bid farewell to Ramadaan – a time of self-discipline and self-sacrifice; a period of showing compassion for those less fortunate – Islamic Relief South Africa (IRSA) would like to take this opportunity to reflect on this past month. Our humanitarian efforts were focused on ensuring that we reached the most vulnerable families in South Africa, Lesotho and Zimbabwe through the implementation of our annual Ramadaan programme. Our local office reached more than 12 000 beneficiaries through the distribution of Ramadaan and fitrah hampers. According to IRSA monitoring and evaluation officer Mohamad Shakil Dauhoo, who was deployed to Zimbabwe to coordinate the Ramadaan food hamper distributions, families living in abject poverty were the most affected and were in need of additional support. One beneficiary who benefitted from this year’s Ramadaan food hamper distributions, was Umar Amise, who resides in Mbare, one of the largest slums in Harare. He shares a single room – used for cooking and sleeping – with his daughter. His pregnant wife passed away many years ago.
‘The worry about where we will get our next meal did not stop me from fasting. When we received the food hamper, it came as a blessing as I know that in our family it will be able to last us more than a month.’ ‘When I met Umar, he could not remember his age. He is bedridden and cannot work, and recently had to travel to Malawi for cataract surgery,’ said Dauhoo. He explained that due to the poor health services and the exorbitant cost of the procedure, it was cheaper to have the cataract surgery in Malawi. Speaking to Islamic Relief, Umar explained that he does not receive any social grants from the government, leaving him and his daughter without any safety net. ‘We do not have any source of income. We depend on the support from neighbours. We often go up to two days without eating … it is becoming difficult to send my
daughter to the neighbours to ask for food.’ Umar was one of the recipients of a Ramadaan food hamper this year. Despite his challenges, he remains optimistic and steadfast in his faith. ‘The worry about where we will get our next meal did not stop me from fasting. When we received the food hamper, it came as a blessing as I know that in our family it will be able to last us more than a month.’ During Ramadaan, Islamic Relief’s volunteer teams in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban hosted various activities, which included cupcake sales in aid of Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital,
and street collections in aid of Syria. Islamic Relief also partnered with Cape Town-based NPO, Lace Up For Change (LU4C) and their #BoeberRun initiative. More than 1 400 people were reached in the first two weeks of Ramadaan alone. ‘We are humbled to see how this project has evolved from humble beginnings in 2015 by Islamic Relief staff and volunteers,’ IRSA COO Yusuf Mohamed said. ‘We are privileged to be able to support this growing project with blankets and milk for the Boeber that was distributed to some of the most vulnerable communities living in the Cape metropole area.’
Islamic Relief changing lives Since 1984, Islamic Relief has saved and changed over 100 million lives. Right now, we are on the ground in more than 40 countries around the world, ready to assist the most vulnerable people. This month, we also focused on raising awareness of the plight of families affected by conflict in Syria, and millions who are facing food insecurity in Yemen and East Africa. ‘The number of people affected by drought and famine in East Africa is increasing every day, with the humanitarian actors calling on governments and donors to step up fundraising efforts so that relief efforts can be increased,’ Mohamed added. ‘Ramadaan was a good reminder for us to strengthen our resolve and to work for the benefit of the less fortunate. Time is running out for millions of people across the world who face a daily fight for survival but, together, we can help to ease their suffering. ‘On behalf of our rights holders, management, staff and volunteers, we would like to wish you and your family a blessed Eid mubarak. ‘Thank you for your continued support. May Allah SWT accept all our efforts, Insha Allah,’ Mohamed concluded.
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Muslim Views . June 2017 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 32
The audience was pleasantly surprised when it was announced that the masters of ceremony were two students, Soffaa Galant (Grade 12) and Taahir Essa (Grade 11). In his address, the new principal, Mr Ashiek Manie, spelt out his commitment to encouraging greater learner empowerment and leadership based on an Islamic ethos. This was further emphasised with a Grade 8 learner, Kauthar Janse Van Reinsberg, delivering an original poem, as a dedication to her mother who was moved to tears in the audience.
The poem was followed by Junaid Benjiman (Grade 12) and Muhammad Saligh van der Schyff (Grade 9) rendering a melodious rap in celebration of all mothers. A group of Grade 8 girls rendered their own song to the delight of the audience who was further entertained by our top, prize-winning girls and boys nasheed groups, for the rest of the afternoon. Cape Town’s best known Muslim auctioneer, Mr Taj Akleker, was at his best in raking in some much-needed financial contributions from the audience, interspersed with his unique humour. The highest bid for a Persian carpet came from the oldest lady in the audience, Ms Abdeya Da
Costa, aged 91 years. The luncheon was well supported by a number of compassionate individuals and businesses who displayed their commitment to education and the well-being of the Muslim community. The boys nasheed group closed the event with a rendition of the salawaat while the deputy principal, Mr Kiyaam Ruiters, ended the proceedings with a vote of thanks to everyone for attending and making the luncheon a success once again. Ameera Martin is a student at Al-Azhar High School. Taj Akleker auctioning a carpet as part of Al-Azhar’s annual fundraising Photo FAATIMAH AWALDIEN event.
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Muslim Views . June 2017
AWQAF SA SAYS IT’S LOOKING GOOD BUT STILL A LONG WAY TO GO
Building sustainable charity for all SHAFIQ MORTON
WAQF, or its plural ‘awqaf’, is an Islamic philanthropic instrument first developed by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) over 1 400 years ago. While its principles of being self-sustaining without touching the original investment are said to date back to the Greeks and Persians, the early Muslims developed it into an institutional vehicle to uplift society. Although waqf is not specifically mentioned in the Quran – the primary source of Islamic legislation – the concept of wealth redistribution is strongly emphasised. A Prophetic adage supports the idea of recurring charity, and it inspired the institution of waqf together with the Quranic ethos of wealth redistribution. The first recorded waqf was when a Prophetic Companion, Umar (RA), bought some land in Khaybar, modern-day Saudi Arabia. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) advised him to make the property an inalienable public asset and to give its profits to charity. Umar did so, stipulating that the property – ceded to God in perpetuity – could not be used for anything other
In the past two years, Awqaf SA has spent just over R13,5 million on downstream community projects from revenues generated from its waqf endowment assets and other donor funds
than its original purpose of social benefit and could not be sold, inherited or donated to someone else. Historically, all the great potentates of Islam have supported waqf. During the Ottoman era the caliphs only financed their judiciary and military, with infrastructural essentials such as schools, universities, water, hospitals, markets, feeding schemes, agriculture, roads, places of worship – and even pigeon coops – run for the benefit, and not expense, of the populace by independent waqf institutions.
In recent decades, waqf has experienced something of a postcolonial revival in places such as Turkey, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The total of its self-sustaining investments creating social upliftment programmes for citizens in those countries runs to the value of trillions of dollars. Awqaf South Africa, pioneered in 2000 as an independent community asset based trust, has quietly been doing its business, being involved in projects, such as boreholes, schools, leadership training, green buildings, maths literacy, educational publications and small business development. In the past two years, Awqaf SA has spent just over R13,5 million on downstream community projects from revenues generated from its waqf endowment assets and other donor funds. ‘Awqaf South Africa is the sovereign fund of the community tended by the community in the name of the community,’ says Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, one of
Awqaf SA’s founders, who adds that the transformational role of waqf in terms of sustainable development should be a major driver in countries like South Africa for eliminating poverty. Current chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Haroon Kalla, agrees. Recently, the organisation held a pledge line on a Muslim TV station, ITV, raising pledges to R11,8 million, which will be used for the acquisition of an investment asset. In addition, a donation of a property in Eshowe, KZN, worth R7,5 million was donated by a Gauteng businessman. With an area of over 4 000 square metres, the property accrues a rental of R50 000 a month, which will be used by Awqaf SA to convert a historical building next door to a community centre. Using the waqf model of sustainability, R40 000 will be dedicated to the community centre and R10 000 to education in perpetuity.
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Commenting on the success of Awqaf SA as a sovereign fund, Trustee chair Kalla said that while the figures looked ‘encouraging’, there was still a long way to go. ‘Sadly [in terms of donations and benefit], it’s only the equivalent of about R40 per person in our [Muslim] community. This is compared to Norway’s R2 million per person or Singapore’s R10 000 per person.’ According to Awqaf deputy CEO, Mickaeel Collier, the organisation could not sit on its laurels given our socio-economic challenges. The idea, he said, was to encourage every person to make a donation to the fund, no matter how small it seemed, adding that strength lay in numbers. ‘Waqf, because it is self-sustaining – and doesn’t eat into its core investment – is a long-term project with the potential of gradually building a head of steam to eradicate poverty, deprivation and serve community needs for decades to come in which all citizens can benefit,’ he said.
On behalf of Awqaf SA Mutawallees, Management and Ambassadors, we wish you all a blessed Eid and a day filled with joy. We thank all donors and sponsors for the wonderful support in Awqaf SA’s quest of the Revival of the Divine institution of Waqf. Barakallufeekum - Jazakumullahukhairan May Allah bless and reward all abundantly.
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Muslim Views . June 2017
Sanzaf educates the masses during Ramadaan SANZAF COMMUNICATIONS
THE South African National Zakah Fund (Sanzaf) stepped up its zakaah advocacy initiatives during the month of Ramadaan through a series of seminars, radio and television discussions as well as publications. The initiatives were aimed at educating the public about the virtues of zakaah, and providing a holistic understanding of the third pillar of Islam. Sanzaf also invested in its ongoing specialised zakaah consultancy service, where our established team of learned scholars and advisors provide the community with the most effective and confidential one-on-one zakaah consultation service, at no charge.
