Cape Malays…

and their Heritage

The Reclamation: Discovery of Key Cape Muslims

Posted by tahirfarrath on January 8, 2010

(History of Muslims in South Africa)

The Circle of Islam foretold…

Robben Island (?) – Sayed Abduraghman Motura was regarded as a very learned and religious man. He made wonder cures and was a comfort to his fellow prisoners. Legend indicated that he walked across the water to visit friends in Cape Town. Tuan Matarah died on Robben Island. His shrine was contructed by the Apartheid Prison authorities in 1960. (This is confusing because Hadjie Matarim died there in 1755.)

Bakoven (?) – There are numerous graves with at least four known graves in this area. The fourth grave is that of Sheikh Muhammad Zaid. It is claimed that he was a Sheikh of the Alawiah Tariqa who was banished to the Cape by the Dutch. There is also the grave of Sayed Jaffer that was discovered at the end of the nineteenth century.

Camps Bay (?) – The grave of Sheikh Ali (Sayed Bassier) is located here. Nothing is known of the history of Sheikh Ali.

Constantia (1667 ?) – Political prisoners of high standing were exiled to the Cape. Many were sent to work in Company’s forest in Constantia. Sheikh abdul Mutalib possibly lies buried here.

De Waal Drive (?) – Many graves are found on Devil’s Peak that have not been identified. Oral tradition claims that several pious people are buried on these slopes and one such grave is that of a mysterious Sheikh Abdul Kader. The location of the Sheikh’s grave was only known by a select few who kept it a secret. Those who related this also speculated that the Sheikh was the divine guide as referred to in African folklore.

Deer Park (?) – This forest would have provided a convenient hiding place for runaway slaves. There are at least five graves through the park at the foot of Table Mountain. Oral sources indicate that they are Sayed Abdul Haq al-Qadri, Sayed Jabaar, Sayed Haq al-Qadri, Sayed Muhammad and Sayed Mohammad Illahie. Sayed Abdul Haq’s shrine is situated in a mountain ravine. This all that is known of Sayed Abdul Haq.

Muizenberg (1687 ?) – Very little is known of Sayed Abdul Aziz. Could he have been a runaway slave of the Steenbergen mine? An oral narrative states that his grave was relocated after it was discovered on the Muizenberg beach.

Oudekraal (1715) – Sheikh Noorul Mubeen was banished to the Cape and escaped from Robben Island by unknown means. A legend claimed that he swam across the Atlantic Ocean and was discovered by slave fishermen who nursed him to health. Another version was that he walked across to the mainland. He is buried here but others believe it is one of his followers’ grave.

Signal Hill – Two of Shaykh Yusuf’s followers and his daughter elected to remain at the Cape. Oral reports state that Sheikh Mohamed Hasen Ghaibie Shah al-Qadri and Tuan Kaape-ti-low (Jawhi Tuan) are buried here. There are other known graves as well of Tuan Nur Ghiri Bawa (Tuan Galieb), Tuan Sayed Sulaiman and Tuan Sayed.

Simonstown (1779) – Although the precise identity of Tuan Ismail Dea Malela and his son Tuan Dea Koasa could never be verified, oral reports have unanimously declared that they are buried in Simonstown. A Kitab written in ancient Sumbawanese idientifies them as Imam Abdul Karriem bin Imam Jalil bin Imam Ismail of Sumbawa in Indonesia to the Dea royal family of Pemangong and Sultan Kaharuddin.

Vredehoek – The only Sayed Abdul Malik who is buried here arrived as a slave to the Cape from Batavia towards the end of the eighteenth century.  He married Ruska, a freeborn woman. He was listed as a Malay Doctor and Priest who administered spiritual medicine and was involved with Tuan Guru in the establishment of the Dorp Street Madrassah.

