Monday 22 August 2022

Islam in Fiji - A Tribute to Muslims Community, which is role model for all Muslim Communities in non Muslim countries

Republic of Fiji is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which about 110 are permanently inhabited. The most outlying island group is Ono-i-Lau. About 87% of the total population of 924,610 live on the two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. 

Humans have lived in Fiji since the second millennium BC. The present population of Fiji is 926,276 (2018 estimates) of which There are about 60,000 Muslims. that is about 6.3% of the total population. Muslims in Fiji are mostly Sunni Muslim. The Muslims migrated to Fiji from South Asia in the early 19th century. Later Muslim migrants from Arab Countries such as Sudan, Yemen and Egypt have also settled in Fiji forming a Fijian-Arab Population, with other migrants from other country's around the Islamic World. Islamic holy days such as Mawlid are also given as a holiday by the Fijian government.

The affairs of Muslims is managed by  the Fiji Muslim League, which was formed at the Jamia Masjid in Toorak on October 31, 1926. The Fiji Muslim League has contributed in the education in Fiji. Their first school, the Suva Muslim Primary School, was launched in the founding year 1926. Today, the Fiji Muslim League owns and operates 17 primary and 5 secondary schools, plus a tertiary institution known as the Islamic Institute of the South Pacific. The Fiji Muslim League, represents all other Sunni Muslims in Fiji who are mostly followers of Imam Hanafi. another organization by the name of Maunatul Islam Association of Fiji (MIAF) represents approximately 30% of the Sunni Muslims in Fiji who are mostly followers of Imam Shafi. The followers of Imam Shafi in Fiji are the descendants of Muslims of Malyalam origin who came to Fiji. [2,3]

The Fiji Muslim League also is the main pivot for organizing various social gatherings and assist the Muslims in the social needs of the Muslim community. Its involvement in social welfare is both at national and branch levels. In times of natural disasters or turmoil, the Fiji Muslim League directly helps Muslims and non-Muslims alike whose homes and lives have been disrupted. Its charity work ensures many families are fed, clothed, housed, and children sent to school.

The Muslim community enjoys equal citizenship and are prominent businessmen, ministers in the government, senior civil servants and community leaders. They live in a harmonious relationship with all ethnicities. Every major town in Fiji has a mosque, majority of which are managed by the Fiji Muslim League. Besides Eids, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is celebrated as a public holiday. The success of the spread of Islam in Fiji is owed to many devoted and learned Muslims, some of them were born during the initial period of arrival of Muslims from South Asia. The Muslim community is reaping the benefits from the sacrifices made by our pious predecessors. [4]
While looking for substance to add for my post, I came across a page "Fiji Muslim Youth Movement - Suva Central Sisters Branch" on Facebook which is maintained by the sisters of Fijian Muslim community and report their activates.

Please view a video about managing of affairs of Muslims in Fiji. I  was amazed to find a working model of use of Zakat (The Obligatory charity in Islam) and its disbursement to poor Muslim families. This is something I have not found such an excellent system of Zakat disbursement in any other non Muslim country:

Besides disbursement of Zakat, another commendable feat of Fijian Muslims is the establishment of an orphanage - a $1.2 million project to construct a vocational centre.
Officials of the Darul Uloom Darul Yatama in Drasa, Lautoka, at the site of the $1.2 million vocational centre which is under construction. Photo: Avinesh Gopal

The Darul Uloom Darul Yatama (Islamic Institute and Orphans Home) in Drasa, Lautoka, has 110 students attending various schools in the district. As of 2019, of the 110 students, about 60 per cent are orphans while some are said to be from good families and others from overseas. [5]

Viewing the way Muslims in Fiji live, one is simple amazed as for such a small community, the efforts to take along the poor and orphans is really commendable.
" Muslims living in Fiji are an example to Islamic faiths around the world of how the world should be." This was the message from Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya as he spoke at the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday celebrations organized by the Ma’unatul Islam Association held at the Maruru Mosque in Ba yesterday. “We are showing the world the way to be and how Fiji Muslims living side by side with people of other faiths can produce great things,” Mr Koya said. [6]

I am really impressed by the efforts of Muslim community of Fiji to really work for their community as is ordained by Qur'an and Sunnah. To my reockoning, this should serve as a role model for all Muslim communities in other non Muslim countries. 

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: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
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