From the book: History of Muslims in South Africa by Ebrahim Mahomed Mahida

1950 Jamiatul Ulama Natal, Durban 82

The Jamiatul Ulama Natal was founded in 1950 to cater for the religious and spiritual needs of the Muslims.

The aims and objectives of the Jamiat are:

  • * to guide generally the Muslim public in complete consonance with the laws of Islam;
  • * to propose, publish and expound the principles and practices of Islam; * to uphold and defend the religion of Islam, its tenets, beliefs, and juristic systems;
  • The Jamiat employs several 'ulama' [Islamic scholars] on a full-time basis at its offices in Pine Street, Durban, and are engaged in:
  • * settling marital disputes and deciding cases related to marriage and divorce;
  • * proper calculations of estate (waqf] distribution and resolving disputes regarding estate and inheritance matters, advices on drawing wills according to Shari 'ah;
  • * issuing Shari 'ah rulings (fatawahJ pertaining to all aspects of Din;
  • * publication and distribution of Islamic literature and books to educate the Muslims;
  • * supervision of madaris, providing syllabi, notes, text books; conducting madaris examinations and presenting reports to organisations running the madaris;
  • * providing assistance and counselling to welfare cases in consultation with Muslim welfare agencies;
  • * providing bursaries to deserving students studying Islamic sciences at local and overseas institutions;
  • * advising Muslim businessmen in commerce and economics from the Shari 'ah point of view;
  • * resolving disputes to save individual and community thousands of Rand in legal costs;
  • * issuing certificates of halal food, and also supervising the slaughtering of animals at abbatoirs.

Some of the founder members of the Jamiat were and are: Maulana 'Abdur Rahman Ansari, Maulana Abubakr Khatib, Maulana Bashir Siddiqui, Maulana Adam Bhayat, Maulana Cassim Sema, Maulana Ahmed Desai, Maulana 'Abdul Haq Omarjee, Maulana 'Abdul Qadir, Maulana Loot, Maulana Sub­haanallah, Maulana Goolam Mohammed Salot, Maulana Mohammed Yusuf, etc.

Among the Jami'at's publications are:

  • 1.The Philosophy of Fasting in Ramadaan, 1960, 1963.
  • 2. Answer by the Jamiatul Ulama-Natal to the Question of Interest, 1966.
  • 3. Sacrifice - Zabeeah - Nahr - Qurbani.
  • 4. Lailatul Qadr.
  • 5. The Establishment of an Islamic Collective Life by Mufti Mojahidul Islam Quasemi, 1979.
  • 6. Khomeni, Iranian Revolution and the Shi 'ite Faith by Maulana Muham­mad Manzoor Nomani.
  • 7. Islam and the Earliest Muslims - Two Conflicting Portraits by Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi, 1986.
  • 8. Broad aspects of Shi'ite Religion by Muhibbudeen AI-Khateeb, 1985. 9. Al-Jami 'at [newsletter].

The present officials of the Jami'at are: Maulana Yunus Patel [president], Maulana Abu Soomar [vice-president], Maulana Yunus Osman [secretary] and Maulana Ahmed Omar [treasurer].

1950 Arabic Study Circle, Durban 83

The Arabic Study Circle was founded in Durban in 1950. For the first three years - 1950-1953 - the Arabic Study Circle pursued a programme on an informal basis, but as its activities grew, it became imperative that a proper constituted body be formed. Thus, on February 01, 1954 the Arabic Study Circle was officially constituted with Dr Daud Saleh Mall as president, Suleman N Omar [d June 1992] as secretary and Mahomed A Mahomedy as treasurer. Among others who served on the comitee were: A S Ballim, Suleman Cassim Seth, G H E Vanker, Ismail A Karim, Suleman N M Kamdar, Mahomed I Vawda, G H M Omarjee, and Dr G H Vawda.

As the name indicates, the Circle was keen to promote Arabic at every level: primary, secondary, tertiary and at public level.

The first annual public speaking contest of the Arabic Study Circle was held on Sunday, February 14, 1954 at the Kajee Memorial Hall, Durban.

In 1954 the Circle approached the University of Natal in regard to the introduction of Arabic as an academic course. The University academies were favourable to the idea, so long as the Muslim community established a chair of Arabic and paid the salary of the Head of Department and a Junior Lecturer. As the sum of Rand 200 000 was too large to establish a chair, the Circle shelved the idea.

In 1955 the Circle attempted to have Islamic Studies as a subject introduced at the University of Cape Town, since the Haji Sullaiman Shahmahomed Trust had made available a substantial sum for this purpose, but for some unknown reason, the Circle was not successful in its mission. In the same year, 1955, in order to better equip madrasah teachers with modern teaching methods, the Arabic Study Circle conducted Madrasah Teachers Training Programme in Durban during the winter vacation. Among the tutors were: Wahajur Rasul [Islamic history and Dinyat ], Dr Yusuf Zablith [Arabic], Subhan Khan [English grammar and usage], C A Naidoo [Psychology and Educational Psychology].

