The Hardest Hour – P.4

Muhammad West


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Heroes of the South

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Are we lying Machito James Monroe Hema from the la mina salatu salam ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa ala alihi wa sahbihi mine, my beloved brothers and sisters in Islam in Santa Monica marked with a library gatchel thank you so much for joining us, you're probably in Islam home and with this part four of our series, the hardest hour, where we look at the difficulties that this room has faced over the last 1400 years, and how we can conclude it. And this, of course, is to give us strength and encouragement. This is our tests, Allah subhanho wa Taala has put us in this chapter of the oma. And it's what we need to do to overcome so that you know, 100 years 200 years time when generations

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write about this, this group of people, what are they going to say about us? Well, hamdulillah how we come through these difficulties. Today's lecture is entitled The heroes of the South. And it's gonna be a little bit of South Africa focused. We are, of course here in South Africa, on recording here in the LGM studios, one of the reasons why I think we leave out Jean, you know, one of the leakers, the Arabic, it's referring to Gerald which is south and the people of the South, because we are here at the tip of Africa. And I know many of you, especially with our co author, you are watching from all over the world. I know our listener base from Abrahamic Islam, as you as well

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reach many parts of the world. So if you feel a little out, don't feel so especially if you come from countries like Australia or Indonesia, Sri Lanka, new countries, India will be mentioned within in our lecture today and England as well. You have a big part of like, there's gonna be a bit of colonization. So some of you are colonizers, and some of you are colonized, wherever you are, in the story, what hamdulillah so South Africa, we've had a Muslim community for about 350 years now.

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The oldest Masood is about 200 years in South Africa, and perhaps even the first Masjid in the southern hemisphere of the world. Some accounts, and he has gone through such a traumatic history, the community in South Africa, that if you look at the challenges it had faced, and in spite of all calculations, in spite of all irrational thinking, this community should not have survived Islam should have become extinct. Because of all these challenges that it went through, but we'll come to the law, it's a miracle that we are young, and it's a thriving community. And it's a proud Muslim community for many, many centuries. And I would like to talk through the history and how we got

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here. And for us, so Africans, when you look through this presentation, you will see that there were so many moments where this community could have disappeared, but it survived. And he continued on for the next generation. And as we go through our own challenge now with this disease, mosques being closed, Ramadan won't be able to celebrate it together in the masjid, how do we survive for the next generation, this was important for us. So a little bit of history before, so Africa was discovered or colonized by the European forces, the people that live there in Cape Town in the western side of South Africa, the southern Western side, the blue area on the map, and they will call the Khoisan

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people, this is the indigenous people of this country, and perhaps the oldest civilizations in the world. If you look at the skulls and the traditions, and we're in many, many 1000s of years, these people have lived in this area. And they occupied more the south western side of, of South Africa, we have been in the in the central part, a bit of a desert, and so not many, not much civilization in the central part. And then we had towards the eastern side of South Africa, Durban and the towel kind of area. I mean, if you look at this map more clearly, on the right side, these are your black Africans. And they were it's imagined, it's thought that these were ethnic people that came from

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Central Africa, from Congo and these kinds of countries, they migrated south and they set up African kingdoms. So the the Khoisan people of the West have a different to the African, you know, African people that came from Central Africa. And you know, even within the African population, you find the, you know, the Zulu and the the closer people you find very interesting practices in a culture that hints at an Islamic influence you have, for example, circumcision amongst them, which is a very Islamic kind of tradition, and they males go through a process of circumcision, you find levada which is a kind of adultery that is paid to the bride and her family on marriage. So a lot of these

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kind of nuances in the eating habits as well that is almost Islamic in its in its in its customs. And so we pray that our hamdulillah there might have been some influence between these customs and Islam and and inshallah to be revived and once again, now moving to our brothers in Europe, around 1490 to another we need to do a series on that. It is one of the saddest years in our history, that is the fall of under mushiya. So Muslims ruling in Spain

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Portugal, the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years, Muslims were in Spain longer than Europeans have been in America, North America. That's how long we

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survived as a civilization in Indonesia. And it is was one of the most It was the most advanced country in all of Europe, many of the kings of Europe's in the shoulder to study at universities, in under Muslim tutors and lecturers, advancements in science and technology. But of course, it was not mean to India and 1492 this was when the last Muslim Kingdom of Granada came to an end, and the Muslims were expelled. And this began to really the flourishing it coincided with when Europe began to ascend. And so Spain become Christian Spain, is regarded as the first colonial power, because they had the ships and other technology to spread around the world, Vasco de Gama, many of us would

