Model constitution of an Islamic Organisation

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PREAMBLE:

Whereas Sovereignity over the entire universe belongs to

Almighty Allah alone

Whereas the path to success is Deen-e-Islam alone as enshrined in the Shari'ah

Whereas the final and perfect guide unto humanity is the

Holy Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam)

Wherein the Muslims shall conduct their affairs based upon:

"Their affairs are governed by Shura" 42/38

NAME:

1. The name of the organization is the ____________ (hereafter referred to as 'the Congregation')

2. The name of the organization shall only be changed by a two-thirds majority of the Shura/Management Committee at a special meeting convened for such a purpose

OFFICES:

1. The offices of the congregation shall be situated at ___________ ____________ and/or at any such premises as the Shura Committee may decide

2. The official postal address of the Congregation shall be _____________ and/or at any postal address as the Shura Committee may decide

BASIC FOUNDING PRINCIPLES:

The following clause embodies the basic founding principle which shall be permanent and entrenched. This clause may never be altered.

The basis of the functions of the congregation in all its affairs shall be to adhere strictly to the tenets of Shari'ah, the Islamic Law, as expounded by the four Sunni juristic schools of thought viz. Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hambali Schools commonly referred to as the Ahlus-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah

The interpretion of the Shari'ah Law mentioned above shall be carried out by competent scholars of bona-fide Ulama bodies of the Republic of South Africa or their appointees or successors

Furthermore, the section on Masjid and Waqf properties of this constitution shall be considered an immutable founding principle and shall never be subject to alteration

AFFILIATIONS:

In matters of religious guidance and directives, the congregation shall be affiliated to the Jamiatul-Ulama or any body appointed by the Jamiatul-Ulama. The aim of such affiliation shall be to recognize the Jamiat's religious authority for the purposes of obtaining religious sanction and approval of the congregation's intentions and activities

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

Being a non-profit Islamic organization, the Aims and objectives of the congregation inter alia are:

. To establish, operate and maintain Masjid/s for the performance of congregational and other prayers and religious rites and activities. In the event of a dispute concerning a matter being of religious purpose, the congregation shall acquire a ruling whether such a matter fails under the definition of "religious activity", from a bonafide Ulama body, these being the Jamiatul-Ulama KZN, Jamiatul-Ulama Tvl, Jamiatul-Ulama EC and/or the Darul-Ulooms affiliated or aligned to the above institutions or their successors or appointees

1. To establish, operate and maintain institutions for the dissemination of Islamic or what is deemed as a corollary to Islamic teaching, training and education

2. To establish, operate and maintain other institutions that would enhance the religious and social causes of the Muslim community such as libraries, cemeteries, da'wah institutions, social-welfare centers, medical facilities, Islamic centers and so forth

3. To establish, operate and maintain institutions of the nature mentioned above within and beyond the boundaries of ___________

4. To enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong in all facets of the Muslim community and to actively promote and propagate Islamic teachings and to adopt all means for the achievements of this objective in accordance with Shari'ah

5. To solicit for and to employ the funds of the congregation in furthering the aims and objective set out herein and for any other cause as may be deemed appropriate in enhancing the cause of Islam and the Muslim community. Funds solicited or received for a particular and specific cause shall be limited to that cause unless in exceptional circumstances. In the event of limited availability of funding, the priority of order shall be the Masjid/s, education, cemetery and then other causes

6. To co-operate with other institutions having similar aims and objectives and affiliations

7. To generally deal with all matters of relevance in furthering and enhancing the cause of Islam and the Muslim community as deemed so from time to time

The aims and objectives of the congregation as set out herein shall in no way be limited or restricted by reference to any other clauses in this constitution unless otherwise indicated. The order in which the aims and objectives appear does not determine the importance or preference thereof over each other unless specifically stated

MEMBERSHIP OF THE CONGREGATION:

There shall be two levels of membership of the congregation; full membership and associate membership

FULL MEMBERSHIP:

The following conditions shall be a requisite for full membership. A full member of the congregation:

1. shall be a Muslim

2. shall be a Musallee meaning thereby any Muslim male of 18 years or above residing in _________ _ and districts who frequents the congregational prayers at any of the congregational prayer facilities controlled by the ORGANISATION

3. shall have been a resident of _________ _ for more than six months

4. shall not have permanently relocated to another vicinity out of the district of _________ _

5. shall have completed in full a membership application form and submitted it to the membership officer of the congregation and shall have succeeded in such membership application. Such application maybe accompanied by a token membership fee which shall be payable towards the funds of the congregation and which shall be determined from time to time by the Shura Committee