In 1956 in order to finance the establishment of the proposed Arabic chair, Dr Daud Mall and his wife, Sakina [Bibi Mall] flew to Cannes, France, to seek financial assistance from Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah Agha Khan. The Circle's application for funds, however, was unsuccessful.

In 1963 with the establishent of the University College for Indians in Durban [now University of Durban-Westville], the Arabic Study Circle presented a memorandum to the Rector, Professor S P Olivier, showing the importance and need of Arabic to Muslims of South Africa. The Depart­ment of Arabic was established at the College in 1963 with Dr Yusuf Zablith as a part-time lecturer.

"In January 1967 the Arabic Study Circle convened a conference to establish a Natal Educational Board at the Kajee Memorial Hall in Durban. Maulana Abdul Quddus Hashmi, an eminent Pakistani author and historian, was the keynote speaker. Maulana Hashmi stressed the need for the establishment of a Dar al-'Ulum to train religious teachers and impressed the necessity of establishing a central body to cater for the crying need of the Muslim community" of South Africa. The day-long conference was officially opened by A M Moolla. Unfortunately, the conference failed in its objective since the delegates to the conference became occupied with primarily one concern, that is, whether Arabic or Urdu should enjoy priority at the madaris. A prominent educationist and principal of a school concluded:

"In teaching religion the language to be used as a medium of instruction is of paramount importance. I do not for one moment disagree with the view that Urdu is a very important language and that it contains a vast amount of religious literature. But its importance and vastness is irrelevant to its utility as a language of instruction in culturally foreign country like South Africa".

Subsequently, the Circle, approached the Department of Indian Affairs [Division of Education] to introduce Arabic at secondary school level, and so from January 1975 Arabic was approved as a teaching subject in secondary schools on Standard Grade; the first matriculation class of 13 students at the Orient Islamic School in Durban in 1980 had a 100% pass.

The Circle also published the prescribed text books - Tariqah al-Jadidahfit 'alim al- 'Arabiyyah [A New Method of Teaching Arabic], Parts 1 to 4 by Muhammad Am i n al-Misri, and Ta'rikh al-Islam al-Musawwar, volume 1, by ' Umar al-Farrukh. A few years later in 1984, the Arabic Study Circle succeeded in having Arabic introduced in Indian primary schools [Standards 2 to 5] in South Africa.

From 1989 Arabic was taught at Higher Grade at Matriculation level, and the Circle published An Anthology of Arabic Prose and Poetry for the Senior Secondary Phase as a prescribed textbook; second edition was published in 1992. In order to encourage and popularise the Arabic language the Arabic Study Circle provided bursaries to 107 students, between 1975 and 1988, at various universities in South Africa to the value of Rand 35 245.00.

The Department of Education and Culture of the House of Delegates [regarding Arabic language] show the 1992 Indian Languages Statistics Indian schools] as follows:
Standard 2: 1867 pupils
Standard 3: 1 762 pupils
Standard 4: 1446 pupils
Standard 5: 1 120 pupils
Standard 6: 349 pupils
Standard 7: 352 pupils
Standard 8: 28 pupils
Standard 9: 44 pupils
Standard 10: 35 pupils

Besides promoting Arabic in schools and universities, the Circle, since the past twenty-five years, has conducted Arabic classes, held Qur'anic classes once per week, organised public speaking contests annually and maintains a well-equipped Islamic Library on a full-time basis at the Islamic Centre, 156 Queen Street, Durban.

1950 Publication of The Muslim Digest 84

The Muslim Digest, a monthly publication incorporating The Five Pillars and Pakistan News, organ of the International Union of Islamic Service, was founded in Durban in August 1950 and published by Makki Publications, Durban. Mr Mohammed Makki was its first editor and remains as chief editor to date. The Muslim Digest's primary aim was "to extend the Digest into all parts of the Muslim world for the purpose of inspiring and enriching the lives of those who read it, and to bring together Muslims in all parts into closer communion and co-operation". Along with The Muslim Digest the Makki Publications also publishes The Ramadan Annual and Islamic Calendar. To date, The Muslim Digest has seen 40 years of publication.

1951 'Indian' Muslim population census

The 'Indian' Muslim population, according to official sources, numbered

  • * 78 787 in 1951
  • * 125 987 in 1970
  • * 154 300 in 1980

1952 Bo-Kaap: residential area for 'Malay' Muslims

The entire Bo-Kaap was declared a residential area for "Muslim Malays" in 1952 in terms of the Group Areas Act of 1950. In 1962 a section of the 'Malay' Quarter was declared a national monument. Of the dwellings a few have been converted into what is called the Bo-Kaap Museum . The Cape Muslims did not believe that the Cape Town City Council's 1934 action with regard to removal of residents of Bo-Kaap was purely for health reasons since it took the Cape Town City Council almost twenty years to restore the first fifteen dwellings in Bo-Kaap. Only since 1970 a further 52 dwellings have been restored.