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have known a great Explorer, they traveled around the world and they, you know, discovered many countries of course, we know that there are people living the and and then they insert a enforce the dominance and actually colonize this cat, these countries. And a very important part of history that's missing is to say, Wait, it's Spain get this technology, this technology came from the Islamic heritage that was the Muslims were advanced and most, you know, most sophisticated civilization during the dark ages of Europe. And so when the Spanish Christians conquered Spain, they obviously inherited this technology. And then they use that to further their own objectives.

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Very interestingly, 1492 is another very famous year if you go if you from America, you will know that is the year when Christopher Columbus discovered America we dedicated ships from from Isabel and Ferdinand of Spain that took the king and queen of Spain who conquered Grenada. It's amazing the same people that at the very same year that they conquered the Muslim state of Colorado was the same year, they actually financed and gave the technology to Christopher Columbus to eventually sail towards, towards America. And he discovered the New World. All right, we fast forward 100 years. So for the next 100 years, Spain will really dominate the world stage, they will use the technology and

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they will conquer you know South America, many of the the the South American countries have a long history with with the Spanish Empire, and they obviously sail all the way the Philippines and many parts of the world in during the Age of Discovery. At that time, you know, a few 100 years, 100 years or so later, the other colonial European powers begin to become stronger. And they also wanted to get in, you know, get a piece of the pie, so to speak. And one of the small countries in Holland, Dutch is very small, the Netherlands, very small country, but it wanted to also exert its authority, and it wanted to have so the Spanish had a monopoly on the spices, the spice trade of India, and the

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Philippines and Indonesia. And so the Dutch wanted to get in on this market. And so they formed what is the first public listed company in the world, a public company, what is that you see the stock exchange, people are buying, you know, you can go today and you can buy, think of the biggest companies in the world, Microsoft, whatever it might be, you can buy a piece of that company on the stock exchange. And so the Dutch came up with this idea that you could buy a share in a company called The, the, you know, the Dutch East Indian company, and this would be this company would then have ships would go to India, buy spices would bring it back to the to Europe, and whatever profit

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it made you what you see in its profitability. And that was the idea. And so this company, you know, had a fleet of its own. So this external to the government get its own fleet. And so, you know, from the from Europe, all the way to its objective was Malaysia, Indonesia, these very spicy rich countries. And to do this long voyage, they actually went around Africa. And if you look at the, you know, the map of Africa, you'd find that South Africa is right at the bottom here in Cape Town in particular, it's where the Africa comes to an end,

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bottom of Africa, and so they set up a post to set up a little settlement a castle, and that's where the ships would would stop over and replenish and then move on. This was 1652, right? So there's over 150 years of the Spain was beginning to colonize the world. And of course, when the Europeans arrived in Cape Town, they of course, they found the, the Khoisan and the the people that were living here, we know what basically happens to them, Europeans, you know, at that time, didn't play very nicely with indigenous people. And they completely, you know, either wipe them out or basically enslaved them and conquered the entire area and made this land of Cape Town, they the colony,

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and they would use it as we said to, to wish ships would come around, and they would replenish and they would move on to onwards to Malaysia and Indonesia in particular, because they colonize those areas. So if you look at the maps here, Indonesia, Madagascar, Yemen, bees were countries that the Dutch had some kind of presence in them India as well for some time. And they would, you know, actually, when they came to these areas were a lot more sophisticated than some

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Africa, there was resistance and what is what do we find in common with many of these lands, these are Muslim lands. So we had Muslims that are now being the Muslim Ummah is being confronted for the first time with an enemy of this nature, people coming from all over from Europe, with advanced technology and conquering the lands and naturally there was resistance, and there was a jihad. I mean, a Jihad fought against these colonizers. 100% legitimate jihad. But of course, due to the superiority of the technology, and it said that we lost our way that we were so far behind after being in the lead, that we had no resistance, these people could walk into our countries with a few

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of a handful of ships, versus a massive population, they could conquer our countries from as it from Africa, all of Africa, Asia, South America, all of these countries were colonized by Europe, different European kingdoms, and the people had no resistance and they enslaved on mass millions and millions of people. And, and the Dutch in particular, what they did was they used South Africa, they use Cape Town, very much like Britain would use Australia as a penal colony. So when they would conquer a land, all those people that fought against them, the Muslims in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, fighting against the Dutch colonizer, the Dutch beat them, they take these people and they

