Quraan
وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ
Yet verily your Lord is mighty and merciful.

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PRESS STATEMENT: Zeenatul Islam Masjid (Muir Street) position on complaint to City of Cape Town regarding Athaan (call to prayer)

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THE ZEENATUL ISLAM MASJID TRUST

PRESS STATEMENT: Zeenatul Islam Masjid (Muir Street) position on complaint to City of Cape Town regarding Athaan (call to prayer)

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

The Zeenatul Islam Masjid has noted the overwhelming public response to the complaint the City of Cape Town has received with regards to its Athaan (call to prayer).

We are heartened by the many messages of support by people of different faiths.

The Masjid wishes to place the following on record:

1) The masjid’s trustees have been engaging the City of Cape Town about the complaint, by a single individual, and have resolved to look at the matter after the holy month of Ramadan. However, the public discourse and number of media enquiries have prompted the masjid to issue this statement.

2) The masjid’s position is that the Athaan has been rendered audibly by the best means available since its inception in 1919. This continued through District Six’s establishment in Cape Town as a vibrant community and continued through the forced removals. The call to prayer still exists today and the masjid has become part of the social fabric of the greater Cape Town area, together with the churches that remain and were also resistant to the apartheid government.

3) The different calls to worship by mosques, churches and other places of worship is integral to the fabric of District Six and this diversity has spread to the rest of the world. Cape Town – the birthplace of Islam in South Africa 325 years ago – prides itself as an embracing city of many cultures and faiths. The Athaan needs to be understood in this context.

4) The Athaan is a call to prayer. Part of the Athaan is the glorification of the Creator, the affirmation of faith in the monotheistic belief in one God and a Divine Final Messenger. The Athaan as a call to prayer also reminds worshippers that the prayer is a path to spiritual sustenance.

5) The masjid thus has come to the conclusion and the position that the Athaan, the ringing of church bells, or any other call to worship, can never be regarded as noise. The masjid accepts that the City of Cape Town is obliged to process the complaint. However, this masjid will be embarking on a path to engage the City of Cape Town to review its bylaw that deals with noise pollution. The masjid believes this is significant not only for the Muslim community but all faith communities of Cape Town at large.

6) The masjid committee thanks and appreciates the thousands and thousands of messages of support from people of all faiths – from South Africa and across the globe. As the imam of the masjid reminds us: “In Allah we trust, and in Allah we place our destiny.”

● Issued by the mosque committee of Zeenatul Islam Masjid.

PRESS STATEMENT – Zeenatul Islam Masjid

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