1952 'Id Saldh at the Kings Rest Masjid

The 'Zanzibari' Muslim community performed their first 'Id Salah at the Kings Rest Masjid at Bluff in Durban, despite their having been settled in the area since their arrival in 1899. Prior to this the 'Zanzibaris' performed the Jumu'ah and 'Idayn Salawat [Jumu'ah and 'Id congregational prayers] either at the Grey Street or the West Street Masajid in Durban.

1952 Central Islamic Trust, Johannesburg

The Central Islamic Trust was founded in Johannesburg in 1952 with the following aims and objectives:

In early 1966 the Central Islamic Trust convened a conference of the various Muslim social welfare, religious, educational and community based organisations in the Transvaal to get together and work unitedly for the cause of Muslim welfare and advancement in the Transvaal.

CIT's move to form a Central Coordinating Council was supported by Aligarh Old Boys Association, Crescent Haven Welfare Society, Lenasia Muslim Association, Muslim Social Welfae Fund, Muslim Aid, Muslim Benevolent Society, Newclare Islamic Charitable Organisation, Young Men's Muslim Association, etc. The aim of the Coordinating Council was to:

  • * the Trust shall promote Islamic education by the establishment of creches, nursery schools, hostels, madrasahs and institutions of higher education;
  • * the Trust shall contribute to the welfare and development of the Muslim community by providing, inter alia, the following services:
    • a. social welfare services, including material assistance to families in distress;
    • b. health services;
    • c. bursaries to students at various educational institutions.
  • * the Trust shall undertake socio-cultural activities aimed at preserving Islamic values and traditions;
  • * the Trust shall actively engage in Islamic da 'wah work in all fields including the publishing of Islamic literature for distribution to Muslims and non-Muslims.
  • * unite the various Muslim organisations;
  • * offer services - physical and financial - in an organised manner;
  • * attend to religious and secular educational needs;
  • * attend to needy and destitutes;
  • * eradicate duplication of work;
  • * train paid Muslim personnel in management, social work, health care, education and da 'wah.

1953 Anjuman Islam State-Aided Indian School, Durban 85

With the proven success and popularity of the Ahmedia and the South Coast Madressa G A I Schools in the integrated system of education, the Muslim community of Durban felt the need to establish another school on similar lines. Thus came into existence the Anjuman Islam State-Aided Indian School in Leopold Street, Durban, in 1953. The total cost of building the school was in the region of £48 000.0.0d [forty eight thousand pounds sterling] of which the Education Department contributed £14 000.0.0d [fourteen thousand pounds sterling]. About this time Maulana Abul Aleem Siddiqui visited Durban where an Islamic Education Conference was held, and the Maulana favoured and encouraged openly the integrated system of education. The Natal Director of Education granted the Muslims permission to convert their schools or establish new ones along the integrated system in which Islamic education could be imparted alongside secular education. A M Moolla appealed to Muslims throughout Natal to take advantage of this scheme but the response was poor. Only the Crescent State-Aided Religious School [Pine Street] in Durban took advantage of the integrated system. Mr J Khan was appointed as principal of the school in July 1953.

1954- Imam 'Abdullah Haron 86


'Abdullah Haron Abdullah Haron was born on February 08, 1924 in Newlands, Cape Town. He received his early Islamic education at Makkah where he spent two years, and thereafter, in Cape Town.

In 1954 'Abdullah Haron was appointed as imam on a temporary basis at Al-Jamia Masjid in Claremont. A year later he became permanent imam, which post he held until his "death" in 1969. He was the youngest imam [31 years old] at the time.

His contributions to the Muslim community are:

  • * he introduced in the Jumu'ah Khutbahs [Friday sermons] an awareness of current socio-political problems prevailing in the country; thus making the khutbahs more meaningful and relevant;
  • * he refused to accept remuneration in the rendering of services to the community, including that of imamate, preferring instead to earn a liveli­hood through working at his father's shop;
  • * seeing that the Muslim community was greatly in need of written material on Islam, he founded the Islamic Mirror [and became its editor in 1959], a publication that covered various aspects of Islamic life;
  • * in 1956 Imam Haron initiated madrasah classes both for children and adults at Al-Jamia Masjid;
  • * he was the first to establish the complete recital of the Qur'an in the Tarawih Salah during Ramadan in his masjid;
  • * observing the financial problems of the Muslim community, he put forward the idea of Bayt al-Mal [public treasury] for the area but the idea of public treasury met with poor response;
  • * his 'cent a day fund' for alleviating the conditions of the poor members of the community lasted for a few years;
  • * in 1958 he began training imams, especially from the younger members of the community, and with the introduction of a discussion group at the masjid, led to the formation of the Claremont Muslim Youth Association;
  • * I mam Haron instituted Islamic Studies classes for women on Wednesday nights at the masjid, despite opposition from other imdms and shaykhs. The women also participated in the activities of the Claremont Muslim Youth Association.
  • * in 1957 he joined the Muslim Judicial Council and was elected its chair­man in 1959;
  • * in 1960 the Muslim News was founded and Imam Haron became its first editor.

