Posted on April 27, 2022
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful
The Muslim Judicial Council (SA) congratulates the nation upon its celebration of Freedom Day and the commemoration of its first non-racial election in 1994.
So much has changed since that day in 1994. South Africans have embraced the freedoms that our brothers and sisters in the struggle fought tooth and nail to achieve. We are most certainly not blind to the sacrifices made beyond the boundaries of religion and race. It was because of their desire and longing for rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of association, racial equality, access to equal and quality education and freedom from discrimination for all South Africans, that drove the liberation movements to ultimately achieve their goal of ending Apartheid and embracing democracy.
We do however have to rise above the euphoria associated with this great achievement by evaluating the current situation in our beautiful country. Are we basking in the glory of the achievements of our freedom fighters of yesteryear with eyes closed? Or are we fighting to ensure that their legacy of achieving freedom remains alive and well in our beloved South Africa?
The words of Malcolm X are perhaps something to ponder about. “I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation.” Sadly, and disappointingly so, after 28 years of democracy in South Africa, these words ring true to our reality. Too many South Africans are unemployed, living beneath the breadline, are homeless and have no access to clean water and sanitation. Too many South Africans live in overpopulated informal settlements where they live in abject poverty, are vulnerable to the vices that seek to capitalize on their fragility. Communities live in drug and gang infested areas where children are lured into a life of selling or using drugs, others fall victim to fatal shootings often caught in the crossfire. This is not the freedom envisaged by those who sacrificed their lives to overpower their oppressors.
South Africans must appreciate the value of the freedoms they strove hard for and they must ensure that it remains intact. Corruption in our country is devouring the very fabric of our society as it allows a small select group to benefit at the expense of the masses. How different is this from the oppressive powers who marginalized the masses and exploited their land.
Every cloud, however, has a silver lining. Our nation has strength in numbers. We have people in our community who understand the concept of duty and who battle in the trenches to ensure a better future for our people. The countless NGO’s who go beyond the call of duty to answer the cries of our people. The frontline workers who are driven purely by their desire to serve. Our young entrepreneurs who continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, our community workers and councilors who understand the plight of their communities and who are brave enough to face those challenges, our Faith leaders who actively play a role in every aspect of the lives of our people. The silver lining is quite significant, but in order for it to remain a beacon of hope we need to actively participate in shaping our reality and we must not become resentful of those who seek to undermine us, we must rise above. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies” Nelson Mandela
As a Faith-Based organization we believe that trials and tribulations are divine instruments that allow us to reflect and contemplate on ourselves, evaluate our actions and intentions, and redirect our focus to the divine intention of being created, that is to worship the Creator. With this in mind, we pray for our fellow South Africans who are afflicted with difficulty, our brothers and sisters in KZN who have fallen victim to one of South most devastating natural disasters. We pray that Almighty Allah grant relief to the flood victims and we salute the South African people who have answered the call to action by providing water and supplies to the affected communities in KZN. We also pray for those who have lost loved ones and those who are still searching for their loved ones. May Almighty Allah grant them acceptance and closure.
During the remaining days of Ramaḑān we call upon the Muslim Ummah to pray for the wellbeing of our country. We beseech Almighty Allah to shield our country from that which seeks to harm it and its people. Like our predecessors prayed for the end of Apartheid, so we pray for an end to corruption and exploitation that are crippling our nation.
So the question of whether we are really free, is a valid one. Some food for thought are the famous words of Nelson Mandela “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”
We congratulate each and every South African on this momentous day.
Sh. Zaid Dantie
27 April 2022