6. shall be required to produce a membership card at general meetings and other instances if so required by a decree of the Shura Committee

7. shall need to renew their application biennially

8. shall have the right to vote at BGMs and other special general meetings


Associate membership:

The following conditions shall be a requisite for associate membership. An associate member of the congregation:

1. shall be a Muslim

2. shall be a Musallee meaning thereby any Muslim male of 18 years or above residing in _________ _ and districts who frequents the congregational prayers at any of the congregational prayer facilities controlled by the ORGANISATION

3. shall be a resident of _________ _ and shall not have permanently relocated to another vicinity out of the district of _________ _

4. shall not have the power to vote at BGMs and other special general meetings but shall enjoy the use of all the facilities of the congregation such as the cemetery, education, etc.

The Shura/Management Committee:

The Shura/Management Committee of the congregation shall comprise of a dual component; Panel of Elected Officials and Board of Life Trustees

Panel of Elected Officials:

1. All persons who are full members of the congregation shall be eligible to stand for election as elected officials of the Shura Management Committee at the BGM elections of the congregation

2. Members aspiring for election shall comply with the minimum requirements of membership to the Shura/Management Committee of the congregation which shall be as follows:

a. Shall be a fully-fledged member of the congregation as set out in the section of membership in this constitution

b. Shall frequent the congregational prayers at any one of the congregations controlled by the congregation

c. Shall be an upright and practicing Muslim of repute in the community

d. Shall undertake to attend all meetings of the Shura Committee and shall submit an apology to the Ameer in the event of non-attendance due to compelling reasons

e. Shall have lodged a completed nomination form with the electoral officer of the Shura Committee at least a month before general elections indicating the intention to stand for office

f. Shall then have officially received and studied a copy of the code of conduct for members of the Shura Committee

3. Members who have succeeded in the general election shall officially be recognized as officials of the Shura Committee and the list of whom shall be permanently displayed in the Masjid/s of the congregation

4. Certain members of the congregation, having met with the requirements set out for officials, maybe co-opted by the Shura Committee to serve thereon at the discretion of the Shura Committee

5. The number of elected officials of the congregation shall not exceed 20 officials and shall not be less than 10 unless otherwise determined by the Shura Committee

6. In the event of vacancies arising in the panel of elected officials, the Shura Committee shall co-opt a suitable member from the congregation, who shall hold office until the next election at the BGM

7. Officials shall hold office for a period of two years and shall be eligible for standing for office term after term provided they have met with the requirements of officials

8. Officials shall cease to hold office if it maybe proven beyond doubt that they have committed a disqualifying act or offence as set out herein this constitution. Should such a matter be proved, the elected official shall immediately cease to hold office until the Board of life trustees have taken a decision in the matter

Board of Life Trustees:

1. A life trustee shall be a long-serving elected member of the existing board of trustees whose service to the congregation shall span a minimum period of fifteen years of unbroken service or less in exceptional cases as determined by the Shura Committee

2. A life trustee shall along with the above be a person of impeccable standing in the community and one holding a recognized track record of service to the congregation

3. Persons qualifying for the above requirements shall not automatically qualify for life trusteeship but shall be nominated for the position by the Shura Committee and shall be voted in by a two-third majority of the Shura Committee by closed ballot

4. The Board of life trustees shall protect all the holdings and assets of the congregation

5. The Board of life trustees shall have the power of appointing its own members as well as other members to mediate and to hand over for arbitration in the event of disputes arising within the congregation and the management committee as set out herein under the section on mediation and arbitration in this constitution

6. The Board of life trustees shall be presided over by an Ameer (President) who shall also occupy the position of Ameer (President) of the Shura Committee. The Ameer shall have the final decision in the event of deadlock in the proceedings of the Shura Committee

7. The Board of life trustees shall hold the final authority and shall preside over the dissolution of the organization in the event of such an eventuality arising

8. The Board of life trustees shall hold the power to reinstate disqualified officials or life trustees in exceptional circumstances

9. Life Trusteeship shall not preclude the holding of executive positions in the Shura Committee

10. The total number of life trustees shall not exceed 10 persons and shall not be less than 7

11. In the event of vacancies arising for whatsoever reason in the Board of life trustees, the Shura Committee shall have the option to fill such vacancy from its elected members on the basis of 1,2 and 3 above

12. Members who have been duly appointed as Life Trustees shall officially be recognized as such and a list of whom shall be permanently displayed in the Masjid/s of the congregation

