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Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University.

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Presentation on theme: "Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 1 Greetings - As-Salaamu- Alaikum! Salaam & Salawaat upon our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful &

2 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 2 Establishment of Islam in Ireland by Muslims from South Africa Ahmed Patel Ireland

3 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 3 First thing first: Acknowledgements Thank many people:  Dr. Mohamed Coovadia, for the significant historical background information of how Muslim students arrived to study in Ireland and how Islam firmly took root in Ireland.  Dr. Tazammul Hayat, Dr. Anver Amod & Dr. Ismail Coovadia for their input & encouragement.  Organizers of the symposium

4 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 4 Outline of My Presentation Brief background history of Ireland Background to early Contacts with Islam & Muslims in Ireland Why South African students came to Ireland? Demography & ethnic background Recognition of Islam & Muslims in Ireland - Constitutional changes The evolution & activities of the Dublin Islamic Society (DIS) Early main personalities involved in the DIS Beyond the DIS, name change to Islamic Foundation of Ireland Problems and challenges facing Muslims in Ireland Conclusions Recommendations for future symposia

5 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 5 Brief Background History of Ireland The island of Ireland is politically divided into independent Republic of Ireland in the south and Northern Ireland which is part of Britain. First inhabited by humans about 6000 B.C. Celtic tribes arrived on the island between B.C. speaking an Indo-Germanic language based German, Latin, Slavonic and Persian. Followed by Vikings from Scandinavia ( ) St. Patrick arrived mid-450s to converted the Irish to Christianity & to educate them. Anglo-Norman began in the 12th century & followed English invasions Easter Monday Rebellion resulted in independence from the UK in 1921 In 1948 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth. Joined the European Union in Daniel O’ Connell [ ] advocated non violent demonstrations. In 1937 drafted 1 st Irish Constitution & in 1948 Ireland became independent. President Eamonn de Valera encouraged South African immigration to Ireland. Irish governments have sought peaceful unification of Ireland, but yet to happen. The island of Ireland is still a divided country to this day!

6 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 6 Background to Early Contacts With Islam & Muslims in Ireland Islam recent arrival in Ireland but contact for many centuries. Offa’s Islamic coin (8 th century) and Ballycottin cross (9 th century) found on the Southern coast of Ireland with an Islamic inscription. Deen Mahomet ( ) of India arrived in Cork in Mir Alaud Ali of India, Professor of Arabic, Persian and Urdu at Trinity College Dublin from 1861 to The earliest reference to Muslims found in the Slaughter of Animal Act 1935 Myth: Moors landed on the west coast of Ireland when the Spanish Armada broke up. There is evidence that Muslim ships docked at Irish ports long before the 1950s. Actual Islamic presence took place in Ireland in the 1950’s when Muslim students arrived to study, followed by increasing numbers during 1960s & 1970s. From then on indigenous Irish also started to embrace Islam.

7 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 7 Why South African Students came to Ireland? In 1948 South African (SA) regime introduced apartheid limiting entry of non-white people into SA universities. Mr. Sorabjee Rustumjee introduced by Mr. Eamon de Valera to Prof. Ray, Registrar of the Royal College of Surgeons to facilitate SA students. First batch of under 10 students arrived in Dublin around 1952, & growing to just under 100 students in the early 1960s. By the early 1970s the Muslim population in Dublin was around 300, and more than half of whom were from SA. Over the next decade, students, business people and professionals came in larger numbers from the Arabian Gulf countries, Libya and elsewhere.

8 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 8 Demography & Ethnic Background Population of island in 2006 is slightly over 5.9 million; 4.2 million in the Republic of Ireland and 1.7 million in Northern Ireland. The number of Muslim people in Ireland has changed significantly over the last ten years:  In 1991 Census, the number of Muslims was given to be around 1,468, but Muslim leaders estimated the figure to be around 6,000.  In 2002 the Muslim population had quadrupled to 19,147 from the 1991 census, (11,726 males and 7,421 females) living in Ireland.  Current projected qualified estimate is 26,000 from the latest Population Census of April 2006, other sources estimate it to be about 40,000. The Muslim community is relatively well organised with a number of mosques, schools & societies. Many of the Muslims living in Ireland are Irish citizens. A sizeable percentage of the Muslim community in Ireland are asylum seekers & refugees. Ireland is now a multi-religious, multi-ethnic & multi-cultural society.

9 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 9 Recognition of Islam & Muslims in Ireland - Constitutional changes Religion is Constitutionally guaranteed without favouring any particular faith. The Roman Catholic religion representing 88.4%, Church of Ireland 3%, other Christians 1.6%, Islam 0.6% other 0.9%, unspecified 2%, none 3.5% (official Irish Government Census held during 2002). Recognition of Islam in Ireland  Islamic religion was not mentioned specifically in Article 44 of the Irish Constitution for 1937 because there was no Muslim existence in Ireland at that time.  Article 44 does note: “The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion.”  In 1973 this Article was deleted from the constitution to recognise all faiths.  For practical purposes the State recognises Christianity, Islam & Judaism in areas of education, marriage & participation of the representatives at official State functions.  Ban on divorce was also removed from the Constitution in 1993.

