Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Inaugural MSA National Quran Conference kicks off this week

The MSA seeks to bring the Quran back to the centre of our lives

Johannesburg, 25 April 2015 – After months of hard work by the project team of MSA Union and the generous sponsorships from AWQAF SA, amongst others, the National Quran Conference is set to take place this coming week, inshaa’Allah (God willing). Starting on the evening of Thursday 30 April 2015 and continuing to Sunday 3 May 2015 at Wits University in Johannesburg, the conference promises to be an inspirational and educational event not to be missed.

About the Conference

The idea of our late president and visionary leader of MSA Union, Marhoom Yusuf Talia, the MSA Union National Quran Conference aims to create a forum in which students and the general public can come together to explore the Quran and its relevance to every aspect of our everyday lives.

The Quran will be explored in various dimensions with topics including the environment, politics, economics and finance, science, spirituality, youth, intellectual development, civic engagement, and aqeedah as well as studying the Sciences of the Quran (ulumul quraan). Attendees will also be gifted with a range of Quranic recitals in various revealed modes of Qirat.

The lineup of scholarly guests for the event includes: Sheikh Mufti Kamaluddin Ahmed (Student of Sheikh Zulfikaar Naqshabandi), Moulana Taha Karaan (SA), Sheikh Riyaad Walls (SA), Moulana.Dr. Ashraf Dockrat (SA), Zakariyya Harnekar (Teacher at Darun Na’eem) and Abbas Darab (Student of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf).

Tickets are R400 with accommodation and R200 without. Registration can be done online via

About MSA Union

The Muslim Students’ Association was established in 1973 and has grown to be one of the largest student representative bodies in South Africa. The national body, MSA Union, has been established to represent the local campus chapters at a national and international level, and has a constituency across 23 campuses in 8 cities across South Africa. Operating nationally, and run by students, the organisation brings together chapter MSAs who work together to drive Muslim youth activity and involvement, and run dynamic projects in all spheres of the community.

 MSA Union’s vision is to Advance ‘Project Islam’ by representing, networking and developing Muslim youth in South Africa, with our primary focus being to develop students through facilitating experiences that increase Ilm (Knowledge) that leads to Tazkiya (self-improvement and purification) in order to attain Taqwa (God Consciousness).


082 096 1262 or 071 891 8722


@MSA Union


Saturday, April 11, 2015

MSA Union supports the Muslim Civil Society Conference, an initiative of ASRI

Read about the Muslim Civil Society Conference hosted by ASRI, with MSA Union as one of the endorsing organisations:
The Muslim Civil Society Conference brings together Business Leaders, Professionals, Jurists, and representatives of Muslim Civil Society Organisations from across South Africa, with representatives of government, labour and wider civil society to engage with the NDP (National Development Plan) and extract an understanding of the role that we can collectively play in our National Development.
The conference begins with a Gala dinner to be held on the evening of Friday, 15 May 2015,
The next day of the Conference, Saturday, will host between 500 and 1000 delegates, participating in 8 Panel discussions, structured along the specific chapters of the NDP, with each panel consisting of a Moderator, Government Leader, Labour Leader, Businesss Leader, and two Civil Society Leaders.
The time has come for us, as South African Civil Society, of which Muslim Civil Society is an integral part, to speak, act and be problem solvers with vigor and energy on critical South African Issues that face all of us as ordinary citizens daily: such as: Education, Healthcare, Nation Building, Crime and Justice, and Unemployment.

The conference aims to instigate a national conversation and call to action in broader South African Civil Society and simultaneously in Muslim Civil Society. A one day conference and Gala Dinner wouldn’t achieve much if it doesn’t act as a catalyst for a national conversation about our role as Civil Society in securing our Country’s future. It has to motivate and coordinate us to act consistently to achieve the society that we envision, i.e. for world class public education, world class public healthcare, low levels of crime, an effective and efficient justice system, and low levels of unemployment.

