Muslimah Today

The Sixth Annual Muslimah Today Conference is to be held on 26 & 27 August at the Al Ansaar Foundation Hall in Durban.


ILM-SA in association with event sponsors and partners: The Weekly Gazette, Tabloid Newspapers, AWQAF-SA, Azam Khans of Reservoir Hills, Impress Printers, Osmans Spice Works, R.V. Brand & Design, Muslimah Lifestyle, SASOL on NMR, and are proud to present Muslimah Today 2017.  

Muslimah Today is an event for women, by women, about women, with the two day conference featuring speakers like: Fatima Asmal, Mamolefe Shakira Sehume, Zaheerah Bham-Ismail, Quraysha Ismail, Radia Bawa-Hendricks, Zuleikha Mayat, Mooneera Asmal, Nadia Bhayat, and Shameema Shaikjee.

Ticket Price: R350 including meals and a Goodie Bag

For more information on how to register and to book your seat or to be a sponsor for the event:

WhatsApp: 083 271 4500 or E-mail: 


Muslimah Today 2017 Detailed Programme and Speakers’ Biographies



Saturday 26th August 2017, In Shaa Allah

8.30am to 9.30am  - Registration & Tea

9.30am to 9.40am - Welcome Fatima Asmal (ILM-SA)

9.40am to 9.50am - Opening Qiraa’ah - Ruqayya Paruk

Session One (9.50am to 12.30pm) Chaired by Azra Hassim (ILM-SA)

9.50am to 10.30am

Presenter Quraysha Ismail Sooliman
Title The path to taqwa
Synopsis Taqwa is mentioned in various parts of the Qur'an; for example: And whoever has taqwa of Allah - He will make for him a way out and will provide for him from where he does not expect” (Surah Talaaq: 2-3). What is taqwa and how do we attain it?

10.30am to 11.10am
Mamolefe Shakira Sehume
Title Charity as a means of empowerment
Synopsis As believers we are strongly encouraged to assist the socio-economically disadvantaged. How can we do so without creating a cycle of dependence?

11.10am to 11.30am - Questions and answers

11.30am to 11.50am - Address by representative of AWQAF-SA

11.50am to 12.30pm
Fatima Asmal
Title Allah is the Best of Planners
Synopsis We plan, and Allah Plans, and Allah is the Best of Planners. In this presentation, the speaker will share her personal journey of how the Plans of Allah have unfolded in her life.

12.30pm to 1.20pm - Lunch & Dhuhr Salaah

Session Two (1.20pm to 4.10pm) Chaired by Quraysha Ismail Sooliman

Topic Recognising the Mercy & Blessings of Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala in every situation

1.20pm to 2.20pm
Mooneera Asmal and Nadia Bhayat (co-presenters)
A young man suffers a spinal injury in a motor accident; inspiring his mother to try to change the face of neuro-rehabilitation in South Africa.

2.20pm to 3.00pm
Zaheerah Bham-Ismail
A phenomenal woman with a bright future and two little children unexpectedly passes away. Her sister is devastated but finds purpose in taking forward her legacy.

3.00pm to 3.40pm
Shameema Shaikjee
Faced with stage four ovarian cancer, and subsequently breast and lung cancer, a well-known figure in the community makes it her mission to never give up and to bring comfort to others.

3.40pm to 4.10pm - Questions and answers

4.10pm to 4.40pm - Tea & Asr Salaah

Session Three (4.20pm to 5.35pm) Chaired by Zaheerah Bham-Ismail

4.40pm to 5.20pm
Radia Bawa-Hendricks
Title Dhikr as a means of self-transformation
Synopsis "Verily in the remembrance of Allah do the hearts find rest" (Surah Ar-Ra'ad: 28) - what is the significance of dhikr in the life of a believer?

5.20pm to 5.35pm - Dhikr & Duaa by Radia Bawa-Hendricks


Sunday 27th August 2017, In Shaa Allah

9.30am to 10.00am - Registration & Tea

Session One (10.00am to 12.35pm ) Chaired by Mamolefe Shakira Sehume

10.00am to 10.05am - Opening Qiraa'ah - Radia Bawa-Hendricks

10.05am to 10.45am
Radia Bawa-Hendricks
Title Reframing our approach to Salaah
Synopsis How do we reframe our approach to Salaah the second pillar of Islam -so that it becomes more than a mechanical practice in our lives?

10.45am to 11.25am
Zaheerah Bham-Ismail
Title Overcoming low self-esteem
Synopsis Low self-esteem can negatively affect many aspects of a believer's self- development. How can it be overcome?

11.25am to 12.05pm
Aunty Zuleikha Mayat
Title Reflections on my journey with the Women’s Cultural Group
Synopsis Aunty Zuleikha, a founding member of the Women’s Cultural Group will share some of her reflections about being part of an organisation which is now over six decades old.

12.05pm to 12.35pm - Questions and answers

12.35pm to 1.35pm - Lunch & Dhuhr Salaah

Session Two (1.35pm to 2.55pm) Chaired by Radia Bawa-Hendricks

1:35pm to 2:15pm
Mamolefe Shakira Sehume
Topic Displaying excellence in serving Allah's creation
Synopsis What essential character traits should an Islamic/charity worker possess and how can he/she work towards building up these traits?

2:15pm to 2.55pm
Quraysha Ismail-Sooliman
Topic Surah Al-Hujuraat: a blue print for inter-human relationships
Synopsis Self-development is linked to the believer's relationship with the community within which he/she lives. Surah Al-Hujuraat provides valuable insight into this subject what are some of the lessons we can take from this surah?