Imam Haron strived for unity of all Muslim organisations with the aim of forging a common front with a singular voice against the injustices of the White South African Government. In advocating this objective, he travelled by car to major cities in the country and delivered lectures on the subject. He requested his congregants and other Muslims to perform Qunut Salah and observe Nafl Saum [voluntary fast] so that peace and prosperity may prevail in the country. This was during the time of the Sharpeville Riots and when the Government was fast implementing the notorious Group Areas Act. At the Coloured Peoples Convention in 1961, Imam Haron attended various mass meetings and spoke out on maintaining religious freedom and the practicing of Human Rights. Through the Imam's contacts in the African townships in Cape Town, and through da 'wah and commercial dealings, he came in contact with the members of the Pan African Congress and actively participated in their protest meetings as a Muslim and imam.

In 1966 Imam Haron performed Hajj with his wife. He then flew to Cairo where he met Pan African Congress representatives and discussed with them the oppressive situation prevailing in South Africa. Also in Cairo, he addressed Muslim Heads of State and Muslim envoys at the Islamic Conference during which he lobbied for support for delegates of the African National Congress and Pan African Congress, and requesting support on behalf of suffering South Africans against the tyrannies and injustices of the racist Government. In observing the dilemma and plight of Muslim education, Imam Haron convened a meeting of six major Muslim schools; this led to the formation of the Cape Islamic Madaris Association.

In 1968 the Imam went to Makkah, met the Saudi Minister of Education and King Faysal at Riyadh. He addressed, in Arabic, the Muslims on Saudi Television, focusing attention on the plight of Muslims as well as Blacks of South Africa. From Riyadh he flew to Cairo, and at a Conference at which ANC and PAC delegates were present, the Imam outlined the role of Islam and social justice. The ANC delegates told the Imam that this was the first time they had learnt about Islam and its social values. On his return to Cape Town, the Security Branch of the South African Government trailed him, setting traps and finally arresting him on May 28, 1969. He was detained under Section 6 of Act 83 of 1967, referred to as the Terrorism Act. The Imam was held incommunicado for 123 days without being given the opportunity of visits by his wife and children. He "died" in the Cape Town prison on September 27, 1969. Over thirty thousand people, Muslims and non-Muslims, attended the funeral service. It is regarded by many as the biggest funeral procession Cape Town has ever witnessed. "Imam Haron's mission was a mission of the people. He did not die only for the Muslims - he died for his cause: the cause of the oppressed people, and for that he will be remembered", said a school teacher at his funeral.

Five and half months after the Imam's death and under public and media pressure, the medical inquest revealed:

  • a. Imam Abdullah Haron had 26 bruises ranging from 1 cm x 1 cm to as large as 10 cm x 8 cm;
  • b. the seventh rib was broken;
  • c. a haematoma [internal bleeding] 2.5 c.m x 2. 5 cm was found near the base of the spine;
  • d. he had sustained at least 10 bruises from 7 to 10 days before his death - most on his right leg;
  • e. at least 8 bruises had been sustained 1, 2 or 3 days before his death - many on the legs;
  • f. the stomach was empty.

1956 'Die Heilige' Qur'an: first Afrikaans translation of the Qur'an 87

Imam Mohammed Baker of Simonstown was a qualified school teacher from the Zonnebloem College in District Six, Cape Town. He became principal of the Simonstown Muslim Mission School. Imam Baker began the first translation of the holy Qur'an into the Afrikaans language in 1956. Having completed the translation, he published it under the title Die Heilige Qur'an in 1961. The translation does not contain the Arabic text, footnotes, commentary or index. It was printed in Cape Town by the Cape Times Limited and contains 464 pages.

Imam Muhammad Baker died in Cape Town in 1982, aged 72.

Die Heilige Qur'an was reprinted with revisions in 1981 by the Islamic Propagation Centre of Durban. 15 000 copies of the Qur'an were published for distribution in the platland.

1956 M L Sultan Technkon, Durban 88

The M L Sultan Technical College [now Technikon] in Centenary Road, Durban, was officially opened in 1956.

Malukmahomed Lappa Sultan, after whom the Technikon is named, was born in Quillon, Malabar, South India, on February 15, 1873. It is said he left his hometown to seek employment in Ceylon but the ship which he was to board broke down and could not set sail. Consequently, he decided to enrol as an indentured labourer, arriving in Port Natal [Durban] in 1890 and worked for the Natal Government as a railway porter at the Berea Road Station in Durban. Having completed his period of indenture of five years, he went to the Transvaal and worked as a waiter at one of the hotels in Johannesburg. Returning to Durban, he settled in Bellair. In 1905 he married Mariam Bee [d 1933]. He and his wife moved to Escombe [Natal] and went first into banana and tobacco farming, and after some time, he went into property business. M L Sultan soon became one of the leading property dealers in Natal.

