Durban – WITH Heritage Day being a day away, the South African Muslim Network will be having its fifth Annual Mosque Open day.
Samnet chairperson, Dr Faisal Suliman, said: “On Heritage Day, South Africans engage with and learn about other cultures, celebrate their history and how far we have come as an integrated society. In encouraging this theme, the National Mosque Open Day provides a platform for anyone to see what goes on inside a Mosque. This initiative is to promote social cohesion and encourage the building of the rainbow nation.”
He said the reasoning behind the Open Day was to give non-Muslims an inside look at what Muslims do inside a mosque, and why they do it. Suliman said this was a countrywide wide effort to share Islam with the rest of the country. He also said the Open Days have been quite successful.
“With 45 Mosques registered, the 2019 National Mosque Open Day hosted over 2 000 participants across six provinces. People of all faiths (or none), cultures and ethnicities visited the Mosques in their communities for a two hour programme…The 2018 National Mosque Open Day campaign hosted over 800 participants across 20 mosques.
Participants left the mosque with a better understanding of Islam, a sense of community and more accurate information and mutual understanding that it brings,” Suliman said.
South Africa was not the only country that held such open days. He said mosques in the United States, Australia and parts of Europe also had such days where the public could educated on Islam and how mosques operate.
He also said the recent judgement against the Azaan had not affected how they operated and that it was business as usual.
Last month the matter between Chandra Giri Ellaurie, an Isipingo resident, and the Madrasah Taleemuddeen Islamic Institute in Isipingo, made national headlines.
The Daily News reported that Chandra Giri Ellaurie, had taken the institution to court, complaining that the call to prayer infringed on his privacy and dignity.
Judge Sidwell Mngadi ordered that the Madrasah Taleemuddeen Islamic Institute that the calls to prayer were not audible within Ellaurie’s property which was 20 metres away from the institute.
The institute filed papers to appeal.
Suliman said the Coronavirus had changed life for everyone.
“Mosques have implemented social distancing and other procedures to limit numbers, enforce strict protective measures to follow government regulations and rules.
For National Mosque Open day this year, Mosques are encouraged to host virtual programmes and those unable to, if and when opening the Mosque to the public, implement social distancing and have safe protocols in place to avoid close interaction during the tour/meet and greet or Question and Answer session,” he said.