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AWQAF SA ATTENDS INTERNATIONAL FORUM IN MALAYSIA

AWQAF SA CEO, Zeinoul Abideen Cajee, and Awqaf ambassador, Sedick Isaacs, recently attended the Seventh Annual Global Waqf Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Nearly 500 delegates from around the globe attended the annual event, which is hosted in a different country each year and focuses on issues surrounding waqf. According to Cajee, this year’s conference entitled “Taking Waqf into the Future” looked at the role of technology and the function of digitalisation with regards to waqf in a changing world. This was a potential game-changer as more and more people in the post-colonial world became aware of the instrument of waqf, something that was systematically destroyed by colonialism. Awqaf ambassador, Sedick Isaacs, said the conference had proved to be interesting, with lots of hard work ahead in South Africa. Cajee said an interesting point had been raised that western universities, such as Oxford and Harvard, had been using endowments, based on the waqf model, for a long time. Oxford, he said, had learned from the Crusaders when they came back from the Muslim world in the 12th century. The irony, he said, was that many Islamic countries and communities were not using the very same endowment waqf systems that the west had introduced from the east in the key area of education. Cajee delivered an address at the conference. He focused on efficiency and governance within ISF operators and supervisors, and on organisational challenges in the developmental context. Several countries, he said, had shown an interest in the South ...

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AWQAF SA HANDS OVER X-RAY PRACTICE TO SULTAN BAHU CENTRE

Fordsburg Clinic gets a welcome boost Dr. Goolam Omar, a veteran radiologist who practiced in Lenasia at the Lenmed Clinic for many years, decided to downsize his practice and move it to Fordsburg, where he could get closer to people who needed his services. Originally built as a home for gold miners in the 1800s, Fordsburg has enjoyed a colourful history as a centre of social awareness. Today it is a vibrant multi-cultural hub in Johannesburg. Dr. Omar’s Fordsburg practice catered for foreigners and the needy, who could not traditionally afford x-ray services. This year, after decades of service, Dr. Omar decided to retire to a life of reflection. On 1 October 2017 – coinciding with 10 Muharram, an auspicious day on the Islamic calendar – Dr. Omar decided to donate his x-ray practice as a waqf to the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa, Awqaf SA. Waqf is an Islamic institution introduced by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) where ethical investments and assets are bequeathed as a divine trust to benefit the community. The waqf property remains intact until the end of time, and cannot be sold or ceded. The most salient feature of a waqf trust is that it has to be sustainable, and proceeds from the core investment or asset – which cannot be touched – uses its profits to service the poor and the needy.  Haroon Kalla, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Awqaf SA, says the organisation gladly accepted this donation from Dr. Omar. “We ...

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Head girl pledges R20, 000 waqf charity to school.

ON the eve of her final Grade 12 examinations, Head Girl of the Auckland Park Academy of Excellence (APAX), Aneesa Randeree, pledged R20, 000 in a waqf donation aimed at supporting leadership development, the under privileged and educational initiatives at her school. Speaking at a special dinner function attended by fellow learners, staff members and special guests, which marked the end of her tenure as Head Girl, Randeree made the announcement during her outgoing speech. APAX, which opened its doors in 2011, is a Muslim school situated in Johannesburg. Waqf is a divine trust instituted by the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. Property, ethical investments and assets – such as farmland – are put in a trust whereby the core investment or capital cannot be eroded, but its fruits have to be used for the benefit of the community. According to Sacred Law, waqf cannot be ceded or sold. Randeree’s donation was handed to AWQAF SA, an NGO that specialises in waqf, and that runs several local and national programmes – such as Maths tuition, the drilling of water wells and social cohesion events focused at uplifting South Africa’s less fortunate. AWQAF SA won international awards for its efforts in 2013-14. In her speech at the dinner function, Randeree said, “waqf is the most powerful, sacredly sustainable enduring and empowering of all Islamic voluntary charities. I’d like to give something back to my school, a tangible legacy as a token of my appreciation…I’d like to plant a seed as ...

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Long serving activist Surty launches memoir in parliament

AWQAF SA, an NGO which contributes toward growth and development in post-apartheid South Africa, launched former Deputy Education Minister Enver Surty’s memoirs, “In Pursuit of Dignity”, at the Old Assembly Chambers in Parliament on Wednesday. Surty, who has served the ANC at various levels for more than 30 years, was one of the architects of the constitution, as well as serving as terms as Deputy Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces, Justice Minister and becoming the country’s longest-serving Deputy Minister of Education. His memoirs, written in an easy and anecdotal style, take the reader on a warm journey of his activist life from Rustenburg at the foot of the Magaliesburg to parliament at the foot of Table Mountain. Speaking at the launch, held in the Old Assembly in Cape Town (which became the National Council of Provinces after 1994) Judge Seraj Desai reminisced about his university days at Durban Westville where he studied law together with Surty. Calling themselves the “philosophers” in their student years, Desai linked Surty’s memoirs to the pertinent issues of the day, such as land redistribution and non-racialism. He said it was significant that today when people were asked to fill in their race on legal forms, whites would more often than not tick off their identity. This spoke to a certain historical arrogance, he said, as those from other groups would ignore the question, not regarding it as relevant. Desai noted that Surty had broached the topic of land in his book, but ...

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Mathematics Intervention Programme creates excitement in KZN

AWQAF SA, in collaboration with Al-Falaah College, Albaraka Bank, Printworx, the KZN Education Department and KWay, embarked on successful matric Maths intervention programmes during August at the Al-Falaah College in Springfield, Durban, and at the Ladysmith Civic Centre.    About The programme was specially targeted at underperforming learners who required a boost to enable a pass at the end of the year.  Learners who obtained 30% to 40% in the June examinations were sent invitations by KZN Education to attend intensive two day workshops.  The workshops were presented by coach and mentor, Mr Muhammad Khota, of the Gauteng-based KWay Maths Institute. Grade 12 learners and educators from over 55 Department of Basic Education schools, and four Association of Muslim Schools, attended the workshops. Learners from around KZN travelled from as far afield as 60 kms to get to Al-Falaah College and Ladysmith.    Mohammed Zaffar Ahmed, one of the facilitators, said that they had experienced an encouraging response, with more than 250 learners attending each day.  Format “Classes commenced at 08:30 and ended at 14:45, with the learners enjoying a good lunch.  Learners and educators requested more of these classes to be held, as they found them not only beneficial but user-friendly. The learners were enthralled by the short-cut methods shown by the coach to complete intricate examples that had previously flummoxed them.   “Judging from the many positive responses of teachers and learners who attended, our Maths intervention was hailed a success,” he said.  According to Coach Muhammad Khota of KWay, the ...

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