(Left) Sanzaf in partnership with the Saabri Ashrafi Relief Fund (SARF) recently handed over a hearse to representatives of Masjid ur Rahmah, in George, in the Southern Cape. The new vehicle, which is sponsored by SARF, will assist Masjid ur Rahmah in providing much-needed burial services to the community of George and nearby Garden Route areas. From left are SARF trustees Hamida and Mustaq Brey, Sanzaf Garden Route representative Shaikh Sa-id Wehiliye, Showkat Mukadam (Sanzaf Second Deputy National Chairperson) and Imam Cassiem Zalgoankir (Jamia Ahmedi Sunni Masjid). Photo SANZAF COMMUNICATIONS
The fund provided nutritious meals at iftaar to over 137 000 people through local partnerships
in under-resourced areas throughout South Africa. On the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, San-
zaf encourages the community to pay their fitrah and fidyah timeously. We are reminded of the hadith narrated by Targeeb, in which Rasulullah (SAW) is reported to have said: ‘The fast remains suspended between the heavens and the earth until the fitrah is discharged.’ Help Sanzaf bring joy to over 23 600 families this Eid by making your contributions at any of our offices or via our website. This year’s minimum amounts are R40 for fitrah and R10 per day for fidyah. For more information on Sanzaf projects and programmes, call 0861 726 923, follow us on Twit-
(Above) Sanzaf Western Cape Chairperson, Moulana Hassiem Cassiem, at a recent radio interview. The interview formed part of Sanzaf’s Advocacy and Tarbiyyah initiatives during Ramadaan. Photo SANZAF COMMUNICATIONS
ter @SANZAFSA and Instagram @sanzaf_official, like us on Facebook or visit our website at: www.sanzaf.org.za
(Left) Sanzaf aimed to provide nutritious iftaar meals to over 137 000 people in under-resourced areas throughout South Africa. In the Western Cape alone, some 2 400 people were fed every night at various masajid and jamaat khanas. Here some children wait anxiously for Maghrib to arrive at Masjid Mubarak, in Photo SANZAF COMMUNICATIONS Belhar.
Muslim Views . June 2017
BAZME CHIRAG-E-FAQIR CHISHTI INTERNATIONAL
Inviting to the right path with wisdom and inspiration Just as spiritual specialists are few by the nature of things, pupils who wish to shape their lives need to be in close conformity with those of their masters. Then only these followers are those who, having the inner call, are later Hazrat Khwaja Sayed Faqir Mohammad Shah (RA) Photo SUPPLIED
‘CALL towards your lord with wisdom and good admonition.’ (Al-Quran, Surah Nahl, verse 125) As the above verse states, we should call mankind towards the right path, which is the link between them and their Creator. But call them how? The answer to this question is given in the same verse: with wisdom and good admonition. These are two great bounties which Allah showers onto whom He wants. One can go in search of knowledge and possibly gain it but wisdom cannot be learned or gained, it is Allah Almighty who grants selected servants of His this great favour, and when such a bounty is received by His servant then is he able to call people towards the path of our Creator, and that is when one sees the true purpose of His creation. As history bears testimony to hundreds and thousands of people turning towards their lord when a wali (friend) of Allah graced their lands and hearts, among these selected personalities is the founder of Bazme Chirag-e-Faqir Chishti International (BCFI), his eminence Hazrat Khwaja Sayed Mehboob
Hazrat Khwaja Sayed Mehboob Ali Shah (RA), the founder of Bazme Chirag-e-Faqir Chishti International Photo SUPPLIED (BCFI).
Ali Shah Chishti Nizami Habibi Faqiri (Rahmatullah Alaihi).
Birth place and family background Khwaja Sayed Hazrat Mehboob Ali Shah (RA), a great saint of the nineteenth century, was born on June 7, 1925, in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India. Hazrat’s ancestors arrived in India from Madinah Munawwara during the reign of Kutub Shahi of Golkunda. Rulers of that period had deep respect for Hazrat’s family, being Sa’daat (Progeny of the Holy Prophet – peace be upon him) and whose pedigree is joined to Hazrat Imam Jafar Saadiq (RA). The king of Golkunda gifted land worth one lakh rupees but Hazrat’s great-great-grandfather, Hazrat Sayed Qutbuddin (RA), did not accept the offer as he thought that this worldly affairs are the cause of mutiny, and migrated to Ahmednagar.
What is Tasawwuf? The path which emerges and guides us towards our Lord on the foundation of ihsaan (good behaviour) is known as Tasawwuf,
Hazrat Sayed Mohsin Ali Shah Photo SUPPLIED
which Hazrat Sayed Mehboob Ali Shah (RA) brought to the shores of Africa.
charged with the duty of carrying on the work of teaching and exhortation in a new generation.
Urgent need of mankind today If we cast our eyes on the global map today, it is heartbreaking to see people and so called warriors of religion causing innocent bloodshed. Innocent bloodshed can never be tied to any religion of the world. Thus there is an urgent need of spiritual uprising and the conversion of our souls towards peace. Tasawwuf can be called the inwardness of Islam. Islam, like most other faiths, to a greater or lesser extent, consists firstly of certain beliefs, such as the existence of the Almighty, the coming of the Day of Judgement, reward and punishment in the next life, and the outward expression of these beliefs in forms of worship, such as prayer and fasting, all of which are concerned with man’s relationship with the Almighty. Secondly, it consists of a system of morality, which concerns man’s relation with man, and has its outward expression in certain social institutions and laws, such as marriage, inheritance, civil and criminal laws. But it is obvious that the basis
All packed and ready for distribution. The BCFI in Durban distributed food hampers to the needy during Ramadaan.
of this faith, the spirit that gives it life, is man’s relationship with the Almighty. Forms of worship are simply the physical vehicles of this relationship, and it is this relationship again which is responsible for the origin, the significance and the ultimate sanction of the principles of morality and their formulation into a specific social and legal system. If the interior converse with the Supreme Being and inspiration from Him are present, then they are comparable to the soul within the body of the exterior religion; if they die away or in proportion to the extent they wither or become feeble, the outward form of the faith becomes like a soul-less body, which by the inexorable law of nature swiftly succumbs to corruption. It is therefore man’s direct relationship with his maker, which is the breath and life of religion, and it is the study and cultivation of this relationship that the word Tasawwuf connotes. The function of Tasawwuf has already been alluded to, which is Photo SUPPLIED
to perfect the relationship of man first with the Almighty, and secondly with his fellow men. Just as spiritual specialists are few by the nature of things, pupils who wish to shape their lives need to be in close conformity with those of their masters. Then only these followers are those who, having the inner call, are later charged with the duty of carrying on the work of teaching and exhortation in a new generation. But the majority of those who visit these inheritors of the more inward traditions of Islam are those who, while engaged in their daily vocations, wish to refresh themselves from the toils of the world at the pure springs of sincerity and devotion which they find so abundant with the Kamil Shaikh (Perfect Guide). It is here that we see the influence of the shaikh working and giving new life to the whole wide land of the community. The ordinary men and women who spend a part of their time with the shaikh acquire some measure of inspiration for their spiritual and moral betterment, and to this measure their whole lives are affected. It is the spiritual orientation and the moral attitude which constitute the fountainhead of human thought, and so of human action. Events in man’s history and growth, flourishing and decay of people can be traced back to these inner sources. The contact of people of the world with the shaikh, whether they are kings, princes, captains, merchants, administrators, artisans or peasants, indirectly affects the whole movement of the nation along the uneven road of time. It is from these most intimate wells of inspiration that a certain quality is given to the thought and life of a whole culture. What a pity that some superficial intellects are unable to perceive these undercurrents of history. The mental processes of man controls all economics, politics and social life. He can only ignore at his peril, these deep directive forces from which his mental processes emerge. The apparent obscurity and detachment of the shaikh conceal an activity of radical importance to the whole Muslim nation. CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Muslim Views . June 2017
BAZME CHIRAG-E-FAQIR CHISHTI INTERNATIONAL
Inviting to the right path with wisdom and inspiration CONTINUED FROM PAGE 40
BCFI Ramadaan outreach programme 2017
Fortunate are those who flowed in the spiritual stream with Hazrat Khwaja Sayed Mehboob Ali Shah (RA) while others do so with the legacy his eminence has left behind.
Successor of the spiritual chain of Chishtia Nizamia Habibia Faqiria Mehboobia order His eminence Hazrat Sayed Mohsin Ali Shah Chishti Nizami Habibi Faqiri Mehboobi, the eldest son of Hazrat Khwaja Sayed Mehboob Ali Shah (RA), is the current khalifa and spiritual leader of the Chishti Nizami Habibi Faqiri Mehboobi silsila and also the current sajjadah (spiritual head) of the darbaar-e-mehboobi in Cape town and the dargah sharief of Hazrat Khwaja Sayed Faqir Muhammad Shah (RA) in Ahmadnagar, India. He is also the writer of many articles published in the Shoa-e-Tassawwuf publication. The Bazme Chirag-E-Faqir Chishti International (BCFI), under the guidance of his eminence Hazrat Sayed Mohsin Ali Shah Chishti is responsible for all maintenance and renovations of the dargah sharief of Khwaja Sayed Faqir Muhammad Shah Chishti Nizami Habibi (RA) in Ahmednagar, India and of the darbaar-e-mehboobi, in Maitland, Cape Town, South Africa.
As part of its iftaar feeding programme for the needy in Durban, BCFI members Photo SUPPLIED volunteer to assist in preparing the haleem for distribution.
Urs shariefs (loosely translated as spiritual camps) are held on an annual basis in India and in Cape Town at both dargahs (kramats). Hazrat Sayed Mohsin Ali Shah also oversees the organising of various spiritual camps all across Southern Africa and beyond its shores.