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dump them in Cape Town as a penal colony. Cape Town is like at the end of the world, basically, you know, in the middle of May far, far away the inch of civilization, you basically come here to die, this place was a place of, of torment, it wasn't a place, they didn't have much agriculture. It wasn't a very prosperous land, it was purely a place where you would dump your prisoners, and your shipping, people would come by and replenish and they would move on, not much mean to develop this land. And so this is, this is the positive side of it, is they they brought Islam with them, because they bring these Muslim Mujahideen that were defeated, they brought into South Africa and this piece

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of these these amazing people brought with them by Islam, and they kept the Islam with them. And so we see the first Muslim community beginning to develop towards the end of the 17th century 1690. The 17 hundred's or 18th century is the beginning of of Islamia. In, in South Africa.

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The these Mujahideen these, these were highly educated people, these were not just your slaves, these were orama. These were princes and kings, and judges called these that are being brought here as a form of suppressing them and keeping them away and exile away from the the homelands. And so one of the first You know, there's a place just outside of Cape Town Mikasa that is the first and in fact Mikasa is a Malaysian word. It's called Mikasa because this was the first and farm land in which Muslims actually lived. And they were able to practice the deen was still illegal to be a Muslim. No matches allowed no taraweeh no open display of your religion and I mean, many of us

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experienced that this is what was happening. Yep. And, and and the Muslims would sort of secretly teach the deen and teach Islam to the next generation is is very, very difficult and hostile environment for 100 years, the Dutch wielded complete authority over the land and kicked out the Khoisan people being subjugated severely, and those exile prisoners and slaves being brought from all over the world having their own community. We have a very strange kind of community in Cape Town during the 1700s. At that time, the Muslim community we have so many amazing people but we want to mention two amazing heroes by name. One of our founding fathers of Islam is called a chef. Use of

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Mikasa chef use of about him. He was shades of Mikasa we call him of the of the only app and you know, while no one knows who the only other last panel are, when we look at what these people sacrifice and what is the legacy they leave behind is no other term, but to hope that these are very close friends and dear people to Allah subhanaw taala shall use of Rahim Allah, you know, he was brought here from Indonesia. He was a judge. He had spent 20 years in Yemen, in the Middle East, studying learning to be a judge. And he comes home to his land in Indonesia. And he finds it, you know, under attack by these foreign invaders. And he is captured and he is sent to to Cape Town as a

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as a prisoner year in

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South Africa at the age of 67. So an old man and a 6094. He's brought here and he lives for five years on a farm outside of Cape Town. So his job be human. The only reason they brought him here was that he could die a very obscure date, but he came here and he started the first Islamic movement as you will some Muslims that found that these are shiftless any mom, a highly qualified scholar, people lift and came to him to learn and to study very much in secret and that's you only spend about five years in that area before he passed away. She had a mama and and so that was that was the beginning nature of an under chef use of mama then

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We have another great Imam to one group that we refer to one guru actually means, Mr. Teacher, our, the teacher, and but he comes about 100 years off the shadows of so imagine the chef Yusuf starts a community outside of Cape Town, a very much a rebel community that are teaching the Islam underground. We have no Masjid. We have no you know, Sarra facilities. We just have a tradition of

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teaching a group of students about Islam, teaching them the basics, he passes away and this tradition gets passed on from family to family, very undercover. It is still illegal to be a Muslim, under the Dutch rule, and, and these different llama come down and they find this community just surviving on by a three year at the end of the world. The next man to take Islam forward here in this in this country is as we sit him to a guru, who his name is Abdullah Bukhari, Abu Salam Ahmed Sisi, his actual name, he was a prince for my one of the Sultanate. So you know, Indonesia has many islands. It wasn't one country, each island was his own kingdom. So this was a prince, a young man

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who grew up, you know, we could think in the lap of luxury, but he was educated half of the Quran, he started in the madrasa in the room, and he rise up to become of the ruling class of the Sultanate of his long island. But of course, his Island would become invaded by the Dutch and he would resist them and then swallow, you know, at the age of 80. And, or rather at, you know, at the age of, of 7070. He is he is arrested by the Dutch because he tries to, tries to get them out through.

