The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) has resolved to apply to the High Court to act ‘Amicus Curiae’ or ‘a friend of the court’ in the upcoming matter relating to the opening of Masaajid in the country during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This comes after attorney Zehir Omar representing the Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa threatened to approach the courts in a bid to challenge the national lockdown regulations prohibiting large groups from attending daily prayers.
The Majlis through attorney Omar issued a letter to the Presidency, asking that the regulations be relaxed, as they have been for the taxi industry.
It’s believed that the original application for court proceedings was initiated by The Majlis, but it is now changed to two other applicants from another institute.
In a statement, UUCSA’s Sheikh Ighsan Taliep says they took this decision with the primary Niyyah (intention) of furnishing the court with authentic fataawa (jurisprudence) and supporting references from the Shariah on the preservation of life and health in Islam.
“We have provided the court with research and information of the public policy and governance decisions made by Muslim majority countries and Ulama around the world in relation to the Covid19 pandemic. Furthermore, we have provided the court with the expert opinion of Professor Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Witwatersrand, one of South Africa’s leading experts in respiratory viruses.
Sheikh Taliep says UUCSA has taken into consideration the difficulties with the proposed amendments to the regulations in light of the prevailing circumstances in the country.
“We believe, that our application, asserts the presence of the Muslim community within the broader South African nation which we are an integral part of, and signals the importance to UUCSA, of a ruling on any matter, now or in the future, that would affect the broader Muslim community.”
Sheikh Taliep has urged Muslims to unite as a community and country in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and that when there are differences of opinion on issues do so with the respect and decorum befitting of the rank of Ulama and reflecting the character and akhlaaq of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)