Heritage group supports mosque boys’ overseas trip

More than 120 people took part in a fund-raising hike held by the Salt River Heritage Society.

The Salt River Heritage Society is helping the Tennyson Street Mosque raise money to send its youth on an overseas trip to learn more about the Muslim call to prayer, or Adhan.

The society’s vice chairman, Anwar Omar, said their efforts would help young people deepen their understanding of the Adhan.

They want to raise R200 000 so that 10 boys, aged 11 to 16, can travel to Turkey and Saudi Arabia in September next year.

“We are trying to preserve this intangible heritage and transmit it to future generations,” he said.

The plan is for the youngsters to spend seven days in Turkey, visiting Istanbul, Bursa and Konya and a further five days in Medina, Saudi Arabia, followed by two days in Mecca, doing a short pilgrimage.

So far the society has raised R8000 from a guided heritage hike, held on Sunday March 6. Some 120 participants visited Mostert’s Mill, Rhodes Memorial, King’s Block House and the Woodstock Cave.

The mosque’s imam, Shafick Jacobs, said the youth were the future of the mosque. “The youth of the mosque wanted to get more involved and feel more inclusive as it’s mostly the seniors that are active in the mosque.”

He said the heritage society and mosque had discussed the idea of introducing the youth to the call to prayer in other countries. “We approached the parents, and they were on board to have their children participate in this programme.”

In the past three months, the parents had raised R40 000 from bake sales, he said, adding that they wanted to raise enough money for the boys’ parents and mosque officials to accompany them on the trip.

Rafiqa Booley, of Salt River, who is selling pre-ordered lamb or chicken akhni to raise money for the trip, said both her 11-year-old grandson and 13-year-old son were eager to go. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience as it would give them exposure as to how other countries perform the Adhan.”

Her son had recited the Adhan at the mosque when he was 7 and was keen to preserve the mosque’s heritage, she said.

WhatsApp Mr Omar at 082 856 9620 or Zahier Gabriels at 082 786 9080 if you would like to support the fund-raising efforts.

Participants in the Salt River Heritage Society’s hike take a breather at the Woodstock Cave.