What should motivate us into action is the huge socio-economic costs down the road of not acting now as Civil Society, by partnering with government and other Civil Society Organisations and communities to find practical solutions to critical Socio-Economic Issues facing South African Society.
For example, a failing public healthcare and education system dramatically increases poverty and the gap between rich and poor. If the current trajectory continues, in the next ten years a much larger proportion of our society will not have access to quality education and healthcare. Only those who can afford medical aid and private schooling will have access. We’ll have the situation where within our own immediate families, some will have access and others not. Now extrapolate that out to wider society and consider the socio-political instability that it would produce.
No amount of charity or fundraising will solve these problems. The only solution is to start acting now as Civil Society to work with government to alter the trajectory, and to efficiently spend the public purse to fix the root causes, which is fundamentally the lack of capacity on the part of the state to implement public policy efficiently and effectively without waste.
Broad and open. The conference is envisioned to be a pluralist civil society conference in its truest sense, initiated by the Muslim Community, bringing together broader Civil Society for a common purpose.
Attendance is open to anyone. Citizens, NGO Leaders, Jurists, Professionals, Business Leaders, Religious Leaders, regardless of ideology, political affiliation, religion, gender, etc. Pluralist in the truest sense.
Conference Programme
The conference uses the NDP as its initial input. There are varying opinions about the NDP, but the reality is that the NDP is a policy blueprint that has been tabled by government to guide South Africa’s development until 2030.
It’s our duty as Citizens and Civil Society to engage with the plan, understand it and critique it, and make a judgment for ourselves on whether to reject it, amend it or chart a different course. This has not happened as yet.
Considering this, we have structured the Conference Programme along identical themes to the chapters of the NDP with 8 Panel Discussions.
The panels are as follows:

Improving Education and Innovation;
Promoting Health;
Uniting the Country;
Building Safer Communities;
Social Protection;
Fighting Corruption;
Creating Employment; and
Effectively Implementing Policy
Each panel will be constituted with a neutral moderator, two civil society representatives, a government leader, labour leader, and a business leader to engage in a robust discussion around the content of each chapter of the NDP in turn, with participation from the conference delegates on the floor.
The conference opens with a Gala Dinner, which will be addressed by the Honourable Deputy President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the Chair of the National Planning Commission.
The conference has been endorsed by the MJC, Jamiatul Ulema, United Ulema Council of South Africa, SANZAF, AWQAF-SA, ASRI, Minara Chamber of Commerce, Muslim Professionals Network, SAMNET, AL ANSAAR Foundation and Radio Al Ansaar, Voice of the Cape, Radio Islam, ITV, Muslim Views, Union of Muslim Student’s Associations, Islamic Careline, Muslim Aids Project, Islamic Forum, Al Imdaad Foundation, The Call of Islam, Suliman Nana Memorial Trust, Islamic Relief South Africa, Somali Community Board of South Africa, The United Arab Communities of South Africa and the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa.
Over and above these organisations, there are several individuals who are onboard in their personal capacities. Any other organisations or individuals who want to come on board or contribute can email
About ASRI
ASRI is a pluralist Domestic Public Policy Institute that’s one of the initiators of this conference. ASRI is currently building research and applied research capability, with funding available for Honours, Masters and PhD study in Education, Health, Nation building, Crime and Justice, and Creating Employment. Honours, Masters and PhD candidates can email to enquire about research fellowships and mentorships.
An ASRI initiative

MSA Union Statement on Garissa Attack

The Muslim Students' Association Union of South Africa fully condemns the deplorable actions of Al-Shabaab in Kenya.

In the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 31 March, Al Shabaab insurgents stormed into Garissa University College in Kenya and opened fire. At least 148 people, mostly students, were killed in the attack and countless others were injured.

In what was said to be an attack in the name of religion, militants reportedly singled out Christian students and shot them dead.

As a student organisation, we cannot stand by and idly watch as our peers are being murdered on the very campuses on which they are on to receive education and on which their safety should be guaranteed.

As an African organisation, we cannot let it go unnoticed that our innocent African brothers and sisters have had their lives taken from them.

