Friday, 25 August 2017

Make toast and paint with palette knives

In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the all-forgiving.

Amidst the hubbub at the IPSA campus this morning – we made our way to an alternative venue to continue lectures on Wicked Problems in the world.  First year Bachelor students were preparing for tomorrow’s seminar on the four Imams; practicing their presentations; organising seats and decorating the cafeteria where the public will have snacks and beverages. The air was filled with delicious excitement!

 Last week we were introduced to systems thinking, watching an awesome Tedex presentation by Tom Wujec – How to make toast. For the next few weeks we are learning to research and develop our strategic plans to initiate an activity from a localised context to impact on a Wicked problem in the world. Some of us will be addressing the issue of the risk of plastic leaching into our food and research future education and paperless schooling. Others are looking at social issues such as the deconstruction of the family. While a pair or two are looking at economic and environmental issues such as planting for food shortages for the future. And many more different topic choices. This is so exciting for us as this module is done in real class time and a doggie bag of homework.

This week we learnt about communities of practice; doing stakeholder analyses and developing SMARTER objectives. The last hour of the course is dedicated to our stewardship faction and this week our faction (The Bloggers) gate-crashed the Creative Art faction (CAF) at work painting using bamboo pens as well as painting using a palette knife. Here’s uncle Abu in action illustrating. Looks easy right?

The rest of the CAFs were painting their backgrounds – harmonious hues exploding on their canvasses. At first we just walked around observing and soaking in the energy and buzz of this class. Then some of us ventured in. Got some paper, pencils, tried to look arty. We failed miserably and knew at that moment that we were not destined for doing great things with inks, paints and canvas.



Some of us opted to watch some doccies and vimeos to inspire our projects – The Human Planet and a beautiful vimeo called Indonesia Land and Sea by yesisurf. Last week we also enjoyed watching Bunker Roy’s  Learning from the Barefoot Movement. Some of us escaped the cleaning up and made our way home while the rest rinsed out water tins and packed paints and paraphernalia into a huge artbox.

Next week sadly no Global Leadership and Life Orientation (GLO) for us because it is Eidul Adha and so our homes will be turned out while hujjaaj are representing us all on Arafaat, while at campus/home we will be fasting and reciting. Many of us are preparing, buying sheep to Qurbaan.

We wish hujjaaj a wonderful journey when they embark to leave for Mina, spend the day on the plains of Arafaat and go and pelt the Jamaraat. To all the Muslimeen all over the world have a joyous Eidul Adha!

Verily in the heart of the true believer is where Allah resides.

ps. A huge shukran for pics from Yaseen, Irshaad, Ghalib and Saa-rah.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Fiqh of marriage, love and respect

In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.

Asalaamu Alaykum all.

This is a very exciting week here at our College. Then again its always exciting, always something new to look forward to at IPSA Alhamdulilaah! 

IPSA students are on the move this semester! Organising our own seminars and raising our own funding to engage with the broader community on topics of interest such as our Wills Clinic, and many other public events that are on the cards Alhamdulillaah. 

Next Saturday, 19 August 2017, our BA second year students have organised a Seminar - the Fiqh of Marriage. Alhamdulillah this Seminar has been completely student-led from planning and organising to procuring sponsors; handing out certification which in turn creates good inter-class relations. The subject of Muslim Personal Law for this class is taught by Shaykh Dawood Terblanche who nurtures and supports us students on our learning trajectories to serve the community as future 'Alims and 'Alimahs; teachers; Imams and Thought Leaders.

We only have 20 seats available so we depend on you contacting us to répondez s'il vous plaît which is the French expression for RSVP (please respond). Regretfully our conference room only accommodates for 100 people and 80 people have confirmed their attendance. Have a look at our poster (which mind-you we designed ourselves) for details.

And keep on reading our blog for updates from the rest of our classes who are engaging to give back to the community what they learnt right here at IPSA.

ps. we have a boerewors sale on next Tuesday why don't you pop around and come and support us minfadhlik.