It was in 1942 that M L Sultan was introduced to the Technical Education Committee; and out of the deliberations came his generous offer of Rand 25 000 that is, half the cost of the proposed technical college building. In addition to this, he endowed a further Rand 10 000 for the erection of a science block.

The Hugo Commission [under the Higher Education Act No 30 of 1923] recommended a building grant on a Rand for Rand basis and the approval of a college. This important step resulted in the establishment of the first Indian Technical College in South Africa, namely, the M L Sultan Technical College in Durban, with full statutory rights, powers and duties and with an independent College Council.

M L Sultan, the founder of the M L Sultan Charitable and Educational Trust, was the first patron of the College. Shortly before his death on September 06, 1953, M L Sultan increased the original gift for the college building from Rand 25 000 to Rand 60 000. After his wife's demise, he established the Mariam Bee Charitable and Educational Trust in her memory, and set aside Rand 50 000 as an endowment for a proposed children's hospital. In 1978 the name of the College was changed to M L Sultan Technikon.

1957 Cape Muslim Youth Movement

The Cape Muslim Youth Movement [CMYM ] was founded in Cape Town in 1957. The Movement played a vital role in highlighting the dynamism of Islam and creating general political awareness amongst the Muslims. One of the major activities of the CMYM was study circles at various centres. Many CMYM members joined the Muslim Assembly when it was formed in 1967.

1957 Islamic Propagation Centre International 89

During the mid-50s and early 60s, the Arabic Study Circle of Durban, on Sunday mornings, conducted Arabic language classes tutored by Mahomed A Mahomedy [Bhai Mota], followed by Qur'an tafsir classes conducted by Joseph Perdu , then followed study classes in comparative religion in which Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, etc were taught by various visiting lecturers. In 1956 Ahmed Deedat took charge of these classes. The raison d 'etre was to equip thinking Muslims of ways to counteract Christian missionary and the local media propaganda against Islam and Muslims, such as:

  • * Islam was spread by the sword;
  • * Muslims worship Muhammad;
  • * Islam was a danger to South Africa;
  • * Muslim women were not emancipated;
  • * Muslims were anti-Christ, etc.

Against this background, a year later, on March 17, 1957 there was sufficient interest in the Muslim community of Durban for the establishment of a da'wah society. This led to the formation of the Islamic Propagation Centre [IPC] with Goolam Hoosen E Vanker as President, Ahmed Deedat as Secretary and Abdul Khalick Salejee as Treasurer. Others elected at this meeting were: Sulaiman Shaikjee, G H Agjee, Moosa Kajee, Valley Mahomed, and Cassim Vanker.

From 1957 to 1980, the activities of the Islamic Propagation Centre were primarily confined to South Africa. At the beginning the IPC occupied the office of the Young Men's Muslim Association at 47 Madressa Arcade in Durban. Ahmed Deedat began training the Muslim youth in the art of propagation [da'wah] and taught Islam to the new Muslims. This method of da'wah training together with weekly evening classes [in comparative religion] were held in Durban Central, Mayville, Verulam, etc.

To spread the idea of da'wah, Ahmed Deedat and Goolam Hoosen Vanker began delivering public lectures in major towns and cities throughout South Africa. Among the topics covered were:

  • What the Bible says about Muhammad [s.a-w.s.]
  • * Was Christ {peace be upon him] Crucified?
  • * Muhammad [s.a.w.s.] the Natural Successor to Christ [p.b.u.h.].
  • * Prophecies in the Bible.

At the Second Annual General Meeting of the IPC held on September 07, 1959 there were several changes in office bearers: Ahmed Deedat was elected President with G H E Vanker as Secretary-General, A K Salejee remained Treasurer; others elected were: A S Noorgat, Ismail Manjra, Ismail Patel, G H Agjee, Sulaiman Shaikjee, Mohamed Nazeer Ali, etc.

In 1959 the S I Kadwa family of Umzinto donated 75 acres of land worth £5 000 in Braemer for a da'wah centre to the IPC. In June 1959 Ahmed Deedat with his family moved to As-Salaam and personally supervised the activities there. A committee consisting of prominent Muslim businessmen was formed to administer As-Salaam: Mahomed A H Moosa [of Simplex Furniture], Moosa A H Moosa [Pietermaritzburg], Suleman M Lockhat and Yusuf A Lockhat [both of Lockhat Bros], Ebrahim Makda [Minora Stores] and A K Salcjee. By December 22, 1960, the As-Salaam Trust was formed and operated a separate bank account.

To generate funds, the IPC published Islamic calendars containing quotations from Qur'an and HadHh and also sold Islamic books. Lectures and talks were given to visitors and tourists at the Grey Street Masjid by the IPC.

The DPC's activities in the field of da'wah attracted Muslim organisations from abroad which resulted in Ahmed Deedat visiting and delivering talks overseas. The IPC supplied English translations of the holy Qur'an, pamphlets, books and booklets, audio and video cassettes to Muslim and non-Muslim individuals and organisations overseas which resulted in their establishing da'wah centres of the IPC. Thus the change from Islamic Propagation Centre to Islamic Propagation Centre International [IPCI] in 1982. Goolam Hoosen E Vanker resigned from the IPCI in 1982 due to ill health. He remained the Secretary-General until 1980. The IPCI is probably the largest and the richest da'wah organisation in the world.

