By Webmaster, VOC
23 October 2012
The tradition of Moulood is an annual spiritual gathering for Muslims within the Cape Town community and in many other parts of the world for many years. For some, thikr has become a monthly fixture to keep Muslims spiritually energized in their communities, but for others, where Muslims are a minority, the lack of a thriving Islamic culture can create a spiritual vacuum.
With this in mind, Hajjah Fatima Asvat, who lives in Melbourne, Australia took it upon herself to initiated moulood in her own community. Asvat is the wife of Riyad Asvat, the author of ‘Economic Justice and Shari’a in the Islamic State’ and a student of Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi and Shaykh Umar Vadillo. South African born, she has been living in the small community for the past 24 years.
“The first few years of living there, I always wondered what I was doing there,” said Asvat, relating her story at a recent women’s conference held at the Jumu’a masjid in Cape Town. “I soon realized that this was my husband’s destiny to be in the Melbourne community and his desire to complete his PhD. I don’t think he would have done it better anywhere else.” Melbourne has a small Muslim community of only four families. To keep their faith alive, they have Islamic classes every Friday night, said Asvat.
“We use to have it at my home, but then we soon realized that in order for women to participate we were going to have to rotate and have it at different homes.” The Muslim community embarks on various spiritual activities which include recitation of the holy Quran, qasidah groups and many more. “We have four young men who are being taught how to sing the qasidah and I’m very proud to say that since I’ve taught them, they are doing really good,” she said. “They are learning more and more every day and we have seen a great improvement, alhamdulilah.”
Starting the moulood
The small community have been hosting moulood celebrations for the last three years and its been a positive influence on university students. “Although people were having moulood privately, they were actually afraid to come out and do it in a big way. This is when my husband decided he is going to host a moulood in a small public venue and invite different groups to attend,” said Asvat.
“The first time we hosted it, I thought to myself, how are we are going to make this a success because it’s going to take a lot of money to feed all these people. My husband told me that if our intentions are good than Allah (swt) will make it easy for us. Then when the time came, we had a huge event with lots of food and everything you will find at a moulood event. I still don’t know where the money came from, alhamdullilah.”
Asvat related that Australian Muslims from various nationalities came to the event and were amazed by the uplifting feel and the sense of community togetherness at a moulood. This spurred them on to host a bigger moulood and this year, more people attended along with guests from Sri Lanka. “The problem in Australia is that it’s a multicultural country with lots of Turks, Bosnians and Albanians. They are very tight and therefore we host these events with the aim of bringing them together all in the name of Allah,” she said.
“Alhamdulillah, that is the way of doing things and hopefully it opens the hearts of people.” This small act of remembrance has had a positive impact on the Melbourne Muslim community – a tradition they hope to keep alive. “We hope to grow our community and become like other Muslim communities, insha Allah. But it is only through the blessing of Allah (swt), who gives life to our small community, for through him we have what we have here today.”
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