To serve humanity and to create a peaceful and better world.
To promote our religious value system and cultural development.
To ensure that we progress and adapt in a changing environment.
Formation of Society
The first formal Habsani Society was established in 1912 in Kimberly. The aim was to build unity amongst its members and contribute towards the community welfare of the people in Janjira.
Thereafter in 1916, the Janjira Habsani Mohammedan Educational Society was established.
The aims were redefined and enhanced to the following standard – to promote education and assist its members in the sphere of educational development, as well as establishing institutions of education.
This Society embraced like-minded individuals as members, irrespective of the fact that the person was from Habsaan or not. The visionary aim of these members was to seek a brighter future for themselves within a South African context and for their families who were residing in India.
The primary focus was always on the promotion of education and cultural development both locally and within the members’ place of origin.
In 1956, as needs of the community grew, the forward thinking Society members formulated the Habsani Social Benefit Society to provide a catering service for the community.
As the membership of the Society locally experienced a growth, it was felt that the cultural needs also had to be addressed. The Society attracted many individuals who assisted on a volunteer basis to meet the cultural and social needs of the Habsani community.
In 1996, with the implementation of a democratic society in South Africa and the emergence of renewed opportunities within South Africa, these two Societies amalgamated and formed The Janjira Habsani Educational & Social Society.
The revitalized aim was to continue playing an active role in the development of our community, to maintain our cultural diversity and to promote a broader humanitarian upliftment program.
In 1998 The Janjira Habsani Society together with like-minded individuals took the bold step to purchase a 9.8 hectare property to establish a centre with an all-encompassing ideal in keeping with the changing landscape, yet remaining true to the Society’s original aims – this community centre would facilitate programs for the youth, allow for promotion of our religious beliefs and further cultural development.
The success of this initiative is reflected in the fact that currently the facility is utilised by all communities.
This facility has become a source of inspiration for our community and an example to others in the development of our youth and the role that they have to play in a changing world.
This facility is open to all members who subscribe and share in our vision of youth development and promotion of Islamic values.
In keeping with the ethos of educational upliftment and the assistance of individuals who are in need, over decades the Janjira Habsani Educational and Social Society has been providing full bursaries and bursary loans to students irrespective of race, religion or creed.
To date over R1 million has been allocated in the funding of education for both secular and Islamic studies. This programme is ongoing and every year the need for bursaries increases.
The local Society still has strong links with the community in the ancestral villages in India. We applaud and note with distinction the role played by previous generations, with humble beginnings, in developing educational institutions, which are still fulfilling an important need in human development in Janjira Murud.
The Anjuman Islam in Murud has facilities named “Cape Town Manzil” that serves as its administrative centre for the region of Raigad.
In addition our Society contributed substantially to the establishment of the High School in Shirvardhan and Borli, both villages situated in India.
We are Proud of our Contributions
Locally we are equally proud of the contributions made by our Habsani members in the areas of:
- Educational Development & Religious Promotion
- Habsanis played a leading role in the establishment of the first Islamic Nursery School in Cape Town;
- Habsanis played a role in the establishment of Islamia College;
- the awarding of bursaries across the spectrum of our diverse community annually;
- promoting the Urdu language via the Bazme Adab Society, a leading organisation involved in Urdu literacy;
- the establishment of many Masajid’s – notably Masjidul Quds; Habibia and Husami;
- the establishment of a fully fledged Darool Uloom in Faure; and
- the establishment of a Madaris for Hifz in Maccassar.
- Habsanis have played a significant role within the Hospital Welfare Muslim Educational Movement in terms of the provision of Halaal foods in hospitals;
- Habsanis were involved in the establishment of a full burial service for our community; and
- Habsanis have co-operated in the annual Ramadan feeding scheme under the banner of the Nakhlistan community organization.
- Sport & Recreation & Arts
- during the apartheid years, non-racial rugby was spearheaded by a Habsani;
- the unification of cricket in South Africa was also led by a number of Habsani members;
- a momentous event was the election of a Habsani as a “Torch Bearer” in the Athens 2004 torch relay – the first Olympic Flame to circle the earth;
- the first person of colour to be awarded WP colours in Motor Rally was a Habsani;
- a Habsani, with fellow Muslims of Cape Town, scaled Kilimanjaro in 2004; and
- a Habsani received an international literary award for best foreign journalist from the University of Columbia.
- Liberation & Politics
- a Habsani was a treason trialist with Nelson Mandela in 1956;
- many Habsanis were detained during the State of Emergency in the 1980’s;
- rhe first Muslim woman to be detained in the Cape was a Habsani at the age of only 22 years;
- Habsanis played a leading role in the formation of the United Democratic Front in 1983;
- Habsanis were central in the call for the release of Nelson Mandela;
- a Habsani received the Bambanani Certificate of Recognition for veterans of the struggle from President Thabo Mbeki in 1999;
- the first Executive Chairperson of the City of Cape Town post-liberation was a Habsani;
- two Habsani’s have been elected by the broader community to serve as Ward Councilors for the African National Congress;
- a Habsani served as the Auditor-General of our country; and
- both male and female Habsani’s are serving Magistrates in our country.
- Community Based Organisations
- the Dullah Omar Community Centre was established by a team led by a Habsani. This Centre was also officially opened by a Habsani.
We have deliberately omitted the names of individuals. However, we trust that our youth will use these persons as role models in their future career development and active community and social participation programmes and remain proud Habsanis who cherish their rich heritage.
Our contributions are noted to serve as an inspiration for our youth, the future leaders of our country.
The Way Ahead
- To develop a progressive leadership from within the youth of our Society;
- To develop coaching programs, based on Islamic values using various role models;
- To continue with our promotion of educational excellence;
- To promote our culture in a diverse society;
- To develop the community centre in Koeberg to its full potential to serve our community; and
- To care for our aged.