Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Tribute to Mia's Farm (Waterval Islamic Institute)

There are very few South African Muslim’s who have turned to the back of their 13-line Quraan’s and not wondered about the Waterval Islamic Institute. Of interest to many of us was how an obviously Muslim organization (in the times of crippling apartheid) managed to secure the address: P. O. Box 1, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa. In many ways the ‘one’ in the postal address is indicative of the Waterval Islamic Institute’s being the first to spark a series of da’wah flames that now light up many Islamic institutes in our country and beyond.

Waterval Islamic Institute (WII) land, more commonly known as Mia’s Farm, will host the 1434 – 2013 Tabligh Jama’ah Ijtima over the Easter weekend in the Gauteng region, Insha Allah. Given the historic relevance that Mia’s Farm was also venue to the very first Tableegh Ijtima in SA in 1970, Radio Islam paid tribute to the legacy of the organization, its founding members and long serving staff via a series of interviews. This valuable oral curation is available in the form of podcasts on our website.

According to information proffered by our guests, the land (over 2000 hectares) was purchased in 1934 and registered as the Waterval Estate Ltd. Due to the cruel segregation of Apartheid, good schools if any were a rarity, especially for Indian boys and girls. In 1939 construction began on the farm for hostel facilities for the schooling, madrassa and hifdh classes offered at the WWI. Boarders included lower to middle income children from near and afar and the children of the owners. The farm also accommodated staff members who served in the Mia Family business interests. According to information gleaned from a printout commemorating The Waterval Students Reunion (1938-1984) it began in 1940 with 120 boarders and 4 teachers.

From 1940-1948 the school was run in the hostel itself and to later have its own building and sports fields; the junior alma mater to many whom later became founding members of Darul Ulooms and Hifdh Madaris in our country. Among those who did part of their schooling, hifdh, offered dhor or taught at Mia’s Farm were Mufti E. Desai, Ml Madani of Camperdown, Ml E. Saalejee of Isipingo, Ml Abdool Hamid Ishaaq of Azaadville, Ml Yusuf Karan, Ml Shabir Saloojee of Zakariyyah Park, Ml Qaasim Sema of Newcastle, and Qari Ismail Desai of Umzinto.

The vision and sincerity of Ml Muhammad Mia (a student of Ml Anwar Shah Kashmiri) and his sons manifested in:

A printing press that provided maktab syllabi and printed material (5 para Quraan, Yasanal Quran, Duroose Fiqh and printed literature) on behalf of the Jamiat Transvaal.
A home for initial Jamiat activities including moon sighting.

A formula for structured hifdh and dhor classes. Till the mid 80`s, there was a severe shortage of huffaz in South Africa. Hafiz Abdur Rahman Mia Sahib (1919- 2005) played a great part in alleviating this problem and his graduates were sent to innumerable posts in South Africa.

Sporting and academic excellence for boys and girls. The first matric exams were written in 1961. In 1965 a 100% pass was achieved in the Senior Certificate exams.

A halfway home for the provinces’ Welfare Dept: orphans and abandoned children who were never turned away. It even housed Italian prisoners of WW II.

A dynamic schooling syllabus the included Arabic, Urdu, Gujarati and Persian.
A wood-work centre, glass factory and dairy which nurtured the importance of financial self-sufficiency and created the tools for them.

The stepping-stone for those who wanted to further their Aalim Faadhil studies in Deoband, Dabhel and other Indian run Darul Ulooms under the auspices of marhoom Mufti Ebrahim Sanjalvi (db).

There is much that has been mentioned in the interviews about the personalities who were the cornerstones of such an establishment. May Allah fill their lives or qabrs with light, Ameen. No organization however is without their flaws. Mia’s Farm served to the best they could within the discipline parameters dictated by that era.

In recent years Waterval Islamic Institute has changed course. In 1984 the secondary school moved to Marlboro Gardens. The hifdh infrastructure evolved to support a wide network of maktabs in many southern African countries - where thousands of less fortunate and forgotten children of this Ummah learn to love Allah and our Deen.

We learn important lessons from the legacy of Mia’s Farm:

- The financial and moral aid of honest Muslim businessmen to Deen and the spread of Deen are lauded by the words of our beloved Nabi (pbuh): “A truthful and honest trader will be a companion of the prophets, the righteous and the martyrs on the Day of Judgment.”

- Women (many who belonged to the family) worked tirelessly in the female hostel and in the classrooms to provide education and housing for both boys and girls. The adage “she rocks the cradle with her right, and staves off the sword of Disbelief with her left” encapsulated. Their efforts could never be undermined or overlooked .

The value and reach of printed material must never be underestimated. “Knowledge is captured by writing it.” Arabic Proverb

The glorious message of Guidance can disseminate from Islamic Institutes that serve both secular and religious interests, hence the Quran is called guidance for the God Fearing, not just the Muslims.

