The International Sacred Trusts Exhibition has been moved to Gatesville masjid, following objections that the original venue was non-compliant. The exhibition features the priceless relics of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), dating back 1,440 years. It was meant to be held at the Palestine Human Rights Centre in Woodstock.
The Exhibition’s spokesperson Shafiq Morton says the organisers were sent a notice from the City of Cape Town that the museum was non-complaint. He, however, emphasised that while the centre’s building is structurally complete, the exhibition was only meant to take place on the ground and first floors. He added that the exhibition had all the necessary fire precautions, security and even guides. To avoid conflict, the committee last night made a decision to move the event to Masjidul-Quds.
The exhibition now takes place at Gatesville Mosque from the 4 – 6 March from 9 am to 10 pm daily.
“The decision was taken last night by the exhibition committee in the light of the City Council responding to an alleged complaint about the original venue, the Al Kaaf Human Rights Centre and Palestine Museum in District Six, being unfinished and unfit to host an event,” said the organisers in a statement.
Director of the centre, Anwah Nagia, said that the building was seven stories high, and that only the ground and first floors would have been used for the exhibition.
All the paperwork for the event on these floors regarding fire safety, security, emergency exits and evacuation had been submitted, and all event criteria had been met.
Nagia said the decision to relocate was taken in the light of keeping peace and dignifying the occasion, which he said no-one wanted to marr with any kind of unpleasantness.
The items on display are extensive. They range from a hair of the Prophet, to one of his sandals, a cloak, the piece of another cloak that has a miraculous smell of musk (said to be the scent of the Prophet himself), a piece of the Prophet’s turban, dust from his grave and an ancient lock used on his burial place in Medina’s Grand Mosque.
Nagia said that to accommodate the public and to maximise the rare opportunity of seeing Prophetic relics, special provisions had been made to ensure the exhibition would be open 24 hours. He said that the relics would be displayed in the same fashion as at the famous Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.
Nagia thanked his committee and paid tribute to Al Quds mosque in Gatesville for their generosity in taking over the historic exhibition at the last minute.