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Online Newsletter VOL.02. NO.03 - 10 Safar 1435/14 December 2013

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VOL.02.NO.03
10 Safar 1435/14 December 2013

Mandela and Muslims: A historical journey

As millions worldwide bid farewell to Nelson Mandela, many Muslim eyes were turned back to history, reviving memories of a long history of interaction between Muslims and the iconic leader across the past decades.

Here are some key events that show a collection of milestones highlighting Mandela’s historic and warm interactions with Muslims, gathered by Cii Radio on Friday, December 6.

17 March 1992: Nelson Mandela pays a visit to the predominantly Muslim area of Bo Kaap in Cape Town

Mandela paid a visit to the predominantly Muslim area of Bo Kaap in Cape Town in 1992. He was met by, amongst others, the late author and historian Achmat Davids and the late Sheikh Nazeem Mohammed, then President of the Muslim Judicial Council.

24 March 1993: `Eid Message to the Muslim Community from ANC President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

In his message to Muslims in 1993, Mandela said, “I have always been particularly attached to the Muslim greeting – I thus greet you in the name of Peace.”

He has also praised the Muslim community, praying that their “sacrifice and discipline during the fast will stand this nation in good stead.”

He concluded his message saying, “On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the ANC and its entire membership I wish you all `Eid Mubarak and may you have a joyous day.”

9 May 1994: Nelson Mandela’s Address to the people of Cape Town, Grand Parade, on the Occasion of his inauguration as State President

In his inauguration speech, Mandela gave a remarkable speech which was concluded by the statement, “We can count amongst them Africans, Coloureds, Whites, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews – all of them united by a common vision of a better life for the people of this country.”

1994: Nelson Mandela received Sheikh Yusuf Peace Award from the Muslim Women’s Federation, 10 September

Message by Mr Nelson Mandela to Sheikh Gabier and the Muslim community

“Today is the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed and our thoughts will be with you and the entire Muslim community, wherever in the world they may be, as you all gather at the various mosques to pay homage to a unique religious leader, whose influence continues to spread to practically every part of the world and to every nation,” Mandela said in his message.

October 1994 – Prominent Scholar Ahmed Deedat has an interesting encounter with Mandela (as narrated by Goolam Vahed in his book, “Ahmed Deedat: The Man and His Mission” p. 19)

“In October 1994, Ahmed Deedat received a call from Saudi Arabia at his Verulam home. When told that it was Nelson Mandela, the new South African president, Deedat recalled: ‘At first I thought it was a prank call, and did not take the matter seriously. However, when I realized that it was indeed the State President, I nearly fell off my seat.’

Mandela, who was on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, told Deedat that wherever he went people asked whether he knew Mr Deedat. He suggested that they meet on 6 November 1994 during Mandela’s visit to Durban. The meeting did not materialise because Deedat had to travel abroad, but he told reporters that he was greatly honoured and humbled at receiving the almost unbelievable telephone call from the President.”

Later when Ahmed Deedat fell into his illness, the following statement was made by the ambassador of South Africa:

“Mr Mandela is concerned about any South African living in any part of the world but the case of Deedat is special as he is highly respected, not only in South Africa, but in the world, for his dedication and hard work in the preaching of Islam during the past fifty years” (Ahmed Deedat: The Man and His Mission, by Goolam Vahed, p. 18)

11 July 1997: Lecture by President Nelson Mandela at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

In his lengthy warm speech at the Islamic center in Oxford, Mandela gave an important lecture titled, ““Renewal and Renaissance – Towards a New World Order” in which he touched on the relation between Islam and Muslims in South Africa as well as his own reflections on the role of religions in the black continent.

“I am most grateful to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies for the invitation to share ideas with you. When da Gama finally reached the Indian Ocean, he found navigators there far more competent than himself to guide his expedition, and wisely he relied on them in the same way that I know that I am following where others have opened the way, and that we are amongst those from who we have much to learn,” he said.

“What encourages me to add my humble contribution, is the Centre`s commitment to the promotion of understanding, tolerance and co-operation as essential conditions for advancing the welfare of all.”

He went on saying, “African Muslim polities shared the ambivalence of other states and religions towards the colonial slave trade, protecting believers from the violation of their fundamental rights but also complicit in the trade in human lives.

“In the face of European colonialism, Islamic communities took their place along the whole spectrum of resistance politics, including the struggle against apartheid.”

30 January 1998: Speech by President Nelson Mandela at an Intercultural Eid Celebration

In his speech in Johannesburg, Mandela congratulated Muslims on their `Eid, reflecting on the deep roots of Islam in the history of South Africa.

“Africa has made Islam its own, from the very beginning when the African Christian King Negus and Abyssinia gave protection to the followers of Prophet Muhammad. That example of respect and co-operation points to the role religion can play, and the spiritual leadership it can provide, in contributing to the social renewal on our continent,” he said as part of his speech.

“Now that South Africa is free, the ties which the Islamic community has always had with other parts of our continent can flourish and enrich our nation without restraint or distortion. They are part of our common African heritage.”

30 January 2003: Mandela criticises Iraq War

Former South African president Nelson Mandela has criticised US President George W Bush over Iraq, saying the sole reason for a possible US-led attack would be to gain control of Iraqi oil.

The US stance on Iraq is “arrogant” and would cause “a holocaust”, Mr Mandela, a Nobel Peace laureate and one of the world’s most respected figures, told a forum in Johannesburg.

Mr Mandela, 84, accused both the US and UK governments of undermining the United Nations.

“Why does the United States behave so arrogantly?” Mr Mandela asked.

“Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction but because it’s their ally they won’t ask the United Nations to get rid of them.

