The newly elected leadership of the Muslim Judicial Council is hopeful it can mend broken ties with the Muslim community in the Cape by tackling community issues from the ground-up. This was the impassioned call at its much anticipated inauguration of new president, Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams on Wednesday, in an affair attended by members of the community.
To mark the auspicious occasion, the MJC invited the public to freely engage with the succeeding leadership.
While proceedings took to a slow start, the white marquee, which was neatly situated in the court yard of the MJC headquarters, was filled to capacity. Proceedings began with the arrival of Abrahams, who was flanked by his predecessor, Maulana Ihsan Hendricks, Shaykh Ebrahim Gabriels, and the wife of the late Shaykh Nazeem Mohamed, the life president of the MJC.
As the guests of honour took to their seats, the event was opened with melodies qira’ah, which was rendered by Malana Saleem Gaibie and an opening dua that was rendered by Maulana MoosaTitus.
Speaking to VOC, Abrahams hailed the event as a success, saying the attendees were granted a platform to openly interact with members of the council, as well as the president himself.
Though the marquee was packed to capacity, the Shaykh said that not many questions were posed and of those that were posed, most were from the media.
“We explained to the people that this is our MJC and this is your MJC. We must [therefore] work together to take the Umah forward, since this is the time that unity is most needed,” he said.
Meanwhile Abrahams’ predecessor, Moulana Ihsan Hendricks congratulated his successor and in true Islamic brotherhood wished the new president all the best for his term in office.
He further spoke to the character of Abrahams, describing him a “truly respectable individual.”
“The best that we can give our new president is not just support, but to give him your sincere dua’s,” Hendricks said.
The work of the MJC
Abrahams noted that the work MJC is not isolated to the needs of the Muslim community, but extends to serve all of humanity.
“We respect one another, we respect the values of one another and as Muslims we preserve our aqeeda and deen.”
This sentiment was emphasised by Shaykh Gabriels, who while showing visible emotion, spoke to the vision of the MJC. He described the organization as a means to improve the community and invited all members of society to use the MJC as a mechanism to affect positive change within their communities.
With regards to the humanitarian work of the MJC, Abrahams said that the organization will be delivering 3000 food parcels to the predominantly Christian community of Loeriesfontein, in the first week of Ramadan. This programme, he asserted, is symbolic of the solidarity that the MJC shares with all communities that are in need.
In addition, Shaykh Riad Fataar explained that as directed by Abrahams, he will be visiting various madaaris, Islamic colleges, and universities, in order to strengthen relations.
The electoral process
Following the conclusion of MJC’s 2016 Annual General Meeting on April 23, 2016, the council entered into the 2016 electoral process for the positions of the Presidency, Secretary General, Treasurer, as well as the Executive Council members.
The electoral process was conducted by the Electoral Commission, which is represented by; Moulana Taha Karaan, Moulana Ihsaan Hendricks, Shaykh Shaheed Esau, Dr Yusry Toefy and Shaykh Fadil Abdul latief.
The two candidates standing for president were Shaykh Riad Fataar and Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams. Both candidates were requested to provide the majlis with a five minute presentation on their vision for the MJC.
The voting process concluded with Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams being elected as president of the MJC.
Ml. Abdul Khaliq Allie – 1st Deputy President
Sh. Riad Fataar – 2nd Deputy President
Sh. Isgak Taliep – Secretary General
Sh. Fadiel Emandien – Treasurer
Sh Ismail Ngonyana
Sh Muneer Abderouf
Ml Yusuf Arieff
Sh Dawood Terblanche
Mlna Abdul Fataah Carr
The MJC’s political stance
Abrahams explained that while the MJC has over the years developed strong relations with the African National Congress (ANC), with the exception of the president of the MJC, individuals affiliated with the organization are free to join any political party.
“Sheikh Nazeem Mohamed had a very special bond with the head of the ANC, President Nelson Mandela. The MJC [therefore] developed relations with the ANC. [But] where they do wrong, we have to keep informing them of their wrongdoings,” he continued.
Abrahams said that as requested, the MJC has provided names of individuals who it deems as having the qualities to fulfil the roles of councillors.