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Introduction to Islam in S.A.

All Praises belong to Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and unfathomable Lord of Mercy, Muhabbat, and Grace.

May we all delve to join the everlasting praises His Malaa'eeka and the Blessed ones are constantly celebrating, and may His eternal and most effulgent blessings shower upon His Beloved Nabee  Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and upon all of Allah's Ambiya Alayhim Salaam be the Peace and Blessings of the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth.

The pages of early Islamic history of South Africa is illuminated by the Divine Light of Al Islam that has enabled the Muslim Ummah of this newly liberated country to celebrate 350 years of its Islamic heritage. Free at last from the tentacles of the satanic system of Apartheid. Yes! Free at last from the brutality, the oppression and repression of the inhuman and hated Pass Laws, free at last from burying our heroes and our freedom fighters in silence.

Free from the infamous Group Areas Act, the dreaded 90 and 120 day detentions without trial, free from being incarcerated in one of the dungeons of Robben Island; free from the feared banging on the door in the middle of a moonless night by the Special Branch. Free from the disappearance and mysterious deaths of our political leaders and martyrs while in detention. Free at last from the tyranny of the great trials and tribulations of being black and living under the most ruthless and tyrannical laws of the devil himself.....the evil  apartheid system. Yes! we are free at last from the merciless and murderous clutches of a system that deprived many millions of Almighty God's innocent children.

Today the Muslims of South Africa can live as free people in the true sense of the word and they must become fully aware what Islam demands of them and the role they have to play in a newly liberated South Africa. What are we to do for the realization of the ideal that Islam sets forth before us? Yes, whither is the way? What ought we to do? We know that the Path that we have chosen for ourselves is not strewn with flowers. It is rather a way that calls for sweat, dedication, unity, understanding and commitment. It demands sacrifices, self-immolation, tribulations and a readiness to exert ourselves to the utmost for the establishing of the Din of Haqq, the Din of the Absolute Truth. There is nothing strange in this, for similar is the case with every Divine duty. Sacrifices are inevitable when one is involved in reviving and establishing the religio-political ethos of Islam. There is no short cut to success.

Today we are free at last from bondage of blatant racism and every Muslim knows that to separate religion from politics is to deprive Divine Law of its most important sphere of jurisdiction. It is no wonder that the colonial and neo-colonial powers and their agents - the greatest enemies of Almighty Allah's sovereignty over human society and of the independence and dignity of nations - have always tried to separate religion from politics, because they know that the only power that can fight their encroachment is the spiritual zeal of the oppressed peoples when it manifests itself as a political force demanding justice, freedom, independence, human dignity and equality.

Before freedom came to our most beautiful country - being black meant that collectively, we all were systematically brutalized under the satanic rule and behaviour of the white leaders and architects of apartheid. All that mattered to them was power, position, wealth and domination. It was the law of the jungle that they ultimately considered supreme. These upholders of apartheid killed two birds with one stone. On the one hand, they tried to stop the spiritual zeal of the masses from political expression and participation in politics and, by depoliticizing them, from taking their destiny into their own hands.

On the other, they kept themselves scot-free, free of any kind of moral or legal obligation or responsibility. However, as Muslims, we should know that in Islam, religion does not need to be politicized: politics is already part and parcel of its eternal teaching and it will remain so despite the efforts of the colonial and imperialist agents to depoliticize Islam and the Muslim Ummah. Why then, may I humbly ask, should we who profess to be true and dedicated Muslims not strive in the Path of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen and be ready to suffer for the lofty and most glorious cause before us - for honour, for glory and for social justice - when the great sacrifices already experienced by us because of apartheid, blatant racism, opprobrium, obloquy, poverty, weakness and disintegration are no less severe than the sacrifices called for by Islam.

Let none dare ever say that the revival of Islam - the Din of Haqq, is an impossible and hopeless undertaking or that such an attempt would be an exercise in futility. Surely, what once was possible in the past surely must still be possible in the present, for mankind has temperamentally not undergone any change ever since. The world of humanity had sunk then, as now, to a very low level and was as much taken up with sensual pleasures as it at present seems to be. This is indeed a most distressing and frightening picture of today's world but do not despair for there is one redeeming factor. O Ummatul Muslimeen, that redeeming factor is Islam.  Yes, Islam freed mankind from the tyranny of animal appetites over fourteen hundred years ago and Islam is the only hope for freeing mankind from the tentacles of lust, ego and wickedness. Islam allows man to be free and to direct all its faculties to soar up to a higher spiritual plane and goodness in life.

Indeed, Islam has been so gravely misunderstood and misrepresented throughout the world that many people think of it as an enemy to any sort of stability, peace and progress; they mistrust it, they fear it and regard it as a dire threat without as a rule knowing anything about it other than what the popular media convey, which almost invariably reflects grave inaccuracies, Fithnah, distortions, misinformation and deliberate errors. Virtually without exception these misrepresent not only the details of the Islamic system and the motivations and characters of sincere Muslims, but also the fundamental concepts and teachings of the religion. The world is suddenly filled with non-Muslim "experts" on Islam who consider themselves far more knowledgeable about it than the Muslims who are living it day by day.

