Tag Archives: Prayer

Church in rural South Africa



Vivaah Sanskar

On Sunday 2 November 2014 I attended my friend’s wedding. I wasn’t the official photographer but just had to take my new little el-cheapo lens along for a tryout.


“A Hindu wedding is called vivaha (Sanskrit: विवाह[1]) and the wedding ceremony is called vivaah sanskar.[2][3] The Hindus attach a lot of importance to marriages, the ceremonies are very colourful, and celebrations may extend for several days. The bride’s and groom’s home – entrance, doors, wall, floor, roof – are sometimes decorated with colors, balloons and other decorations.[4]


The rituals and process in a Hindu wedding vary widely. Nevertheless, there are a few key rituals common in Hindu weddings – Kanyadaan, Panigrahana, and Saptapadi, which are respectively, giving away of daughter by the father, voluntarily holding hand near the fire to signify union, and taking seven steps with each step includes a vow/promise to each other before fire.[5] The Hindu wedding ceremony at its core is essentially a Vedic yajna ritual. The primary witness of a Hindu marriage is the fire-deity (or the Sacred Fire) Agni, in the presence of family and friends.[6] The ceremony is traditionally conducted entirely, or at least partially in Sanskrit, considered by Hindus as the language of holy ceremonies. The local language of the bride and groom is also used.


The pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals and celebrations vary by region, preferences or the resources of the groom, bride and their families. They can range from one day to multi-day events. Pre-wedding ceremonies includeengagement (involving vagdana or betrothal and lagna-patra written declaration),[3] and arrival of the groom’s party at the bride’s residence, often in the form of a formal procession with dancing and music. The post-wedding ceremonies may include Abhishek, Anna Prashashan, Aashirvadah, and Grihapravesa – the welcoming of the bride to her new home.


In India, where most Hindus live, by law and tradition, no Hindu marriage is binding and complete unless the ritual of seven steps and vows in presence of fire (Saptapadi) is completed by the bride and the groom together.[7] This requirement is under debate.[8] ” ~ Wikipadia

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Nizamiye mosque

Arabiya News reported on 04 October 2012 as follows:

“South Africa on Thursday inaugurated a giant mosque complex built by Turkey, with 55-meter (180-foot) Ottoman minarets towering over a religious center the authorities described as the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

The Nizamiye mosque dominates the clear skies on the main highway between the capital Pretoria and economic hub Johannesburg.

President Jacob Zuma cut a red ribbon at the entrance to the structure, flanked by government ministers from South Africa and Turkey.

Built in three years, the complex houses a central mosque, bazaar, Islamic school, sports grounds and a clinic.

Wealthy Turkish property developer Orhan Celik built the complex with the blessing of Nelson Mandela, revered Nobel Laureate and the country’s first black president.

Mandela had insisted that a clinic be included.

The magnificent yellow structure, with its 24-meter (80-foot) diameter dome, is a replica of the 16th century Selimiye Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the town of Edirne in Turkey.”

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Early morning at Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque

The Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque originally featured in a previous post God is Greatest and later on in Early evening at Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque 2.

This Mosque is close to a work friend’s heart and he really seemed to enjoy the last batch of photos I took.

Therefore, a recent 06:30 visit was called for as the sun was rising over the Overport and Sherwood valleys.

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Early evening at Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque 2

The Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque originally featured in my previous post God is Greatest.

HDR photography at night is a huge challenge for me right now. Arthakker seems to have it down to a fine art.

Below is attempt # 2 and # 3 at the Mosque. Photo # 1 is here.

Still a bit raw but nevertheless an improvement on previous attempts.

Please look at all 3 photos and let me know which one you prefer. Any hints are most welcome.


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Last but not least, is attempt # 3

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Early evening at Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque

The Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque originally featured in my previous post God is Greatest.

HDR photography at night is a huge challenge for me right now. Arthakker seems to have it down to a fine art.

Below is attempt # 1 at the Mosque.

Still a bit raw but nevertheless an improvement on previous attempts.

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God is Greatest 2

This is a follow-on of my previous post “God is Greatest 1 which featured photos of the Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque at 45th Cutting Sherwood Durban.

A post and photos of the Umgeni Road Temple (Sri Vaithianatha Easvarar Alayam) followed.

Over the past few weekends I have visited a few other places of worship.

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Kendra Hall

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Grey Street Mosque

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St Anthony’s

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Clairwood Siva Soobramaniar Temple

To end off, I would like to share a quote I noticed on Andrew Vokes’ blog last night:

He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven” ~ Thomas Fuller

I also found the following quote on Andrew’s Facebook page:

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody” ~ Mark Twain

This got me thinking of Lance Armstrong once again; in that he, like most (all) of us, has a dark side.

I also read another article about David Walsh, the journalist who hounded Lance Armstrong about doping for 13 years.

As much as I admire Lance’s courage in certain areas of his life, I have to give David full-score and a huge pat on the back for pursuing what he believed to be true and never giving up – his relentlessness being rewarded in the end.

Both heroes but on opposite sides?

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 Mohammedeya Musjid

God is Greatest

I have been very fortunate to experience a number of spiritual paths in this lifetime.

“All paths are one” sits very well with me although I have been more drawn to Buddha. Click here if you think he is that smiling overweight chap that you see on people’s mantelpieces.

I see the Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque at 45th Cutting Sherwood Durban every time I leave home and return.

Adhan (the Islamic call to prayer – listen here) solemnly drifts across our valley; enhancing the peaceful feeling in this area.

The Soofie Saheb website reveals the following about the arrival of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA in Durban, South Africa:

“It was a normal morning in the winter of 1895 when a ship S.S Hoosen, docked at the Durban Harbour. On board was a person, simple in dress in a yellow garb and a cloth hat.

As he stood on the deck of the ship looking at the people on the wharf to welcome their respective relatives and friends, little did the people realise that he was to make such a great impact in their life-style, to make them God-fearing and to bring about spiritual, mental and social upliftment, and an enhancement in the quality of their lives.

His was a name that, with the Grace of Almighty Allah, will till Eternity, remain on the lips of the people, a name that will remind future generations of his selfless sacrifice for the Deen of Islam and for the general upliftment of the masses in South Africa.

Custom formalities being over, the passengers now disembarked and on the wharfside, relatives embraced, hugged and met each other. Some were helping the passengers with their heavy luggage, tin trunks and suitcases along the gangway from the ship, others were stacking the luggage on the horse wagon on the wharf, while some were being driven away by their relatives and friends.

Looking at the scene as he came down the gangway, this humble son of Islam, with a walking stick in one hand and a small cloth-covered bundle in the other (in it were his spare koortha, loongie, singlet, miswak, towel, a Quraan, a tasbih and a book with various wazifas) carefully stepped on to soil of Southern Africa with confidence knowing that the blessings of Allah and his Pir are with him.

As he walked he greeted the people, some returned his greetings while others just stared at him curiously. No one offered to give him a lift into town or even ask him whether he had a place to stay. Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA made his way to the Jumah Musjid which was then a very simple building in Grey Street.”

It is interesting to read the tale of how the first Mosque came about at Riverside.

Given all of this, it was set in stone that I had to take a few photos of the 45th Cutting Mosque to share with some of my Muslim friends:  Allāhu Akbar (God is Greatest).

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