By Reyhana Mahomed
The Muslim Student Association (MSA) hosted their annual Islamic Week from 1-5 August this year and welcomed both Muslims and non-Muslims to participate.
Islamic week is unique to Rhodes University, explains Abdul Wahid, the president of MSA. One of the executive members of MSA attended a camp with other MSA executive members from universities around the country and “they were taken aback by the idea of having a week dedicated to the teachings of Islam,” said Wahid.
“Islamic week is a chance for Muslims to get to know more about their religion” said Wahid. He emphasised however that Islamic week is not only limited to Muslims, but “non-Muslims are more than welcome to attend the lectures.” Islamic week is for people who want to know what Islam is about. “I have seen the church,” said Wahid. “The curiosity is gone for me; it will be an enlightenment for the non-Muslims to see our church”.
There was an information booth with displays on the literature of Islam outside the library throughout the week and members of MSA provided some enlightenment to students with regard to stereotypes regarding Islam and Muslims. “I have a very good understanding of Islam now. Islam is a perfect religion and answers every question of humankind” said Sekai Lana Tombe, a first year BSc student.
Many students questioned the dress code of women in Islam saying that they will never dress in that manner. Vuyo Pangeni, a second year BSc student now understands why Muslim women dress in a specific manner. “It is amazing to see that women in Islam understand how to be pure before God.”
This year’s theme was “Shaping today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders” and all lectures took place at the Jamaat Khana in Prince Alfred Street. The lectures are followed by an interactive question and answer session.
The lectures are designed to broaden people’s understanding of Islam and the way of life of a Muslim.
“I never knew about Islamic week but I think it is a great thing and will urge my friends to join me in attending the lectures” said Mcebisi Ngqina, a first year BA student.