Heritage Western Cape pays tribute to Al-Jaamia Masjid and Imam Haron
The value of the congregation of the Masjid in Stegman Road, Claremont along with the legacy of Imam Abdullah Haron, lies in its outstanding significance and contribution to the democratic transformation of our country.
Imam Haron is remembered for his passionate stand against discrimination and prejudice. He served the Al-Jaamia Masjid, as well as the Muslim community until his death 50 years ago and his work continues at the Masjid through programmes that he initiated.
At the unveiling ceremony, the Chairperson of the Council of Heritage Western Cape (HWC), Dr Antonia Malan, participated in the proceedings after the singing of the National Anthem and appropriate prayers. “Most places have many values, significances, histories and memories associated with them and these can change over time. How these heritage resources are given a role and purpose into the future is up to us and our successors”, she said.
The recently launched exhibition by the DCAS Museum Service and the Imam Haron Foundation (IHF) set the stage for an inspiring message from the Secretary General of the Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa. It was a reminder to the multi-religious attendees from different cultural backgrounds to keep the legacy of the Imam and Masjid, where he was Imam for 12 years, alive and to stand up for justice.
After a tribute to the Imam by family friend Ismail Dollie, Prof Mohammed Haron paid respect to his late father’s legendary relationship to the Masjid, 123 days in detention and the anniversary of his death in prison. “He bridged gaps with his special charismatic way and connected in different ways with different people”, he said and highlighted the interconnection of identity, religion, heritage and culture.
Minister Marais thanked everyone who contributed to the approval of the heritage status of the Masjid and gravesite of Imam Haron. “We are indeed grateful to each stakeholder as you have contributed to a community’s sense of place, belonging and purpose and unleashed its potential to yield information contributing to a wider understanding of the history of co-existence in the Western Cape”, she said.
After the ceremony at the Masjid, close family and IHF members proceeded to the cemetery for a private heritage plaque unveiling at the grave of Imam Haron in Mowbray.
DCAS strives to conserve, promote and develop heritage resources aligned to the World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 and the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999. May the legacy of Imam Haron at the Al-Jaamia Masjid keep on inspiring future generations.