SOUTH AFRICA — A BOUNTY
“And which of the Blessings of your Rabb will you deny?”
Amongst the innumerable Ni’mats (Blessings) which Allah Ta’aala favoured us with, is the often unappreciated bounty of being South Africans. Just as Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Hayaa (Modesty) is part of Imaan” and “Cleanliness is part of Imaan”, so has he informed us that “Love for your country is part of Imaan”. Truly, Imaan cannot be perfect without loving one’s country.
It is from the country’s very rivers and dams that we quench our thirst and make Shukr unto Allah Ta’aala for the bounty of water. It is from the fertile womb of its soil that we fill our empty and hungry bellies with food and praise our Creator with the Dua’a: “All praises are due unto Allah who has given us to eat and drink and who made us Muslims.”
We have been taught in the Qur’aan Majeed to look at our brilliant blue skies and see the Greatness of Allah Ta’aala. “Do they not see the sky, how is has been uplifted.” It is under such beautiful South African blue skies which our children run, race and play happily. The South African sun reminds us without fail when to perform and when not to perform Salaah. The South African crescent is eagerly sought out in order that we may commence our Ramadaan, calculate our Zakaah and celebrate our Eids. The sight of our gracious mountains strengthens and toughens our Imaan: “And do they not see the mountains, how they have been structured.”
In its endless oceans viewed from pristine beaches, the Qudrat of Allah Ta’aala unfolds with each wave which crashes onto the beach. Its fresh air sustains the “Allahu” within us and glues our bodies to our souls. The rolling earth, the curving roads, the floating clouds and the different hues of people speaking different languages which surround us are all signs of The Creator. Yes, we have been urged by the Qur’aan-e-Kareem to reflect and ponder upon these Divine Symbols which are repeatedly mirrored in our compatriots and our country. Great is the Power of Allah Ta’aala, Most High – We love South Africa because it is undeniably our land; undeniably part of our faith, a country we can proudly call “HOME”.
It is the vaults of this land which contain the bones and dust of many of our fathers and forefathers. Whilst many living souls experience darkness night after night, it is this land which provides our graveyards with electricity.
It is this land which has never interfered with us worshipping our One Creator and Rabb, Allah Azza Wajal. Small dorpies and huge teeming cites bear witness to the freedom of religion which we enjoy. Whilst Switzerland cannot bear the sight of a Minaarat, never have we been barred from constructing the symbols of our Faith. Day after day, month after month and year after year; we listen to the sweet sounding Athaan emanating from hundreds of Masaajid. Yes, we are free to call, free to cry, free to celebrate, free to bury our dead, free to preach, free to eat Halaal, free to live and worship in peace. Such Blessings are not even to be found in so-called Muslim countries where expression of religious sentiments is viewed as a crime. South Africa is indeed a Ni’mat, an often unappreciated bounty from Allah, Most Gracious!
It perhaps is the only non-Muslim country in the World which has made special arrangements for Hujjaaj to be seen off in dignity at an airport which openly and proudly boasts with signs of “Muslim Prayer Facility”. Some state hospitals and Ultra- garages even have Jamaat Khanas! This acknowledgement of our existence and our Faith by our government and our people is even more remarkable since we do not even constitute 2% of the total population. What South Africa has given to us, has thus far been given with dignity and respect, for South Africa has never ever once even crowed and boasted by saying to its Muslim citizens “See what we are doing for you. Now grovel and be indebted to us”. We generally are viewed as genuine equals, not spoilt beggars.
It is this land which accorded so much dignity to our system of Hijaab that uniformed male immigration officials will never insist on seeing the faces of our precious women. Our values are honoured and respected in deed and in principle. The majority of South Africans have not reacted with the mob-like mentality of so-called civilised Western Governments; they have not been swayed by the massive worldwide anti-Islamic campaign and propaganda rolling unceasingly forth from the giant juggernaut.
France cannot tolerate the veil; but than they do not know what the Ubuntu means.