This year, BCFI will, under the guidance of Hazrat Sayed Mohsin Ali Shah, be hosting the annual urs at Maitland, Cape Town, on July 7 and 8, 2017, Insha Allah, with the lead programme on July 8, 2017, commencing at 15h15. For further information please visit www.chishti-faqiri.org
ALHAMDULILLAH, BCFI once again reached out to the orphans, poor and needy during its Ramadaan outreach programme this year. In Cape Town, BCFI continued its winter warmth programme with its weekly soup kitchen where 100 litre pots of soup were prepared and then distributed together with sandwiches to the less fortunate citizens of the Cape Flats and townships. BCFI also distributed blankets to the needy in honour of the work and teachings of its founder, Hazrat Khwaja Sayed Mehboob Ali Shah Chishti Faqiri (RA). BCFI also continued its partnership with Madrassa Tun-Nuhaa to host a mass iftaar, and cooked food to feed approximately 650 orphans from more than 14 homes. In Durban, BCFI had its weekly haleem distribution on Sundays, after Dhuhr. Grocery hampers were also distributed to the needy. A Tarawih Salaah programme in conjunction with the South Coast Madressa was held and a dhikr programme was held every Thursday night, after Tarawih. In Ahmednagar (India), feeding and clothing the orphans, poor and needy in the community took place.
Muslim Views . June 2017
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Eid Wishes from Muslim Hands SA NAZEER VADIA
THE word ‘humanity’ is from the Latin ‘humanitas’, meaning ‘human nature, kindness’. One definition for humanity refers to the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion. In the times we live in, one wouldn’t be mistaken to question the presence of these qualities. Not only should they already be instilled in each of us but, as Muslims, our compassion and responsibility to humanity should be even higher. Muslim Hands South Africa is proud to say that we experience this humanity every day. We would like to wish our loyal donors and public a blessed Eid mubarak. For over 20 years, your generosity and donations to Muslim Hands have helped vulnerable families and communities worldwide. The month of Ramadaan has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Insha Allah, we will witness another holy month next year. At Muslim Hands, we try our outmost to make sure that no family goes hungry during the holy month of Ramadaan. Through our Ramadaan food programmes, we were able to provide family food packs and community based iftaars in 38 countries across the globe. Locally, we ensured that
Ramadaan iftaar hamper distribution: over 600 parcels are being distributed nationally, 200 parcels from the office in Rylands. Photo ABDURAGHMAAN DAVIDS
Annual Orphan Iftaar: Muslim Hands staff with volunteers and some of the children after they received their gifts. Photo ABDURAGHMAAN DAVIDS
over 4 000 people had a nutritious meal for iftaar. From rural Northern Natal to Eldorado Park in Johannesburg, our commitment to providing iftaar food hampers was in full swing. Furthermore, your fitrah donations led us to distributing over 700 fitrah parcels. Through individual welfare recipients and a network of grateful organisations that are based in the poorest areas in the Western Cape, including Bokaap, Saldanha Bay and Khayelitsha, food parcels were collected and distributed. A verification network system was put in place to identify recipients and avoid duplication. Constantly seeking to expand and better our fitrah distribution,
Muslim Hands was honoured to once again be selected by Makro and Voice of the Cape as their NGO of choice to partner with. Due to the success and professionalism of last year’s distribution, the partnership was renewed with Makro, Ottery, collecting food items at their till points on our behalf towards our fitrah campaign. Makro surpassed expectations by further donating stock towards the fitrah campaign, which allowed us to complete just over 1 000 parcels. On Saturday, June 10, 2017, MHSA held our annual Orphan Iftaar at Rylands Civic Centre. With your duahs and the Grace of Allah SWT, Muslim Hands could
feed over 330 orphans from various orphanages, madrasahs and safe houses. The night was filled with smiles and full tummies as the staff and our honoured dignitaries gave the children a night to remember. Amongst our honoured guests was Shaikh Irfan Abrahams, President of the Muslim Judicial Council, who expressed his admiration and support for Muslim Hands’s work with orphans. As we near the end of Ramadaan, we take this opportunity to gently remind you that the need out there and the work that has to be done do not end here. May the roaring flames of charity and warm hearts that Ramadaan has awoken continue to burn bright long after the end of this holy month, Insha Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ‘O God,
grant me life as a poor person, cause me to die as a poor person and resurrect me in the company of the poor.’ His wife asked him why he said that and he replied: ‘Because (the poor) will enter Paradise (before) the rich. Do not turn away a poor person even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you, Allah will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.’ (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376) We ask for your continued support, and once again convey our deepest gratitude for your generosity and trust in Muslim Hands South Africa. We say a special thank you to all the volunteers whose help, not only during Ramadaan but throughout the year, is a stunning display of unity and charity that we as a nation believe in. Muslim Hands wishes the public a blessed day of Eid. May Allah SWT accept your good deeds, forgive your transgressions and ease the suffering of all people around the globe. We make duah that the Almighty shower his blessings and grant khair and barakah to you and your loved ones this Eid. Eid mubarak!
PROJECT UBUSHUSHU Experience the reward of providing warmth this winter.
WHAT YOU CAN DO R100 Muslim Hands would like to convey our deepest gratitude to our donors, amazing volunteers and general public. Your Sadaqah, Fitra, Fidya and Zakaah ensured we made a real difference in the lives of thousands this Ramadan. We ask for your continued support and trust in our mission to save a life, save humanity!
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Muslim Views . June 2017
The Leadership College goes to the Free State AMINA WAGGIE
UNIVERSITY of the Free State (UFS) invited a number of students from The Leadership College (TLC) to their Open Day. TLC is a high school situated in Manenberg and is completely free for academically inclined learners from poverty stricken households. A selection of ten girls and ten boys consisting of grade 11 and matric leaners, among them being both the head boy and head girl along with their deputies, were invited to attend the Open Day, which took place on Saturday, May 13, 2017. The learners were selected on the basis of their academic achievements and good behaviour. They have worked hard to maintain their good grades in order to make their school, their parents and themselves proud. Many of the learners come from challenging backgrounds and found this to be a huge opportunity for them to get exposure to the university world as well as an opportunity to travel. UFS provided transportation for the learners to and from the university. The trip to Bloemfontein took place over the weekend. The learners, accompanied by teachers, Mr Isaacs and Ms Davidson, departed on May 12 and returned on May 14. Upon their arrival at the university, they were met by their principal, Mr Atcha.
Teachers and students of The Leadership College, in Manenberg, Cape Town, who attended the University of the Free State (UFS) Open Day recently, with members of the university staff. Back row (from left): Amaarah Jacobs, Soliegh Isaacs, Kauthar Fortune, Abdul Aziz Arendse, Raees Ismail, Abdul Wagied Waggie, Nathanzo Schultz, Zahid Abbas, Hestia Davidson. Middle row (from left): UFS staff member, Feroza Atcha, Shameema Pretorius, Muneesah Abrahams, University of Free State Vice-Chancellor, Professor Francis Petersen, TLC Principal, Yousuf Atcha, Nusrat Davids, Nadheerah Oosterwyk, Amaal Hendricks, Saudika Hendricks. Front row (from left): Sameegh Oosterwyk, Yazied Karriem, Shahabodien Ebrahim, Photo AMINA WAGGIE Robyn Van Der Vent, Anushka Abrahams and a UFS staff member.
The learners were taken to the main hall where the rector, Professor Francis Petersen, welcomed them with an inspirational talk. He spoke about the unity of the students at UFS and encouraged the aspirant students to adopt the same sense of caring for fellow students. ‘We have a value system which is built on the premise of caring for one another, working with one another and integrate those strengths that each of us bring to the university. We call that the
value of diversity and we focus heavily on that, not only in terms of race, and in terms of gender but also in terms of heritage and in terms of language. ‘We should respect the different views of each other and learn from that; and that whole diversity, we try to harness through the approach of inclusivity. So everyone is welcome, every view is welcome. We harness that and we say that if we got that richness of diversity, we can use it to the betterment of the institution,’ said
Professor Petersen. After the speech, the learners were entertained by live performances before going off to learn about their different career interests. They were divided into two groups and taken around the university to the faculties in which the learners were interested. At the end of the day, the learners were addressed by the rector regarding the current partnership between TLC and UFS, which grants the school a number of bursaries for well achieving learners.
A few of the matric learners commented on their UFS experience: ‘This has been a really good experience for me as I had never attended an open day prior to this one,’ said Moegamad Sameegh Oosterwyk. ‘The UFS was one of my university options so to find out that I was selected to attend their open day was really exciting for me. My parents have always been there to support and motivate me in everything that I do and I believe that they are very proud of me receiving this opportunity,’ said Mogamat Yusuf Mitchell. Ammaarah Jacobs commented, ‘The Leadership College has played a huge role in my personal development, and the teachers have moulded and shaped me into the young woman that I am today, and I am very thankful to them. My ustadha was my greatest inspiration to becoming more spiritually inclined. This journey has been very challenging for me but it has also been a big opportunity and I’m really grateful that I was selected.’ ‘I did extensive research about the UFS as soon as I found out I was amongst the selected students. One of my career choices is teaching because my dad is a teacher and he is my role model,’ said Yazeed Karriem. ‘We are a family at TLC, and it was an honour to represent my family at the UFS,’ concluded Abdul-Aziz Arendse, the head boy of TLC.