“They just want the oil,” Mr Mandela went on. “We must expose this as much as possible.”

Consistent attacks

Nelson Mandela called Mr Bush “a president who can’t think properly and wants to plunge the world into holocaust”.

He said war “would be devastating not just to Iraq but also to the whole of the Middle East and to other countries of the world”.

Mr Mandela added that both Mr Bush and Tony Blair were undermining the United Nations.

“Is this because the secretary general of the United Nations [Ghanaian Kofi Annan] is now a black man? They never did that when secretary generals were white,” he said.

Mr Mandela has consistently voiced strong opposition against a possible war on Iraq – in line with more diplomatic statements issued by the South African Government.

11 May 2004: Mandela, in farewell speech, slams Iraq war

Former President Nelson Mandela on Monday hailed South Africa’s 10 years of peaceful multi-racial democracy as an inspiration for a world he said was saddened and horrified by the US-led war in Iraq.

The 85-year-old anti-apartheid icon, in a farewell address to Parliament on the 10th anniversary of his inauguration as the country’s first black president, urged South Africans to come together to meet their new challenges: poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS.

“We live in a world where there is enough reason for cynicism and despair,” said Mr Mandela, a fierce critic of the US-led war on Iraq.

“We watch as two of the leading democracies, two leading nations of the free world, get involved in a war that the United Nations did not sanction,” he said, adding that the world had been horrified by reports of torture of Iraqi prisoners by US and British forces.

“We see how the powerful countries, all of them so-called democracies, manipulate multilateral bodies to the great disadvantage and suffering of the poorer developing nations.”

2ooo’s: Ulama and community members meet Mandela
2009: Lifetime achievement award from Muslim community

Sheikh Aidh al Qarni invites Mandela to accept Islam

In a letter, whose date could not be verified, Sheikh Aidh al Qarni invited Mandela to accept Islam.

“I am one of millions on this globe who have read your autobiography, realized your struggle, admired your bravery and wondered about your sacrifices and devotion for the cause of your principles, your freedom and the freedom of your people,” the letter said.

“Therefore, I request you, I beseech you, and I do sincerely hope to hear your declaration of Islam loud and clear, the eternal statement, ‘La ilaha illa Allah, Mohammed Rasool-ullah’, [There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah alone, and Mohammed is Allah's Messenger.] At that time, all slave-servants of Allah, the Almighty, in all the six continents will applaud you, the holy city of Makkah will salute you, the Door of the holy shrine of Ka’bah will be opened for you, and the pulpits of the Islamic world will salute your name in great tumultuous praise.”

(adapted from OnIslam & News Agencies & Cii)

An Urgent Invitation to Islam by the Islam Awakening team

Dear Mr Nelson Mandela

Re: An Urgent Invitation

As I notice the ravages of old-age, sickness and weakness grip you in its arms of steel, feelings of compassion, mercy and empathy flood me. Mr Mandela, destiny doesn't discriminate between the statesman and the civilian, nor between the rich or the poor. Everyone is headed towards one direction, and that's the afterlife.

Mr Mandela, the greatest of people are powerless before the will of God, and your present situation of sickness is testimony to that. Take time to dig in the deepest recess of your heart, reflect, and thank the Almighty for your life, and your achievements. But, worldly achievements is nothing if not dedicated to the greatness of our Creator, the God we will all meet in the afterlife.

Mr Mandela, I may be just an ordinary citizen to you, but my message is far from ordinary. My heart is beating with urgency in these moments. Allow me to introduce you to a coming life much significant than this world. That life holds great promise and allure for you given your excellent track record in this world, provided you believe in the Oneness of God Almighty and the finality of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Mr Mandela, I'm in no position to preach to a great man like you, but what drove me today to pen these few lines is genuine concern for you for which I need no applause nor favour. In the hereafter, this letter is my repayment to you for granting us freedom in SA and for which you will have to answer to God himself if you fail to heed.

Close your eyes and please ask God to guide you in this last leg of your life. God Hears, He really Hears. Let the fruits of your life translate into rewards in the hereafter. Don't leave it behind you when you are no more.

Look towards the sky when making that decision, not around you. Say :" La Ilaha Illallahu Muhammadur Rasulullah"

Yours Sincerely

Islamic Awakening

(This invitation to Islam was written when Mr Mandela first got admitted to hospital which he acknowledged)

NEWS

Renowned Syrian Mufassir and author, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Sabuni (Hafidhahullah) conducted a Special Ulama programme on Wednesday morning the 27th of  November @ the Darul Uloom Masjid. To listen to Sheikhs advices, pleace click here

A biography of the Sheikh can be read here

THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING THE SEERAH

THE DEFINITION OF SEERAH

Linguistically it means a path a person takes during his life. It also means ‘way of life’, conduct, behavior and biography. Seerah can be the biography of any person and not only that of Rasūlullah Sallalahu Allaihi Wasallam. However, we have used it so much in regards to Rasūlullah Sallalahu Allaihi Wasallam that the term Seerah automatically refers to His blessed biography in normal circumstances.  .....Read More >>

Islamic Horizon Magazine Vol. 1. Issue 1

GEMS

Hazrat Moulana Abbas Adam Sarigat Sahib a senior lecturer on Hadith and Arabic literature has been teaching at the Darul Uloom since 1992. To read an auto-biography of Hazrat Moulana, please click here
MAJLIS: Mufti RadhaulHaq Shb DB

Hazrat Mufti Radhaulhaq Sahib DB Majlis will resume tomorrow morning at the Darul Uloom. Majlis will start at 7:00am Insha-Allah.


طلب العلم فريضة على كل مسلم
It is incumbent upon every Muslim to seek Knowledge

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