Some of the publications of the IPCI are:

  • * A Guide to the Propagation of Islam by G H E Vanker, 1974.
  • Salah the Muslim Prayer
  • What the Bible says about Muhammad [s.a.w.s.]
  • * What is His name
  • * The Muslims at Prayer
  • * What was the sign of Jonah
  • * The God that never was
  • * Al-Qur'Sn - the miracle of miracles
  • * Christ [peace be upon him] in Islam
  • * Muhammad the natural successor to Christ
  • * Muhammad the greatest
  • * Resurrection or resuciation
  • Who moved the stone?
  • * Arabs and Israel: conflict or conciliation?
  • * The Desert Storm. Has it ended?
  • * Ikur'an Eyingcwele. Part I, translated by Umar Molekeni; 12 page Introduction, Arabic text, Zulu translation, foot notes, 119 pages.

The present trustees of the IPCI are: Ahmed Deedat, Yusuf Deedat, Goolam Hbosen Agjee, Yusuf Ali and Dr Naushad Ali.

1958 Establishment of Nurul Huda Masjuf 90

In 1939 the Jassiem family had constructed a prayer room in Schoone Kloof, Cape Town, where in 1958, the Nurul Huda Masjid was constructed in Leeuwen Street. The majority of the population in this area were Muslims. Only about 20% were Christians but "there has never been any religious friction in the whole of the Bo-Kaap between Christians and Muslims". The first imam of the masjid was Sheikh Mogamat [Muhammad] Talieb Jassiem [1958-1972], followed by Sheikh Tape [1972-1974], Imam Abduraghmaan ['Abd al-Rahman] Abrahams [1974-1990].

1958 Claremont Muslim Youth Association 91

Guided by Imam 'Abdullah Haron, some Muslim teachers such as Sedick [Dickie] Galant, Ismail [Maili] Saban, Yusuf [Jowa] Abrahams, Abu Bakr Fakier [Brom] and artisans such as Abdul Kariem Sadan [Gap], Cassiem Sadan [Bounie], Yusuf [Joe] Arnold, Sieraj Galant [Dockie], Rashaad Saban, Omar Abrahams, etc established the Claremont Muslim Youth Association [CMYA] in Cape Town in March 1958.

Among the activities of the CMYA were:

111 training of Muslim youths as imams of masajid;

  • conducting religious classes for men and women at Al-Jamia Masjid;
  • * discussion group;
  • * publishing pamphlets and magazine on Islam and Muslims.

The magazine, Islamic Mirror, edited by Imam Haron was first published in 1959 and ceased publication in 1964.

There was a close working relation between the Cape Muslim Youth Association and the Cape Muslim Youth Movement Together they produced a pamphlet. The Call of Islam, which articulated their standpoint regarding the right to worship, to earn and to make a living; it also strongly criticised the apartheid regime and its legislation.

Muslim women also played an important and active role in the Association which to certain extent was opposed to the Muslim Judicial Council because of "its very conservative stand and silence regarding the South African Government's oppressive Bill which it had been introducing in order to curtail free movement amongst the racial groups".

The CMYA members were in close contact with political activists such as Alex Ie Guma, Albie Sacks, Professor Hoffenberg of the UCT, Robert Sobukwe [first president of the PAC] and others. They pursued discussions with Shaban 'Barney' Desai, Denis Brutus, George Peake, etc.

In 1963 the CMYA elected Imam 'Abdullah Haron as Honorary Life President. The Association came to an abrupt end in 1964.

1958 Islamic Missionary Society

The Islamic Missionary Society was founded in 1958 by a group of concerned Muslims [of Johannesburg] who were alarmed that no da'wah [propagation] work was being done in the Transvaal in particular and in South Africa on a large scale, and that millions of the oppressed Black people of the country had not received the message of Islam. It was thus resolved at a public meeting held at the Suleiman Nana Memorial Hall, Johannesburg, to form the Islamic Missionary Society.

The aims and objectives of the Society are to:

  • * propagate and teach Islam and to cultivate among Muslims knowledge and love for the religious ideals, traditions and principles of Islam,
  • assist indigent and suffering Muslims,
  • * provide facilities for the education of Muslim children,
  • * carry out extensive da'wah activities among non-Muslims: to teach them Islam and to create an Islamic atmosphere in which they can live their lives in accordance with the dm of Islam, ' erect, maintain and conduct madaris, masajid, da'wah training centres and other institutions necessary for the propagation of Islam, and
  • * do all that is necessary by way of publications, lectures and educational and humanitarian institutions to achieve the aim of Islamizing South Africa.

During the first phase of the Society, it launched a series of publications on Islam, which aimed at awakening the interest of both Muslims and non-Muslims towards Islam and the Muslim community.

