As the hajj season draws closer, the small community of Touwsrivier is excited to be sending their first hujjaaj on the pilgrimage; Boeta Ismail Bhayat and his wife Basheera. While the Muslim community has gained considerable momentum with the completion of their masjid and establishment of numerous initiatives, this occasion has been hailed a wonderful achievement by all.
Speaking to VOC, Bhayat, who is the chairman of Touwsrivier Islamic Society, explains that the community of Touwsrivier has expressed elation sharing in the news of the hajj journey.
He says that due to economic challenges that the community as a whole continues to face, hajj for many remains only a dream.
“We are blessed with this opportunity that Allah has gifted us. [We are the] first people to leave from Touwsrivier, so it’s quite historic.”
While the Muslim community is a minority within Touwsrivier, he says that this occasion has inspired many to try and make their dream of hajj a reality.
Having moved to Touwsrivier in 2008, Bhayat says that he and his wife joined the community with the intention of spreading and maintaining Islam within the area.
“Many people ask us why we moved to Touwsrivier. It’s such a beautiful place and people are nice as well, but the one thing that is short is the kalima.”
After years of tireless efforts, the Muslim community today boasts a masjid, madrasa, hifth classes, and residents observe Taraweeh and Jumuah.
Touwsrivier, located on the outskirts of Cape Town, lacks the industry necessary to sustain small towns. Bhayat explained that while the community mainly consists of older residents, many foreigners, particularly from Somalia and Bangladesh, are moving into the area.
Bhayat said that while many families have opted to move to Cape Town in search of better employment prospects, others have found the beauty and serenity of the town priceless.
Bhayat further noted that a few kilometres from Touwsrivier in Laingsburg, the Touwsrivier Islamic society has begun working toward strengthening and assisting the Muslim community of Laingsburg, which is soon to house a new masjid.
As the main stop for travellers travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town, he said that though the Masjid is vital for both the community, it greatly assists the masaafir who require masjid facilities and, therefore, urged the Muslim community to assist in making their dream a reality.
If you wish to assist, contact: 0833004389
The Towsrivier Islamic Society’s bank details:
Bank: Net Bank
Branch: Worchester Mountain Mill