10 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 10 The Evolution & Activities of the Dublin Islamic Society (DIS) From there was no collective Muslim activity in Dublin or elsewhere in Ireland. Between , a group of students performed Jummah Salaat (Prayers) in private residence. In January 1959 students met to form an Islamic Committee (quasi-DIS) to organize Jummah & Eid Salaat. In April 1959 the DIS was officially constituted & the activities centred around performing Jummah and Eid Salaat held in Koinonia House in central Dublin. Salaat times and Ramadaan time tables were regularly published and distributed. In 1967 some members felt the need to secure a permanent building for the community. Led to forming Dublin Islamic Centre Fund Raising Association (DICFRA) to collect funds. By 1969 it was realised that the Muslim population had increased and Koinonia House was no longer able to accommodate the musalees (congregation) for Jummah Salaat. DICFRA was disbanded at an Extraordinary Meeting of the DIS to take over this project. Two senior Syrian brothers, Ahmed Bilal and Adnaan Kasab quietly guided members to take an active part in the affairs of the Society. The objective was to strengthen unity of the community (ukhoowa) & through mutual consultation (shura) by holding workshops and forming many sub-committees (SC) to closely liaise with the Executive Committee. Members gravitated to their areas of interest in these committees, on avg. 7 persons/SC. Within a short span of time between 50 to 60 people were directly involved with the Society.

11 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 11 First Persons Involved in the DIS Chairman (President): Br. Hoosen Lockhat (South African) Secretary: Br. Yousuf Jhavary (South African) Treasurer: Br. Ismail Docrat (South African) Committee Members: Br. Zakideen Zaveri (Tanzanian) Br. Ahmad Al-Atrash (Syrian) Br. Ebrahim Mannah (Egyptian) Br. Harith Lamki (Egyptian) Br. Abdullah Al-Kathiri (Syrian)

12 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 12 Other Notables Involved in the DIS Br. Abdul Razack Kichik – a superb Qari of the Quraan (Malaysia) Sister Wan Aziza – wife of Br. Dr. Anwer Ebrahim. (former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia). In March 1971 the students registered DIS under the Friendly Society’s Act & in October 1971 the following students became the nominees of the Trustee for proper management of affairs of the Society: 1) Br. Ebrahim Sayed (South African) 2) Br. Khalil Ravan (South African) 3) Br. Tazammul Hassan (Hussain) Hayat (South African) 4) Br. Mohamed Hanief Khan(South African) 5) Br. Abdul Kader Bhabha (South African) 6) Br. Abdol Haqq Suleman Kajee (South African) 7) Sr. Fatima Chaudry Malon (Indian/Pakistani) 8) Br. Hamed Hussain Nasser (South African) 9) Br. Hassan Kadwa (South African) Br. Mahomed Coovadia (South African) was appointed as Trustee in place of Ebrahim Sayed. During the period 1967 – 1975 he also served as Secretary and Vice-President of the DIS. In November 1975 New Trustees were appointed: 1)Br. Tazammul Hussain (Hussain) Hayat (South African) 2)Br. Ahmed Goolam Mohamed Adam (South African) 3)Br. Salem Azzam (Saudi Arabian, based in the UK) 4)Br. Dr. Ismail Coovadia(South African, now Irish national) 5)Br. Abdul Hamid Nasser (1976) (South African) 6)Br. Mahmood Y. Motala (1976) (South African)

13 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 13 DIS Sub-Committees The Centre SC  Their brief was to prepare plans for the Centre, to canvass support for it and to secure funds for its establishment.  In 1970, rose funds from South Africa, and approximately IP£11, 000 was collected. The Government of Abu Dhabi donated approximately IP£1,500 & the Saudi Embassy donated approximately IP£18,000. In 1976 a building was purchased in Harrington Street, Dublin 6, which was the first Mosque in Ireland. Publication SC: Regular Monthly Newsletters and an Annual Magazine were published. Social SC: Regular sporting events were organized by this group.. Cemetery SC: In 1976 The Dublin Islamic Society bought a small separate plot in Mount Jerome cemetery, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6. Anti-misrepresentation of Islam SC: This group responded to the media, particularly in correcting misconceptions of the Deen. Women’s SC: Sisters met, discussed and worked on matters of mutual interest, organised frequent dinners, Iftaar in Ramadaan, etc. Education SC: Weekly Halaqah Meetings; ran a madressa class for children; annual Education Conference. Zabeeha SC: This group took turns in slaughtering animals on a weekly basis on a farm outside of Dublin.