Indeed,  Allah is in the heart of every true believer.


Have an awesome Women's Day!!! 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

PHOTOG 101: Life through the lens

In the name of Allah, Lord of the heavens and the earth and everything in between.

Rubbing cold hands. PC:Sakeenah Jaffer

Lights, camera, action. Or rather aperture, shutter speed, ISO! Professional terms that control the quality of a story you are trying to capture. Photography is not just about the technical skills of handling the camera, rather the skill of being able to deliver a story through the lens of a delicate tool. And of course insight into how all things on earth are connected both human and environmental.

Spring in waiting PC: Saar-rah Kamaldien
As South Africa experiences the weary winter weather, some Higher Certificates’ are stepping into boots and takkies and caps and warm scarves and out capturing cloudy days, dew drops, steamy windows, trees shedding autumn leaves falling to the ground with our guide - Sensai Zaheer Carr of iLABS and Smiling Sage.

Our first outing/lesson was to Cavendish Square Mall. It was the most aperture (lol new word meaning 'opening')! To enhance our photography skills, we learnt to capture the story behind the image with lots of laughs and fun in the process. Out of the blue we discovered the most amazing strengths in all of us. We met a character or as we know him the dude with the long hair/Jason/Rory/Timothy - he was an enigma to us and that added to the mystery of him. Then the fun really began even though that’s when we ended, it would be the beginning our journey of shooting people… NOT LIKE THAT!
Our new friend. PC: Tashreeqah Darries
The next onsite learning pit stop was the enchanting Paradise Park since we went to the 100 acre woods #90’s_kids;). Since the weather was cloudy, we changed the ISO of the cameras to 400 and took shots in AV mode. These are the ideal settings to shoot when you’re on-the-go doing street photography. This allowed us to shoot many photos without changing the aperture all the time. Mish’al the craziest kid you’ll ever meet, decided to jump over a canal.  Then meeting Toto from Wizard of Oz, that guy could strike a pose. And off to the Vineyard Hotel, for some aromatic coffee, blissful scenery and some long deserved lunch.

Paradiso. PC: Irshaad Hamied

Action!: PC Saar-rah Kamaldien

Backflip: Yaseen Fataar

Movement: PC Mish'al Groenewald

All the way up in Bo Kaap #Local_is_lakkerr on day 3 of the 6-day course. Colourful houses surrounded us, as children took to the streets to enjoy the sunny day outside. Capturing the colourful little homesteads and drawing in the history of our lost but closely knitted community. Too late for our traditional koeksister Sunday though, but lunch was pleasing to the stomach as we hopped into Food Inn, indulging in a variety of cuisine.  And a quick few clicks of the 'Blommemarkie' in Adderley street.

Flowermark PC:Irshaad Hamied

Bokaap: PC Mish'al Groenewald

InshaAllah, we'll keep you up to speed on how the last two weeks of our photography course on the move is doing. So watch this space also for news of our Photo Exhibition!

 As we come closer to the end we realise what an awesome journey this has been for the nine of us. Shukran so much Zaheer Carr, our Sensai Sage who has made this journey unforgettable. Not only for your patience, but your teaching style, your creativity, your imagination for choosing the best sites like ever! 

One on one: PC:Gouwa Abrahams
Do yourselves a favour and register for this on the move photography course, our Sensai will be taking out a new group for his Spring sessions. Email him or his organisation at:

We don't mind if you use our pics, please ensure that you credit us and credit our blog appropriately!

 Resident photographers:

Aminah Francis 
Sakeenah Jaffer
Gouwa Abrahams 
Tashreeqah Darries 
Saar-rah Kamaldien
Irshaad Hamied
Mish'al Groenewald
Fayyaadh Kamalie
Yaaseen Fataar

Verily, Allah resides in the heart of the true believer
Love and salaam (peace)

fyi. this is just a taste of our pics and its not even all of our photographers work yet.

