The Cape Malays

Posted: August 20, 2014 in Muslim Views
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I had participated in an interesting discussion, not only on that exposure of South African Muslim history (Particularly in Cape Town), but as I could dive further in the Arabic heritage within.. However, the sequence confirms my research on the contemporary Muslim world, and the roots that led to concurrent deviation, confusion and extremism as well..

The Subcontinent had contributed a lot to Muslim civilization, not only in mythical and monotheism studies but even in Arabic literature and documentations.. However, by early 1920th, dramatic changes took place due to growing nationalism and patriotism, which later concluded by the famous partition.. These changes had regretfully resulted in the birth of territorial Islam; which responded to particular properties not for the world at large..

Thus; AlMamdoudi and others had pioneered the intolerant Islam; that based on skeptics and evil-fight.. This had produced the current Extremism..

Cape Town, South Africa ·

Wisdom that all Cape Malays were taught, that started dying out from about the mid 90’s, but is still in the memories of all those who are over 50.

‘My child, don’t talk about such things, there is no FAIDAH in it’.

The word Faidah is Arabic and means Benefit. We were not taught its meaning, but knew it well by its lessons, from our mothers and fathers, by which I mean , all mothers and fathers, not only our own parents. This means that your friend’s mother was also like your mother.

This taught us what was meaningful in communication.

Then they said ‘ He talks without a ‘turn’, ‘Hy praat sonder a draai’. This meant he spoke without greeting. So when I was sent to a neighbor to collect money for fish that we sold, they sent me home without the money. My parents came to know that I only said ‘ Visgeld’ Fish money. I did not greet. Then I was given the lesson again of how to greet and and how to ask.

The small things, like greeting, excuse me, please and thank you, they said, you teach when they are small. When they are big, you can’t teach these.

In Cape Town we followed the practice, that the Khabees ( as they said ), meaning The Khabeeth (the uncouth) should marry the Khabeeth. By implication the Qanit should marry the Qanit ( the modest one). This was not a class distinction. It simply meant that they know how to communicate with each other. It aslo had nothing to do with who was more Muslim than who. Everyone accepted this.

So, we made Ratibul Haddaad, Moulood, Qadriyah, Saman; visited Kramats, attended weddings; went to Mosque for Rua, Mi’raj, Trawie (taraweeh) and Labarangs (Eids), lectures and Quira’ah, and some mainly for Maghrib Salaah, and ofcourse Juma-aat (Jumu’ah). We had Kifaits (Janazahs), Doopmals ( baptisms), and some of us had engagement and were reminded that you are not married yet. We had Ratiep. We havd Sheikhs and Imaams and lately Maulanas too. Sheikhs studied in the Arab countries, and Imams were locally taught, and later Maulanas too who were taught in India and Pakistan, and at our Darul Ulum in New Castle ( Now there are many more Darul Ulums). We had the Muslim Judicial Council and Ashura and later The Islamic Unity Convention, and ealier we had Al Jihad. We had our a few Muslim Primary Schools, built by Muslims before 1960. Our Dr Abrahams and other Muslim doctors who studied oversees before we were allowed to become doctors here.

With all these, we understood what Faidah was. Now even with our two Muslim Radio Stations, and our iTV, we don’t here this word. Has Faidah left us?


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