Monday 2 March 2020

Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries: South Africa

South Africa, the southern most African country of the Africa is house to a minority Islam viz a viz its total population. in fact a mere 1.5 to 2% of South Africa is Muslims. Although Muslims have been trickling down in bits and pieces from countries as far away as Indonesia (when the Dutch controlled and East Indies and the Cape an Muslims were were brought Dutch East Indies - present day Indonesia) later from British India in the 19th and 20th centuries, the overall Muslim population has not grown significantly. 

the majority of Muslims are Sunni with a smaller number of Shia sect of Muslims. The small number of Muslims is considered mainly due to the apartheid regime and its strict policies of conversions to any other religion than Islam, there has been a growing number of Muslim migrants from South Asia and North Africa; however, their numbers are fairly low after the end of the apartheid and country becoming a democracy in 1994. According to Michael Mumisa, a researcher and writer on African Islam, there has been an increase in the number of black South Africans converting to Islam particularly among the women and the youth.

Mosque in Cape Town [Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Author: Dolores Coullie]

Jamiat ul-Ulama of the Transvaal (est. 1923), The Muslim Judicial Council (est. 1945) and Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa are some of the leading Muslim organizations looking after the interest of their respective communities. Most of the Indian community follow the Hanafi jurisprudence, while the Malay, Kokni Indian & East African Communities usually follow the Sha'afi jurisprudence, which predominates in the Western Cape.

Although Islam is one of the smallest minorities in South Africa, is an integral and visible part of the society. This is especially true in the urban areas in the Western Cape, Natal and Transvaal. Among many prominent Muslim missionaries, Ahmed Hoosen Deedat (July 1, 1918 – August 8, 2005). Mr Deedat who held numerous inter-religious public debates with evangelical Christians, as well as video lectures on Islam, Christianity, and the Bible. Deedat established the IPCI, an international Islamic missionary organisation, and wrote several widely distributed booklets on Islam and Christianity. He was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in 1986 for his fifty years of missionary work.
Ahmed Hoosen Deedat [Photo]

Bo Kaap is home to the oldest mosque in South Africa and once housed slaves, political exiles and convicts sent from countries including Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia as far back as the 17th century. During apartheid, Bo Kaap was declared a Muslim-only area with a number of now-residents uprooted and forced to move there from other parts of the city. Many recall tales of forced evictions and houses being seized with little compensation.

Halal food can be found for Muslims in the Cape Town. In fact The entire kitchen at Hilton Cape Town City Centre is all halal. They don't serve wine.

Muslims observe their religious festivals with traditional Muslim zeal and fervour. The Friday (Jumu'ah) congregations and observance of Ramadan, followed by the Eid ul Fitr are usual Muslim holy months and feats that bind the small Muslim community together. Watch below the South African Muslims celebrating the month of Ramadan:
Disclaimer: The data for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To know more about life of Muslims in other non Muslim countries, please visit our page: Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 12 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
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