During its second phase, the Society succeeded in introducing Islam in the various African townships surrounding Johannesburg - giving da'wah to the underprivileged Blacks of South Africa. House to house visits, organized in Soweto and other Black townships, calling the people towards Islam, proved successful.

Gradually, after years of hard work, Africans from the townships began to embrace Islam on a daily basis. The Islamic Missionary Society maintains that during the last thirty years, thousands of Blacks have embraced Islam in South Africa.

The Islamic Missionary Society obtained permission to build the first rnasjid in the Black township of Soweto, near Johannesburg. This was done with die assistance of the Rabitat al-'Alam al-Islami of Makkah. The masjid and madrasah were built in the name of the Soweto Muslim Association.

The Society has established an Islamic Centre with fulltime da'is in the township of Sharpeville. A jama'at khana and madrasah have been established and more man a hundred Muslims are making use of these premises. Land for constructing a masjid and madrasah project is under way in Sharpeville.

The Society also maintains a jama'at khana and madrasah in Kwa Thema, an African township east of Johannesburg, where a fulltime da'i is employed. Application for land for building a masjid and madrasah in Kwa Thema has been made. The Islamic Missionary Society maintains several jama'at kahnas and madaris in many other townships in the Transvaal, such as different sections of Soweto, Lekazi section of Kanyamazini homeland in the eastern Transvaal.

At the Islamic Centres of the Society in the townships, they have established feeding centres where the poor and destitute are provided daily with bread and soup. The Society also distributes clothes, shoes and blankets in the townships just before 'Id al-Fitr at their Centres. The Islamic Missionary Society has established self-help projects in the form of knitting, sewing, gardening etc. With these projects the workers are helped in maintaining their families with their own income.

Presently Mohammed Saleh Laher is the President of the Society.

1959 Orient Islamic State-Aided School"

In 1942 the Orient Islamic Educational Institute was founded for the purpose of advancement of Muslim education and particularly for establishing schools of higher education in Durban. Muslims became deeply conscious for the need of schools where religious education could be imparted alongside secular education during school hours, as was the case with some Christian and Jewish schools. The Institute purchased three acres of land just below the Botanic Gardens in Durban. Unfortunately, anti-Indian agitation by Durban Whites against Indians 'penetrating' borders of White residential areas forced the trustees of the Institute to give up this site.

Towards the end of 1942, the Institute purchased 80 acres of land on the Bluff in Durban and plans were drawn for school buildings but on the eve of the foundation laying ceremony by the Minister of Interior, some Durban City Councillors [all Whites] and a few members of Parliament [all Whites], once again, agitated against an Indian school to be built on the borders of a White residential area. The White residents of the area became so prejudiced that the Institute had to abandon the project. The matter became so tense that even the Prime Minister, General Christian Smuts, became concerned and requested the Durban City Council to provide a suitable site to the Orient Islamic Institute for the construction of an Indian school. Thus, it was only in 1955, after thirteen long years and much negotiations, the Durban City Council offered 3.7 acres at Curries Fountain, less than one kilometer away from Botanic Gardens to the Institute for a school in exchange for the 80 acres of the Institute's land at the Bluff. Having no other options, the Institute accepted the offer.

The Orient Islamic State-Aided Primary and Secondary Schools were opened on January 19, 1959. Mr. A M Moolla [d 1978] became the first grantee of the schools [1959-1978], followed by Mr. Cassim Bassa [d 1983] [1978-1983, and Mr. Ismail Kathrada [1983 - to date].

Mr. M A Ismail was appointed the first acting principal of the primary school, while Maulana 'Abdur Rahman Ansari [d 1990] becomes the first religious supervisor of the schools and M A Farooqi Mehtar [d 1992] as Head of Religious Department. He retired in 1981 due to ill health. Maulana 'Abdur Rahim Khan succeeded Maulana Ansan, and is presently the religious department supervisor of the school.

1959 As-Salaam Educational Institute 93

The Islamic Propagation Centre of Durban headed by Ahmed Deedat and Goolan Hoosen E Vanker established the Islamic mission training school, As-Salaam, near Braemer, on a 75 acre of land, valued at £5 000.0.0d [five thousand pounds sterling] donated by the S I Kadwa family of Umzinto, in 1959; the foundation stone was laid by Mrs. Amina Tahir King, Wife of former Reverend Rashid Tahir King, the first paid d'ca in Natal. The As-Salaam Trust officially came into existence in August 1960. Spreading the message of Islam [da'wah] had its practical problems, amongst the most important being the traditional barrier placed by the Government's policy of racial segregation - Group Areas - which resulted in separate residential areas for different race groups residing in the country. Thus general personal contact amongst the different race groups was not easy. This necessitated the creation of an institution where free interaction could occur without hindrance and Islam could be lived in its totality. Hence, the As-Salaam Educational Institute at Braemer, on the south coast of Natal, 90 kilometers from Durban was established.