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Muslim Views . June 2017
Will should be according to shariah WITH reference to the article ‘The Islamic will is a progressive act’ (March 2017), I would like to comment, with my limited knowledge, as follows: Firstly, I would like to commend Muslim Views for publishing the article as it serves as a reminder to us as Muslims. As Muslims we are very unmindful and neglectful of the laws of inheritance according to shariah and South African law. I hope this will not be a onceoff reminder but a regular educational slot in Muslim Views, Insha Allah. Secondly, I would also like to relate my experience of the past three years to date regarding noncompliance of Shariah laws of inheritance. My mother and father passed on in 2014 and 2015 respectively. They were married in community of property. Both of them had shariah compliant wills drawn before their demise. However, a new, man-made Last Will and Testament was drawn for my father (by another attorney), under great pressure while he was terminally ill. He was transported and assisted on a regular basis to finalise this will by my sister and her husband. The sad thing is that the changing of the will was executed by Muslims, including the attorney, which resulted in assisting with sin.
Letters to the Editor
Allah Ta Ala mentions: ‘Do not assist each other in sin and aggression’ (Surah Al-Ma’idah) The ulama also gave a fatwa that the current Last Will and Testament did not comply with the Islamic laws of succession as articulated in Chapter 4 of the Holy Quran. ‘It is not fitting for a believer, male and female, when a matter has been decided by Allah (SWT) and His Messenger, to have any opinion about their decision: If anyone disobeys Allah and his Messenger he has certainly strayed into clear error.’ (33:36) These contraventions have plagued many Muslims in the past and present and have robbed heirs of their rightful inheritance in terms of the Holy Quran. Allah SWT is severe in punishment on those who have benefitted knowingly. Although family ties are very important, we should never compromise (contravene these laws) as it will surely earn Allah SWT’s wrath. I have tried to persuade my sister and family on numerous occasions to follow the shariah in winding up my father’s estate but to no avail. As children, we can still rectify if our parents have erred (contravened these laws) and safeguard them from the punishment in the qabr and also in the akhirah. However, since 2014, my sister and her family have been occupying both houses (semi-detached) rent-free, using all contents, monies, car and jewellery. The one house is now being rented out.
‘Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, only eat up fire into their bellies, they will soon be enduring a blazing fire.’ (Quran 4:10) May Allah SWT forgive them for what they did. I constantly make duah that Allah SWT open their hearts to do the right thing. Shukran once again for bringing light to the basic facts concerning inheritance according to shariah and South African laws. It would be highly appreciated, if possible, to publish this article as a reminder to other Muslims, Insha Allah, ameen. May Muslim Views grow from strength to strength, Insha Allah, ameen. Your sister in Islam (name withheld)
Local leadership silent over Saudi actions AS an ummah, we are once again stunned by the brazen and callous nature of the Saudi mentality vis-à-vis the blockade against the sovereign state of Qatar. The reasons for this blockade appear to be the Qatari support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as Qatar’s refusal to demonise Iran. It appears as if we are harking back to the days of the abhorrent ‘you are either with us or against us’ attitude sung by a former US president. Look where that got us. What is more concerning, however, is the deafening silence
by our leadership in general, specifically the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC). We have not heard any statements of condemnation, which, from where I’m sitting can be regarded as tacit support. Please, MJC, break your silence on this matter by taking the following action: 1. Publicly condemning this blockade during Friday prayers. 2. Reading a statement on both radio stations condemning this blockade. 3. Publishing a statement in mainstream newspapers as well as Muslim Views condemning this blockade. I shudder to think what the Saudis want to do with the $110 billion dollars worth of arms that they have recently procured from the US. Allah protect us. Allah first and history second will judge this latest attempt to disunite us. Taufeeq Najaar Cape Town
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Muslim Views . June 2017
Islamic finance: from exclusivity to inclusivity BASHEER MOOSAGIE
THERE is a universal demand for a fair and just financial system, one that is inclusive and sustainable. The question is: how do we get there? According to Almir Colan, ‘Financial uncertainty can magnify who we really are. It can bring out the best or the worst in us, and that struggle goes back to the very beginning of human existence. The very first business deal in the history of humankind was made soon after God created the first man and woman. A cunning broker approached these newly created beings with a proposition. ‘This salesperson knew how to manipulate human fears and aspirations. He sold the first ever triple ‘A’ rated security and shrouded it in ‘sincere’ financial advice. Until that time, Adam and Eve had never experienced someone who would swear by God and lie.’ The first step in achieving a system that is sustainable and inclusive would be to stop talking about Islamic finance and to start talking of ethical finance. This would make the product and the concept more inclusive to all people who share a particular ethical and philosophical construct. For example, there are many people who are morally opposed to war or the ill effects of alcoholism and would not want to support those industries by way of investment. Islamic finance, by its very name, creates the impression that
Basheer Moosagie is a business development analyst. He is also a part-time lecturer at Ipsa. He obtained his MBA from University of Stellenbosch Business School where he focused his studies around Islamic finance. Photo SUPPLIED
it is just for Muslims, and this is not true. However, a broader uptake of Islamically aligned financial products and services will, in the long term, allow for a wider growth of ethical industries which will benefit society as a whole. In terms of an actual example of a financial industry or banking model within classical Islamic thought, we do not have any, except the Baitul-Maal or Public Treasury in the early days of
Islam, which was a central depository for all money or wealth which the nascent city-state raised. This wealth was not stored; it was distributed quickly to the people of the state, based on their need. It was the central distribution point of their zakaah. Thus, the social welfare responsibility fell to the state to distribute what it had collected from its citizens, for its citizens. The collective responsibility from this resulted in transparency and accountability. However, this is not the case today since the market that finances and uses Islamic finance models and products is a much smaller group (not in size or population numbers but in terms of economy of scale). The world’s financial markets are not dominated by shariah compliant investment options. Islamic finance, when compared with its global counterpart, does represent a niche market of products. This presents problems for the Islamic model when compared directly with the conventional one. Some of these issues include higher costs, agency problems, inadequate financing, limited supply, insurance with pitfalls, less scope for diversification and hedging. In addition to some of these points, there are tax and regulatory issues. The Islamic finance industry and its literature as of 2017 are materially different in breadth and depth from where they were in the
This wealth was not stored; it was distributed quickly to the people of the state, based on their need. It was the central distribution point of their zakaah. Thus, the social welfare responsibility fell to the state to distribute what it had collected from its citizens, for its citizens. The collective responsibility from this resulted in transparency and accountability... early 1970s or, for that matter, in the early 1990s. The industry continues to evolve, and there is no reason why, in the next two decades, the field will not evolve considerably more from where it stands today. In terms of the objectives of having an inclusive system, the major benefit which widespread use of Islamic finance would have is the cost implication of the economy of scale. If a large number of people invested and banked in a manner which is ethical, we would see an increase in the profits of companies which operate in a sustainable, non-harmful, ethical and socially uplifting manner. Islamic finance, in its truest sense, covers a vast area of operation which is not limited to banking and investment but also includes paying staff well and see-
ing to their welfare and upliftment, all of which will have longterm positive effects on society. As a result of increased profits, better wages and working conditions, sustainability and an imperative towards environmental care, we would create a society in which more people are able to pay zakaah than to receive it. In order to do so, and to achieve a more economically just society, we should move away from narrowly defining this financial view as Islamic but should move towards viewing it as ethical. A name change or a re-brand alone is unlikely to solve centuries of economic inequality and exploitation but it is a move towards raising awareness and increasing the user base and market share of ethical finance to ensure a longer term economic transformation.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Focus on Finance
Trust taxation: measures to prevent tax avoidance
Continuing their series on Trusts, HASSEN KAJIE, CA (SA), a director of Nexia SAB&T, based in the Cape Town office, and AYSHA OSMAN, CA (SA), National Technical Manager for Nexia SAB&T, in the Centurion office, provide readers with a taxation issue related to trusts.
THE 2016 draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill introduced a new section – Section 7C – to the Income Tax Act, which provides detail and measures to prevent Estate Duty and Donations Tax avoidance through the transfer of assets to a Trust on interest-free loan accounts.
Current situation When transferring assets to a Trust, a person has the following three options: 1. A person can donate the assets to the Trust and trigger Donations Tax at 20 per cent of the fair market value of the assets in the hands of the person. The attribution rules contained in Sections 7(3) to 7(8) may also apply to any income earned by the Trust as a consequence of the donation and have the effect of taxing such income in the hands of the donor; 2. A person can sell the assets to the Trust on loan account at an arm’s length interest rate. The transferor will be taxed on the interest received from the Trust and there could be scope for the
Trust to deduct the interest expenditure to the extent that is incurred in the production of income; or 3. A person can sell the assets to the Trust on loan account at an interest rate below that considered to be an arm’s length rate. Traditionally, such loans have been interest-free. The new section, 7C, is designed to prevent the avoidance of tax which arises under option 3 outlined above. The section applies in respect of the following: l A person made a loan or advance to a trust l No interest is incurred by the trust for the loan/ advance l The person giving the loan/ advance is a connected person to the trust The following is also included in this scope: l The loan is made by any company to which the founder is connected; and l Interest is charged but at a rate less than the official rate of interest as contemplated in the Seventh schedule to the Income Tax Act, No 58 of 1962 (Act).
The above is explained as follows: l A person is connected to the trust if the person or any relative is a beneficiary of the trust. l A company is connected if any person individually or jointly with another connected person holds directly or indirectly at least 20 per cent of the company’s equity share capital or voting rights.
added to the capital amount of the loan.