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He's accused of conspiring with the British to get the Dutch out of his country, but he is he is he is arrested, and he comes in his 6970 years old. He's brought from his homeland to take down as a prisoner. Mr. Man was married, he has children he has a life in Indonesia is taken away from all of that. They didn't even allow him to bring his coat on with him. I mean, they didn't allow him to bring a book with him. So they put him on the ship, and they dumped him here of all places. Robben Island, Robben Island is very famous because the most famous prisoner is Nelson Mandela, founding father of the New South Africa. What's amazing is when those prisoners, Nelson Mandela and those

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prisoners came to Robben Island, they found already graves of the first inmates and those first inmates were Muslim Mujahideen, the very first people to fight oppression in this country to fight against racism to fight against one group colonizing another with a Muslim in those who sit lie alone, we take great pride that we were the first people to be in Robben Island as president associate, or other ship to rural in Robben Island for 13 years now, man that is in the 70s being locked up on this island. He's lost his family. He's lost his position. He's lost his home. And he sits there in isolation. And he is using You know, this time and it's a harsh treatment. We know we

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have letters of shame, to guru, writing about his time in that isolation. And he speaks about the empowerment of the oppressed, the mom, the mom that has been tortured, and has been abused so much in that, but he uses this time not to be a broken man. What he does in his isolation, is he says, look, we even took micron away from me. So I will write a quote from memory. And he wrote in his isolation in prison, a few masahisa. from memory. He also wrote a book about the basics of Islam. Now, when I asked for whom is this, you're in your 70s, you basically have a life sentence in jail, you're never going to leave the salon, and he wrote it nonetheless for whoever it might be. And he

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wrote it. He wrote the Quran and he wrote a number of books. And then at the age of 8081, he's finally released from prison. We would think an old man, a man that has not much left to live, but he comes down to Cape Town. So Robben Island, who is outside of Cape Town is an elitist. It comes to mainland, mainland Cape Town, not allowed to go home. And he's now part of the community in Cape Town. The first thing that your mom wants to do is he wants to establish a madrasa, not allowed to have a Masjid much is illegal, just a school to teach people to recite the Quran. And so he begins is a lady corydon of Ceylon Ceylon Sri Lanka. So if you see, Lankan Xia you have a very big part in

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our history. Should you shift over from Indonesia, the Sri Lanka is also a big part in our history. And this amazing lady. She was her parents were slaves, right? So Karen is a Muslim lady. Her parents were slaves, and they were able to buy the freedom. They worked their whole lives, earned enough money purchased themselves to be free. And then they had a daughter who carried on and the only thing that I mean, the only position she had was a new house, year in the middle of what we call cuca. And she allowed now the shift is being released from prison shift, one guru, it comes out of prison. He wants to set up a madrasa

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He says, you know what if you can use a part of my house as the beginning of a madrasa, this is the first madrasa in, in South Africa. And the chef uses it as his as his madrasa in in dope Street. And for the first time, slaves who could never read or write had the opportunity to come for free to learn knowledge, the chef said, I will teach you to read or write Arabic, you can learn of course, his objective is for them to recite the Quran, but anyone even Muslim wants to read, you're welcome to come. And this was an amazing thing, because at that time, the slaves only saw the master clause as being able to read it. And now you found people that had our color that were dark skinned, could

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read and had ever had history at a civilization were part of a much bigger thing it gave is it gave the oppressed people something to hope for you found a man that had not power so to see but he had his or her honor. Also, the Muslims, of course, did not drink, they did not. They had a very strict code of loving, which gave them a skill which gave them a position in you know, people always recognize goodness, even in the worst of situations, you recognize something which is beautiful and good. And so the shift begins forming his his, his madrasa. At that time he establishes the madrasa, the British are able to defeat the Dutch so Europeans are doing their own fighting and the Dutch are

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defeated by the British, and all the colonies of Holland falls under Britain. And so Cape Town as well becomes part of Britain, the Great British Empire, and the British were for all the negative things we could say about them. They were a lot better in terms of the relationship with Islam and the Dutch and they made Islam a a open, it was a religion that was not illegal. And immediately I mean, the shift is in his 80s. And he petitions the British allow me to build a mosque. And so the British allow the Muslims to have the first Masjid and this system, Masha Allah, what a play she has, in general been the law. The sister Coronel, remember we said she allowed them to use her house

