To provide for the spiritual, religious, educational, social, economic, moral and political needs and responsibilities of the Muslim community.
To become a relevant, cohesive, competent and professional service provider for the diverse segments of the Muslim community.
Core Purpose / Objective:
Relevant leadership, uniting, developing, guiding and representing Muslims.
To enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and to foster the true ‘Aqaa-id (Principle Beliefs) and Practices of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa‘ah.
To protect, preserve and promote the Sunnah of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
To further brotherhood and co-operation in the Muslim community and to co-ordinate religious activity.
To expound the Shari‘ah (Islamic Law).
To protect, preserve and promote the religious rights of the Muslims.
To promote, develop and maintain religious, cultural, educational, social, economic, charitable services and general upliftment of mankind.
To protect the honour and interest of the Muslims.
To establish and maintain Islamic Social Order among the Muslims.
To protect the individual and collective rights of the Muslims.
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa has a membership of a few hundred scholars and huffaadh of the Noble Qur’aan in the provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State and Northern Cape.
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa is affiliated to:
United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA)
South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)
Muslim Prisons Board (MPB)
National Religious Leaders Forum (NRLF)
Southern Africa Ulama Forum (SAUF)
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa was formed in 1923 as the Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal and was established for the purpose of serving the religious needs of the Muslims.
The great scholars who rejuvenated the organisation in the mid 1930’s were people like the late Maulana Muhammad Mia RA, Mufti Ebrahim Sanjalvi RA, Maulana Muhammad Akhalwaya RA, Maulana ‘Abdul Qader Malikpuri RA, Maulana Moosa Nana RA, Maulana Saleh Mangera RA, Maulana Sulayman Annandwi RA, Maulana Ismail Yusuf Gardee RA, Maulana Isma'il Kachwee RA and many others. Many ‘Ulama, too numerous to mention, spent their lives serving Islam and the Muslims through the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa. The late Mufti Sanjalvi RA, for instance, served as the Mufti of the organisation for approximately 40 years until he passed away.
While the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa paid attention to the overall Islamic needs of the Muslims, the initial emphasis was on education. As early as 1951, we find the drawing up of a syllabus for the entire former Transvaal region, and correspondence on the suggestions of various ‘Ulama like Maulana Ahmad Hathurani RA on the improvements to the syllabus is on record from as early as 1946. Since there was always an ongoing concern to improve the standard of education in the maktabs (religious schools), in 1961 the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa hosted a seminar under the auspices of Qari Muhammad Tayyib RA (Rector of Darul Uloom Deoband) in which a resolution was passed to adopt a unified syllabus for all makaatib in the region. Of late, members of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa have played an active role in the establishment of Muslim schools, and the syllabus of the organisation is being largely followed in many of these schools.
As early as 1927, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa published its first book designed for Shafi-‘i students and adults guiding them in the manner of performing Salah (prayer). In 1938, the famous Nasbur Raayah (an essential reference book on al-Hidaayah - a leading Hanafi (Fiqh text) and Faydhul Baari (a commentary of Sahih al-Bukhaari written by the world renowned scholar 'Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri) was published. These books enjoy international recognition in academic circles. In the late 1950’s, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa arranged for the translation of a book called Taalimul Islam, which is a widely acclaimed text on basic Fiqh (jurisprudence) authored by Mufti Kifayatullah RA (Grand Mufti of India). This was intended for implementation in the affiliate makaatib. Since then, the organisation has kept up a continuous string of publications and pamphlets, motivated only for the Islah (reformation) of the Ummah.
In the 1950’s, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa took up the cudgels with the Nationalist Government against the Group Areas Act and succeeded in defending our Masaajid (places of worship) and Makaatib from the bulldozers of the oppressive regime. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, while the emphasis was still very much on education, interaction with government on Muslim affairs, like Muslim Personal Law, and the need to monitor halal and haram (permissible and impermissible food consumption) more closely became increasingly necessary. By the late 1960’s, proper hilaal (moon-sighting) procedures were already in place and radio announcements of the starting of Ramadan and ‘Eid were already aired by the mid-1970’s.
