As Muslims in South Africa, we are proud of the legacies that our leaders and forebears leave and left behind. We are proud of them as outstanding role models. We are proud of their selfless contributions.
They participated in the struggle for freedom and justice. They gave their lives. They sacrificed their families and comforts. Indeed, we have been the beneficiaries of those legacies. Our children and future generations will also be beneficiaries. Now we have a greater responsibility: not only should the legacy be safeguarded but also to ensure that they are continued and are further developed.
How are we going to do that? We should never forget the Ihsaan of those that have done well to us and to humanity. Their names will be forever etched in Allah’s timeless records, and lest we forget, in the memorials, such as the Community Leaders Waqf, that we establish. Let us never forget the struggles, sacrifices, torture, slavery, and incarceration that our leaders and forbears endured for us.
Purpose of the Waqf
Muslims have been part of the struggle for human rights and freedom since their banishment to Robben Island and other parts of the Cape in the early 17th century. We recall the revered names of political prisoners Tuan Guru, Shaykh Yusuf, Hadjie Matarim, and others (May Allah be pleased with them) who made the ultimate sacrifice against Dutch and British colonizers and slave masters. During the apartheid era, several more names come to the fore: Dr. Yusuf Dadoo, Imam Abdullah Haron, Ahmed Timol, Sulmin “Babla” Saloojee, Dr. Haffejee, Aboobaker “Hurley” Asvat, and many others.
Today there are many veterans in our midst who gave selflessly to the struggle for universal human rights, freedom, and service to the community.
Awqaf SA initiated the honouring of all those persons by launching a Community Leaders Waqf (Endowment Fund) with sub-funds that will be named in honour of our brothers, sisters, and compatriots, both past and present. It is envisaged that these endowment funds will benefit especially previously disadvantaged South Africans in their quest for social justice and better education.
For as long as the lion cant speak the tale of the hunt will always favour the Lion. The leaders and legacy project gives a voice to the unwritten, in part uncelebrated, forgotten or unsung heroes of South Africa and the TRUE South African Heritage without bias. Contributions from the Muslim community towards the development of SA have always been significant from the very first Muslims who arrived in the Cape in the 17th Century. These contributions and legacies form an integral part of our history and Awqaf SA aims to educate ALL South Africans on the TRUE contributions made to society by the Muslim community
Awqaf SA has also commissioned the writing of biographies of Leaders and their legacies. The first of these is the biography of Dr. Rashid Ahmed Mahmood Salojee titled “A Life of Social Justice”. This book, together with the Dr. RAM & Sara Salojee Waqf Fund was launched by the Hon Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, at a function hosted by Awqaf SA during October 2010 in Johannesburg.
On the 17th March 2019 Awqaf launch, the book from “Spice Island to Cape Town” Shafiq Morton was commissioned by Awqaf SA to write a book on the legacy of Tuan Guru, an Indonesian member of Royalty who was exiled to Robben Island where he spent his time educating the slaves, writing the Quran from memory, writing books on Fiqh and is truly one of the very first national heroes of the South African Muslim community.