Posts Tagged ‘Jamiat South Africa’

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” or “Who will guard the guards?” asked the Roman poet Juvenal.

This question is quite apt in relation to the South African Muslim society and the governance thereof by the various Ulama bodies which exist in this country. These bodies have been set up with the primary aim of guarding the Deen of Islam. Whilst every religious endeavour often starts out with a noble aim, it is the few, fortunate ones who manage to live and die by the principles they initially lay out, serving the religion they claim to guard.

I will be focusing on theological bodies and/or those Ulama bodies whose primary activities are governed by or related to Fiqh (Islamic Law). I will therefore obviously be excluding aid organisations etc. from my discussion.

These bodies of Ulama are referred to as “Jamiat” organisations. The two Jamiat bodies I will be referring to are the Jamiat KZN in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Jamiat Fordsburg situated in Gauteng. Recently, I have noticed a growing number of people who find it difficult to gather any sort of official response from the Jamiat bodies on pertinent issues regarding the Muslims in these two provinces. As a self-confessed “Council of Theologians”, these upstanding members of our communities should be made accountable for their silence. It is not a wise decision from such large organisations, who are rumoured to have hundreds of Muftis and Moulanas affiliated to them, prefer silence as an answer to uncomfortable questions arising from the public. A public body is accountable to the public.

As members of the public, as laymen and laywomen and purely as Muslims, we have a right to be informed and educated about current issues causing controversy around us and they have the responsibility as the guardians of Deen, the upholders of truth, as a council or body of Theologians to convey this information, to educate and to inform the rest of the Muslims they claim to oversee. The Muslims of South Africa cannot be expected to fend for themselves when it comes to seeking rulings on controversial Islamic topics from social media websites, blogs, articles on the internet, word of mouth, the radio stations all giving us conflicting views etc. We require a clear, academic and well-researched Shar’i response from the Jamiat bodies on these issues. We are not interested in “off-the-record” rulings given to appease those who ask uncomfortable questions with another ruling given to the public in order not to upset the apple cart, so to speak.

All that is required from the Jamiat bodies are official answers to the questions posed below:

Questions to the Jamiat Fordsburg:

Firstly, despite my not having an official mandate to speak on behalf of all the Muslims in South Africa, it is imperative that the following issues regarding Muslims who live in the Gauteng area be addressed. They are:

1. Women attending the Masjid

The official response from the Jamiat Fordsburg regarding women attending the Masjid would be appreciated by the public at large. What is the view of the Jamiat Fordsburg? An academic proof is sorely needed as I find that there are many ladies out there who claim that it is a woman’s right to attend the Masjid. Is the Jamiat Fordsburg in agreement with this? If so, why? If not, why not?

2. Sheikh Qaradawi

On the topic of women attending the Masjid, I would like to bring up the issues of Sheikh Qaradawi’s attendance at the Newtown Masjid which is under the control of the Jamiat Fordsburg and his statements regarding women in the Masjid. Firstly, I would like to know who approved Sheikh Qaradawi’s visit and lecture to and at the Newtown Masjid? Secondly, is the Jamiat in agreement with what was said by Qaradawi? If not, why was there no official response made public? What are the Jamiat’s views on Sheikh Qaradawi’s book, “Halaal and Haraam in Islam”?

3.Women at the Eid Gah

The issue of women attending the Eid Gah has erupted in the Johannesburg area with many Muslim women intent on claiming a space they believe has been divinely afforded to them. I request the official Jamiat position on this issue as well as the fatawa of the Jamiat Muftis on the various mixed Eid Gahs taking place in Johannesburg.

4. Muslim Personal Law/ Muslim Marriages Bill

Please clearly state whether the Jamiat Fordsburg and the Jamiat Muftis are for or against the passing of the MPL Bill. Does the Jamiat accept the stance of the UUCSA? Or does the Jamiat have conditions in place in order to make the bill Shari’ah complaint? If so, please provide a fully detailed explanation of the requirements, training of judges, conformance to Madhaaib etc.

5.Masjidul Islam in Brixton

What is the Jamiat’s position with regard to this Masjid and its activities? If the Jamiat does not know of this Masjid or is unaware of the activities taking place here, then the Jamiat is really out of touch with the community it is supposed to be serving.

6.Adult Islamic Education

What are the Jamiat bodies doing to educate adults regarding salafism, shiasm, liberal Muslim feminists, modernists, ahlul Hadith, ahlul Qur’aan etc.? The public has certainly noticed the influx of the above-mentioned movements within South African society and the momentum they’re gaining. Is there a Jamiat alternative? Or is there any other alternative which the Jamiat or any other organisation affiliated to the Jamiat being offered of which the Jamiat is aware?

7. Fatawa Council of the Jamiat

Which persons make up the aforementioned council? What is the link between the Fatawa Council, executive committee of the Jamiat, public relations, media relations etc.? Are the rulings of the fatawa council members always in agreement? If not, why is the public not made aware of those whose statements differ?

8. Fatawa on Islamic Banking specifically the Al Barakah Bank

What is the ruling on the current state of Islamic Banking in South Africa? Is any bank totally and 100% Shari’ah compliant? What is the Jamiat’s Fatawa Council’s ruling regarding Islamic Banking, in particular, Al Baraka Bank?

9. Fatawa of women on Radio Islam

Who are the senior Ulama who approved women being represented on Radio Islam? Where are their fatawa?

10. Where is the Jamiat’s response to an Ulama bashing session which took place on CII with host, Inayat Wadee and guest Mohammed Wadee?

Just a note: I am in no way affiliated with The Majlis organisation or anybody else. Please leave the inferiority complexes out of this and merely provide simple, academic responses to the questions outlined.

Advertisements