14 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 14 Some Early Reverts to Islam First Irish Muslim was Ahmed Saul. Second Irish person a Patrick Conway who renamed himself Mohammad Conway. Third Irish person was a Mr. Gerry Adam who renamed himself Abdullah Adam. The first Irish lady was Fatima Maloney. She also served as secretary on the DIS executive.

15 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 15 Other DIS Activities & Membership Talks / Lectures / Seminars: Brothers Omar Austin from England, a brother Prof. Khurshid Ahmed of Pakistan from Islamic Foundation in the UK, and Sheikh Ahmed Deedat. FOSIS Membership:  DIS original member of FOSIS from its inception in  DIS members regularly attended annual FOSIS conferences in the UK. Islamic Council in Europe: DIS attended the inaugural meeting of Islamic Council in Europe in London in early 1970s, forming a close association.

16 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 16 Must Confess & Acknowledge It must be stressed that while the overwhelming majority of Muslim students where from South Africa, there were other students from Syria, Malaysia, Egypt and other countries who jointly contributed in the formation and successful functioning of the DIS. Its membership was open to all Muslims from any part of the world. The resulting success of DIS was due to active participation of most Muslim students and non-students in the affairs of the DIS. It must be acknowledged that the evolution of a Muslim Community emerging from different nationalities is Allah (SWT)’s way of creating a unified singular Ummah. The Muslim Community of the Republic of Ireland is a very good example of this concept. Alhamdulliah!

17 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 17 Beyond the DIS to formation of the Islamic Foundation of Ireland In July 1990 DIS became Islamic Foundation of Ireland (IFI). Religious links Muslims in Irish Politics Business & Professional Educational Social European Council for Fatwa and Research. Project to Translate the Qur’an into Irish. Muslim Scouts of Ireland to cater for the activities of the youth Islamic Institutions: well over 20 Mosque, Islamic Centres, Societies & Associations Most of the big hospitals, universities & business complexes have Salaat (Prayer) & Ablution facilities Irish Council of Imaams to oversee the spritual needs of the Muslims Muslim National Schools

18 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 18 Problems & Challenges Facing Muslims in Ireland Upbringing and education of children in the non-Islamic environment. Mixed marriages Insufficient finances due to the small size of the community in Ireland: lack of Mosques, Islamic ethos etc. More facilities are required for the teaching of the Arabic language, which is the language of the Qur’an is a very important aspect of every Muslim. Differences and disagreements between Muslims, especially those who are affiliated to different political groups can result in division. Islamaphobia in general: Hijab, 9/11, 7/7 etc The National Consultative Committee on Racism & Interculturalism to root out hatred. Sporadic incidents related to racism experienced by the Islamic community. Muslim women are particular targets for verbal abuse regarding their dress. Religious bias, intolerance and racism in workplaces. The Muslim Community in Ireland is making every endeavor to overcome these obstacles and build bridges with the wider community for harmonious co-existence and without sacrificing their religious values.

19 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 19 Conclusions South African Muslims made a significant contribution with their efforts & presence. Alhumdulillah, Islam is a recognized faith in Ireland & Muslims well respected. Islam belongs to the “east and west” and it is not the monopoly of one people alone. As stated in the Qur’an (17:17), and that God is One and that He is the Merciful Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher of all. We are in a unique position in having the opportunity to freely practice the faith while contributing socially, economically and even politically to Irish society. “Shahada” of Islam in Ireland will bring a great deal of good to all its people. Notwithstanding the differences in a multi-denomination, multi-cultural, multi- ethnic and multi-national Ireland, the Muslim community increasingly feels at home here. Although we are still a small community, people know each other. They feel more a part of the community." We were honoured and privileged to be part of the movement. We thank Allah (SWT) for guiding us. What next?   

20 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 20 Recommendations for Future Symposia  It is proposed that future symposiums should invite persons persons from South Africa who actively participated in establishing & contributing to Islam in Ireland.  I very strongly propose that Dr. Mohamed Coovadia be specifically invited to research, document and present the complete picture of the contributions that South African Muslims made to establishing Islam in Ireland.  It is also proposed that the participating organisations of this symposium prepare a plan to encourage links between South Africa and Ireland to formally establish exchange of Islamic and cultural events, business and enterprise, etc.  Organise a full international conference on SA Muslim contribution worldwide.

21 Organised by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture (IRCICA), the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA) & the University of Johannesburg 1-3 September 2006International Symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Southern AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa 21 Closing Dua Request & Greeting Please remember the Ummah of Nabi SAW in your humble duas! Was-Salaamu-Alaikum – Waramatullah-Wabaraakatun!


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