1694 TO 1998

THE NAQSHBANDIYYA ORDER IN SA – 1694 TO 1998 The common view is that we have to go back to Shaykh Yusuf of Macassar to trace the beginnings of the Naqshbandi Order in SA. Shaykh Yusuf travelled widely and it was in Yemen in about 1649 that he was initiated into the Naqshbandiyya order by Shaykh Abd al-Bāqīal-Mizjāji al Naqshbandi, who was associated with the Indian Shaykh, Shaykh Tājudīn Zakariyyah. He arrived in Cape Town as a political exile on 2 April 1694 at the age of 68 years. He died in 1699, and thus only stayed here for five years, and it is not sure whether he initiated any slaves into the Naqshbandiyya Order. Although it is unclear whether and to what extent Shaykh Yusuf brought any Naqshbandiyya teachings and practices to the Cape, there is a view that he must have done so, particularly in the light of the fact that he was initiated into the order and adopted a personal preference for the Naqshbandi silent dhikr. Shaykh Yusuf (da Costa) maintains that some Naqshbandiyya teachings and practices must also have come to the Cape in the early 1900s through Sufi Saheb and Maulana Abdul Latīf of the Habibiyyah College. The Chistiyyah Habibiyyah Order, to which they belonged, absorbed a number of Naqshbandiyya practices through their Shaykh, Khwaja Habib Ali Shah, whose family up to his father had been in the Naqshbandiyya Order. The Chishtiyyah Habibiyyah Order is in fact a combination of the Qadiriyyah, Chishtiyyah and Naqshbandiyya Orders. In addition to being inducted into other sufi orders, Shaykh Muĥammad Śāliĥ of the Azzawia Masjid (1871-1945) was also inducted into the Naqshbandiyya order in 1934, at a formal ceremony conducted by a Naqshbandi delegation from Madina at the shrine of Tuan Ja’far in 1934. Shaykh Śāliĥ is credited with having made of the greatest contributions to Islamic religious education in the history of Cape Town and possibly the whole of South Africa. It is also reported that Shaykh Śāliĥ performed both the Qadiri and Naqshbandi versions of the Khatme Khwajagan. Further Naqshbandiyya influence was brought to the Cape by Sayyid Abdul-Qadir al-Naqshbandi, a Syrian who arrived in the Cape in 1950 and lived near Shaykh Yusuf’s shrine in Faure. Again there is no evidence of him establishing the Naqshbandiyya Order in the Cape, but we know that he spent most of his time teaching. He passed away in November 1985. Master Ismail Chogle was granted khilāfat in the Naqshbandiyya Order by his Shaykh, Shaykh Abdul-Gaffoor Shah alQadiri al-Naqshbandi Allahabadi of India. He did not initiate anyone into the Naqshbandiyya Order. In 1981 his son, Abdul-Hay Chogle of Athlone, took bay’ah with Shaykh Abdul-Gaffoor, who also granted him khilāfat into the Naqshbandiyya Order in 1986. Although he holds the weekly Naqshbandiyya dhikr with his family, he also did not initiate anyone into the Naqshbandiyya Order. We thus see very little known evidence of the growth of the Naqshbandiyya Order in SA, under the khilāfats of Shaykh Abdul-Qadir, Master Ismail Chogle

1998 TO DATE

THE NAQSHBANDIYYA ORDER IN SA – 1998 TO PRESENT The real growth in the Naqshbandiyya Order has been experienced in the period from 1998 onwards, commencing with the establishment in that year, of the Haqqani Foundation of SA in Cape Town by Shaykh Hishām Kabbani, a Khalifah of Maulāna Shaykh Muhammad Nāzim Al-Haqqani of Cyprus, the head of the worldwide Naqshbandiyya Order. Shaykh Nāzim is considered to be the qutub and mujjaddid, i.e. a reviver of Islam of this age. Through Shaykh Hishām, Shaykh Nāzim appointed Shaykh Yusuf da Costa as his khalīfah in Southern Africa, in 1998. A major impetus was provided by the nationwide visit to SA in 2000 by Shaykh Nāzim, accompanied by Shaykh Hishām and a host of other murids from all over the world. During his stay, Shaykh Nāzim: Lectured in all the main centres in SA; Delivered up to three daily talks at the residence of Shaykh Yusuf da Costa; Gave bay’ah to hundreds of people; Gave individual spiritual guidance to many; and Inspired his murids and others to give Almighty Allah priority in their lives. The khilāfat of Shaykh Yusuf da Costa and the visit by Shaykh Nāzim sparked a decade of remarkable growth of the Naqshbandiyya Order and its contribution to the promotion of Islam in Southern Africa. More than 600 people attended the first public Naqshbandiyya dhikr in the Habibia Soofi Masjid in November 2000 Practices and Activities The Naqshbandiyya Order practices and activities are based on three pillars, viz.: (i) The remembrance of Allah (dhikr). (ii) Being for Allah. (iii) Being for Allah’s cause, i.e. the deen of Islam. In relation to these pillars, the following practices activities are conducted: (i) Dhikr (the remembrance of Allah) There has been a phenomenal growth in the number of congregational Naqshbandi dhikrs conducted in Southern Africa from Thursdays to Sundays: In Cape Town we have a weekly congregational dhikr in a different Masjid every week. There are approximately 25 weekly congregational dhikrs taking place either on a weekly or monthly basis in South Africa. In verse 45 of Surah Al ‘Ankabūt, Allah (SWT) says ‘wala dhikrullahi akbar’, meaning ‘and the remembrance of Allah is the greatest’. In Bayhaqi it is narrated that Abd Allah ibn Umar (ra) said that the Prophet (SAWS) said that dhikr is the polish of the heart, and that the most calculated to rescue from Allah’s punishment is dhikr, even more so than jihād. In Bayhaqi, Hakim, Tabarani and a few others it is narrated that Jabir (ra) said that the Prophet (SAWS) encouraged participation in the gardens of paradise, which he (SAWS) described as being the gatherings of dhikrullah. It is on the basis of these Quranic and Prophetic injunctions that the Naqshbandi tariqah promotes the deen of Islam primarily through the medium of dhikr. A combined youth dhikr was initiated with other Turooq in Cape Town and is held on a monthly basis. Thus far 8 other Turooq attend this youth dhikr. Our youth are kept steadfast on the way of the Naqshbandiyya. Joint programmes are attended on significant nights in the Islamic Calendar such as Moulood and Muharram. (ii) Being for Allah There are a number of murids who give tirelessly and unselfishly of their time and resources to the activities of the Naqshbandiyya Order. In addition to the dhikr activities outlined above, there is also the An-Nisā subcommittee that sees to the spiritual and educational upliftment of women, and other subcommittees that attend to issues including da’wah, media, fundraising, finance, and advertising and website affairs. (iii) Being for Allah’s cause Our efforts are intended solely for the cause of Almighty Allah (SWT), to spreading the deen of Islam amongst the poor, through particularly