What are the implications of Section 7C? If a trust incurs interest on a loan at lower than the official rate of interest, or interest free loan, then the difference between the official rate of interest and the interest actually incurred by the trust is treated as a donation by the lender to the trust on the last day of the trust year of assessment. This means that donations tax must be paid by the lender by March 31 of each year. The annual donation exemption of R100 000 can be applied to the deemed donation. Interest will be calculated on a daily basis and never capitalised or
Exemptions Certain loans to trusts are specifically excluded and, therefore, the proposed section would not apply. These are: l Loans to Public Benefit Organisations l Loans provided in return for a vested interest in the income and assets of the trust – further conditions for this exemption to apply. It should also be noted that if a person obtains a vested interest in the income and assets of a trust, then these will translate to assets and deemed assets in the individual’s estate for estate duty purposes. In a number of the cases, the aforesaid will negate some or all of the (estate duty) benefits of the trust. l Loans to special trusts but limited to special trusts that were created for disabled persons l Where the trust used the loan capital to acquire a property that is used by the creditor or
his/ her spouse as their primary residence (as defined) l If the transfer pricing provisions of section 31 applies to the loan. This provision, therefore, applies to loans to offshore trusts. (There was uncertainty under the previous draft about the interaction between the application between sections 7C and 31, which has now been clarified.) l Loans to trusts that are subject to shariah-compliant financing arrangements. l Loans that are subject to section 64E(4). In other words, loans that are subject to the deemed dividend provisions would not be taxed under this section. Effective date: The new requirement is effective from March 1, 2017, and applies in respect of any amount owed by a trust in respect of a loan, advance or credit provided to that trust before, on or after that date. This article is intended for information purposes only and should not be considered as a legal document. Please note that while every effort is made to ensure accuracy Nexia SAB&T does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or errors contained herein. If you are in doubt about any information in this article or require any advice on the topical matter, please do not hesitate to contact any Nexia SAB&T office nationally.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Discussions with Dangor
The Zakir Naik saga
In July 2013, he was declared the Islamic Personality of the Year at the 17th Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA), writes EMERITUS PROFESSOR SULEMAN DANGOR.
DOCTOR Zakir Naik is an internationally renowned figure. He is the founder of the Peace TV channel (established in 2006) through which he used to reach over 200 countries with an estimated 100 million viewers. A physician by profession, he is deemed to be an authority on comparative religion. Most of his lectures on Islam and comparative religion have been published and many of his debates are recorded and widely distributed on video and DVD media and online. Zakir Naik founded the Islamic International School in Mumbai, and United Islamic Aid, which provides scholarships to poor and destitute Muslim youth. He has received many accolades, and was ranked 89 on The Indian Express’s list of the ‘100 Most Powerful Indians in 2010’. In July 2013, he was declared the Islamic Personality of the Year at the
17th Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA). On November 5, 2013, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia conferred a Ma’al Hijrah Distinguished Personality award on Zakir Naik, and, on February 2, 2015, he was awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam. He was listed in the compilation ‘The 500 Most Influential Muslims’ in the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013/2014 editions. On April 16, this year, Malay rights group Perkasa awarded Zakir Naik the ‘Anugerah intang Pahlawan Pribumi Perkasa Negara’ medal, an award which was previously bestowed on former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former information minister Zainuddin Maidin. Zakir Naik was given permanent resident (PR) status in Malaysia about five years ago. However, Zakir Naik has many critics, both Muslim and non-Muslim. I will allude to some criticisms by Muslim scholars. Indian Muslim scholar Wahiduddin Khan noted, ‘Dawah, which Naik also claims to be engaged in, is to make people aware of the creation plan of God, not to peddle
some provocative, dubious ideas as Naik does.’ Deobandi ulama have accused Naik of ‘destroying Islam’ by driving Muslims away from the ‘correct religious authorities’. Pakistani analyst Khaled Ahmed criticised Naik for indirectly supporting al-Qaida by calling Usama bin Ladin a ‘soldier of Islam’. Mufti Abul Irfan Mian Firangi Mahali, of Lucknow, issued a fatwa against Naik for supporting Usama bin Ladin and for his ‘un-Islamic’ teachings. One of the men apprehended after the Dhaka Terror Attack in Bangladesh in July 2016 claimed that he was influenced by Zakir Naik’s speeches, in particular his remark that he regarded ‘all Muslims to be terrorists’. Thereupon the Bangladesh Government banned the broadcast of Naik’s Peace TV channel on the grounds that ‘Peace TV is not consistent with Muslim society, the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, Bangladesh’s Constitution, our culture, customs and rituals’. In November last year, the Indian government decided to declare Zakir Naik’s NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) – under the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act
Wishing all a joyous
– an outlawed organisation for five years, claiming that the IRF was propagating terrorism. Subsequently, an investigation agency raided ten offices of IRF in Mumbai and other cities in India. The vice chancellor of Darul Ulum, Abdul Khaliq Madrasi, came out in support of Zakir Naik, saying: ‘We have serious differences of opinion with Zakir Naik. But he is recognised as an Islamic scholar the world over. ‘We don’t believe that he could be connected with terrorism in any way.’ Zakir Naik’s open letter to the Indian government seeking clarification on the charges levelled against him, terming them an ‘attack on Indian Muslims’, received no response. Now, a special court of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has issued a non-bailable warrant against him. The agency argued in court that because Dr Zakir Naik had failed to appear before it even after three summonses were issued, it needed Interpol’s help to bring him back to India. This is despite the fact that the Maharashtra State Intelligence Department declared that he cannot be arrested on his return to India as there was no evidence to link him to terror-related activities. On April 13, India’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act Special Court, issued a non-bailable warrant against Naik in a money-laundering case first filed by the ED, after he failed to appear before it. The Indian government is also seeking an Interpol Red Notice against Dr Zakir to curb his movements out of Saudi Arabia where he is currently based. It has also re-
voked his passport in an attempt to force him to return home. According to some reports, Saudi King Salman has intervened to grant Zakir Naik citizenship to protect him from arrest by Interpol though Zakir Naik has denied the reports. Is this move by the Indian government against Zakir Naik motivated purely by security concerns? The National Investigation Agency has filed a First Information Report against Zakir Naik for indulging in unlawful activities and promoting hatred between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language through his speeches. The case was filed against him after the authorities examined his speeches aired on Peace TV. According to the Special Tribunal Report: ‘The material placed on record shows that the IRF is involved in such activities that not only incites, but also encourages the youth to undertake unlawful activities with an intent to threaten the sovereignty, unity, integrity and security of India, but also cause disaffection...’ The fact is that Peace TV has been in existence for over ten years and was allowed to broadcast Zakir Nakir’s speeches without restraint. It seems to me that the real reason for wanting to stop Zakir Naik from continuing with his propagation is pressure from the BJP. The conversion of Hindus to Islam is perceived as undermining the BJP project of Hindutva. Muslims are supposed to be embracing Indian (read Hindu) culture, and not the other way round. This I believe is the most plausible explanation for the ‘hounding’ of Zakir Naik.
Light from the Qur’an
Muslim Views . June 2017
A lesson and reminder for youth IBRAHIM OKSAS and NAZEEMA AHMED
IN discussing the issue of youth, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, in his tafsir, Risale-i Nur, acknowledges that young people are constantly faced with the deceptive and seductive amusements of the present time. He thus seeks to engage with young people who, though they are surrounded by temptation in this world, have not yet lost their power of reason. He says that youth who are concerned with protecting their imaan and securing their eternal life in the hereafter should seek an effective deterrent in order to guard themselves against the dangers arising from life, youth and the lusts of the nafs. In directly addressing the youth he says the following: ‘Your youth will definitely leave you, and if you do not remain within the bounds of what is permissible for you, your youth will be lost. So, instead of the pleasures of youth, it will bring you calamities and suffering in this world, in the grave, and in the hereafter. ‘However, if, through Islamic training, you spend the nimah of your youth as thanks honourably, in uprightness and in obedience, your youth will in effect remain perpetually and will be the cause
of you gaining eternal youth.’ Bediuzzaman further says that as for life, if it is without imaan or because of rebelliousness, imaan is ineffective, that life will produce pain, sorrow and grief far exceeding the superficial, fleeting enjoyment that life offers. Since, contrary to the animals, man possesses a mind and he thinks, he is connected to both the present time, and to the past and the future. He can obtain both pain and pleasure from them. Whereas, since the animals do not think, the sorrows arising from the past and the fears and anxieties arising from the future do not spoil their pleasure of the present. That is to say, from the point of view of the pleasure of life, man falls to a level a hundred times lower than the animals. Since it is imaan that gives life to life, it follows that a life filled with the light of imaan produces elevated, spiritual pleasures and lights of existence for the ruh and heart. Bediuzzaman advises the youth that if they want the true pleasure and enjoyment of life, they should give life to their lives through imaan, adorn their lives with religious duties, and preserve their lives by abstaining from sins. He then gives some guidance to the youth on the way in which they can save their lives in the hereafter. Chief among this is his
Since it is imaan that gives life to life, it follows that a life filled with the light of imaan produces elevated, spiritual pleasures... advice that young people should contemplate on the grave, which is a reality that no one can deny. Whether they want to or not, everyone must enter the grave and, apart from the following three ‘ways’, there is no other way that the grave can be approached. First way: For those who have imaan the grave is the door to a world far better than this world. Second way: For those who believe in the hereafter but who approach it on the path of dissipation and misguidance, the grave is the door to a prison of solitary confinement, an eternal dungeon, where they will be separated from all their loved ones. Third way: For the unbelievers and the misguided who do not believe in the hereafter, the grave is the door to eternal extinction. That is to say, it is the gallows on which both they and all those they love will be executed. Since they think it is thus, that is exactly how
they will experience it: as punishment. Bediuzzaman states that since the appointed hour of death is secret and death may come at any time, and since it does not differentiate between young and old, the unhappy man will surely search for the means to deliver himself from that eternal extinction, that infinite, endless solitary confinement. He will therefore seek the means to transform the door of the grave into a door opening on to an everlasting world, eternal happiness and a world of light. It will be a question for him that looms as large as the entire world. Since the certain fact of death, then, can only be approached in these three ways, the anbiya, ouliya and purified scholars have all agreed on the following: ‘The only way to be saved from extinction and eternal imprisonment, and be directed towards eternal happiness, is through belief in Allah Almighty and obedience to Him.’ Confronted as he is, then, with this strange, awesome, terrifying reality of death, if man – especially if he is a Muslim – does not have imaan and does not make ibadah, will he be able to banish the grievous pain arising from the anxiety he suffers as he all the time awaits his turn to be summoned to death,
ever-present before his eyes, even if he is given rule over the whole world together with all its pleasures? Thus, for the people of imaan and ibadah, the grave, ever before their eyes, is the door to an everlasting treasury and eternal happiness. However, the young person who, due to the drives of youth chooses – in a self-indulgent and shameless manner – temporary haraam pleasures which resemble poisonous honey, will fall to a degree a hundred times lower than an animal. In conclusion, Bediuzzaman issues the following lesson and reminder to the youth: ‘And so, you unfortunates who are addicted to the pleasures of the life of this world, and with anxiety at the future, struggle to secure it and your lives, if you want pleasure, delight, happiness and ease in this world, make do with what is permissible for you. That is sufficient for your enjoyment.’ Those who wish to be permanently, eternally happy in this world and the next should take as their guide the instruction of Nabi Muhammad (SAW) within the bounds of imaan. May Allah Almighty save us and the youth from the alluring temptations of this time, and preserve us from them. Ameen.
