Cape Town - The first Muslim civil marriages performed by Imams were held at the Al Quds Mosque in Balu Parker Boulevard, in Gatesville. This comes after the judgement by the Western Cape High Court which ordered the government to introduce legislation to recognise the validity of Muslim marriages.
The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Fatima Chohan, members of the mosque community and relatives of the couples were in attendance.
“It is apt that these wonderful strengthening of bonds in front of family and community take place on Heritage Day, an occasion that symbolises unity in diversity and the recognition and inclusion of the entire spectrum of South African society,” said Chohan.
“We are still very much a society in transition. Islam was introduced to the southern tip of Africa by slaves and political prisoners, primarily from the East Indies, brought there by the Dutch. Prevented from openly practising their religion, they did so surreptitiously, preserving the distinctive Cape Malay culture that adds flavour to our national diversity.”
Video: Noor Slamdien/Daily Voice.
She said that despite the court cases aimed at resolving the conflicts arising from non-registration of Muslim marriages under the Marriage Act, there is no automatic legal recording of Nikkah ceremonies.
The ceremonies were officiated by Muslim religious leaders and marriage officer Imam Alexander.