13. Life Trustees shall automatically remain members of the Shura Committee for life, and shall not require to be elected to the above body

14. Life trusteeship shall be non-transferable to a proxy or other agent

15. Life trusteeship shall cease with the demise or permanent relocation of such a trustee for a period of a year outside of _________ _ and districts

16. Life Trustees shall cease to hold office if it maybe proven beyond doubt that they have committed a disqualifying act or offence as set out herein this constitution. Should such a matter be proved, the life trustee shall immediately cease to hold office until the Board of life trustees have taken a decision in the matter

Honourary Life Trustees:

1. Honorary Life Trustees shall be all persons who had contributed financially to the Congregation in respect of clause 3 (a) of the former constitution

2. Honorary Life Trustees shall automatically remain members of the congregation for life, not requiring to comply with application for membership

3. Honorary Life Trustees shall not automatically become members of the Shura Committee through the Panel of Elected Members or Board of Life Trustees unless they comply with the requirements of the above as set out herein in this constitution

4. Honorary life trusteeship shall be non-transferable to a proxy or other agent

5. Honorary life trusteeship shall cease with the demise or permanent relocation of such a trustee for a period of a year outside of _________ _ and districts

Powers and duties of the Shura Committee:

Along with endeavouring to achieve the aims and objectives of the congregation, the Shura Committee shall be vested with powers to carry out specific duties relating to the smooth operation of the congregation. Among these shall be:

1. To maintain the Masjid, Madrasah, cemetery, properties, lecture hall, meeting rooms and houses of residence for the Imam or Muadhins and assets of the congregation and to provide, endow, furnish, equip these with all the necessary requisites

2. To provide for the payment of salaries or remuneration of Imam/s, Muadhin/s, employees or other persons engaged in the work of the congregation

3. To collect and canvass for and accepting donations, bequests, endowments and other benefits for the congregation

4. To make, amend and review policies of the congregation for the control and management of the affairs of the congregation

5. To manage and control any other institution established or acquired by the congregation

6. To engage the services of suitable persons for the purpose of delivering lectures on religious subjects and general education of the musallees

7. To call in, recover and, if necessary, to sue for all loans or other moneys including rents and the like belonging to the congregation

8. To borrow money for the purposes of the Board without mortgaging any property of the Board or resorting to interest-based financing

9. To control and manage the general affairs and the assets and finances of the congregation in a responsible and transparent manner within the parameters of Islamic Law and in compliance with standard accounting practice

10. To solicit for and to employ the funds of the congregation in furthering the aims and objective set out herein and for any other cause as may be deemed appropriate in enhancing the cause of Islam and the Muslim community. Funds solicited or received for a particular and specific cause shall be limited to that cause unless in exceptional circumstances. In the event of limited availability of funding, the priority of order shall be the Masjid/s, education, cemetery and then other causes

11. To maintain a proper register of members, elected members and trustees and a detailed inventory of the assets of the congregation and to issue membership cards to all full members of the congregation for the purpose of identification at general meetings and other purposes

12. To establish (and dissolve) sub- and ad-hoc- committees from time to time whose function it shall be to manage and dispense with matters relating to the congregation within defined powers of reference as set out by the Shura

13. To appoint an Ameer (president), Deputy, Secretary and Treasurer, electoral officer, membership officer and other office bearers of the Management Committee or congregation as maybe deemed necessary

14. To generally deal with all matters of relevance in furthering and enhancing the cause of Islam and the Muslim community in addition to the powers vested with them which in their absolute discretion are conducive to the aims and objectives of the congregation

Mashwaras of the Management Committee:

To efficiently conduct the business of the congregation, the Management Committee shall be required to meet regularly on the bases as set out hereunder:

1. Mashwara shall be conducted in the correct Islamic spirit and as set out in the Code of conduct for the management Committee: Mashwara Etiquettes section

2. At the first Mashwara after a BGM, the Shura Committee shall elect an Ameer (president), Deputy, Secretary and Treasurer and other office bearers as may be deemed necessary from among themselves on the basis of a closed ballot or at the discretion of the Shura Committee. It should be noted that the post of Ameer shall only be filled by a member who belongs to the Board of life trustees

3. In the absence of the Ameer, the deputy may take charge and in his absence, any suitable person appointed by the members present

4. All special resolutions adopted by the Shura shall be in writing and signed by all members of the management committee

5. The quorum at any Mashwara shall be 10 members

6. The Mashwara shall be held fortnightly and shall not be less than one Mashwara every month

7. The venue, date and time of Mashwara should be regularized and upheld unless special circumstances dictate otherwise

8. Notice of meetings of the Shura Committee shall appear on the notice Board of the Masjid/congregational facilities of the congregation at least two days in advance of such Mashwaras