Mowbray (1909 ?) – Sayed Moegsien bin alawie al-Aidurus from Hadratul Mout near Eden, Yemen actively pursued his missionary calling and departed for Cape Town. Later, he married Khadija Kamrudien Parker and Sharifa was born. Two spiritual events of many miracles were attributed to him. Among his noble acts was the discovery and identification of the graves of Nuurul Mubeen and Sayed Jaffer. He lies buried at the Mowbray cemetery.

Observatory – Sheikh Abdurahmaan ibn Muhammad a-Iraqi was an emigrant to the Cape who came from Basra. He is accredited to scribing numerous volumes on the teachings of Islam in Arabic-Afrikaans. The Sheikh lies buried in the Observatory cemetery.

Athlone (1904) – The cementing of links between Muslims and consolidating the Muslim community from different backgrounds were among the accomplishments of Moulana Abdul Latief who was sent by his brother-in-law, Hazrat Goolam Muhammad Sufi (Sufi Saheb).  Sufi Saheb came to Cape Town and purchased land at Doornhoogte, and on his return to Durban, requested that the Moulana proceed to Cape Town (after having visited his aging father in India) to establish a Mosque and Islamic Centre.  He endured living in a wood and iron shack without running water and other necessities with the sole purpose of serving his spiritual mentor. A year later the foundation of the Habibya Mosque was laid. The Moulana died in 1917.

[Cape Mazaar (Kramat) Society]

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One Response to “The Reclamation: Discovery of Key Cape Muslims”

  1. Achmat Damon said

    Haji Abduragmaan bin Sulayman da Costa al-Qadiri

    Situated on the corner of Klipfontein and Johnston Roads in Rylands Estate, Cape Town, South Africa, is the Vygekraal Cemetery. Also known as the ‘Vygieskraal’, or ‘Doornhoogte’ Cemetery, this large public graveyard serves as a burial ground for Muslims on the Cape Flats. Conspicuous because of its gilaf, is the grave of Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri. His is the only grave there with such a covering. A steady human stream goes there for the barakah. Many ziyarah, recite from the Glorious Qur’an and make du’a. A select few go there by day and night just to be with him. Others go to lament never having met the man.

    Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri was named after Sayed ‘Abd Al-Rahman ’Alawi, a Meccan descendant of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and Peace Be Upon him). Haji Abduragmaan was the son of Sulayman (d. 1943) and Hajja Asa da Costa (1901–1981). The third of nine children, he was born on Friday, 10 October 1924 in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape. This date coincided with Milad al-Nabi of that year, 1343 Hijri. Of this he was singly delighted. “My mother did not experience any birth pains with me – I had simply dropped into her clothes,” he had said.

    At various times of his life he had lived in Salt River, Woodstock, Lansdowne, Wetton, Claremont, District Six, Belhar and Crawford. Haji Abduragmaan went to school at Trafalgar in District Six. Together with his brother Haji Suleiman (1923-2000) and Haji Mogammad Cassiem ‘Mowbray’ (d. 1975), he received his formal Islamic education from the accomplished Arabic grammarian Sheikh Abdullah Abduraouf (d. 2004) and from Sheikh Ismail ‘Ganief’ Edwards (1906-1958) – may Allah, The Most Compassionate, Be Kind to them. Of their generation, Haji Mogammad Cassiem, Haji Suleiman and Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri were of the few entirely locally educated Cape Muslims who understood Arabic. Equally notable was the trend that they had started by refusing to accept payment for teaching others the tenets of their faith. Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri had over many years taught a greater number of Muslims the essentials and intricacies of the Sacred Law. Those persons that he had trained went on to teach other people.

    He went on his correct name to few people. Raised as “Abduragmaan” by his mother and “Men” by his father, he was universally referred to as “Man da Costa”. Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri was otherwise known as “Uncle Man”, “Man”, “Boeta Man”, “Boeta Manny”, “Sheikh”, or “Mu’allim”. Just plain “Uncle” his nephews and nieces addressed him as. One person called him “Hadhrat”, which is an Arabic form of address ascribed to the virtuous. Many said “Papa”.