As a Muslim organisation, we cannot stand back and allow human rights atrocities such as this to occur without condemning the terrorist organisation in whose name this has been carried out. In what has been called "the deadliest assault yet by the Islamist group," it is important that we distance ourselves from Al-Shabaab and their ethos; this is not Islam and the actions which they have carried out do not - in any way - represent Islam. Previously, in July 2012, Al-Shabaab had attacked two churches in Garissa and killed 17 civilians.

But most importantly, as an organisation of conscientised human beings, we cannot stand by and observe human rights atrocities like this occur without actively condemning them. All human lives hold equal value, and the rate at which international media has largely ignored this is appalling.

When 17 people died in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, world leaders (including 11 African leaders) and people from all over the world marched and expressed anger and condemnation. 148 black lives have been lost, but the silence from world leaders and other individuals remains deafening.

As MSA, we reiterate again - #BlackLivesMatter, #AfricanLivesMatter. Regardless of race, religion, age, or gender, no human life holds more importance than any another. We have a duty to hold those responsible accountable for their actions, but also to condemn the silence of citizens of the world and world leaders. We have a duty to uphold justice and do more to ensure that it gets carried out.

Allah says in the Holy Quran [5:8] , "Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety; and fear Allah. Verily, Allâh is Well-Acquainted with what you do." [Surah Al Ma'idah].







Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Official Launch of MSA Union National Elections for 2015/6: Nominations now open!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that MSA Union wishes to announce the launch of our second official national election – Alhamdulillah! This will be taking place at the MSA Qur’aan Conference in Johannesburg at WITS University from 27 April 2015 – 3 May 2015. The election meeting is set for Saturday, 2 May, during the conference.

Our first official election took place in January 2013 in Magaliesburg with all MSAs nationally being invited to take part. During the latter part of 2012, MSA of the Cape was re-established by MSA’s in the Western Cape as they too saw the need to work together.  Alhamdulillah, the camp in January 2013 was a great success and a truly national, representative body was elected. Further progress was made and now MSA Union is alive and well. 

Since then, we have had 2 more national camps in Durban, with 5th national camp hosted in December last year in Cape Town (the first national camp in the Cape!) The challenge now is ensuring that we work together to keep MSA growing, to continue doing what is right, to strengthen ourselves and become the standard of excellence and active citizens that Islam promotes. The next national elections will, therefore, be a huge step in working towards achieving our vision.

Our electoral officer for this year, who was appointed as per the process outlined in our Constitution, is Dr Abdul Rahim Mirza. The duties of the electoral officer is detailed below this announcement, which has been taken from our Constitution. All future queries and all nominations should be submitted directly to him at  

The MSA Union nomination forms for the MSA Union Committee 2015/2016 are now available. You can obtain them from emailing our electoral officer or Also included for your reference are the portfolios for MSA Union 2015/2016 and the election protocol. 

The timeline for the election period is as follows:
01 Apr: Nominations Open (Nomination forms available)
18 Apr: Nominations Close
20 Apr: Confirmation of Nomination
24 Apr: Announcement of Candidates
2 May: Elections

Please familiarise yourself with the election protocol. As per the criteria for MSA members, you can nominate yourself or someone else. If you are nominating someone else please make sure you give in the form to the election officer in good time so that the candidate can be contacted to fill out portions of the form themselves (if he/she accepts the nomination).

Please note it is the duty of the individual campuses to inform their constituencies of the MSA Union elections and to distribute the nomination forms.


MSA Union of South Africa
Twitter: @MSA_Union
Facebook: MSA Union

For more information, contact:
Khadeeja Manjra (Acting President of MSA Union) 0713512094

Election Protocol as per the Constitution (adopted in February 2013)

Annexure 2: Election Rules

(1) Introduction
This document will set out the rules of Union with regard to elections. This process will be democratic and this document will set out guidelines to ensure that elections are free and fair.

(2) Appointment of a Chief Electoral Officer
(a) The Chief Electoral Officer will be appointed by the Union executive committee.
(b) The Chief electoral Officer may not be serving on the current union committee.
(c) The Chief electoral Officer must be selected by a two thirds majority of union Executive committee.
(d) The Chief electoral Officer may have severed on a previous Union committee, however must be independent.