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as the first madrasa. She donates her house, as the budget. So our overall measure is called Open Masjid, first Masjid, definitely in South Africa, but even possibly one of the first most youth in the whole southern hemisphere. This we could say, almost slave lady, the only position she had she gave us House of Lila to establish this Masjid and

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this is towards the end of the 18th centuries for the last 250 years, that mercy has been intact in the first Masjid year in in South Africa. What's also what's amazing is that Masood, as it is still it's still here today, and all the other mosques in the area follows on from the dominant surgical area that you could think even before the motion was established, there was no mystery, but the Muslim still had a secret away a Joomla in a quarry in the outside of of an open field or mine area, they would have a Joomla and today Alhamdulillah on that land, the ISA Masjid Majid Juma as well. The Jamia mosque is there as well so the Muslims tried to keep the Islam intact without the masjid

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but now Alhamdulillah towards the end of the 18th century tomura mala is able to not only have a mother Lhasa in are also has this oh well there's a war machine which is now established.

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The Imam

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so off the establishes the masjid in 1797 10 years later, basically the Imam pauses away to his teen years to establish his madrasa establish His mercy. And from that is a blueprint for other mosques and microcystin rpki. Now Muslims all over the community are able to build their own mosques and they own madrassas and a lot of the learnings and teachings of shift one guru samina Mustafa, he wrote, the books that he wrote were copied. And this is how for many generations, kids would learn Islam. In fact, our grandparents,

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if you looked at the way they recited, you know, I leave that this. This is how the Malaysian still today recited the Quran. So it is taken with Malaysian culture, Malaysian ways of learning. Many of the rituals that we have here are based on how Islam was taught in Malaysia. If you come to South Africa, you find you know, so far away from Malaysia, but a lot of it is still Indonesia, it is still it is still part and parcel of this culture. And for us, we reflect at a time when our mosques are, we're not able to go to the mosques, we're not able to go to the Imam. Basically, it's up to every individual to now be the Imam of the masjid to take what little knowledge we know and ensure

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we are teaching our kids and passing on our traditions. But in these difficult experiences, we can either become despondent and lost, or we can we can try and get through it and survive and thrive. You know, what's amazing is I think of a man not just imagine, Chef Tony Romo. 69 years he's been serving a law, living in his land, fighting the good fight.

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He had an he loses, and he gets taken as a prisoner. You and me we might have said, Look 70 not much to love. You might have become even angry with Allah, Allah, why did you do this, you've, I've lost everything after serving you, you've taken my family away from me. And you put me in jail for 13 years in this horrible prison. And instead of being a broken man, instead of being angry, he uses this time positively. And he comes to this foreign city. And he said, Well, I will start from scratch. You came from a land which had many mosques very low that people have. This is a highly educated professor, and he's coming to teach slaves. And if by what someone might have asked him,

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What are you hoping to achieve by this? He doesn't know he didn't get to see the three and a half years later, we'll be producing this videos will go all the way to Australia, the same colonizer England, you will get this video as well, so he could not have imagined that he's teaching would be would be thought that we would have in South Africa over 1000 masajid. This is to the man's clearly that I'm alone, all those people that have contributed that he planted the seed. And even though you and I, we won't get to see what that seed will become. Don't underestimate a lot. You do a good thing. You plant that seed you make the NEA sincere and Allah subhanaw taala will do in his own way,

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will put Baraka in it and will thrive as part of

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this community. We owe so much to these founding fathers, just to continue with the story of where we are. So the Malay community from Indonesia in Cape Town, as we said around the 1700s. It took another 150 years before we found our Indian brothers and sisters from the subcontinent being brought from England by the English now to the eastern side of South Africa. Now we have you know, great people like Giamatti, that that's more hanafy orientated. They are brought to the eastern side of South Africa, more as business people and more

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people that would work on the plantations, more skilled people, and they set up their own kind of Muslim community and therefore, you have a very diverse mix of Muslims here. The Malays were more Shafi inclined, and whereas our Indian brothers are more inclined well Hamdulillah, we realized that look, is no time for us to fight over these things. We have a much bigger problem. We are being subjugated by oppressor. They don't care what kind of Muslim you are for you, your mom, Mommy, then you are I bless. You are a infidel. That's all they see you as you need to come together as one community and work together. And that is the objective. And of course, the next big challenge that

