Gatesville Mosque Ramadaan programme

Sataar Parker, Chairman: Board of Trust, Masjidul-Quds

One of the biggest mosques in South Africa, its open-door policy of embracing all shades of thought within the Islamic ethos has made it unique in the world.

Ramadaan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calender and is considered the holiest for several reasons including the fact that Muslims believe the first verses of the divine script as embodied in the Holy Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) by God Almighty.

It is a month when Muslims are required to fast from dawn to sunset and give charity as well as looking after the underprivileged. Social consciousness is a pivotal aspect of Islam.

This year the mosque will once again host international Islamic scholar and motivational speaker Mufti Ismail Menk from Zimbabwe.

He has a following of millions of people – Muslims as well as people of other faiths – especially on social media throughout the world.

The mosque committee will also launch what is considered to be the first comprehensive smartphone app for a mosque anywhere in the world.

This is truly a leap into the world of modern technology and taking the message of moderation and tolerance from the mosque to the entire world.

This will be done by Mufti Menk on Friday May 26 when he delivers the talk before Friday prayers. Thousands are expecting to descend on the mosque.

In another first, the mosque is also hosting an international conference titled “An ummah in disarray – seeking common ground towards the path of unity”. This conference is arranged particularly as a response to the global scourge of terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam.

Panellists include Mufti Menk, an endorsement via video by Sheikh Muhammed Bin Yahya al Ninowi from the USA, former ambassador to Washington Ebrahim Rasool, noted Cape Town scholar Sheikh Sadullah Khan , Sheikh Fakhroodien Owaisi, the youthful Sheikh Muhammed West and former acting judge from Durban advocate Hafiz A B Mohammed.

The first Sunday is dedicated to people who have passed away. A special recitation of the full Qur’an by the congregation is arranged under the auspices of the imams of the mosque.

The mosque will also host its inter- faith iftaar, inviting opinion-makers from various strata of society to join in breaking the fast.

The orphan outreach programme, spearheaded by Laila Parker – a female member of the committee – is another one of those extremely sought after projects. This year the project hopes to reach out to the indigent as far afield as Mitchell’s Plain, Observatory and Gugulethu.

Every Sunday morning during Ramadaan, the imam of the mosque, Sheikh Abduraghmaan Alexander, hosts a special spiritual programme attended by over a thousand women.

Personnel from the South African National Zakaah Fund (SANZAF) are in attendance daily from the beginning of Ramadaan to collect funds to distribute to the needy on the day of Eid heralding the end of Ramadaan.

The imams – Sheikh Fuad Isaacs and Sheikh Abdurahmaan Alexander – together with the trustees and executive committee wish all Muslims a spiritually uplifting Ramadaan Kareem and urge Muslims all over to embrace their fellow South Africans in the true spirit of Ubuntu – one of the hallmarks of Islam.