“Islamic Civilisation in Southern Africa” which was held in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, on 31 August-3 September 2006.

It was co-organised by Awqaf SA, IRCICA and the University of Johannesburg. The symposium was a landmark event, first to be co-organised by the OIC and IRCICA in the South Africa. It aimed, among others, to increase knowledge on the history and heritage of Islam in the OIC Member States and their neighbours in the region, and to promote dialogue amongst Muslim peoples in the region and with peoples of other faiths and cultures.


Islam as a religion and as a civilization has had a major impact on Africa since its founding approximately 1426 years ago. More than 60% of Africa are Muslim and several Islamic civilizations flourished in North, West, East, and Southern Africa. The SADC region has several pockets of small and large Muslim populations and is a region where Islam thrived, though under difficult circumstances, for centuries and made significant contributions in all spheres of life.

The OIC Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) , a subsidiary organization of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) together with the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (AWQAF SA) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) will host an “International Symposium on Islamic civilization in Southern Africa” during 1-3 September, 2006, at the UJ campus, in Johannesburg

The Official Symposium Programme, click here to view.

To Read the opening speeches.

Abstracts Click here

Over 50 Speakers for the Symposium. List of Paper Presenters and topics are now on this site.

Jalsah 2006. A joint MSA-Awqaf SA project during the Symposium.

Symposium Speeches and Reports

The following speeches may be read on this site:

1. Dr E G Pahad, Minister, The Presidency. Click here

2. Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General, Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). Click here

3. Dr Halit Eren, Director General, IRCICA. Click here

4. Justice Mahomed Jajbhay, Patron Trustee, Awqaf SA. Click here

5. Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, National Coordinator, Awqaf SA. Click here

Premier Ebrahim Rasool “This [Symposium] is an initiative that I want to be associated with”.

(Cape Argus 28/06/2006). To read Premier Ebrahim Rasool’s full Cape Town launch speech, click here


  • Key Focal Countries: SADC Countries including: South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Comoros, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda.
  • Participants are expected from Universities and countries that have a special interest in Africa and Islamic Civilization in Africa.
  • Respective ministries and ministers
  • OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) Ambassadors
  • Heads or representatives of respective universities, academicians or university professors.
  • Representatives of Muslim Community
  • Representatives of faith communities
  • Students and general public
  • Representatives of NEPAD, African Renaissance Institute, African Union


  • Penetration of Islam in Southern Africa
  • Trade and Islam
  • Language & Islamic Literature
  • Islamic Education and Intellectual Development
  • History, Contribution, and Challenges
  • Colonialism, Apartheid, & Democracy
  • Coexistence of Cultures
  • Arts & Crafts, Architecture, Archeology
  • Future Perspectives
  • Muslim media
  • Influential figures
  • Establishment of financial institutions
  • Community-state relations
  • NGOs


  • #1

    To increase our knowledge of the history and heritage of Islam in Southern Africa;

  • #2

    Make the religious and cultural heritage of Southern African Muslims better understood by themselves and other communities inside and outside the region;

  • #3

    Strengthen affinities and cooperation among Muslim and African nations and peoples by producing and disseminating Islamic and cultural knowledge;

  • #4

    Promote better understanding and dialogue amongst Muslim people and people of other faith and cultural communities;

  • #5

    To produce authentic resources for further research and curriculum development.


IRCICA is an international institution for research, publishing, documentation, and information dissemination and preservation. Its main areas of interest include the history of Muslim Muslim nations, the arts and sciences in Islamic societies, and above all, Islamic culture and civilization.

The main objective of IRCICA is to study and promote Islamic culture and civilization throughout the world. It acts as catalyst for research, cooperation and mutual understanding not only among Muslims around the world but also between Islam and other cultures and civilizations. IRCICA has held several symposia focusing on different regions of the Muslim world including the Balkans, Central Asia, and Africa. The Symposium in South Africa is the first of its kind and also the first major activity of IRCICA in the region. 

For details about the centre, its library, and archives and publications, please visit the website: www.ircica.org

THE UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG (UJ)is one of the largest contact universities in South Africa. This mega institution boasts five campuses in the Central Gauteng region and accommodates more than 40 000 students, registered for a wide and diverse range of academic and vocational programmes that are spread across its nine faculties. This institution of higher education serves the education, training and research needs of the new millennium – not only of the region, important enough as they may be, but also of the nation and of the international community beyond our borders, in Africa and beyond. The UJ is committed to improving the quality of life of all the people it touches, including society at large, by establishing and maintaining a culture of lifelong learning while also providing teaching and learning opportunities that will empower people.

The university offers courses on Islam at undergraduate and post graduate levels.

For more information please visit its website: www.uj.ac.za