May Allah reward the sincerity of the founders and workers of this landmark institute and grant us all sincerity, dedication, devotion, patience and perseverance to serve the religious needs of our communities justly. Aameen

Monday, March 18, 2013

Umm as-Sa'ad

The elderly lady in the picture is Umm as-Sa'ad. She was born 1925 and memorised the Quran at the age of 15. By the age of 25 she had the shortest chains of recitation (Ijzazh) to the Prophet sallaAllaahu 'Alaihi wasSalam in the 10 modes of recitation. She is a PIVOTAL point in Quranic instruction in Egypt and Alexandria in particular. From AbdulBasit abdulSamad to Mishary al-Afaasi...all have recited the Quran upon her seeking approval to teach and recite.
Allah have mercy on her, she recently past away at close to 90 years old. May Allah reward her for her service to the Quran.
Since 1950 she has taught and licensed in memorization of the quran over 100,000 students.
اللهم إغفر لها وارحمها وأدخلها فسيح جناتك
"Umm as-Saa'd, married one of her students. She was not blessed with any children through her nearly 50 years of marriage. She would say, "Allah barred me from children and their responsibility, so that I can teach his Word to the children of others.
She also said:
تقول الشيخة أم السعد
"أشعر أنني أحفظ القرآن كاسمي تمامًا ..لا أتخيل أن أنسى منه حرفًا أو أخطئ فيه.. فأنا لا أعرف أي شيء آخر
غير القرآن والقراءات.. لم أدرس علمًا أو أسمع درسًا أو أحفظ شيئًا غير القرآن الكريم ومتونه في علوم القراءات
"I feel that my memorization of the Quran is as complete has my knowledge of my own name. I cannot imagine that I can forget a single letter from it or even make a single mistake in its reading from memory. I do not know anything else in life like I do the Quran and its modes of recitation. I did not master any other Science or attend lectures or commit anything to memory except the Noble Quran, the texts related to its modes of recitation."
Ya Allah raise her a level in Jannah for every ayat she recites! Aameen!

Masha Allah!!!

Allah grant her the highest stages in Jannah, ameen. Likewise for our Nabi SAW…ameen

Thursday, March 07, 2013

How to help a Declining Marriage...

 Points to assist a Declining Marriage

The Hadith questions the manhood of a person who beats his wife up during the day and derives pleasure from her during the night. Good marriages require patience, kindness, humility, sacrifice, empathy, love, understanding, forgiveness, and hard work. Following these basic principles should help any marriage to improve. The essence of them all can be summed up in one sentence: Always treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated.

Amidst busy schedules and tasks on the parts of both women and men, Muslim husbands and wives tend to forget the real reasons behind marriage and likewise the rights of each other. Subsequently, they deprive themselves, their mates and their children of the happiness and tranquillity that is the bedrock of a successful family. This unbalanced vision towards a couple’s ideal relationship is bad enough to plunge the family into a situation laden with troubles and worries.

Negative Relationship between Husband & Wife
Some Muslim spouses relate to each other like adversaries rather than life time partners. The husband assumes the position of dictator, and whatever he says is not law. The wife on the other hand feels that she must squeeze everything she can out of her husband. Some wives do not express their gratitude to their husbands irrespective of how much the man may do for her. Instead they adopt an attitude of ‘never enough’ and make the husband feel like a failure if he does not provide every want and desire their extravagant lifestyles dictate. Some husbands speak very harshly to their wives, humiliate them, and even physically abuse them. Their wives have no voice or opinion in family matters. Moreover certain husbands become so cold and miserly that even the basic expenditur! e for the house is difficult to come by.

Nikah - A divine institution
The Nikah bond has been divinely established for the welfare and upkeep of a healthy and progressive community. This divine prescription has been unjustly utilised as a vehicle to perpetrate oppression, deception, humiliation, and abuse. Allah Ta’ala describes marriage very differently in the Noble Quran: ‘And from his signs are, He created for you wives from among yourselves, so that you may live in tranquillity with them, and instilled love and mercy between your (hearts) . . . “(30:21)

Head of the Home
The position Islam has accorded to the man as the head of the home is a responsibility which will be accounted for, rather than a privilege which should be abused. We are taught to treat our wives well. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has reported to have said: ‘The person possessing the most perfect faith is one who has excellent behaviour, and the best among you are those who are best towards their wives" (Mishkat)

Be Partners in Decision Making
Follow the principle of ‘Shura," (consultation) and make decisions as a family. Implementing this Sunnah within the home increases harmony and love between family members. It will also assist in enhancing trust and loyalty between spouses and the children.

Abstain totally from every form of emotional, mental, or physical abuse to your spouse.

Watch Your Words
Be very careful what you say when you are upset. The wounds afflicted to the heart of a person by words will never heal and remain a lifelong memory. Sometimes you will say things that you would never say when you were not angry. Apply the directives found in the Hadith for suppression of anger.

Work Together in the House
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) consistently assisted his wives with household chores. When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not consider the housework trivial, how can we today obligate our wives to all the house work and much more?

Communication is Important
Talk to each other, communicate, have a dialogue, but do it respectfully. Husbands and wives need to talk to each other. It is better to deal with problems early and honestly than to let them pile up until they explode.

Live Simply
Do not envy or cast your gaze towards those spouses who seem to be living a more luxurious life than your family. Be pleased with what you have. The grass will always look greener on the other side. The wealthiest person is the one who has attained contentment of heart. To develop the quality of contentment, look at those people who have less than you, not those who have more. Repeatedly thank Allah Ta’ala for the many blessings in your life.

Admit Your Mistakes
When you make a mistake, admit it. When your mate makes a mistake, excuse him or her easily. If possible, never sleep angry with each other.

Past Problems
Everything that has happened is history. Repent for the past and live for the future. Do not focus discussion on the past unless it is something that will make both of you laugh.

The Duaa for a blissful marriage: "Allahumma rabana hab lana min azwaajinaa wa zurriyyatina qurrata a-ayun waj-alna lil muttaqeena imaama" (O Allah! grant us such wives and offspring who will be a source of coolness for our eyes, and make us leaders of the Allah-Fearing)