Imam of Khayelitsha Masjid makes a passionate call
for active da`wah to be restored as an integral part of
Muslim practice in South Africa
During his khutbah at the Claremont Main Road Masjid on Heritage Day, Friday September 24, 2010, Imam Ismaaeel Ngqoyiyana of the Sayyidina Bilal Masjid in Khayelitsha made an impassioned plea for the established Muslim community in South Africa to embrace active da`wah i.e. actively inviting or calling people to Islam, as a central part of their practice of Islam. He invoked the Qur’anic verse 125 from Surah al-Nahl, chapter 16, in support of his counsel:
“Call unto the path of your Lord with wisdom and goodly counsel. And present the cause of Islam to them through arguments which are best.”
Imam Ismaaeel distinguished between what he called passive da`wah, which was witnessing to Islam through one’s actions and active d`awah – by which he meant verbally calling or inviting people to Islam.
He argued that in contemporary times Islam was not able to be spread via business and commercial ventures liked some of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad did when they spread Islam in parts of Africa. He chastised Muslim businessmen whom he says were not providing good examples of what it means to be a Muslim. He asked why after celebrating 300 years of Islam in South Africa Muslims were still very much a small minority. This proves, he contended, that passive d`awah via business enterprises was not effective at all.
Imam Ismaeel Ngqoyiyana said that he had embraced Islam through the invitation of someone who had converted to Islam through the da`wah work Al-Shahid Imam Abdullah Haron. He called on those who claim to be following the example of Imam Haron to revitalize this important dimension of his life.
Imam Ismaeel’s khutbah was challenging but represents a point of view among some sections of the Black Muslim community that needs to be considered and engaged with. The full khutbah is currently being transcribed and will be posted on this website for comment and feedback. In the meantime CMRM congregants who listened to the khutbah are invited to share their views in the comments section.