The sad passing of Dr Shaukat Ali Thokan has once again highlighted the large role he played in energizing many Muslim movements in South Africa, including the Muslim Youth Movement, of which I was the second President in 1979 and Dr Thokan the 3rd President.
In the 70’s Dr Thokan was leading the Rustenburg Indian Youth Movement. He later embraced the ideals of the MYM which later sowed the seeds for the formations of the South African National Zakaah Fund (SANZF) and other bodies such as the Islamic Dawah Movement (IDM), Awqaf, Amal, As-Salaam Islamic Institute, Islamic Medical Association, including the establishment of Al-Qalam newspaper. He stabilized the structures of these bodies.
The MYM got a further boost after renowned international scholar Dr Ahmed Sakr – President of the MSA Muslim Students Association of USA and Canada (who passed away in 2015) – visited the members of the fledgling Islamic movement in South Africa.
In the early days, Muslim identity was in the foreground and Indian identity had taken centre stage.
Following the visit by Dr Sakr, we held many meetings with Dr Thokan and it was decided to push the issue of “Muslim identity” to the forefront rather than the so-called “Indian identity”.
May Allah (SAW) grant Murhoom Jannatul Firdous. Ameen.