(3) Duties of the Chief electoral Officer
(a) To set a date for the national union election in consultation with the executive committee of union.
(b) To make a call for nominations to all chapters and to design a nomination form.
(c) To ensure that all nominees are eligible to run for elections.
(d) To conduct the election meeting.
(e) To announce the names of the elected officials and communicate this to all chapters.
(f) To provide the outgoing union committee with a full election report.
(g) To ensure that elections are free, fair and transparent.

(4) Eligibility of nominees
(a) The nominee must have served on a chapter MSA for a minimum of one year; this may be waived in writing by the chapter chairperson or a MSA Union project manager (for individuals who have served for the full project term) by elaborating why this clause should be waived. The letter must be attached to the nomination form.
(b) The nominee must submit a completed nomination form to the Chief electoral Officer.
(c) The nominee must not have served as an elected official on MSA Union for two terms.
(d) The member will be eligible if he/she served on a campus committee within 3 terms of the Union election. The nominee must be elected while still on campus and may serve on the Union committee while off campus.

(5) Nominations
(a) Notice of elections must be given to all campus' one month before national elections will take place.
(b) The list of portfolios that are available for contestation must be forwarded to all national chairpersons who have the responsibility to circulate to eligible members.
(c) The list of portfolios should include executive and non-executive offices as well as the duties that all portfolios is expected to carry out.
(d) A completed nomination form must be submitted by the nominee or by a chapter or by a current or former campus committee member no later than 2 weeks before the election date.
(e) Nominees/nominators must demonstrate their capabilities to carry out the duties of the portfolio they wish to contest.
(f) The nomination form must include 12 signatures from current msa committee members in support of candidacy.

MSA Union Committee Structure and Portfolio Outline

Entailed in our constitution and developed in 2013 after identifying duties, strengths and weaknesses, MSA Union has a 12 member committee, with 6 executive positions. A proper definition of duties is vital in building on what we currently have and really taking MSA to the next level. The duties outlined aren't exhaustive but are just guidelines. Portfolios should be filled based on ability and competence. Each portfolio head should have a subcommittee working under him/her to enable the work to get done.

List of Portfolios
  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary General
  • Treasurer General
  • Deputy Secretary General (Internal Administration and Fundraising)
  • Head of Tarbiyyah & Training
  • Head of Media & Marketing
  • Head of Social media
  • Head of Information Technology
  • Head of Internal Administration & Fundraising
  • Head of Politics , SA & international affairs
  • Head of Campus Affairs & Emerging Markets
  • Head of Community Outreach and Social Development
  • Head of Public Relations and Human Resources
  • Ex officio member (Appointed position)


(1) The President
(a) The president is the chief executive officer of Union. The president may attend all meetings and executive committee meeting of all structures that fall under union.
(b) The president may call an extraordinary meeting of union or the executive committee on twenty four hours’ notice.
(c) The president may delegate any of his / her powers to any other member of the executive committee on condition that the decision is ratified by a simple majority at an ordinary meeting.
(d) The president may nominate any member of union to represent union as the need may arise.
(e) The President may issue statements on behalf of union.
(f) The President will sign off the minutes of each meeting along with the Secretary General.

(2) The Vice President
(a) The vice president will be responsible to assist the President in matters that affect union.
(b) The vice president will be responsible for internal discipline of Union.
(c) In the event that the President is incapacitated, the vice president will assume the presidents functions.

(3) The Treasurer General
(a) The treasurer general is responsible for maintaining all the financial records of union, he / she is responsible for all financial transactions of union.
(b) The treasurer general is responsible for fundraising.
(c) The treasurer general will present unions’ financial standing at every ordinary meeting.
(d) The treasurer general will ensure that yearly financial statements are drawn up and presented at a general meeting.

(4) The Secretary General
(a) The secretary general will be the primary administrative officer of union.
(b) The secretary general will be responsible for keeping the database of all members, all chapters and relevant organisations.
(c) The secretary general should ensure that adequate minutes of meetings and records are maintained.
(d) The secretary general is responsible for maintaining the office of union.

