No other job on this Earth is more rewarding in the eyes of Allah than that of an Imam (leaders). He
works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the behest of the community who comes knocking at his
door during the early morning hours and late in the evenings. The Imam is the most underpaid
profession in the Muslim Community, yet, like the rest of us, he must see to the household expenses
whilst raising a family as well.
The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) in partnership with the South African National Zakah
Fund (SANZAF) launched the Ta’awun Imamat Programme (Imam Assistance Programme) that aims
to ensure that imams earn a living wage aligned with their qualifications and experience whilst
empowering the community.
“The Ta’awun Imamat Programme (Imam Assistance Programme) aims to determine a benchmark
for the salaries of Imams in South Africa as we do not have one,” said MJC President, Shaykh Irafaan
“Many full-time Imams, especially those in the underprivileged areas, must be fairly remunerated
and receive basic benefits that include a standard employment contract, basic medical aid and
contribute to the unemployment fund and a retirement fund.”
Three Imams and their committees have been chosen to pilot this project and will be paid a salary
from the Imam Assistance Fund account. This account is managed by SANZAF, who produce annual
“The Imamat Ta’awun Programme will not only financially stabilise Imams but also go a long way in
benefitting the communities as the Imam can focus completely on his commitment to serving and
assisting set community,” said SANZAF Western Cape Regional Manager, Shafiek Barendse.
“We urge the community and business owners to contribute to this worthy project as we believe the
benefits of this programme are significant as we aim for a long-term sustainable initiative,” he added.