Application to be admitted as Amicus
The United Ulama Council of South Africa [United Council of Muslim Theologians of South Africa] has resolved to apply to the High Court of South Africa, to act as an ‘Amicus Curiae’ or ‘a friend of the court’ in the upcoming court proceedings.
A friend of the court is a party who merely provides information to the court to aid the court in making a decision.
We 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, that emphasises the relevance of the Shariah in managing the Covid19 crisis in South Africa.
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. We have also commented on the difficulties with the proposed amendments to the regulations in light of the prevailing circumstances in our country.
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.
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.
In as much as this matter is an emotive one, we appeal to the Muslim community to reflect carefully upon it, with utmost sincerity, and pray to the Almighty to favour us with the wisdom and understanding that will bring us closer together, rather than move us further apart.
The Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not envy one another, do not artificially inflate prices, do not hate one another, do not turn away from one another, do not undercut one another. Be, O slaves of Allah, brothers. The Muslim is the brother of his fellow-Muslim. He does not wrong him, let him down or despise him. Piety (taqwa) is here – and he pointed to his chest three times” Narrated by Muslim.
Let us unite as a community and country in the fight against the Covid19 pandemic. And when we disagree on issues, let us do so with the respect and decorum befitting of the rank of Ulama and reflecting the character and akhlaaq of the Prophet Muhammad [May the peace and blessings of Allah SWT be upon him].
Sheikh Ighsan Taliep
17 April 2020
Note: UUCSA comprises of nine members. Eight of the nine members supported the motion to apply to be a friend of the court. The Jamiatul Ulama KZN opted not to support the motion.