(5) Deputy Secretary General
(a) Deputise the Secretary General.
(b) Develop and maintain MSA databases (general, alumni, c.o.c, media).
(c) Ensure Union has full member lists and committee lists.
(d) Build up national contacts (printers, sound, volunteers, venue, catering).
(e) Run Alumni and fundraising events.
(f) Start stop orders to maintain cash flow.
(g) Maintain archives.


Head of Tarbiyyah & Training 
  • Develop a national and campus level tarbiyyah programme
  • Develop content that can be used on all campuses with weekly, monthly objectives. Establish Halaqaat.
  • Host international and local speakers for campuses.
  • Run Islamic based exhibitions for campus' (inventions of Islam, art).
  • Establish a Da'wah programme.
  • Run MSA training workshops to up skill campuses and individuals.
  • Assist with Jummuah roster.

Head of Media & Marketing
  • To be the brand manager of MSA Union.
  • To keep the website updated, fill it with content and encourage national participation.
  • Keep logos, letterheads and make it available to relevant people.
  • Design posters, pamphlets and media for national initiatives.
  • Ensure that the Message magazine goes out once a year.
  • Establish a national newsletter that goes out monthly and has content from Union and national chapters.
  • Create content for MSA when needed.
  • Ensure that pictures are taken at MSA events.

Head of Social Media
  • Ensure that MSA has a presence on all social media platforms.
  • Ensure that all platforms are updated regularly and that participation is maintained. Ensure that photos, videos from events are uploaded.
  • Explore new media platforms.
  • Keep records of national chapter social media, and assist where possible.
  • Develop campaigns that are centred on social media.
  • Ensure that any public comments/ questions are replied to.
  • Keep the blog updated, encourage MSAs and the public to post art, poems, articles, etc.

Head of Information Technology
  • Development of platforms for MSA (mobile site, apps, etc)
  • Keep the website up and running.
  • Continuously develop the website, keep it new, updated and on the cutting edge. Ensure campus' have credentials for website, blog.
  • Assist campuses with their webpages on union site.
  • Provide technical support to union and campus'
  • Build up equipment for MSA (sound, projectors, mixers, walkie-talkies) and keep records when loaned.
  • Record events/stream events.

Head of Politics, SA & international affairs
  • Establish and maintain political relationships (BDS, AMEC, and PSA).
  • Ensure that campuses are aware of SRC structures and are active.
  • Monitor situations locally and internationally and keep union informed of Developments.
  • Prepare fact sheets on situations and send to all msa chapters.
  • Ensure MSA issues statements/ runs events on situations where needed.
  • Ensure that rallies and protests that we participate in are in line with MSA values and safety / security.

Head of Campus Affairs & Emerging Markets
  • Ensure that campus constitutions are in line with MSA Union.
  • Assist with building of JK's and general upkeep.
  • Establish and maintain MSA high schools.
  • Establishment of new campus MSA's.
  • Explore how MSA can move into technikons, colleges, unisa.
  • Create a "how to start a MSA" book.
  • Create a skeleton constitution.

Head of Community Outreach and Social Development
  • To facilitate the decision regarding the flagship project.
  • To look into partnering with other organisations to uplift communities.
  • To oversee the flagship project manager.
  • To find programs/ projects that MSA members nationally can be part of.
  • To keep MSA informed regarding national days - Cansa, disability weeks, etc.
  • To undertake initiatives that benefit communities and societies.
  • To ensure that MSA undertakes environmental programmes.

Head of Public Relations and Human Resources
  • Chief custodian of The Union’s strategic HR agenda.
  • Frame a clear and easily implementable HR Policies.
  • Plan and implement an effective HR Plan that is aligned to The Union’s strategic plan and overall organisation people agenda.
  • Update HR policies in line with the business and organisation requirement.
  • Have an updated repository of Job descriptions for all roles in the organisation along with measurable performance indicators for each role.
  • Maintain employee records and files for ease of reference (both on-line and physical copies of the records) with the Secretariat.
  • Be astute to handle dynamics at the workplace and help employees.
  • Build an environment which recognizes top talents and top performers to look into innovative ways to brand MSA in conjunction with media head.
  • Ensure that MSA members in MSA branded clothing are present at relevant events.