PROFILE OF THE UNITED ULAMA COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRCIA (UUCSA)
The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) was founded in 1994 with the object of providing a unified, credible and competent leadership on behalf of the major theological formations in South Africa. The advent of a new democratic dispensation created the need for a cohesive forum that would lend itself towards the preservation, promotion and protection of the distinct Muslim identity in South Africa. As a major initiative it championed the cause for the recognition of Muslim personal law in South Africa. It interacted and co-operated closely with the South African Law Reform Project Committee 59, headed by Justice Mohammed Navsa. UUCSA had two members represented on the Project Committee 59. It has ever since engaged with various stakeholders including our former President Nelson Mandela and has played an active role in quest of appropriate legislation.
UUCSA is a voluntary association of Muslim theologian bodies, the members of which usually officiate at the various mosques under their jurisdiction. These mosques are usually attached to affiliated seminaries. UUCSA through its affiliates has been responsible for the solemnization and the provision of the marriage certificates of common-law Muslim marriages. It is also responsible for mediating marital disputes with the view of effecting reconciliation. In the absence of such reconciliation, it has the necessary religious authority to pronounce on the dissolution of the marriage in the case of a dispute between the parties. Members of UUCSA therefore are acutely aware of the social problems that arise from the non-recognition of Muslim marriages and have the necessary experience and expertise concerning the administration pertaining to Muslim marriages and the consequences flowing from such marriages.
The overarching functions of the affiliate bodies include:
- Establishment and management of Islamic seminaries
- Issuance of religious edicts
- Welfare Services
- Social Services
- Marriage Counseling
- Mediation and Arbitration Services
- Liaison with national and provincial governmental structures
- Regulation of Muslim dietary needs
The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) is an umbrella body comprising
major Muslim theological formations in South Africa. It comprises of the following seven affiliates:
- Jamiatul Ulama South Africa – Established in 1923
- Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa – Established in 1945
- Jamiatul Ulama KZN – Established in 1955 ***
- Sunni Jamiatul Ulama of South Africa – Established in 1978
- Sunni Ulama Council of South Africa – Established in 1992
- Eastern Cape Islamic Congress - 1996
- Council of Ulama Eastern Cape - 1999
UUCSA is representative of and enjoys the confidence and support of the vast majority of the Muslim populace in South Africa. UUCSA represents approximately 1350 members made up mostly of Muslim scholars. Geographically, UUCSA represents all nine provinces of South Africa. More specifically UUCSA through its affiliates represents approximately 400 Mosques and 200 educational institutes and religious seminaries in South Africa.