Sensai. PC: Yaseen Fataar
On the move. PC: Irshaad Hamied

Jack Flash. PC: Irshaad Hamied

Friday, 4 August 2017

Whispering in the Elephants eye.

In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.

It was a Wednesday in July, in the heart winter when we decided to go on a class hike. Were we crazy? Were we brave, adventurous perchance? No matter. Only fourteen people had the courage for this adventure. The rest were chicken. Just kidding, we understood that people were down with flu, some were a tad unfit and some had obligations to looking after siblings and elders – it was vacation after all.

When we arrived at the Silvermine it was sooo cold, the vapour poured from our mouths when we spoke. We kept on jumping around to get warm waiting for stragglers. And then we were off, walking jauntily along up the paths and onto the flateau, like soldiers in single file. The open spaces filled with indigenous fynbos was breathtaking!!!

Did you know that the distance of just under 8 km is actually not far when one appreciates the wonderful scenery and awesome company. We started at 9 and were back just before Thuhr. All that walking and cavorting made us ravenous! Thankfully Fayyaadh had made his home, braai and meat from his brother’s butchery (Southern Meat Market) all available for a fabulous braai and friendly competitive games and not so friendly games.

But enough already – let our photos tell our story:

We close this article with a poem submitted anonymously from one of the HCIS students showcasing his skill with words and rhyme. 


Indeed, Allah is in the heart of the true believer.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Warm connections at Masjied Khaleel

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa Rahmatullah 
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) - the sweet sound of athaan, the call to prayer echoing through the streets of Bokmakierie. Here, community members break their fast at Masjied Khaleel, and prepare for Magrib.

The mosque, established in 1996, had undergone renovations since mid-year 2014, having the mosque open for functions. The mosque offers madrassah classes as well. The Masjied committee recently started a Carpet Funds Collection to cover the extended front of the mosque, which we can all support.

As part of IPSA’s Community Outreach programme, Bokmakierie was next on our list to serve as stewards - to make warm connections with others who may not always have enough food to break fast with.  Situated in the Hazendal area (the mosque and hall), our staff and students alighted with warm soup and pots of aromatic Akni, falooda and all kinds of sweet and savoury treats and gift packets for the younger ones.

side view Masjied Khaleel
We started with Thikr before Maghrib, seeping into the hearts of those in the mosque, the melodious sounds bouncing off the walls and warming everyone, and making us oblivious to the outside cold. With the heart-breaking renditions of salawaat, the women started setting up the hall and dished out the delicious food and treats and everyone helped with the serving. Everyone joined in with the serving.

I really looked forward to being in the company of other families and enjoying the baraqah that came with it. Breaking fast with a different group of people felt warm and welcoming. Seeing everyone sharing and enjoying the food together enhances that sense of togetherness and shows that no matter where you come from or who you are with, starting something in the name of Allah, is always a blessed act of ibadaat.  

We chatted with the children, they were having a great time, laughing, looking through party packets, posing for some photos and even showing off some of their beautifully styled scarfs and abaya’s. 

The verse:
"(The righteous are those) who feed the poor, the orphan and the captive for the love of God, saying: 'We feed you for the sake of God Alone; we seek from you neither reward nor thanks.'" – (Quran, 76:8-9) comes to mind as I sit in this beautiful house of Allah SWT, gratified that I came. I so look forward to Thursday’s boeka on our home ground at IPSA campus where we will be hosting an Iftaar as for the Habibia Orphange, our neighbours!!! See you all there inshaAllah.

Here’s some visual depictions of our wonderful night:
Students, staff and helpers prepare for iftaar
Mish’al and Nishaat giving party packs.

Moulana Ismail Norton makes dua      

BA student serving soup
Full tummies, lots of smiles                                    

Students on the move

 Irshaad Hamied distributes food and smiles

Sh Fakhruddin and Suhail 

Verily, Allah is in the heart of the true believer.

Make toast and paint with palette knives

In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the all-forgiving. Amidst the hubbub at the IPSA campus this morning – we made our way to a...