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Behind the Kitchen Walls – Her sanctity, her listener, her keeper of secrets – By Mumtaz Moosa


Taskeen has been taking me with her to madrassa when she attends. I have grown to love the Deen.

She surprised me today when she explained that she would like to call me by my Zulu name. Mama Joyce told me Amina had had the same conversation with her earlier. When I began working for Taskeen, Mama Joyce told me to introduce myself as Anna. I wasn’t very keen as I liked my name and saw no reason to call myself by another. But she explained that having a name the boss could pronounce easily would be better.

Today, as I stood to take my Shahadah, Taskeen informed me that I could keep the name given to me by my parents as they felt pride and joy at having a daughter. She added that my name, Sindisiwe, which meant saved, was appropriate as I was coming into the fold of Islam and therefore saved from the Hellfire.

As I recited the words of the Shahadah, I felt a sense of liberation, lightness of being and serenity.

Taskeen hugged me as I cried tears of joy, knowing that today was the start of a new life for me.

Muallimah hugged me and explained that being a black Muslim would not be easy, but she added that Allah had chosen me and would guide me. I felt safe and accepted in her presence, and I was grateful that she would take me under her wing to teach me the ropes.

Laughing, she and Taskeen called me their little sister.


“Verily, you (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.” (28:56)


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