Saturday 23 July will mark an important milestone in the history of Muslims in South Africa, as the Zulu monarchy of Nkandla will be formally introduced to Islam.
The Mkhize family is regarded as the nucleus of the royal family within the Zulu nation. Most members of the family subscribe to the Lutherian Christian faith, however a small but significant part of the family had embraced Islam some 60 years ago. Their Islamic identity however had not been acknowledged as part of the royal dynasty to date.
Zulu tradition requires that Muslim members of the Mkhize family formally declare their Islamic faith before the King and Chiefs who are regarded as custodians of their culture and tradition.
Islam will thus be regarded as one of the faith strands of the royal family of the Zulu nation. It will also be officially recognised as part of the indigenous faith groups of the Zulu nation. This momentous event will take place at Nkandla and will be witnessed by King Goodwill Zwelithini and several political leaders.
“This is bound to have a profound impact on the profile on Islam and Muslims in South Africa and will dispel the notion that it’s a faith reserved for a particular race or ethnic group,” the United Ulama Council of South Africa said in a statement.
The Mkhize family have appealed to Muslims to come in their numbers and demonstrate the diversity of Muslims to the kings, the chiefs and Zulu leaders. VOC