The purpose of establishing As-Salaam was to impart effective and comprehensive training, both Islamic and secular, with the aim of producing Islamic teachers and du'at [da'wah workers] especially among the indigenous people of South Africa. Students from all comers of South Africa and southern Africa are trained at As-Salaam over a period of two years. At the same time, they are encouraged to complete their secular education up to the Matriculation level. Some of the activities at As-Salaam are:

  • * training teachers and da'wah workers;
  • * fully-fledged schooling up to Matriculation level;
  • * fully-equipped medical clinic;
  • * training of Muslim youth via student camps, orientation and Islamic training programmes.

Until 1974 Ahmed Deedat was in charge and resident at As-Salaam. From 1974 to 1978 the Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa took full control of education and activities at As-Salaam. Since 1978 the As-Salaam Committee consisting of Muslim health care personnel have been catering for both secular and religious education at As-Salaam together with other Islamic activities. As-Salaam has many African students who are not Muslims, also attending the school.

1959 A M Moolla Charity Trust

The A M Moolla Charity Trust was established in 1959. Amod Mahomed Moolla [1909-1980] in 1927 took up employment at Lockhat Brothers and Company in Durban as a clerk. Through hardwork and commitment, he rose to become chairman of the Company until his retirement in 1976, having served the Company for 49 years.

In 1955 A M Moolla established the A M Moolla Group of Companies [Kingsgate Clothing Manufacturers, Majestic Clothing, Pan Af Clothing Manufacturers, Metropolitan Shirt and Clothing Company and Reunion Clothing Company] and not only became one of the leading clothing manufacturers in Durban, but also one of the largest privately owned companies in South Africa.

In addition to his outstanding contributions in the field of commerce and industry, A M Moolla is best known as a philanthropist. During his lifetime the Trust contributed no less than Rand 500 000 to social welfare, religious, education and healthcare organisations - irrespective of caste, colour or creed.

The Trust was established with A M Moolla's contribution of £10 000.0.0d [ten thousand pounds sterling], which was invested in Kingsgate Clothing Manufacturers, Durban. The.profit derived from this investment is donated by the Trust. Over the years the Trust has granted substantial donations to worthy projects, for example in 1977 it donated Rand 75 000 to the University of Durban-Westville.

Among the objects of the A M Moolla Charity Trust are to:

  • * create a fund for charitable, educational and religious purposes to be applied in the Union [Republic] of South Africa or elsewhere as the Trustees may from time to time determine;
  • * provide, endow, furnish and fit out with all necessary furniture, instru­ments and other equipment and maintain either wholly or in part schools, madressas, mosques, hospitals and orphanages or any of them;
  • * provide medical, surgical and dental relief to any poor persons suffering from disease or ill health and supply all necessary drugs and medicines to such persons;
  • * construct, acquire, provide and maintain schools, madressahs, mosques, hospitals, nursing and maternity homes, hostels, libraries, orphanages, social centres and other welfare institutions;
  • * found, create and make all payments in connection with scholarships, bursaries, free tuition with or without free or partially free board and lodging, for the scholastic advancement of any persons;
  • * grant pecuniary ys other assistance for the relief of the poor and meet urgent cases of distress which may from time to time arise.

The University of Durban-Westville conferred Doctor of Commercii Honoris Causa on A M Moolla in 1977 in "appreciation of his inspired leadership and sacrificial service to his people and his country".

1959 Tabligh Jama'at

At an ijtima' held on August 02, 1934 at Mewat, India, some 107 Muslims attended under the leadership of Maulana Muhammad Dyas [1885-1944] and pledged what, reduced to writing, could be described as the initial constitution of the Tabligh Jam'at:

  • 1. Upholding the kalimah;
  • 2. Establishment of sator;
  • 3. Acquisition and dissemination of Islamic knowledge;
  • 4. Adoption of Islamic customs;
  • 5. Eradication of all polytheistic ways and customs of shirk-,
  • 6. Observance otpardah [by women];
  • 7. Conducting of nikah in accordance with Islam;
  • 8. Acceptance of firm Islamic beliefs and rejection of all un-Islamic beliefs;
  • 9. Respect and fulfilment of mutual huquq [rights and obligations];
  • 10. Imparting of Islamic education prior to secular education;
  • 11. Effort in the path of tabligh;
  • 12. Strict observance of body purification;
  • 13. According mutual respect and honour;
  • 14. Encouraging leaders of the community to participate in tabligh.

The seven principles, which are observed by every tablighiare:

  • * Kalimoh [Article of Faith];
  • Salat [daily prayers];
  • 'llm and Dhikr [knowledge of Islam and remembrance of Allah];
  • IkrSm al-Muslimm [respect for Muslims];
  • Ikhlas [sincerity of purpose];
  • Tafngh al-Waqt [expending of one's time];
  • *Tark ma la .ya'nf [abstention from useless matters],

The Tabligh Jam'at has established points of contact at centres in various parts of the world. In South Africa, annual international ijtima' takes place at different towns and cities which is attended by several thousands of Muslims.