The institute sees itself as one of many institutions committed to Islamic learning, individual reformation and community upliftment with the twin objectives of preservation and progress: Preservation of the tradition and progress in facing up to the challenges of the present age.
The institute was founded in 1996. Initially, it operated from premises in Croydon, Faure where three teachers offered an ʿālim program and ḥifẓ classes to some 30 students. Our current evolution came in 2001 with our relocation to Firlands, Gordon’s Bay.
This institute was founded with the twin objectives of preservation and progress: preservation of the tradition, and progress in facing up to the challenges of the present age. Enclosed within this vision was the specific objective of becoming a centre of excellence in serving the needs of higher Islamic education in general, and, in particular, that of the Shāfiʿī madhhab to which the people of the Cape largely subscribe.
It was as a by-product of European colonialism that Islam came to the Cape of Good Hope. When the steady spread of Islam down the east coast of Africa was checked in the 16th and 17th century by the inexorable colonial push into the Indian Ocean, Divine Providence decreed that the southern tip of the African continent shall receive the light of Islam through another means, wholly unconventional and quite unprecedented. It was brought to these shores by neither conquering armies nor voluntary missionaries, but by political prisoners and enslaved men who had once been free.
The founding of enclaves for the preservation and advancement of knowledge is a theme that resonates throughout the history of Islam. In its earliest form it was the masjid that served as the nucleus of knowledge. It was here that the Sahabah received their knowledge from Rasulullah ﷺ, and it was also primarily in the masjid that they transmitted their knowledge to the following generation. Often the homes of scholars would be the locus for the transmission of knowledge.
The DUAI Foundation Trust was established in 2013 to promote higher Islamic education in accordance with the beliefs of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamāʿah. The Foundation oversees and manages the DUAI Institutes (DUAI and DUAI Ināth [the female branch]) and its various projects.