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Muslims of this land would face after the end of color, the colonizers left, but what they left behind was something as bad or even worse as somebody God is a perfect. Many of you were not familiar with it. When the colonizers stepped out. The people that remained of European ethnicity, or the white people of South Africa, not all of them, a group of them Afrikaners, they established this policy of the apartheid government for about 50 years, which saw that it demarcated people based on the race and the color. So if you're a white person, you are on the high end of the spectrum, and you've got all the privileges, you could attend the University, your kids got to go to

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certain schools, you got all the privileges, the posh, beautiful areas of the country will belong to you. And as your skin became darker, as your pigmentation got darker, the rights you had got less and less and less. And they for our African brothers, they got the worse, they kids couldn't go to school, they couldn't love even in the cities, they lived in squatter camps, in homelands. And today, that legacy still here, many of them are still living in those horrible conditions, because it takes a long time to undo this. And the Muslim sort of the Indians and the Malay Muslims, kind of in the middle had some privileges. But of course, we're also very much affected by this, this law.

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Islam was also not favorably seen by the government because a pretty Part A big part of the apartheid government that have a strong Christian link. And so you had prohibition of marriages, for example, our marriages were not recognized between the kneecaps and we had were not recognized a certain terrible Act, which for the group areas act, people were forced out of certain areas. So they will designate this area is an area only for white people. Now if you are a Muslim, Indian, Muslim, Malay, Muslim lovingly, what does that mean? This land has now become a whites only as well, you had to pack up and leave, and your house was taken from you, your business, many of the people

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at a time they were tradesmen, they would have you know, a tailoring business or they would have a shop, this would be taken from you, and you would be dumped in a certain area and pass laws meaning people that weren't white weren't allowed to move. They were under confinement curfew, you could you only could move with permission. Public transport was you. Only for a certain group of people could use public transport. This is the most, you know, advanced or the most cruel form of, of racism that the world has ever seen. No country in the world has racism as

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You know, as profound as the as the apartheid government yet so Africa and so the question is how Islam survive under that people couldn't even learn secular knowledge correctly. The same way it survived and thrived throughout the years of oppression. It was each home and neighbor looking after one another. kids would go to the Imam sometimes in the living room, sometimes if you could in the masjid, you would learn what you could have of Islamic knowledge. The father of the house would ensure that everyone is performing the Salah on Thursday nights whether you agree or disagree, they would get together and they would recite surah Yaseen they would recite certain altcar two inch in

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keep this tradition going as was done for the past two 300 years. And there were certain things I'm a Muslim, whatever the government says when it's Juma time I won't be working, I will leave school and I will come to the mosque to perform a job. One of the most amazing things about the Muslim community during this period was even though certain land certain areas there's a there's a suburb called district six in Cape Town, which is a very proud and prominent Muslim community. The people were taken completely away the homes the businesses were demolished, inside the community with the mosques. Until today, those three masajid have survived. So all the homes have been demolished the

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Muslim community, even though they live that area, they made sure the masjid will remain. And this is a very powerful message for us. We are now in isolation, we might still live next to the masjid. But I'm not attending the masjid. It doesn't mean that the mercy doesn't have an Amana upon us, we still have a duty or responsibility to ensure that honor, the sanctity of the masjid is upheld. And these people you know, these are grandparents now we talked about my grandparents lived in the suburb, they got pushed out. But there was still an effort to say, our old mosques in those areas will be maintained. And we will establish new ones in the new areas. And we would start from

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scratch, if so be it all the way from the beginning. And that's what they did. But the community had to reinvent itself. And it did. So during this period. With all the difficulties with the lack of opportunities, the Islam continued to survive and continue to teach the next generation. And this is what our team is all about.

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The what is also what is also something we're very proud of is the resistance to protect. Of course, there was a movement, the ANC, the most famous then there are many, many people that oppose the party. What we are very proud of is that Muslims were of the very first people to join this organization and join the fight against apartheid. We have a small minority, maybe 1% 2% iF nicly of this country, but we saw that this was not a white, black to non Muslim communities fighting each other. This was oppression and injustice, and we are on the side of the oppressed. Our Deen doesn't look at color, our Deen looks at the right and wrong. And as Muslims we should always be on the side

