Usizo Daʿwah Mission
The Usizo Daʿwah Mission was founded solely for the purpose of supporting faith-based leadership in previously disadvantaged communities in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. This is done through supporting community leaders financially, thereby enabling them to focus their energies on daʿwah and providing supportive care to their respective communities. The community leaders have all completed a full ʿĀlim Fādil course and are deployed to their rural ancestral villages to spread the teachings of Islam.
History of Daʿwah in the Eastern Cape
In the 1970’s, Mufti Yusuf Karaan, the father of Mufti Taha Karaan travelled to Port St. Johns in the rural Eastern Cape in search of an indigenous Xhosa lady and her family that he had heard had embraced Islam but was significantly isolated from any Muslims.
This was the initiation of many a journey that Mufti Yusuf would undertake in his lifetime for the purposes of spreading the beautiful message of Islam and teaching its tenets to the indigenous Xhosa communities. Many of the Muslims that embraced Islam at the hands of Mufti Yusuf have developed into ambassadors of Islam and have spread the message on to their families and respective communities.
After the passing of his father, Mufti Taha endeavoured to continue fostering the relationship with the indigenous rural Eastern Cape communities.
Establishment of the Usizo Trust
After meeting with Imām Fuaad Lobi and onboarding Mawlānā Muhammad Siphosethu Nyameli, it was decided to establish the Usizo Trust; a daʿwah program that supports indigenous Xhosa ʿulamāʾ and duʿāt (inviters to Islām) and establishing them in the rural Eastern Cape communities. Masājid were to be built and would serve as centres of learning and community development.
Mufti Taha’s vision was to have twenty masājid and two schools (separately for girls and boys) built over a 10-year period within the rural areas of the Eastern Cape. The aim was to establish Islam in the Eastern Cape through quality Islamic and scientific education.
Currently, the project supports two masājid, four ʿulamāʾ, and one local Muslim lady [who availed her premises for the propagation of Islām] in the rural Eastern Cape.
A masjid in Pola Park, Mthatha is near completion and land for another masjid [in a village called Nkanini] has been acquired. There is also a masjid in Mahlubini near Cofimvaba. The project currently supports the Pola Park and Mahlubini masājid, and aims to support the new masjid in Nkanini as well. There is currently a girls’ boarding facility that caters for forty-eight females and a school on the premises. However, they would also like a masjid and educational centre to be attached to the facility.
The students and graduates of DUAI journey regularly to the various masājid and its communities to support the efforts of the resident imāms and duʿāt, who are relatively isolated in the rural areas.
There is much work needed in the rural Eastern Cape in spreading and maintaining Islam in the villages. This project requires a collective effort and collaboration with all who are able to assist Inshā’Allāh.