    A man of his time, Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri is probably best remembered as the founder and former leader of the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah. It is in this aspect of his life wherein he had made his reputation and a telling contribution to Islamic society.

    The ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah was founded on taqwa. Its first dhikr was held in 1962 at the home of Haji Yusuf Allie (d. 2005). He lived at 12 Whitford Street, Bo-Kaap. Others there included Sheikh Mogammad Ganief Booley (d. 1983), Imam Achmad Moos, Imam Abdullah Haron (d. 1969) and Haji Gasant ‘Tiny’ Abed (d. 2003).

    The ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah serves as a vehicle for Islamic learning and the remembrance of Allah, The Praiseworthy. The group consists of several hundred people and comprises men, women and children. Few organizations are so immersed in the religious record and social symbolism of Cape Muslims. The ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah was not formed out of enmity, or opposition to another group. Parents raise their children in the Jamaa’ah. Free of hysteria, the Jamaa’ah is autonomous and entirely open.

    ‘Ibadat binds the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah. Its members fail to attend the Saturday evening sessions only through compelling reasons. Day after day, they act out the mystical ascent of an individual soaring towards the Divine. Again and again, they assert the Oneness of God through adhkar. Competing at doing good deeds comes easily to its members. Their outlook balanced, they are short on excesses and lacking in sensationalism. Their method is effortless, their comfort at adhkar unforced.

    Although the Jamaa’ah operates on a definite, yet simple ‘the Sheikh and the rest’ hierarchy, all its members are considered as being afloat on the same sea, journeying towards Allah, The One Who Is with those who do right.

    Everyone within the group is allowed a say. The ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah holds regular discussions at Habibia.

    Haji Abduragmaan da Costa’s generation had inherited a crude ‘shouting contest’ form of dhikr. Methods of adhkar in Cape Town had degenerated by falling away from the usual pleasant-sounding practice. Some participants would hyperventilate as a result of their adopting irregular breathing patterns during various stages of their ‘adhkar’. This self-inflicted, erratic loss of carbon dioxide occasioned some people to jerk violently and frenzy. The resultant loss of contact with external realities (called “tarieq” locally, but really spiritual ecstasy gone wrong), occasioned these people to throw their self-respect to the wind. Setting off on a path of destruction, they would for example, attack those around them, or they would wreck the room wherein the ‘adhkar’ was being performed, often injuring themselves. This alarmed me, as a child. Mercifully, these unpalatable methods existed only in groups wherein males participated – the thought of a pregnant woman in such a state filled one with horror. These shameless habits, unfortunately, came to be associated with, and drove many away from group adhkar. It compounded, to a lesser degree, two complex problems of the time – the large-scale swing away from religion, and later, moves to ‘despiritualise’ Islam. Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri did much to steer those around him away from these bad ways. He deplored backwardness. Realising that this was unsuited to the local people, he, by sheer force of will, reshaped the pattern, and more expressly the tunes of the Qadiriyyah, to its present-day, gentler, musical state. Sheikh Mogammad Ganief Booley and Haji Ebrahiem Fakier (d. 1984), themselves later leaders of Qadiriyyah dhikr groups, co-operated with him in this reform.

    A dhakir of distinction, Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri was the glue that, for over thirty years, had held dhikrullah together on the Cape Flats. His name had become synonymous with ‘the Qadiria’ very early in his life. He was a trailblazer and had carried adhkar on his shoulders.

    Humans were attracted to Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri like bees to a honey-pot. People trusted him. Those Cape Malays who had not met him, had at least heard of him. His Shari’ah attitude Shafi’i and his Tariqah association Qadiri, Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri worked at the issues of Islam with great vigour. A dhakir of the highest gifts, he was approachable and convincing. Always loyally supported by those around him, the salient trait of his leadership was the undeniable strength of his character and example.

    Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri had devoted the greater part of his life to God. A restless thinker, his focus was books and worship. Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri was convinced of his duty and had committed his full creative energy to teaching and organising the group. Till the end, he tried to impart to others the benefit of his learning. Any act not intended for the sake of his Creator was left untouched. For the last thirty years of his life he would rise from his bed in the middle of the night for ‘ibadat. Only once during this period had he overslept for the tahajjud salah. His nightly prayers would last until after Fajr.

    Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri passed away peacefully on Wednesday, 30th August 1989CE, 28 Muharram 1410AH. Transcending adhkar in a way that no other South African has achieved since, he had exemplified the best in South African Islam.

    Sheikh Mogammad Riefaard Manie al-’Alawi al-Qadiri al-Chishti succeeded Haji Abduragmaan da Costa al-Qadiri as the sheikh of the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah. He had passed away on 4th Ramadhan 1425 (Tuesday, 19th October 2004). Sheikh Mogammad Riefaard Manie was buried at the Spaanschemat River Road Muslim Cemetery in Constantia and had left behind a son, a daughter, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law and five grandchildren.

    Haji Achmat Damon al-Qadiri al-Chishti succeeded Sheikh Mogammad Riefaard Manie al-’Alawi al-Qadiri al-Chishti as the sheikh of the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah. Born on 23rd November 1950 in Diep River, Haji Achmat is the son of Imam Muhammad Salih (1913-1981) and Hajja Amina Damon, nee Adams (1919-1956). Haji Achmat Damon al-Qadiri al-Chishti is the youngest of eight children and lives in Kenwyn, Cape Town. He has yet to realise the full extent of his influence.

    Haji Abas Abrahams is the most senior male member of the ‘Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah. Haji Dawood Martin hails from the group’s earliest days. Haji Mogamat Jacobs is an ‘old hand’. Haji Saeidien Armien is a staunch Jamaa’ah adherent. Of the ‘old school’ likewise, is Haji Mogammad Mubariek Arend. Haji Achmat Lalkhen is an ‘old trouper’. “True men built it true”. Haji Mogammad Samsodien is a Jamaa’ah ‘loyalist’. Haji Toyer Adams is of the old guard. A ‘seasoned’ dhakir as well, is Haji Ismail Davids. Haji Naafie’ Taliep is an old Jamaa’ah warhorse. Haji Omar Abrahams gets things done; he is the public face of the Jamaa’ah. Deep in the trenches is Haji Mogammad Toffar. ‘Heart and soul’ is Haji Achmat Adams. Haji Mogammad Salie has dhikrullah in his blood. Filled with the joys of adhkar is Haji Iebrahiem Maggot. Haji Muhammad Jaffer also, is from among the ‘senior citizens’ in the Jamaa’ah. Haji Ismail Adams is an ardent dhakir. “Devoted to duty” is Haji Mogammad al-Amien Bardien. Haji Mogamat Noor Fakier maintains his ancestral Qadiriyyah customs. Keeping up his ‘hereditary’ practice also, is Haji Ismail Shira. Haji Yacoob Geyer perpetuates his family tradition – he is the son of Hajja Fatima “Ma” Geyer, the first South African hafithah (1910-1995). Haji Ebrahiem Alawie is an incorrigible devotee. Haji Omar Gabier is the President of the Crescent Observers Society of South Africa and a ‘card carrying’ Jamaa’ah member. Haji Abu Bakr Dollie forms part of the Jamaa’ah backbone. Another elderly male is Haji Abdulatief Samuels. Haji Abu Bakr Hattas has been in the Jamaa’ah engine room for a number of years. Wearing his Jamaa’ah affiliation like a badge of honour is Haji Ismail Samaai. Haji Sulayman Fakier is a Jamaa’ah member of long standing. Haji Abdul Aziz Salaam is in his element when he is with the ‘Ibaad-u-Ragmaan. ‘Dyed-in-the-wool’ dhakireen are Haji Ayob Dreyer and Haji Mogammad Sa’ayd Johnson. Haji Nizaamudien Shabudien is also of the elders.