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of the right. This virus for example, it's a global pandemic, it affects all of us. We as Muslims should always take the side of what is right for the benefit of humanity and have the you know, very proudly of the founding fathers one of the leading members of the ANC when Nelson Mandela was sent to prison, he didn't get saved alone. him along with six other chief members of the ANC were in prison. One of them is our our recently deceased brother Ahmed kathrada, Rama Rama Rama replacing Jana, he was of those early Muslims that were imprisoned in Robben Island, along with with Nelson Mandela. And there was a deep respect that was between the ANC leadership and Islam. Because as

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Muslims we we basically shown that we have a long track record of fighting oppression in this land from the earlier that came right at the beginning of colonization, we've always been fighting the oppressor and we've always been on the side of uplifting the oppressed irrespective of color and irrespective of religion, even something from a personal side note, you know, the the Muslims that were Nelson Mandela included in prison in Robben Island, the Imam, the previous Imam of Masjid Islam, Amanda Co. Monica says he had the privilege of being allowed to be a chaplain to the prison. So on a monthly basis, he would be allowed to visit the Robben Island and visit the Muslim prisoners

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to see how they were doing. But of course, the prisoners were so excited to see a friendly face that even the Muslims including Nelson Mandela, they would sit in his company and he would give them words of advice, words of comfort, and therefore there's a deep respect from from from an Islamic uniform for Islam in the Muslim community was developed. And it's one of the reasons why hamdulillah by the grace of Allah, and one of the reasons why Alhamdulillah Islam has a very favorable position here in South Africa now is that we are part of the political, economical social issues of the country. We don't only look at Muslim issues, we look at the country's issues, and many of our

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Muslim brothers in Europe, in America in Australia, trying to integrate with a society. You don't have to let go of your Islam in fact, you as a Muslim and your principles

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And you're the ideals Islam teaches you is what you know your country needs it is you will be part of the change that is positive in your nation. And that is one of the things that we learned from our founding fathers here that we've always been part of the struggle, whatever it might have been. And hamdulillah 1994 is a great year for us. That is a part that finally comes to an end of the basically 50 years of oppression. And we live in a free South Africa. And it's been like that for now about 30 years of we could say in 2022 2024 would have been 30 years of a free South Africa. And this is the current present president Cyril Ramaphosa, certainly another interesting anecdote,

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something I have never seen in my life. I don't think many people have seen when he became the President about two years ago, he was invited to an Iftar.

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And he was invited by the Muslim community at the beginning of Ramadan to come from the start and he wanted that invitation he came in not only joined us for a thought I was there, he actually joined us in Maverick Sala and he performed the spa, he fell into jute and Roku. And we play the handle as someone that you know, whether it is for political points, you know, anyone who is made such an effort for the sake of Allah, may Allah guide him and melasma guide everyone to the Hopkin to the to the truth, that kind of respect shown by a leader.

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For us as a 1%. community, our vote counts very little, we always say, you know, if we, if one of us vote together, we only you know, can fall one seat in Parliament. Our vote doesn't count too much, but our voice Alhamdulillah is restricted. And Alhamdulillah it is it has a position here in this community, by the grace of Allah, but also by the efforts made by these great people. And I take you back, think of yourself when you came here, trying to, to just to keep his community recycling data, you know, in the middle of nowhere on a farm outside Cape Town, and then shift on guru fighting his own life to build a Masjid. Could he have imagined we would be where we are now sitting on Paula,

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you know, sitting in Parliament sitting on the executive committee of some of the biggest companies in this country. So this story of the Muslims here in the south, the heroes of the South, we've gone from exiles to slavery, through colonization through a politic, we've maintained our Islam maintained our identity, it stood the test of time by the grace of Allah. And we've continuously contributed if I go through some of the

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the benchmarks here with over 1000 mosques in South Africa. 200 plus mu three and this was an old presentation, and more than 300 here in Cape Town, countless schools, madrassas, halau authorised certifying bodies you can go to any you know shop and you'll find that stamp day is Hello. I've traveled the world from Durban by the grace of Allah I'm seeing many lands you go to a you go to a certain restaurant you don't know if it's hot all you have to basically say, Brother, do you have any alcohol or alcohol is a given it's gonna be on the menu. Do you have any pork? Can you put my food aside? Yeah, where you can walk in you look at that stamp is a tunnel. It's allowed sokola I