Muslim Views . June 2017
From Consciousness to Contentment
Pour tears of healing into your heart JASMINE KHAN
FOR most of us, the end of Ramadaan brings a little sadness but also great joy: joy at having fasted for the holy month, for having fulfilled Allah’s command and joy because we have been granted another opportunity to affirm our faith, Alhamdulillah. However, there are those who feel immense sadness as the crescent for Eid-ul-fitr is sighted; they are the ones who have lost a loved one between last year and this year’s festival. Loss of a parent, a child or a life partner is always keenly felt but never more so than on the day of Eid. Celebrating Eid is a time for family and one cannot help but feel the absence of a loved one. The first year is always the worst and as time passes, the loss becomes bearable and we recall the person with fondness. How does one overcome the sense of loss, the absence of a loved one which is so keenly felt, particularly at this time in our calendar? Firstly, it is good to remember that mourning over the dead is allowed in Islam; grief at the death of a beloved person is normal, and weeping for the dead is permitted in Islam. However, what is unacceptable is wailing and keening at great volume, tearing hair, breaking things or saying things like,
Relatives of a deceased Muslim may mourn him for three days only but a widow may mourn her husband for four months and ten days. Grief should be processed with the understanding that death is not the end of life but a transition to an eternal one. On an intellectual level we know this; that death is simply moving from one plane to another. We also know that if the person lived an exemplary life, the person will be in a better place. However, what is hard to accept is the finality, the fact you will never again see or hear the one you loved. ‘How am I going to live without him/ her?’ This last may sound extreme but there have been incidents where the survivor lost all interest in living and just pined away. This type of behaviour is totally prohibited, and what many people are not aware of is that the deceased may feel pain by these actions. Our Rasul (SAW) said: ‘The deceased suffers when someone bewails loudly.’ (reported by Bukhari and Muslim) He also said: ‘I detest a woman who cries out very loudly, shaves her hair or tears her clothes when a beloved one dies.’ (reported by Bukhari and Muslim) Even the wearing of black clothes has no basis in Islam. There is no objection to quiet weeping as Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, did when his son died, and said: ‘It is a mercy that Allah made in the hearts of his servants.’ (reported by Bukhari) Relatives of a deceased Muslim may mourn him for three days only but a widow may mourn her husband for four months and ten days. Grief should be processed with the understanding that death is not the end of life but a transition to an eternal one. On an intellectual level we know this; that death is simply moving from one plane to another. We also know that if the person lived an exemplary life, the person will be in a better place. However, what is hard to accept is the finality, the fact you will never again see or hear the one you loved.
It is the heart that is hurt; it feels bruised and bleeding as you contemplate life without the deceased. This is when memories crowd in, and only the good ones. Whatever bothered or irritated you about that person while alive seems to fade into the distance. This is the mercy of Allah because, in Islam, we are strongly advised not to speak ill of the dead. It is also good to remember that the only certainty in life is that we will die. Allah promises us in the Quran, in surah 29, verse 57, that ‘… every soul will taste death. Then unto Us you will be returned’. In his book, Excellence of Patience and Gratefulness, Ibn alQayyim, offers some excellent guidance: ‘Amir Bin Bukayr said:
I exercised patience and in the end it was good. Why should I show anguish when it is not going to help me? I controlled the tears in my eyes and stopped them from pouring forth. So my eyes are shedding tears in my heart.’ The operative principle here is that no amount of crying will help; nothing will change the situation. It is the taqdir of Allah, and as believers we know and affirm that Allah knows best. Prolonged weeping and withdrawal from life may negatively affect those close to you and spoil things for them. It is a Muslim’s duty to gently advise those who do these things to stop doing so, since it is totally prohibited. No loss, however great, should lead a Muslim to do damage to his faith. He should however bear it patiently and accept Allah’s destiny. The best remedy for a broken heart is to pour tears into it but make sure that they are tears of gratitude, even if they are tinged with a modicum of sadness – gratitude because you had the time with that person, gratitude that you are seeing another day of Eid, and gratitude for the loving people surrounding you with consideration and compassion. With gratitude will come patience with yourself, patience that Allah’s decree transcends all else and patience that all will be well, Insha Allah.
Positive and Effective Parenting
Muslim Views . June 2017
Responding to your child’s school report FOUZIA RYKLIEF
OUR children’s first school exam report is due soon and I thought it fitting to write about this. For some of us, it will be a first and we await that moment when they come with their reports with some anxiety and excitement. Hopefully, we would have had some feedback about how our children are doing so that there will be no surprises or shocks. However, this does not always happen so let us prepare ourselves either way. I decided to focus mainly on the possibility that the report will not be as good as we expected because this is when things can go horribly wrong when we overreact, blame and shame the child. Dr Bruno Bettleheim, in his book A Good Enough Parent, states that our children’s school performances are often divisive in the sense that relationships between parents and children are often damaged because parents tend to focus so much on this instead of on the children. I believe that this happens when parents l are always asking, ‘How was school today?’ instead of asking ‘How are you?’ or ‘I’m glad you are home, I missed you.’ l always criticise children and focus only on their mistakes; l punish children for not making
When you are concerned, express it clearly without attacking the child’s character. Use ‘I messages’ such as, ‘I notice that you had a problem with mathematics, can we talk about this? the grade in spite of the efforts they may have made. It is understandable when we do this because we want our children to succeed where we perhaps were not able to, especially when we have provided the necessary resources. However, we need to see exam reports as opportunities to help the children who are struggling, to set goals for improvement and the successful child to sustain his achievements. A good report can be motivating while a bad report can be demoralising for the child. The way a parent responds will be another determining factor. Therefore, adopt a constructive approach that contains the following: Look for what is positive: This tells your child that you have noticed his achievements, not only the subjects that need improvement. Use encouraging comments, such as, ‘I see that you’ve done well in phonics and that you participated fully in class activities.’
Don’t point to the problem areas yet; chances are that the child will point these out to you. This is when you say that you will get back to that later. When things aren’t going well, listen and acknowledge the child’s feelings. Say something like, ‘You must be so disappointed/ worried, etc.’ When you are concerned, express it clearly without attacking the child’s character. Use ‘I messages’ such as, ‘I notice that you had a problem with mathematics, can we talk about this?’ ‘I am very concerned about your schoolwork.’ Do not ask questions or make statements that are accusatory and blaming, such as, ‘Why didn’t you try harder? You should have listened to me more.’ Comparing a child’s results with those of siblings who have done well is an absolute no-no. The child interprets this to mean that you do not care about him but more about success and achievements.
