From the news desk

That music thing…eish

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When I log on to the VOC website nowadays my ears start to buzz. And no, it’s not the last surviving hive of African bees in Cape Town flying around my head. It’s this music debate. It just won’t go away.

For a long time I’ve felt that distance and discretion have been the better part of valour, especially judging the cyber-jihad being waged in the comments section on the topic of Desert Rose being censured/banned by an MJC fatwa – a fatwa that itself has been censured by another fatwa (phew).

However, I feel there’s an important part of the story not being told.

Now, what do I mean by this?

What I mean is that any injunction in Islamic law has to have an “illah”, or a derivative cause. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise this. No cause, no effect. Remove the cause, and the effect disappears. Remove the illah, and the hukm becomes invalid.

In other words, a fatwa (a juridicial opinion) and a hukm (a juridicial ruling) have to stand on very firm foundations indeed.

My question: has anybody honestly investigated the cause of this hugely unpleasant saga – one that has left us staffers at VOC chewing shrapnel as we take the blows, duck the crossfire and stand accused of being “guilty” of something 99,9% of us had no hand in.

I ask the question because all this unecessary unpleasantness appears to derive from a senior member of our community trying to physically stop the performance of  Desert Rose at their Imam Ghazali concert and launch of the “Awakenings” album in April this year.

I actually saw this person trying to do it, and like all those present, was absolutely astonished . Others in the audience said they were shocked by his rudeness in front of international dignitaries, academics and prominent members of the MJC – whose decorum, given the circumstances, I could only admire.

This person, not satisfied with making a public scene of himself, then chose public platforms to slander the Imam Ghazali event as well as members of the ‘ulama .

In all humility, I just have one simple question: was this man’s behaviour (repeated at the recent Palestinian festival) the illah of the fatwa? I sincerely hope not. Please let it not be so!

Then there’s another question: was all this hullabaloo necessary? Who gave anybody the right to assume what Desert Rose’s intentions were without consulting them? (Which was the case).

Surely, the most dignified way out would have been to firstly discuss the matter with all the parties concerned?

Obviously, the opinions of halal, haram, mubah, haram, makruh etc. are for others to consider – but as VOC staffers the crosswinds of khilaf (difference of opinion) have been an unpleasant wind blowing through our lives. Remember that it’s us who literally have to “face the music”.

Let’s hope – without any of us being prejudicial, presumptious or prescriptive – that common sense and goodwill can prevail with truth and justice (on whichever side) being the winner.

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  1. Very bold piece Shafiq.
    We need more journalists like you. I was also at the conference and am still stupified by the behaviour of that man at the opening event. And these are supposed to be our leaders who represent Islam. What a difference there is between the Islam I have been taught and the actions of these people. How much longer would it take our communities to produce more scholars of the calibre of Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad whom I had the good fortune of meeting at the conference. What an inspiring breath of fresh air it was to listen to him. Subhanallah, these are the true bearers of the mantle of Islam.

  2. good reading.perhaps the functioning of the fatwa committee should be examined in more secular law,one has the law reports and cases that are important in the development of the law gets that record,one can peruse the legal question,5the facts before the court,the evidence and very importantly how the court had arrived at its finding.if there is a minority judgement,then this is also part of the record.
    those interested can read the document(easy to read even for the layperson).does THE MJC have such a record?
    does any ulema body have a record of fatawa and juridical rulings?please post your well considered response.thank you.

    1. Salams Riyaaz

      I should assume that is the case. A file/document/folder of MJC futuwwa must exist. Perhaps it should be uploaded on to their website. I personally feel the MJC has to re-invent itself as a judiciary and not get embroiled in politics – but that’s just a personal view.


    2. Sorry, forgot to mention that there is a 20 volume (or so) book set of Futuwwa issued by the Al-Azhar. The futuwwa are not confined to the Shafi’i madh-hab. Perhaps the MJC should purchase a set for their library? I personally find the authentic futuwwa very interesting, as you see the finest minds on this earth exercising their intellects – and sometimes from opposite poles, but always so convincing you don’t know which way to go.

      I remember at a conference in the US seeing two al-Azharis arguing passionately about the moon issue, so passionately I thought they were going to strangle each other! When the debate was over, they walked out the auditorium hand-in-hand, and I saw them at lunch chatting amiably as if nothing had happened.

      What a lesson in adab!

  3. thank you for your response.a point to remember is that as we as a religious minority enter into the law(muslim personal law etc),we as adherents to the islamic faith will not be excluded from the freedom of information act in our country.

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