Islam and all its followers throughout South Africa and the rest of the world surely deserve to be represented accurately and to be understood correctly by anyone who desires to be well informed and to be made aware. This is our duty as Muslims; to present the beauty, the brotherhood and the Muhabbat that Islam offers  to each and to every human being on this planet. Islam is our only means to regain honour, leadership and social justice, the question is whether we Muslims in South Africa are prepared to lead the way to the realization of Islamic ideology in a world hostile to it and in the presence of deranged dictators and despots who rule throughout Muslim countries and who fight against it more furiously than its enemies from abroad? Are we Muslims in South Africa prepared to lead the caravan of Taqwa and Tawhid or will we choose to be camp dwellers?

It is our foremost Islamic duty  to present Islam to all the people of South Africa with the Divine proof that Islam is indeed the only future hope of humanity, and its victorious emergence out of the present ideological warfare is the only guarantee of mankind's salvation. But important as the triumph of Islam is for the future of mankind, its realization is also not a mere illusion. Such a triumph of Islam would mean the abolition of the menacing shadows of an approaching worldwide conflagration; it would mean a happy home and a happy, peaceful world. Islam is a manifesto of human liberation. It frees man from worship of others; sovereignty belongs truly to the Most Glorious and Exalted Creator. Its first summons, "Say: There is no god but Allah, and prosper", propounds Tauhid as the necessary means to that end.

It was Islam that helped the early Muslims of South Africa 350 years ago and Islam remains the only force that can help the present generation. Our stand and position today as Muslims is not the least different from that taken up the early Muslims. It is heartening to note that despite all hurdles and ruthless opposition, Islam continues to spread day by day. On balance, the revival of Islam seems inevitable. Islam is destined to play as glorious a role as it played in the first days of its advent. It promises peace, brotherhood and justice to the world of today which is wholly taken up with ego, wealth and material pleasures and gain, and as a result thereof stricken with conflicts and disruptions.

Islam strikes a balance between matter and spirit, and is thus the only hope for humanity to get out of the present mess. As such the world is bound sooner or later to realise the absolute truth of Islam and adopt its principles even if it does not formally embrace it as its religion. As for us, the Muslims of South Africa - the workers of Islam, we admit that we are fully alive to the fact that the path before us is not a bed of roses. We will have to offer sacrifices - great and many sacrifices, in order to convince the people of South Africa and the world at large of the intrinsic goodness and Truth of Islam. But let us ever bear in mind that the only way towards that end is but that of self-immolation:

"Allah will certainly aid those who aid

His (cause) - for verily Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might, Able to enforce His Will."

Let me conclude by saying that the glorious history of Islam has proved beyond all doubt that the divine teachings of this great religion have been successful in producing equilibrium between the different strata of human society. The religion of Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen - Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam has been successful in abolishing the privileged classes and exploiting agencies in human society and if the heart of a suffering humanity can have any sustaining hope of emancipation it is by turning to the heavenly revealed scriptures contained in the Most Glorious and Holy Qur'an.

A great responsibility rests on this generation of Muslims. The manner in which they discharge this responsibility will decide whether we are truly a Millah, a community of dedicated men and women inspired by the moral principles of the Divine Message which our Beloved Nabee - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam has laid before us, or just a chaotic mass of people, a rabble without faith, without aim and without a future.  My most beloved brothers and sisters in Islam, it is for you and for me, for all of us to decide which of the two ways we shall choose: the way of faith, courage and discipline - the way which leads to the establishment of a truly Islamic society - or the road to despondency, chaos and unforgettable shame.

Man is gradually coming to the realization that freedom and justice cannot be built on any foundations except that of spirituality. The future age could be an era of freedom and justice based on spirituality. Does Islam have any message except this? The thirst of human beings for freedom and justice based on spirituality places a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of the entire Muslim Ummah. Our important duty is to achieve, through a proper method on the basis of the basic criteria of Islam, a healthy order consonant with the needs of time and place. As Muslims, we must strive in this path with the motive of achieving the Pleasure of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and His acceptance. No doubt Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen will guide and assist us for this is what He promised us in verse 69 of Surah Al-Ankabut:

"And those who strive in Our Cause - We will certainly guide

them To Our Paths, for Verily Allah is with those who do Right."

In that case, not only the Muslims but the entire population of South Africa will feel that Islam has bestowed upon them honour, pride, and dignity and they will wholeheartedly come to see the beauty and the Muhabbat of the Din of Haqq and, as a result, the Blessings and Baraka'h of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and the support of the people will be the backing of our efforts and dedication. With this backing, we can Insha'Allah help build our economy, polity and culture by relying on the will of all the peoples of South Africa in the way of Almighty Allah's good pleasure.

And Almighty Allah is the All-Knowing.

And Peace be upon those who follow the Guidance.

The Truth is from Almighty Allah; the errors are all mine

and I stand to be corrected.

Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa-sal-Allaahu wa-Sallam 'alaa

Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.

Imam Abdul Hamid

 

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