But what if the child says, ‘Amaar gets high grades, why can’t I?’ This is when you acknowledge the child’s disappointment first then follow up with a question like, ‘Okay, what can you do so you can feel better about yourself?’ You can also use this opportunity to ask him what he is good at that his brother can’t do and how he can improve on that, too. Questions that are helpful are: Was the work too difficult? Could the pace of the class be too fast so that you feel ‘lost’ or too slow, causing you to feel ‘bored’? Do you find it difficult to ask questions when you don’t understand something? Should we look at ways of helping you? Once you have determined the problem, you can begin to explore solutions with the child. Decide with the child on goals for improvement: The goals must be realistic. If a child achieved a 1 in a subject, don’t set a goal of
achieving a 4 in the next exam. Another goal may be to improve on the child’s study habits. Here we must be careful that we do not go to extremes and adopt an autocratic stance by ordering that the child doesn’t watch TV or can’t play with her friends during the week, after school, weekends or during the holidays. A fair situation would be where you review the child’s daily programme with him and involve him in deciding when and how much time there will be for fun and how much time for focusing on schoolwork. Break tasks into small steps so that even the youngest child can measure her growth, and the most advanced child can monitor her progress. Also, discuss rewards and consequences if goals are not met. Rewards must not be of a material nature. A special treat or outing would be appropriate. Involving your child gives her ownership and importance in this process, and this makes the process important not only to you but also for your child. Communicate with the educator and ask for guidance on how to help your child. Encourage him to succeed, and measure his progress in realistic terms, letting him know that you care and are available to help.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Jabulani brings happiness to the hungry in Parkwood AMINA WAGGIE
JABULANI, which means ‘happiness’, is the name of the feeding centre in Parkwood, and what a perfect name to describe the picture perfect smiles of the children. This centre has been serving supper to 300 to 350 children every night outside the month of Ramadaan. During Ramadaan, there is an increase of about another 100 children. Yasmine Abrahams started the centre when she was 37, and has been running it for 17 years now with her partner, Yusuf da Costa, who is one of the private sponsors for Jabulani. Two of the main sponsors are Mustadafin Foundation and Planet Mercy. ‘I came from a poverty stricken household so I know what it felt like to go to sleep hungry at night, and I never wanted other children to experience that. ‘Many children were unable to go school because they were hungry and so that was my motiva-
Shakier and Zarina Moerat (nee Patel ) Departure date & time: 31 July 2017; 03h15 for 06h00 flight 2 Rosaki Street, Paarl Contact: 082 833 4419 / 021 862 0466 Adam and Aasiah Moerat (nee Abrahams ) Departure date & time: 31 July 2017; 03h15 for 06h00 flight 2 Rosaki Street, Paarl Contact: 082 833 4419 / 021 862 0466 Anwar Rayhaan Moerat Departure date & time: 2 August 2017; 16h20 for 20h05 flight 6 Meerhof Street, Charleston Hill, Paarl
tion: to ensure that those children are fed and able to go to school to get educated,’ said Abrahams. When Jabulani started, it was in a social development container at the Parkwood masjid. In 2015, the City Council gave Jabulani some vacant land, thus granting them the opportunity to feed more children. Yusuf da Costa and Mohamed Mukadam helped with the structural development of the feeding centre in order to provide a safe and comfortable place for the children, allowing them to be fed in a dignified manner. The property was a donation and Jabulani only has to pay for electricity. Jabulani welcomes everybody of all faiths to the centre but children and seniors get first preference. There are currently 15 volunteers who assist with feeding the children every night. ‘I like helping people. It is very nice to work with the children to see that they are happy to get a warm meal. You can see when you
Contact: 0834558246 / 021 8621936
work here that you think that your situation is bad but other people’s are worse. ‘I would encourage people to volunteer because it makes you see what is missing in your life, that others need help more than you
do. You need to help others to help yourself,’ said Muneera Abrahams, 27, one of the volunteers. The feeding centre is run on a daily basis. They have a seniors club on a Tuesday morning, when Naadhirah Mukadam takes them
23 July 2017; 12h00 for 14h10 flight 32 Goldsmith Road, Salt River Contact: 084 0183 227
(nee Khan) Departure date & time: 27 July 2017; 04h00 for 06h00 flight 26 Karee Street, Gordons Bay Contact: Mustapha 082 319 4444 / Naseemah 084 330 0128
Shaikh Zarier and Abeda Moerat (nee Lamara) Departure date & time: 31 July 2017; 03h30 for 06h00 flight 5 Montvue Avenue, Paarl Contact: 0826731812 / 072 199 8111 Ebrahiem and Madeegah Cassiem (nee Samaai) Departure date & time: 6 August 2017; 16h00 for 20h05 flight 4 Waboom Avenue, New Orleans, Paarl Contact: 0784579293 / 083 288 4793 Fahmy & Faeeza Basardien Departure date & time:
Yasmine Abrahams, founder of the Jabulani feeding centre in Parkwood Estate, flanked by members of the team that assist her in sustaining the project (from left): Yusuf Da Costa, Hashiem Da Costa, Yusuf Gabier and Faiek Samodien. Photo AMINA WAGGIE
Nadeem & Rafieqah Williams Departure date & time: 23 July 2017; 12h00 for 14h10 flight 4 McManus Close, Kensington Contact: Nadeeem 071 8737 861 Mogamad-Fadel & Aishah Khan (nee Baderoen) Departure date & time: 10 August 2017; 03h30 for 06h10 flight 39 Ouma Fransman Avenue, Gustrow, Strand Contact: 021 845 6486 / Fadel 083 729 6010 / Aishah 071 897 9412 Mustapha & Naseemah Mullah
Abdul Wahaab & Yumna Departure date & time: 2 August; 15h00 for 20h00 flight 41 Duiker Road, Bridgetown Contact: 021 638 5008 Mahdie & Wardiyah Lodewyk (nee Wallie Dollie ) Departure date & time: 27 July 2017; 10h00 for 13h30 flight. 126 Jupiter Road, Surrey Estate Contact: Mahdie 083 261 5057 / Wardiyah 084 871 3895 / Home 021633 0810
through some exercises, after which they are provided with breakfast. The centre also has a madrasah, called Madina Madrassa, which operates during the week and on Saturdays. The madrasah started out with only five children and since then has grown to 120 children. On Thursday mornings, there are Quran and fiqh lessons for ladies. ‘Although there are sponsors who assist the feeding centre, unfortunately, we need more funding and we need more people to come out and help us,’ said Yasmine Abrahams. Jabulani’s banking details are: Account name: Jabulani Community Organisation Bank: Standard Bank, Vangate Branch code: 051 001 Business Cheque Account Account number: 243 123 892 Reference: Your name and surname For more information, you may contact Yusuf da Costa on 076 427 6747.
Mahdie & Faiza Lodewyk (nee Majiet ) Departure date & time: 27 July 2017; 09h00 for 13h30 flight 11 Son Street, Kenwyn Contact: Faiza 073 370 9031 / Mahdie 083 261 5057 / Home 021 761 1184 Ebrahim Dollie Departure date & time: 27 July 2017; 10h00 for 13h30 flight. 126 Jupiter Road, Surrey Estate Contact: 079 541 6817/ 021 633 0810 The management and staff of Muslim Views wish all hujjaj a safe journey and we make du’a that Allah grants each one Hajj Maqbool and returns them safely to their family.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Mugg & Bean finds value in going halaal
The Famous One breakfast with the winning sweetcorn fritter. Photo DILSHAD PARKER
KENILWORTH Centre, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, has become a hotbed of halaal eateries. Some of the longstanding restaurants have become halaal with the new revamp of the mall late last year, and others opening have seen the value of going halaal. Mugg & Bean is a new addition to the mall and is currently the only halaal branch of this popular franchise in the country. We visited on the long weekend early in May only to find a 20minute queue before we could get a table. On speaking to the manager, I was told that this has been the case every weekend since they
opened. Suffice it to say, Muslim foodies have been waiting eagerly for another halaal branch since the Vangate Mall branch closed a few years ago. We decided to brave the queue and wait for a table. The queue being right in front of the open plan restaurant allowed us to ogle the other patrons and subliminally will them to hurry up and make space for us. We finally got a table (yes, I know it was only 20 minutes but when you have a restless fouryear-old in tow who was promised waffles and ice cream, it can feel like two hours). In spite of the restaurant being filled to capacity, the service was efficient and we didn’t wait long
Stacked breakfast is easy on the eye in the form of the Big Ben. Photo DILSHAD PARKER
for our food. The menu is the same as all the other branches with the obvious substitutions for halaal meat. A range of decadent looking breakfast options was tempting so we opted for the Big Ben and the Famous One breakfast. The Big Ben is an impressivelooking toasted English muffin topped with baby spinach, fresh tomato, hashbrowns, cheddar, turkey, macon, deep-fried onion rings and two poached eggs, drizzled with hollandaise sauce. The menu said it was ideal for sharing. I was able to finish this on my own so don’t opt to share if you’re hungry. The Famous One consists of two eggs, macon, a sweetcorn frit-
ter, grilled tomato and rosemarysalted fries, served with a slice of toast. This was quite filling for the hubby. I quite liked the sweetcorn fritter myself. The gooseberry and apple ice tea was quite good and it being sugar-free was a guilt-free delight. I liked the brand new black crockery and interesting serve ware for the milk. Of course, we could not do Mugg & Bean without trying the coffee. The medium strength filter coffee blend was just perfect and to be expected from a brand that built their name on their bottomless filter coffee. Taufeeq was promised waffles, and to our disappointment we discovered that Mugg & Bean no longer serves waffles.
But we managed to avoid drama and tears with a kiddies order of chocolate chip flapjacks and ice cream. The kiddies order was really just one big flapjack. It didn’t go far enough and we had to order a second portion for him when, like Oliver, he looked up with those pitiful puppy eyes and I just melted. At R79 and R69 for the breakfast dishes I thought pricing was okay. But I thought R21 for the single kiddies flapjack and ice cream a tad overpriced, and R29 for a small kid’s milkshake is definitely too steep. The fact that it was so busy made it quite noisy and a bit rushed. I’d like to go soon at a quieter time and have a more relaxed meal. There’s some interesting breakfast skillets on the menu including Shakshushka as well as a Sesame Crusted Buttermilk Chicken Burger that almost won over the Big Ben, and several snack plate options that would be great for sharing if you’re with some friends and just having some chill time. All in all a good experience; I was very impressed that they did not drop the ball the entire time we were there, in spite of the crowd. This review is independent and meals were paid for. Dilshad Parker is owner and author of www.hungryforhalaal.co.za
Art’s for All
Muslim Views . June 2017
In the sun and shadows of paradise Truly, Mauritius is a little fragment of heaven that fell into the Indian Ocean, writes DR M C D’ARCY.