    Hajja Layla Manie is the grande dame in the group’s ‘better section’. Sharing in adhkar year in, year out is Hajja Sherifa Khan. She was born on 25 April 1921. Soaking their golden years with dhikrullah also, are Hajja Latiefa Nusterdien and Hajja Zainab Sadulla. Hajja Mariam Adams, Hajja Amina Taliep and Hajja Zainab Fakier seek God’s Mercy through dhikr. Hajja Zainab Manie is a Jamaa’ah die-hard. Hajja Fowzia Manie brims with restless energy. Constantly in the thick of things is Hajja Mariam Bassier. Hajja Fatima Abdullatief never lets up. Another stalwart is Hajja Gadija Gamiet. Equally undeterred is Hajja Kulsum Toffar. Hajja Zuleigha Gasnodien, Hajja Zuleigha Kazee and Hajja Gabieba Viljoen, also, are always there. At the coalface is Hajja Amina Essack. Hajja Amiena Booysen, Hajja Salama Lakay, Hajja Moershieda Fisher, Hajja Kaltoema Parker and Hajja Asa Solomon delight in ‘ibadat. Hajja Zubaida Gabier is ‘paid up’. Always dignified is Hajja Amina Majal. Hajja Najmunisa Abrahams has been at it for many a year. Neither storm, nor wind, nor hail, nor rain will keep my aunt Hajja Halima da Costa away from the Qadiriyyah. Hajja Amiena Martin and Hajja Safia Joseph also, have seen their fair share of group adhkar. Toiling away is Hajja Mariam Armien. Like everyone there, Hajja Saadia Samaai knows no better way of spending Saturday evenings. Hajja Yasmin Creighton is among friends when she is with the ‘Ibaad-u-Ragmaan. In praising Allah, Hajja Fouzia Shira, Hajja Gabieba Salie and Hajja Asa Manie are kindred spirits. They have found happiness in dhikrullah. Adhkar is close to Hajja Zainab Noordien’s heart. Hajja Madeneyah Isaacs, Hajja Sakeena Shira and Hajja Zainab Solomon have the dash of females have their age. Dhikrullah is their means of expressing their thankfulness to Allah, The God of Limitless Glory. Hajja Rugaya Davids is a Jamaa’ah veteran. Hajja Mariam van der Schyff recites with much vigour. Hajja Asma Hendricks is an implacable dhakirah. In worship Hajja Rowaida Abrahams finds the reason why God had created her. Hajja Asia de Vries delights in praying to Allah, The One Who made the constellations in the skies. Participating in group dhikrullah in the mosque is Hajja Yashmina Toefy’s way of answering the call to the service of Islam. Hajja Gabieba Samuels is wholly committed to the cause of adhkar. Hajja Fatima Levy and Hajja Rukaya Samaai find contentment of heart in the remembrance of Allah. Hajja Zainab Isaacs and Hajja Salama Ganief love each other for the sake of God.