9. The Ameer shall convene a special Mashwara upon the requisition of not less than 5 Shura members if such requisition is set out in writing by them

10. Minutes of Mashwara proceedings shall be kept in the conventional manner

11. Decision making at Mashwaras shall as far as possible be undertaken on the basis of unanimity of views. If this is not possible, due to difference of opinions, the decision shall lie with the majority view. In the event of equality of votes, the chairman's decision shall be the deliberating factor

Biennial and Special General Meetings:

For the purposes of regulating and transacting the business of the congregation, biennial and special general meetings of the members of the congregation shall take place from time to time as set out hereunder:

1. A general meeting of the congregation to be known as the biennial general meeting (BGM) shall be held at or around 30 September in each second consecutive year or at the discretion of the Shura Committee in exceptional cases. At such meetings, the financial statements of the congregation shall be presented and other business such as the election of officials to the Shura Committee shall be transacted

2. The BGM and other special general meetings shall be held at the Jami Masjid or any other appropriate venue as determined by the Shura Committee. Notice of such meeting and all special general meetings shall be posted on the notice board of all Masjid/congregational facilities of the ORGANISATION at least 14 days in advance

3. A third of the total number of full members of the congregation shall constitute a quorum at all general meetings. Should there be no quorum within the first half hour of the time appointed for the general meeting, the Ameer shall have the right to postpone such or meeting or continue with the proceedings with the existing members which shall be considered a quorum

4. The minutes of all general meetings shall be kept in the conventional manner of minute-keeping

5. At the BGM and other special general meetings, all resolutions shall be undertaken by closed ballot or by a show of hands as determined by the members of the Shura Committee presiding over such meeting

6. A Special General meeting maybe requisitioned by no less than 50 members of the congregation in writing setting out therein clearly the purpose for such a requisition. No business other than that specified in the written notice shall be transacted thereat. In the absence of a quorum of 50 members other than Shura members at such a meeting, then such a meeting shall be abandoned unless decided otherwise by the Shura Committee

7. The election of officials of the Management Committee shall take place at the BGM. Along with the official notice of the BGM, a list of candidates and their nominators and seconders shall be posted for public perusal

8. In the event of there being more than 20 nominations for the office of Shura, an election shall be conducted and the first twenty members polling the highest vote shall be declared elected. In the event of there being a tie between two or more candidates for the twentieth position, the successful candidate shall be determined by a decision of the board of life trustees which decision shall be final and binding, and which shall not preclude the option of tossing of a coin or drawing of lots. In the event of there being 20 or less nominations, the nominated members shall be declared duly elected. In the event of there being less than the minimum number of nominations then election of other officials shall be by way of co-option of the Shura Committee at their first Mashwara or whenever deemed appropriate by the Ameer

Cessation of office of Shura members:

Elected officials or life trustees shall cease to hold office if, beyond reasonable doubt, they:

1. become unsound of mind

2. tender a resignation in writing or verbally in the presence of at least two witnesses

3. are proved guilty of misappropriation of the congregation's assets

4. are removed from office by a two-third majority of the Shura Committee who shall not be obliged to give reasons thereof after having duly accorded an opportunity to the said member/s to state his/their case

5. have been absent for a protracted period, as determined by the Shura, from the Mashwaras of the Management Committee without valid grounds

Mediation and Arbitration:

In the event of unresolved disputes within the members of the Shura Committee or the general members of the congregation, a mediation and conflict-resolution committee shall be established by the Ameer from among the Life Trustees, and if deemed necessary, from elected officials, for the purposes of conflict-resolution and mediation. In the event of unresolved matters, the issue shall then be handed over to the Jamiatul-Ulama KZN or any of its appointees for the formal process of arbitration which shall be binding upon all members of the congregation, the jurisdiction of any court of law being ousted in such matters

Amendments:

No amendments shall be made to this constitution unless adopted by a two-third majority of the members of the congregation at a special general meeting convened for that purpose

Indemnities:

1. The members of the Management committee are indemnified and not held responsible for any loss or damage the congregation may sustain by reason of any bona fide act carried out in good faith while performing a function of the congregation. No individual shall be personally liable for any act done by him on behalf of the congregation unless the same be occasioned by his dishonesty or wilful and manifest negligence.