EVERY corner of tropical Mauritius is a picture postcard. Coconut palms sway on the white, sandy shores of this paradise. Emerald seawaters merge into the azure of distant oceanic waves that murmur beyond the coral reefs encircling this verdant isle. Endless green sugar cane plantations carpet the hills and vales. Tea bushes flourish on the cooler mountainous slopes. Between old rifts and extinct volcanic calderas waterfalls gush down to fast flowing rivers. Truly, Mauritius is a little fragment of heaven that fell into the Indian Ocean. But even this ethereal perfection cannot escape the tumultuous life of this world of ours. It’s dangerous to sprawl under coconut trees. In the tropics, many people are killed every year by falling coconuts. Barring road accident deaths, that’s about the biggest threat to life on Mauritius. On a recent visit to Mauritius, our guide testified that violent crime is minimal; unlike South Africa, you can walk and breathe without bothering to look over your shoulder for muggers and murderers. True, sharks might nibble your toes at sea but pickpockets on land seldom if ever resort to physical harm. Thieves will steal a spade in your garden but they don’t usually enter your house. Freedom there is delicious; it’s being able to walk and enjoy life without the burdens of treacherous political, social and corporal tribulations. Mauritius is a tiny volcanic island isolated in the vast Indian Ocean. The Arabs first visited it in the Middle Ages and wrote about the island they called Dina Arobi. But it was too far off their trade routes and interests. The Portuguese shunned it. The Dutch colonised it, introduced sugar cane and brought Indian indentured labour from South India, and treated them like slaves. The Dutch abandoned the unprofitable island in1710.
The French took over the island till the English wrested the island from them during the Napoleonic wars of 1810. The polyglot 1,3 million Mauritians speak English (the administrative language), French, Creole, Bhojpuri (Indian) and Mandarin (Chinese). About 50 per cent are Hindu, 30 per cent Christian, 17 per cent Muslim, three per cent Chinese Buddhists and other. Of interest, Cape Governor Simon van der Stel, a ‘coloured’ man, was born virtually in sight of Mauritius and has the distinction of being the first human to be born on or near that island. Sadly, the arrival of human beings saw the end of the unique flightless bird of Mauritius, the dodo. In 1901, Mahatma Ghandi visited Mauritius on his way from South Africa to India. He agitated for education and political freedom. But, freedom from the British only came in 1968, with Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam as prime minister. Port Louis is the capital and home of the beautiful Juma Mosque, of which I wrote before. But we were now on our way to lofty Curepipe, where the climate is less hot and humid. My daughter Shameema created a colouring book of the Asma ul Husna and Mauritian Tanvir Fatima Khan had ordered some copies which we were to deliver.
On our way, our guide (a HinduChristian) informed us that the Muslims on the island are strongly averse to having any photos taken of them. He continued, ‘Sadly they are fragmented into rival groups depending on which Moulanas they follow.’ After a search, we found her rooms somewhat hidden in a lush cul-de-sac. But we were pleasantly surprised when we met Tanvir and her family. Tanvir is an artist! Her smile and her work stunned us. With friendly grace she told us that her father was a moulana and she is married to a moulana. She also runs an art school. This helped her with medical expenses when her husband was hurt in an accident. We toured her studio and were blown away by her talent, her sense of colour and her beautiful creative work. ‘I do Islamic art but I’m not very good at it,’ she said shyly. I stopped her and said, ‘Don’t ever say that again! Allah has blessed you with great talent. You should be thankful and say: I have done my best to use my talents but I shall try to be even better.’ Her face lit up. I could see that those words of positive encouragement had lifted a great burden of self-deprecation and outside inhibitory attitudes from her shoulders. No one had said that to her before.
Mauritian volcanic mountains and verdant sugar cane fields.
Tanvir’s studio in Curepipe. Note the art of her students.
On parting, I also said to her husband, ‘You have been twice blessed. Allah has given you life after the accident, and has also blessed you with a wonderful, talented wife.’ He smiled. Nobody had said that to him before. On parting, I ruminated: why are Muslim artists so self-deprecating, as if the expression of talent is a sin? We have been inured and inculcated not to be boastful. We have been browbeaten that we should follow strict rules in art and life. We are threatened with hell and damnation if we don’t follow certain lines and restrictions set by those who have no vision of beauty, those who only see darkness and repetitive geometrics as ‘Islamic art’.
Photo M C D’ARCY
Photo M C D’ARCY
These are the self-appointed arbiters of righteousness; to them light, beauty and happiness on earth are cardinal sins. They spend their time on folly. Islamic art is wider than that. Art is a blessing to be used, within certain norms, to give pleasure, to educate and to bring attention to the political and social ills that surround us. In historic times, most people were illiterate. Even today, many are semi-literate. Arts, in all forms, including movies, videos, paintings, political cartoons, storytelling and theatre, were and are potent means of opening eyes and minds to our surrounds and its diverse problems. In a climate of rampant crime, drugs, child rape and murder, these selfsame clerics recently held conferences on Brazilian hairstraighteners and the follies of wet hair follicles. As a pathologist, I have seen many skin biopsies under the microscope. Hair follicles are deep in the dermis of the skin. You can’t really wet them. Hair is dead keratin just like nails and rhinoceros horn. Here in Cape Town, like Mauritius, we also live in a visual paradise. Only, our skies are darkened by social ills and crime. Many artists here are opening the eyes of its denizens, rich and poor. We are crying for justice and peace, tranquillity and harmony. The serpents in paradise rule but in art and apples we should find the medicines that could help us to paint our paradise with honesty, joy and laughter. Who knows when? But there is grinding noise. The wheels of justice are beginning to move, slowly.
Muslim Views . June 2017
Descendants of Shaikh Yusuf of Makassar on goodwill visit to SA GAUTENG CORRESPONDENT
THE eighth and ninth generation descendants of Shaikh Yusuf al Makassari, the pioneer of Islam in South Africa, were hosted at a historical event in Bosmont, Johannesburg, on April 26, 2017. The distinguished guests also attended the annual Macassar Easter festival in Cape Town and were hosted by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) during their stay. According to Gielmie Hartley, they also visited International Peace College South Africa (Ipsa). The delegation of three males and four females ranged from a professor, an architectural engineer and a university rector who is retired and a religious scholar. The members of the delegation were Paturungi Parawansa, Dian Anggraence Sigit Parawansa, Mappaturung Sigit Parawansa, Taku Daeng Parawansa, Sultan Baitullah Sahib and his two daughters, Muzdalifah bin Sahib (author of a book on Shaikh Yusuf) and Raodah Sahib. In Johannesburg, the guests were welcomed by the recital of the Salawaat and were given a ‘strikkie’ (corsage) by the students of the Persaudaraan Pencak Silat (Indonesian martial art) to welcome them. Later, the students gave a short demonstration of the pencak silat. ‘The pencak silat that we teach, which is from West Java, has a direct link with the great scholar, Shaikh Yusuf al Makassari,’ said Mariam Gillan, one of the co-ordinators of the event. ‘Pencak silat is a fascinating sport. It is spiritual. It develops character. It makes you God-conscious. My theory is that Shaikh Yusuf al Makassari, who was from noble descent, a pendekar (warrior), a freedom fighter, may have practised pencak silat when he was exiled to South Africa,’ Gillan added. Dr Hj Dian A S Parawansa, was pleasantly surprised with the performance of Tari Saman ‘Dance of a Thousand Hands’, from the Persaudaraan students and said that she is from Aceh, where the Tari Saman originated. Imam Malick Johenesse, Imam of the Bosmont Masjid, welcomed the distinguished guests and noted, ‘We are all family.’ Sultan Baitullah Sahib spoke proudly of the great scholar, Shaikh Yusuf al Makassari, and said that it is important that this information (history) is passed on from generation to generation.
Descendants of Shaikh Yusuf of Makassar recently visited South Africa and were hosted by local communities in the Western Cape and Gauteng. Meeting the community in Bosmont, Johannesburg, were senior members of the delegation (from left): Sultan Baitullah Sahib, Drs H Mappaturung Parawansa and Professor H Paturungi Parawansa. Photo MARIAM GILLAN
Imam Jamiel Abrahams, another stalwart of the Malay culture, said that Shaikh Yusuf al Makassari laid a firm foundation for Islam in South Africa. He added that Muslims should be exposed more to the academic works of this great scholar, even though he only spent the last six years of his life in South Africa (1694-1699). Imam Abrahams
added, ‘Shaikh Yusuf al Makassari was a man of shariah, tariqah and haqiqah.’ Shaikh Yusuf al Makassari is remembered not only in South Africa but also in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. He was declared a national hero in 2005 by the governments of South Africa and Indonesia. While Sultan Baitullah Sahib spoke in Bahasa Indonesia,
Students of the Persaudaraan Pencak Silat, a form of Indonesian martial art, were on hand to welcome the descendants of Shaikh Yusuf of Makassar on their visit to Johannesburg. Photo MARIAM GILLAN
his daughter interpreted. He said that he was very grateful and happy to be meeting his Muslim brothers and sisters in Johannesburg. He then spoke of various aspects of Shaikh Yusuf al Makassari’s life. The leader of the
Tariqah Khalwatiyah in Indonesia then made a duah for the Muslims of South Africa. Gillan said that this visit was a further step in cementing and formalising relationships between South Africa and Indonesia.
Descendants of Shaikh Yusuf of Makassar recently visited South Africa and were hosted by local communities in the Western Cape and Gauteng. In Bosmont, Johannesburg, they met with some of the leaders of the community. Seated (from left) are senior members of the delegation: Sultan Baitullah Sahib, Drs H Mappaturung Parawansa, Professor H Paturungi Parawansa. Standing (from left): Imam Ekeraam Diederichs (retired imam from Eldorado Park), Imam Jamiel Abrahams (Florida), Imam Shabaan Sallie (Bosmont) and Imam Malick Johenessee (Imam at Bosmont Masjid). Photo MARIAM GILLAN