    Imam Achmad Moos was the group’s first Hafith al-Qur’an. He had learned under Sheikh Muhammad Salih Abadi Solomons (d. 1999) and had served as the Imam of the Sunni Muhammad Masjid in Rondebosch East from 1969 until his death in 1986. Imam Mogammad Kasief Basardien forms part of the latest brood of huffath. He had studied under Sheikh Abdurraghiem Hasan Sallie (b. 1944) and Sheikh Muhammad Salih Abadi Solomons. Abdul Waarieth Parker also has the Holy Book within his breast. On 28 June 2000, Muneer Manie had the appellation ‘Hafith’ tagged in front of his name. Haji Muneer had received his hifdh schooling from Imam Abduraghmaan Salie (b. 1948). Razeen Carelse qualified on 9th August 2000. Having committed the larger part of the Glorious Qur’an to memory in Azaadville, Gauteng, he completed his reading under the tutelage of Maulana Mogammad Adiel Johaar (b. 1957) and Sheikh Abdullah Awaldien (b. 1964). Hafith Mogammad Ridha Abass was ushered into the privileged group during 2006. Umar Baba strengthened the local hifdh tradition during 2006 when he completed his education under Imam Abduraghmaan Salie. Having studied under Sheikh Abdullah Awaldien like his oldest brother Abdul Waarieth, Mogammad Hasan Parker made the grade aged twelve on 12 November 2006. Haji Mogammad Qaasiem Ganief and Adieb Bassier met the standards at the end of January 2009, having qualified under Sheikh Abdullah Awaldien.

    Because the Maghrib Salah is earlier and the evenings are longer during the colder months, the dhikrullah is more protracted in the winter. An evening’s proceedings lasts approximately three and a half hours in the winter and three hours in the summer. The length of the adhkar is also steered by auspicious occasions like Milad al-Nabi. On the Saturday evening coinciding with Mawlid, more than the usual number of salawat, or greetings and salutations, is recited by the Jamaa’ah on our Last Prophet Muhammad (May Allah Convey His Peace and Blessings upon the Holy Prophet).

    The ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah has i’tikafat comprising qiyam al-layl and witr salah, and dhikrullah at the Habibia Soofie Masjid on the last five ‘odd-numbered’ evenings of the Holy Month of Ramadhan. The tahajjud salah during this spiritual retreat usually starts an hour after midnight and is led by ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah huffath.

    A healthy leaning towards orphan adoption exists within the group. Names are not mentioned here for reasons of propriety.

    They neither whirl, nor do they hold hands. By reason of its size, Jamaa’ah persons do not position themselves in a circular or semi-circular formation as is found among dhikr groups. During adhkar, its members sit or stand in straight rows instead. Jamaa’ah individuals do not chit-chat. They don’t use musical instruments.

    The growth and composition of the Jamaa’ah have meant that it is unrealistic to have the dhikr at private homes, or at the mazarat of the other saints of Allah (May Allah, The All-Powerful, Be Pleased with them). Difficulty by the sick and the aged in reaching the graves of the awliya-Allah that are located in mountainous areas has given reason for the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah not to make adhkar as a unit there. This is unfortunate, but unavoidable. (May Allah, The One Whose Hand Is Over our hands, Always Shade the awliya-Allah with His Guardianship).

    This consistent increase in numbers, together with the space constraints at the various venues, is continually causing the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah to exist in a state of ‘forced migration’. This natural and systematic progression had caused the Jamaa’ah to cease using the smaller mosques for adhkar.

    Every dhikr type, or “poejie”, that the Jamaa’ah recites has a character and story of its own. Every Jamaa’ah person has a ‘favourite’ “poejie”. A child may like a certain litany because his father leads its recital. Others prefer a part of the adhkar because of its depth of meaning. Many of the ladies favour those “poejies” that sound the most musical. Some members are fond of a distinct section of the dhikrullah through their associating it with a joyous event. A few tend toward particular litanies for reasons that are difficult to put one’s finger on.

    Some of them sway gently with the rhythm of the adhkar; others shed tears at the mention of God’s name. The ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah chant like slaves, because that’s what they are – slaves of Allah. Adhkar to them is a labour of love. Such is their sense of community that they wish it would last forever. The Sheikh either directs by example by reading the introductory sections of the book himself, or he may delegate the lead for the rest of the Jamaa’ah to respond in unison and in melodious, moderate tones.

