“EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH KNOWLEDGE
Through the ages women have been oppressed and made subservient in various spheres of life. Whether it is in the home, in marriage, in the workplace or in the community, the dominant male culture has ensured that women remain at a disadvantage. There is therefore a dire need to empower women and to raise their status to the level intended by Islam where they are treated with justice, honour and respect.
One of the main reasons women have been stripped of their rights is a result of ignorance on both the sides of men and women. Hence knowledge in the very broad comprehensive sense of the word is imperative in empowering women and improving their status in society.
To seek knowledge has been made incumbent on both men and women by the Quran in Sura Iqra. But seeking knowledge alone is not sufficient. As Muslims we are required to seek knowledge “In the Name of Allah”. We have been created to serve Allah and the key to servanthood is remembrance of Allah. Remembrance of Allah brings true honour to the servant and it is this honour we women should strive for. Knowledge and Remembrance of Allah should be perceived as two wings of a bird, with the bird symbolizing the empowerment of women.
As a women’s organisation our primary objective will be to empower women through various educational programmes and through our dhikrs and khalkas (talks). Our educational programmes will address the various dimensions of the women from the physical to the emotional and spiritual, Insha Allah (God Willing).
The organisation has a Board of Trustees who is a group of experienced people who have all played an important role in the upliftment of our community. This Board of Trustees will guide and advise the executive of the organization in their various endeavours.
The Board members are:
· Professor Yusuf da Costa;
· Gasan Omar;
· Hajiera Bardien;
· Sumaya Petersen; and
· Galima da Costa.
An-Nisa Executive members are:
· Tanwean Kazee – Chairperson
· Faeeza Basardien – Administrator
One of our main activities is the weekly ladies dhikrs (remembrance of God). The dhikr takes place in the greater Cape Town, Boland and Mitchell’s Plain areas.
After every dhikr a brief Khalka (talk) is held, dealing with our spiritual development. This will either take the form of reading from one of Mawlana Sheikh Nazim’s sohbets or a talk dealing with women’s issues or anything current in society.
To date An-Nisa has hosted the following talks:
- Cancer awareness hosted by the Hospice
- HIV/AIDS hosed by positive Muslims
- Women Awliyah by Mawlana Mukaddam
- Angels – Mrs Minton
- Happy Families, happy homes by Imam Moutie Saban
- The role of women in society – Parenting Centre
- Dhikrullah – Aunty Galima Adjouhar
- Pap Smears – Sister Zubeida Petersen
- Conduct and behaviour of ladies in tariqah – Sh Yusuf
- Elder Abuse – Pat Lindgren
- Endometriosis – Sister Zubeida Petersen
- Substance Abuse – Riedwaan Carelse
- Self Esteem in women
To date An-Nisa has hosted the following workshops:
- Muslim Personal Law
- Cancer Awareness
- Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion (Cape Town and Paarl)
- Follow-up on Muslim Personal Law
- A day of Pampering a relaxation for women
- HIV/AIDS in conjunction with Positive Muslims
- Cuppa for Cancer – Cancer Association
- Launch of the book “The Honour of Women in Islam” by Sh. Yusuf da Costa
- Jewellery making for the youth – Zaida Agherdien
- Elder Abuse – Action of Elder Abuse
- HIV/AIDS for the youth – Positive Muslims
- MPL in this country – Fordham Law School USA
- Domestic Violence – Magistrate Feroza Sonday
- Substance Abuse – Horizons Rehabilitation Centre
- An evening for the ladies with Shaykh Yusuf da Costa
- Q & A on Tasawwuf (Sufism-Mystical path)
- An-Nisa Planning workshop
- Talk with the lady murids of Naqshbandi
- medical topic – cervical cancer
- Substance Abuse workshop for Youth
- Substance Abuse workshop for Adults
- Tasawwuf Workshop
- Divorce & Rights in Marriage
- Brief intro about workshop taking place on the 9th June
- Workshop on Self awareness as a parent
- HIV, Abortion & Teenage Pregnancy
- Ladies dhikr followed by talk on Nafs
- Q&A with Shaykh Yusuf da Costa
- Workshop: Brain Gym with Fiona Salogee
- Workshop: Anger Management & Conflict resolution
- Ladies dhikr followed by talk on Deaf Awareness
- Q&A with Dr Toffar, Muslim Personal Law, divorce and rights in marriage
- Q&A with Mr Yusuf Hassen, Muslim Personal Law, Maintenance and alimony
- Ladies dhikr followed by talk on Diabetes
- Workshop: Alimony and Maintenance
- Survey on SA Muslim Women: Sexuality, Marriage and Reproductive Choices by Nina Hoel, Department of Religious Studies UCT
- Ladies dhikr followed by talk on Cervical Cancer
- Radio interview :Voice of the Cape FM100.4 brief on Naqshbandi Order and An-Nisa
- Ladies dhikr followed by talk on Mercy and Forgiveness of God Almighty
- Workshop: Alimony and Maintenance (outreach programme Delft area)
- Ramadan Khatmul Quran programme
- Ladies dhikr followed by talk on Mental Health-Depression
3.3 HOW ARE THESE ACTIVITIES CO-ORDINATED?
The Administrator will co-ordinate the telephone numbers of all the venues where dhikrs will be taking place or wherever we have contacts on the day on which we have a speaker. She will then forward the numbers to Telkom who will provide the link-up for the day. In this situation, up to 300 ladies can be reached at a time.
Combined Dhikrs & Workshops
The Chairperson in conjunction with the Administrator will arrange the combined dhikrs and workshops to be held. They are both responsible to source guest speakers.
The Chairperson will co-ordinate and assign certain tasks to the volunteers (certain ladies) to assist with the necessary arrangements. The administrator is responsible for booking of the hall, media and flyers, arrange the transportation of ladies from poor areas and townships to attend the various forums. Disseminate information regarding dhikrs and workshops to the ladies on our data base. All other aspects of the workshop will be divided up amongst the members who will be responsible for that aspect of the workshop. At the end of the workshop a feedback questionnaire is handed out which will assist us in addressing issues that are important and what women want to know about.
Through our various activities we hope to empower women and in the words of our Shaykh, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al Haqqani:
“O Allah make this, our endeavour, easy for us and grant us success in that which You love and which pleases You. Make us to be the followers of Your most Noble Shari’ah and Your Beloved and Chosen Prophet (S.A.W) Amin”
For further information on our activities or about the organisation in general, please contact Faeeza Basardien (O) +27 21 593 3348 or on
Contact details of Chairperson:
Home: +27 21 7972562 Cell: +27 83 293 4026
This piece is taken from the website of Naqshbandi Muhammadi SA
See on-line at: http://naqshbandi.org.za/content.aspx?contentId=16