The Ratibul Haddaad was written by a famous Yemeni Sufi saint Imam Abdullah al-Haddaad, who Sheikh Yusuf met when he went to Makkah via Yemen. Picture: Henk Kruger/AfricanNews Agency(ANA)
The Ratibul Haddaad was written by a famous Yemeni Sufi saint Imam Abdullah al-Haddaad, who Sheikh Yusuf met when he went to Makkah via Yemen. Picture: Henk Kruger/AfricanNews Agency(ANA)

Revered Islamic litany makes into newly published book

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Apr 12, 2021

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Cape Town - An Islamic litany recited in weekly spiritual gatherings, for over 300 years in Cape Town, launched in book format, on Sunday.

The Boorhaanol Islam Movement launched the revered and devotional Ratibul Haddaad book at the Bo-Kaap Cultural Hub in Pentz Street.

The household historic litany has been recited in gatherings in mosques and homes, every Thursday and Sunday, for over 300 years, believed to have been brought to the Cape by Sheikh Yusuf, of Macassar, an Indonesian Muslim exiled to the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch colonial authority.

The launch also came in the month in which he arrived in 1694. Sheikh Yusuf established the first Muslim community on the southern tip of Africa, and introduced a large number of slaves to Islam, through it alongside his teachings. The litany is believed to have spiritually sustained them during centuries long hardship and turmoil.

The Ratibul Haddaad was written by a famous Yemeni Sufi saint Imam Abdullah al-Haddaad, who Sheikh Yusuf met when he went to Makkah via Yemen. Imam al-Haddaad wrote the Ratibul Haddaad at a time when colonial forces entered Yemen, and therefore serves as a prayer against tyranny, oppression and hardship, imploring God for assistance.

Boorhaanol Islam Movement deputy chairperson Mohammad Groenewald said, “The importance of launching the book in this month was Sheik Yusuf, who we regard is the founding father of Islam at the Cape was exiled from Indonesia in 1693 and died in April 1699. It is for this reason why the book launch was so significant because Sheikh Yusuf departed this world in April and it is believed that he introduced the Raatibul Haddaad at the Cape.”

The launch was also accompanied by an outside market with around 40 informal traders.

“Part of Boorhaanol's objective as an organisation is to economically empower informal traders in our community,” said Groenewald.

The book and soundtrack can be purchased online and free e-copies downloaded via the their website.

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