Cape Moslem Vigilance Association revived

The Vigilance hall in Bega Road, Wynberg.

A new Cape Moslem Vigilance Association executive committee has been launched to “energise” the organisation after it had been “ambling” along for more than a decade.

Ebrahim Abrahams, principal of Muhammadeyah Primary School, said it all started with an Islamic youth movement, under the guidance of the late Sheikh Amien Toefy who was the resident Imam of the Yusufiyah Mosque, which was started in 1950 in Wynberg.

“The meetings of this group were held in the Muhammadeyah Muslim Primary School in Batts Road, Wynberg. Many of the Muhammadeyah Primary School teachers helped to organise these meetings. The late Hadjie Abbas Cloete, Marando and Gasant Arnold were dutifully involved with organising these meetings. The organisation adopted the name Muhammadeyah Muslim School Reading Circle,” said Mr Abrahams.

“The Arabic language, history and general Islamic literature were taught. The Reading Circle also aimed at educating the youth to learn and understand their Deen (religion) and for them to become responsible citizens.”

Another member, Achmad Abrahams, recalls that at one of the meetings, a senior member of the group, Ebrahim Hendricks addressed the group about a vision he had in mind, about a huge institution that could be built where visiting lecturers could be welcomed to speak to the members of Wynberg Muslim community.

“Together the late Hadjie Saliegh Dawjee, the late Hadjie Mughseen Davids, the late Ebrahim Hendricks, the late Abduraghiem Fredricks the late Sheikh Amien Toefie, approached the broader Muslim community of Wynberg about such a venture and in July 1956 the Cape Moslem Vigilance Association was born,” he said.

Building construction was in full swing between 1956 and 1963. The institution was called the Vigilance and later named Al Markaz Al Islamic Centre. Sheikh Amien Toefy was elected the first president of the Cape Moslem Vigilance Association.

Mansoor Jaffer, elected member, said his late father Hassan was also involved in the Vigilance. “He was involved from the inception throughout various capacities. He was involved in fund-raising such as bazaars as well as sports activities, political activities, madrassas, and so forth.”

Newly elected chairperson Shamiel Domingo, said he was also the chairperson more than 10 years ago, but since then activities such as mouloods, madrassas and the learning of the reciting of the Quraan, have faded.

Mr Domingo said back then the Domingo family renovated the hall but since then it had been neglected. “We established a work committee” to address issues to help support and redevelop activities in the hall.