    The Sheikh usually entrusts the voorwerk to Imam Fatgie Manie, Haji Toyer Adams, Haji Taalieb Ganief and Haji Mohammed Faaiz Adams. Every litany is started without pause or interruption. Introducing the various segments of the surat is usually charged to Imam Mogammad Kasief Basardien, Imam Fatgie Manie, Haji Mogammad Faatiegh Manie, Haji Irefaan Sydow, Hafith Razeen Carelse, Haji Mohammed Faaiz Adams, Haji Riedwaan Cassiem, Haji Mogammad Yunus Kippie, Haji Shadley Adams, Haji Mogammad Liegaaj Ganief, Haji Dr Shahiem Ganief and Haji Ismail Parker. The Sheikh insists that the persons who lead the recital are married. The “Subhan Allah hi-wa-bi hamdihi” poejie ‘belongs’ to no particular person. Haji Mogamat Faysil Bassier, Haji Mogamat Shafiek Salie, Haji Ismail Ganief, Hafith Muneer Manie and Maulana Mogammad Mu’aath Manie are left with completing the sequence. The surat passes without pause from the Sheikh to every one of them and back to the Sheikh, in turn. People like Imam Fatgie Manie, Haji Mohammed Faaiz Adams, Haji Ismail Parker, Haji Achmat Fish and Haji Riedwaan Cassiem usually present the poejies. The Sheikh also directs part of the reading of both the surat and the poejies to Haji Ismail Parker. These days, the Sheikh deputises Haji Omar Abrahams with the reading of the du’a. The Imam of the mosque then addresses the Jamaa’ah. Otherwise, the Sheikh leaves it to Imam Fatgie Manie, Imam Mogammad Ismail Davids, or Maulana Mogammad Mu’aath Manie to deliver a short lecture on Islam. Maulana Mogammad Mu’aath is the only son of Sheikh Mogammad Riefaard Manie.

    “Sal-lallah-hu-’alayka-ya Syiedanaa ya-Rasūlallah” rings the ‘Jamaa’ah salawat’ from Muslim homes over and again of late. These litanies are infectious and emotive. “Ufow-widu-amri-ilallah innallaha-basirum bil-’ibad” chants every other dhikr group on both the local FM Muslim radio stations these days.

    Jamaa’ah photographs adorn the walls of Cape Muslim homes like trophies.

    ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah recitals have, on numerous occasions, been broadcast on national television and over local radio stations. A greater number of recordings have been done privately. Audio and video cassettes containing these recitals are sold at local bookstores. A compact disc version exists. Digital video disk (DVD) copies of the Jamaa’ah involvement at the Habibia Soofie Mosque Centenary Celebrations of August 2005 are in circulation. Jamaa’ah engagements are publicised in local newspapers are on internet web sites. These facts notwithstanding, so keen is the Sheikh on protecting the sincerity of those in the group, and such is the willingness of its members to recite without fanfare, that, apart from these pages, the achievements of the Jamaa’ah have gone largely unsung. One can sense that its story is just starting to unfold.

    During the time of the Haj, ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah litanies ring across the desert sands of ’Arafat and Mina.

    I have seen a great many being swept along by the simple beauty of adhkar. An equal number has been swept aside for every reason under the sun. Most of those who took off went quietly; a few left with a lot of noise.

    Large numbers of people have grown old as part of the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah. Many good Muslims, too many to mention, have passed away as members of the Jamaa’ah. They have gone on to reap what they had sown of adhkar. Within the group, long-serving people often give thanks for being part of the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan.

    We pray that Allah, The Author of Peace, grants that the Jamaa’ah will, until the Last Day, always have in its’ midst people well versed in the religious sciences and that the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah will grow in its’ pursuit of knowledge, and the remembrance of Allah, The Sublime. Their story lends credit to the human spirit. Long may they hold fast, all together, by the rope that Allah stretches out for them.

    The ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah continues to travel the length and breadth of South Africa in adoration of their Maker.

    The grave of Haji Abduragmaan bin Sulayman da Costa al-Qadiri should have Provincial Heritage (PHS) Status. It should also be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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