We travel and journey, roam and wander without the slightest fear that our co-citizens will bully, abuse or vilify us. Our long beards and Hijaabs may invite stares, but by and large, never open-ridicule, harassment or hurt. The majority of our co-citizens may be unemployed, uneducated and poor to the bone, saddled with their own problems of daily survival. Yet, they respect us and do not revile us as a Muslim community. All praises be unto Allah! It is to this land where Deeni students from all over the world flock to study at our Darul-Ulooms: China to Chile; America to Australia; India to Indonesia – they come to learn the Words of Allah Ta’aala. They even come here from the city of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam to learn Hadeeth and to study Islam. It is to this land where, despite its high crime rate, people stow away on ships, cling desperately onto rafts in raging oceans, and cross borders in the dead of the night whilst braving lions and leopards. To South Africa they must but come. It is a tribute to our great faith that it has not taught us only to love our land for the land is but a vessel, the people its soul. Our love for South Africa runs deep. When our compatriots are in pain, our hearts do indeed weep with hurt; when they experience joy, then our spirits soar past the skies. Irrespective of colour, creed, religion or gender, Muslims have been taught to be compassionate and be kind to their fellow citizens. This compassion played a major role in the liberation of our country.
Amongst the stars which orbit the galaxy of the heroes of our free nation, Muslim contribution shines out. They played no minor role in the slaying of the Apartheid monster. Irrespective of their personal deeds, many of those who were exiled, imprisoned and tortured will say: We fought Apartheid not because we wanted the companionship of white women nor to amass riches and wealth, we fought Apartheid because it was wrong and the injustices of it were wrong in the Eyes of the Creator. We chose the road to martyrdom instead of surrendering our principles. It is a testimony to their fortitude that the might of Africa’s most powerful and sophisticated army, vicious dogs, and guns could not stop their march to victory to give fruition to their noble ideals.
Good intentions bear delicious fruits called miracles. Yes, we Muslims do take pride in the miracle which Almighty Allah has bestowed upon our nation. May we venture by saying that there hardly is a Muslim who had not made Du’aa that our country be Blessed with Divine Guidance towards the treasure of Islam.
Certainly, our chests swell with happiness when we observe South African Hujjaaj groups walking with our flag held aloft. Many are the Muslims who stand bare headed, bare feet in Ihraam in the desert of Arafaah and by the Door of the Holy Ka’aba, making Du’aa, from the deepest recesses of their hearts: “O Allah, protect and grant prosperity to our country. Secure South Africa from its enemies, safeguard it from civil strife, and protect and guide our people towards the Faith of Islam and its marvellous system of The Shariah”. They do so because they love and care for South Africa.
The Shariah would indeed be incomplete and imperfect if it failed to address the issue regarding our conduct and relationship with those who administer our affairs.
As Muslims, all our affairs are guided by the sacred law of the Shariah. This Divine Code of Conduct serves as a fortress to its devotees. For more than one thousand four hundred years, this unique system has not only guided billions of Muslims through darkness and despair; it has protected them from giving vent to the ravages of unjust emotions and devilish sentiments. It is a secure system which provides stability in society and frees people from plunging into an abyss of destruction and mayhem, it is a system which expels darkness and uncertainty.
This Shariah, which if abided to sincerely, is the only system which can unshackle mankind from the scourges of Aids and crime, greed and vice, abandoned babies and abused women. It is only The Divine System of the Shariah that can successfully unite the hearts of different races.
Humankind can indeed take a leaf from the richness of Islam.
Was Bilaal (radhiallahu anhu) not the first Muazzin of none other than the Final Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam? Was Umme-Ayman (radiallahu anha) not referred to by Muhammed Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam as “a mother”?
An oppressed slave was made a caller to the Salaat and a feeble aged lady was anointed as a “mother” by Islam and the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, who never judged them by the colour of their skin.
Such blindness to race must even be envied by the angels in the skies.
Yes, in Islam the colour of one’s skin is of no concern; what matters is the heart. Oil and gold are of no consequence, more important is character and compassion. Intelligence and astuteness are of no significance if deeds are dark and devilish. Name and fame is but a mirage if it is not coupled with goodness and virtue.
South Africa is a country that offers Muslims ample space and opportunities to flourish and thrive in both Imaan and Worldly prosperity. For this, we are grateful unto Allah, Most High! For this, we thank you, South Africa!