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can sit there and not I walk out I go to the place next door. You are spoiled with choice. You are spoiled with opportunity. You never have to compromise to have to be you know, I will I work at a international company. retail company. This is how I come to work most Fridays and many days of the week. I come with a job with the fees. I sit in the board meetings with with our directors are hungry like this. And it is no one gives you a second look. It is part and parcel of the culture of what it is in this community. We have a solid facility at my company we don't fully sell off. In fact, when this restrictions came down, we have too many people in this office to be closed down

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like any other place of worship, we have soccer you know authorizing bodies, many of the big Zakat institutions in the world in Canada in New Zealand. In Australia, they modeled themselves on sand Zephir in in South Africa, one of the first people to in the Western world to start a soccer institution. Again, we start far away from the central hub of Islamic learning and institutions. And it was the simple basic people who could hardly read or write but they knew the basics of a deal and they practice it sincerely and they taught on to the next generation they knew Friday is a holy day. We're not going to do her arm as best we can we will recite Quran the mosque is a holy place we'll

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go and visit within the mosque at least you know once a week or a few times a week kids you need to know these things this is this is what is your our office what you can eat can't eat this how you clean yourselves and the basics were taught and then practice. And so Alhamdulillah we've seen this community grow many celebrities and famous people proudly showing the Islam

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judges, lawyers, business people or the wealthiest people yelling from the law or from from this community and we've contributed so much but we are only products are these pioneering heroes, but through very, very difficult times. You know, planted those seeds protected those seeds work those seeds not knowing what did it become

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hoping for the best, fearing that he would disappear, that this community would have disappeared, you know, through that through the end of time, but Swan it's it's thrived. And it's now on the, you know, one of the one of the most respected Muslim minorities in the world. In closing, for you and me, we are now the next chapter of this community, we don't know how the story ends, and that is for a lot to decide. But we are now it's our time we are writing this chapter. And it's getting to be what do we want our generation, you know, the generations have to say about us, we have a lot more opportunities for the Muslims in particular in South Africa than any other generation before us.

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They wouldn't there was no Muslim community in the history of South Africa that had the freedoms and opportunities like we do right now. And what do we do with it. And on top of that, of course, we are now being confronted with a new kind of, of difficulty, this this virus. And one thing that we should remember is, our ancestors always kept the Islam first and foremost. And then they were a force for positive change in their communities. This formula works. Be a strong, practicing Muslim, do the basics, right? You don't have to be the island. You don't have to be the most learned person. You just have to be a strong practicing. This is my identity as a Muslim. I do the basics well, but

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also, I'm a good neighbor. I'm a good employee in a company. I support my community if someone is in need. Our door is always open. If you want something you have you have a human something to eat. There is always enough for someone more the area's area with the Missouri School book up hamdulillah. I've lived in Saudi Arabia, I've had many Rama bonds in Makkah and Medina are some of the best memories. But the Ramadan you feel in the book up is something is something very, very special. It is that traditional, like you always imagined the Sahaba you find people that have nothing. Students that are studying away from home, people that have you know, lost a wife,

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bachelors, you know, old men, they've just they alone living in a house, refugees, and they'll come to the masjid and they will find in the masjid sanctuary, a place where they can break the fast they can stand together can pull the Salah have the most beautiful things I've seen is in this community, which is really the essence of of Islam. When you come to the blue cup, for example, this is you know, the houses are painted very beautifully. The mosques are the the culture of hookup is not about its buildings and its mosques. It is about the sooner little bits of the sooner that is totally respect for your elders, neighborliness, kids, you know, you know when Islamic attire, this,

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this kind of Islam that you see alive. This is what makes the Buddha beautiful. And this is what makes our community beautiful. And so every single Muslim throughout the world, and particularly here in South Africa, we are in ambassadors of this team, and it is our opportunity to leave a legacy our own legacy to leave our mark to be the next heroes and heroes are not. They're not people that should be in comic books. And heroes are not also meant to be in history books. Heroes are alive. Now. Each and every one of us in sha Allah need to take our seat our place in history, and to do something beneficial for our community. inshallah, Milan I pray insha Allah, that through the

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CDs, this is the last one, it's coming up to me and I hope it has given you some kind of comfort that even the best of people go through hardships. Sometimes it is because of the other best artists and allow us no matter how difficult things are to arise above these challenges to show that we are better in this and that we contribute something positive. Now las panatela make you make me make our families predict us and make us mediums of change and success. May we get through this hardest hour and inshallah May Allah grant us to be better people at the end of it. Allah bless you and bless all of us. I mean to Sokolow here. Thank you so much. Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh