In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh
At the same venue, there were two separate events:
- Marriage Conference: This was attended by Ulama
- Ilm Arts Festival: This had nothing to do with the Ulama
During the Ilm Arts Festival (after the Marriage Conference event) in South Africa, a comedian by the name of Yusuf (Joey) Rasdien committed two errors:
- He addressed Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (RA) as “That Bra…”and then began questioning how he could have written more than forty thousand narrations of the messenger of Allah in just two years. “There is 365 days in a year which makes it 740 days in two years which gives you 1440 minutes per day, plus you must sleep. How can you write forty thousand hadiths in two years?”
- He then seemed to mock a Muslim woman who clearly felt uncomfortable.
- They IMMEDIATELY had Yusuf (Joey) Rasdien removed
- His slot was cancelled on the spot
- They apologised for the incident
Yusuf (Joey) Rasdien:
Apologised in person and then made his apology public
Remember that they were not part of the second event at the same venue (i.e. Ilm Arts Festival). Nevertheless:
- They condemned it the same day in the strongest terms
- They stated that comedy or satire cannot be used to mock Islam, its symbols or anything sacred in it
Considering the Deobandi position, there (appear to) valid concerns around segregation within the Marriage Conference. This has happened in the West and several events have been rightly criticised and organisers were prompted to put safeguards in place to strengthen segregation and to lessen the chances of free mixing.
Nevertheless, the deception continues to make it appear that Ulama either attended the (Ilm Arts) Festival, or sanctioned it, or were part of it. In order to settle old scores both events have been lumped into the same category for maximum shock value and politicking effect.
Jamiatul-Ulama (South Africa) Respond:
The Reality of South Africa:
From a South African (reworded from what I understood):
South Africans just like (other Muslims) have problems with a rising percentage of (marital) relationships breaking down. They also have problems with finding suitable matches for Muslims who are looking to get married. The matter needs to be resolved and practical solutions need to be found. Perhaps, certain aspects of marriage conference need to be tuned and work needs to be done to make it (more) compliant with the Sunnah and we need to work on the concerns of the Ulama. However, it is devastating to see that a potentially positive development to address the needs and concerns of Muslims of South Africa has been hijacked for politicking. With a positive attitude, the (valid) concerns of Ulama about the marriage conference can be addressed and (valid) issues can be resolved. How are South African Muslims supposed to address and rectify fundamental issues within the Muslim community?