2. It is hereby specifically provided that members of the Management committee shall be under no obligation to file security with the Master of the supreme court or with other officials for the due and appropriate fulfillment of their duties or obligations as set out in this constitution

Right of admission to the facilities of the congregation:

1. Only those persons who are adherents of the Islamic faith and referred to as Muslims shall have recourse to utilization of the facilities of the congregation such as the right of entry or admission and use of the Masjid, the use of the graveyard and so forth.

2. For the purposes of this constitution, a Muslim shall be any person whose belief systems shall not be at variance with the requisite beliefs of Islam as expounded by the scholars of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama'ah and as interpreted by the bonafide Ulama bodies of the Republic of South Africa, such as Qadianis, Ahmedies, Bahias, Zikrees, Ismaili and other Shia groupings notwithstanding their claims of being "Muslim"

Status of Masjid and Waqf properties:

1. The Masjid is and shall forever remain a Waqf (trust) property. As such, its ownership is vested solely with Allah. It cannot be owned by any individual, organization or community. It cannot be sold, exchanged, given away or demolished in anyway whatsoever. It shall at all times be subject to the Shari'ah law relating to Waqf and Masjids at all times

2. All other Waqf (trust) properties held by the congregation shall be subject to the Shari'ah Law of Waqf at all times

Winding up and Dissolution:

1. If for any reason, the congregation is to be disbanded or wound up, then the Shura Committee shall be mandated to do so only after a special meeting of the congregation in respect of such a matter

2. Upon the dissolution of the congregation, the remaining assets, after having settled all debts, obligations and liabilities, must be transferred to an Islamic charitable, educational or religious institution having similar aims and affiliations as the congregation, within the Republic of South Africa and in accordance with the tenets of Shari'ah at the discretion of the Shura Committee

Interpretation:

1. The following terms and expressions shall have the meanings assigned to them in this constitution, unless the context clearly indicates or requires otherwise and shall be understood in the context of the detailed articles embodied in this constitution

2. In the event of there being a difference of opinion in the interpretation of this constitution or matters not dealt with herein, the Board of life trustees' decision in the matter along with written confirmation from the Jamiatul-Ulama KZN will be final and binding

Shari'ah: shall mean Islamic Law as expounded within the confines of the four juristic schools of thought viz. Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hambali Schools and as interpreted by the Jamiatul-Ulama KZN, Jamiatul-Ulama Tvl, Jamiatul-Ulama EC and/or the Darul-Ulooms affiliated or aligned to the above institutions

Shura/Management Committee: shall mean the management committee comprising of the board of life trustees and the panel of elected officials

Shura Members: shall mean any member who is a life trustee or an elected official

Life Trustees: shall mean any member who having actively served the congregation for a minimum period of 15 years or as determined by the Shura Committee shall have been nominated to serve as life trustees and elected by a two-third majority of the Shura Committee by closed ballot

Honorary Life Trustees: shall mean a member who had contributed financially to the Congregation as set out in section 3 (a) of the former constitution

Elected officials: shall mean a member who was successfully elected at a BGM of the congregation or was co-opted to serve upon the Shura Committee by itself

Muslim: shall mean any person whose belief systems shall not be at variance with the requisite beliefs as expounded by the scholars of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama'ah and as interpreted by the bonafide Ulama bodies, such as Qadianis, Ahmedies, Bahias, Zikrees, Ismaili and other Shias

Musallee: shall mean any Muslim male of 18 years or above residing in _________ _ and districts who frequents the congregational prayers at any of the congregational prayer facilities controlled by the ORGANISATION

General members of the congregation: shall mean all Musallees who had successfully applied for membership to the congregation by fulfilling the conditions of membership

Associate members of the congregation: shall mean all Musallees who are not formally members of the congregation but utilize the facilities provided by the congregation

Bonafide Ulama body: shall mean the Jamiatul-Ulama KZN, Jamiatul-Ulama Tvl, Jamiatul-Ulama EC and/or the Darul-Ulooms affiliated or aligned to the above institutions or their successors or appointees

Membership officer of the congregation: shall mean a person designated by the Shura Committee to handle and process membership application forms and to maintain and update the membership register

Electoral Officer of the congregation: shall mean a person designated by the Shura Committee to organize and oversee the smooth and fair operation of elections at general meetings and closed ballots

Code of conduct for members of the Shura Committee: shall mean a document wherein the Islamic requirements and guidelines for Shura Members and Trustees of Islamic Trusts are set out and a copy whereof shall remain with each member of the Shura Committee; and a careful study whereof shall be deemed necessary for all Shura members

Article taken (with Thanks) from Darul-Ihsan Research & Eduation Centre

 

 

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