In the mid 1970's, a film titled "The Message" with depictions of the Sahabah radhiyallahu anhum was released in South Africa despite it being banned in many other parts of the world. The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa took up the matter with the Films and Publication Board and following two weeks of hearings the film was banned. Two 'Ulama from the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa were sent to Zimbabwe at the time where they assisted the Muslims in appealing the film and successfully get it banned there as well.
As the needs of the Muslim community grew, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa correspondingly responded. The 1980’s is noted for the leading role the organisation played in the infamous Qadiyani case in the Cape along with the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC). It was also in the late 1980’s, that more branches and representatives were needed to service the ever-growing and geographically diverse Muslim population. It was just not possible to service the entire former Transvaal Muslim community from one Head Office. Several more branches came into existence, and today, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa has seven fully operational branches and six zonal representatives, Alhamdulillah.
The need of a newsletter was also consequently felt and in February 1989, the quarterly Ar-Rasheed, was launched. The 1990’s inaugurated the organisation into a completely new era: an era of rapid change, expansion, and diversification. The need for providing counseling services for the Muslim community was realized in 1992 by three Muslim women who had identified the demand for professional psycho-social services in the community. This prompted a partnership with the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa and thus the establishment of the Islamic Careline.
In 1994, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa was one of the prime movers in the formation of the United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA), a national ‘Ulama body representing Muslims on national issues. Today, the council has nine ‘Ulama bodies as its members. In the same year, a high powered ‘Ulama delegation under the auspices of UUCSA also met with former President Nelson Mandela, who gave his personal assurance that his government would ensure that all obstacles are removed in the path of Muslims for the recognition of Muslim marriages.
Among the many researched memorandums which the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa submitted to the government included the issue of pornography, abortion, the introduction of religious education in state schools, capital punishment and many others.
Over the past two decades the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa’s commitment towards bringing the work of Da’wah to a wider audience has seen the formation and significant growth of their radio station, Radio Islam International. Although the radio station was established in 1993, it was only granted a license in April 1997 and its first signal broadcast was on the 10 April 1997. The station has an extremely wide listener base, with its programming content appealing to both young and old. Through the air-to-air medium the Ummah has now the ability to interact with each other over broader issues. In essence, Radio Islam International has become the focal point as a learning channel for many families. It has grown in leaps and bounds with many presenters securing acclaimed awards of recognition in the sector.
As a result of a range of challenges in the Halaal regulatory industry, a solution was realized in the amalgamation of all role players in the monitoring and certification of Halaal. This arduous and momentous task reached fruition after almost two years of vigorous consultation and negotiation. 95% of stake holders embraced this noble national initiative and against all odds SANHA (South African National Halaal Authority) was finally launched on 20 October 1996. The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa played a significant role in the establishment of this organisation and continues to serve on the executive board of SANHA. Today, SANHA has established itself on the global scene as a recognized entity servicing the Halaal sector.
The Transvaal appellation has since been dropped in the official name of the organisation in line with the new political dispensation, hence the new appellation Jamiatul Ulama South Africa. The expansion of the organisation warranted the need for a bigger and more conducive premises to ensure that the activities of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa are carried out more effectively and efficiently. In 2001 the Head Office was relocated to Baitul Hamd, 32 Dolly Rathebe Road, in Fordsburg.
The executive of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa realized the need to established an institute which would provide such education that would rekindle a holistic scholarship within the disciplines of Arabic and Islamic Studies. After consultation on the matter with various leading international scholars such as Mufti Nizamudeen RA and Maulana 'Abdullah Kaporawi RA, it led to the formation of Jami‘ah al-Uloom al-Islamiyyah in 2005. It was envisaged that the institution would provide quality education within a context where Muslim scholars are challenged with understanding Islam in a world where rapid developments have brought about changes of varying types.
The year 2013 marked 90 years since the establishment of the organisation. The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa in no way regards its activities as solely fulfilling all the needs of the Muslim Ummah - far from it. Much is being contributed by other structures of the Ummah and all these activities must complement each other while working in their respective areas of activity. While the need constantly rises, more manpower and resources are needed.