This story appeared in MuslimViews, the largest Islamic newspaper of South Africa.
Naqshbandi Shaikh Attracts Thousands
"This is the greatest spiritual personality ever to visit the Cape." These are the words of Professor Yusuf da Costa, Caliph of Naqshbandi South Africa, who hosted the world leader of the Naqshbandi Order, Maulana As-Sayyid Shaikh Muhammad Nazim 'Adil al-Haqqani in Cape Town from October 31 to November 19.
Shaikh Nazim's station as spiritual head is underscored by the fact that another great spiritual leader of our time, As-Sayyid Muhammad ibn 'Alawi al Maliki, who visit Cape Town in January this year, took bay'ah (spiritual oath of allegiance) from Shaikh Nazim in Makkah.
The 80 year-old Shaikh visited South Africa for the first time on the invitation of Naqshbandi South Africa and was officially welcomed by Minister of Transport, Dullah Omar, on behalf of the government. He was accompanied by his Caliph Shaikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, his sons, Mehmet and Bahauddin Adil. Ten other mureeds of Shaikh Nazim joined the delegation, including Dr Nazeer Ahmed, former Indian parliamentarian and Star Wars scientist. Other mureeds were from the United States, Europe and Sri Lanka.
The fundamental message of Shaikh Nazim was the reaffirmation of the traditions of the Ahle Sunna wal Jamaa. His programme in South Africa included public lectures, dhikr and counselling with mureeds and other members of the community. However, it was dominated by regular intense spiritual exercises and devotions, including tahajjud salaah. The Shaikh was very particular about prayers for the deceased, especially those who are martyred as well as those who are suffering under the yoke of oppression. He also visited the shrines of some of the leading spiritual leaders in the Peninsula as well as the shrine of Shaikh Matura on Robben Island.
According to Professor da Costa the Shaikh also visited the MJC offices, but very few of the senior members of the organisation were there to receive him. Professor da Costa added that there was also no response to official invitations to leading 'ulama to meet Shaikh Nazim. However, thousands of Muslims from all over the country made bay'ah and became mureeds of the Naqshbandi Order.
Although the Shaikh admired the spiritual vibrance of Cape Town, he expressed deep concern over the lack of da'wah work among indigenous Africans, particularly in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal. Professor da Costa added that is was disappointing that the hosts in these provinces tended to allow access to the Shaikh only to the wealthy and not the poor.
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