Session Three (3.00pm to 4.15pm) Chaired by Fatima Asmal
An interactive discussion with Mamolefe Shakira Sehume; Radia Bawa-Hendricks; Quraysha Ismail-Sooliman and Zaheerah Bham-Ismail on the theme "Developing self, developing society,” during which they will share snippets about their involvement in community upliftment, their spiritual inspiration, etc.


Muslimah Today 2017 Speakers (in alphabetical order)

Fatima Asmal is the founder of ILM-SA, a Durban-based non-governmental organisation which hosts Muslimah Today. She is a freelance journalist who previously self-published The Straight Path and An Nisaa magazines. As a writer, she has contributed to the Mail & Guardian, Al-Qalam and Muslim Views. She holds an Honours degree in Culture, Communication and Media Studies, as well as a Masters in History (topic: “Demystifying the Muslimah: changing subjectivities, civic engagement and public participation of Muslim women in contemporary South Africa”).

Mooneera Asmal and Nadia Bhayat (co-presenters) are the co-founders of the Gait of Hope Foundation that focuses on making leading recovery technology and innovative therapies in the field of neuro-rehabilitation accessible to communities across Southern Africa. Mooneera is a businesswoman, whilst Nadia is a rehabilitation specialist, who has worked in Africa, Europe and the Middle East for many years, leading well recognized facilities through licensing processes and achieving international accreditation standards. She has been instrumental in establishing therapy departments in educational and tertiary hospital settings and in establishing large regional interdisciplinary rehabilitation centres.

Haafidhah Radia Bawa-Hendricks is the founder and director of the Cape-based Zahraa Institute (previously known as Darun-Naim li-Zuhur), which is focussed on enabling women with no Arabic background to develop a meaningful connection with the Qur’an. She began memorising the Qur’an at the age of four and a half, completing at nine. Radia began high school at the age of ten, matriculating at fifteen. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in media and communication science from UNISA.

Zaheera Bham-Ismail is a speech and language therapist and audiologist. She is the chairperson of the Caring Womens Forum and a trustee and part of the management committee for the Islamic Holistic School for Alternative Needs (IHSAN) - a centre that caters for children and adults with disabilities. Zaheerah serves as a board member for Islam Charity Network SA, PH Kids SA (Pulmonary Hypertension), St Katharines School and Commonwealth Businesswomen South Africa. She hosts Itrend on ITV and is an ambassador for The Abaya Collection SA.

Quraysha Ismail Sooliman is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. She is a freelance journalist and the presenter of Finding Me on ITV. Quraysha spent five years studying Arabic at a Darul-uloom and holds a Masters Degree in Multidisciplinary Human Rights (topic: “SA’s foreign policy on Israel in relation to the Palestinian question”). She is an animal lover and activist and takes care of her own pets, as well as stray cats.

Aunty Zuleikha Mayat was a founding member of the Women’s Cultural Group, which was established in 1954. She has been involved in various other organisations, including Natal Cripple Care, Orient Islamic Educational Institute and Darul Yatama wal Masakeen. Aunty Zuleikha was awarded an honorary doctorate in sociology by the University of Kwazulu Natal in 2012. She has penned numerous books, amongst them Treasure Trove of Memories, Journeys of Binte Batuti and the world-famous Indian Delights recipe book. She has three children, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Mamolefe Shakira Sehume is the daughter of anti-apartheid activists and community workers, Babsy and the late Thabo Sehume. She is the founder of Ntsho Ya Tshwane, a social enterprise, focussed on creating a thread and a network among change makers, as well as platforms for local economic development. Shakira has established the annual Puno Community Development Awards and is a co-director of Nyota Collections which also focusses on local economic development programmes. She is currently in her final year of studies towards a bachelor of arts degree in community development via UNISA.

Shameema Shaikjee was the first Muslim to study hotel and catering management at ML Sultan Technikon. She owned the famous Italian ice cream parlor Via Veneto, later moving on to the Kikis food franchise, first at the Pavilion shopping centre (where she was instrumental in initiating a musallah for Muslim shoppers), then in Chatsworth Centre and Sparks Road. Shameema was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in December 2015, and underwent chemotherapy for six months. She has since been diagnosed with lung cancer, and subsequently breast cancer, and has resumed chemotherapy.


Testimonials from previous attendees
From Dr Shakira Cassim (speaker):
“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to ILM-SA. This was truly a wonderful, inspiring, energising and enriching experience. The calibre of the speakers and the organisational skills of the conveners were excellent. May ILM-SA grow from strength to strength.”

From Dr Raeesa Aboobaker (speaker): “I truly enjoyed every single speaker, it motivated and inspired every women there. I feel so honoured to have had the opportunity to be there this weekend, and look forward to many more in the future.”

From Mariam Mponda (delegate): “All the speakers were amazing. I learnt a lot today. Alhamdulillah. May Allah give them barakah and long life so that we can continue to learn from them in sha Allah.”

From Shameema Omar (delegate): “Eloquent and inspiring – an excellent effort, hats off to all. Aunty and Dr Zuleikha Mayat’s wisdom and words touched hearts and brought so much hope.”

From Zuleikha Essa (delegate): “Wow! Ma sha Allah! Motivational and inspiring with lots of roles models to aspire to in sha Allah. Mamma Mkhize’s story really touched my heart, leaving my hair standing and tears in my eyes. May We all have the strength that she has.” From Samantha Singh (delegate): “This was a truly inspirational day for a woman who is about to embrace Islam. Today was educational and has given me a much better understanding. Thank you so much.”

From Fathima Thayi (delegate): “Jazakallah for a wonderful programme. It was an honour to be part of it and in sha Allah I would like to attend many more. Also I’d like to be a volunteer if anything comes up. To all the sisters I must say there’s nothing more heartwarming than the beautiful smiles you gave. Keep it up.”

From Hanna Zuma (delegate): “As salaamu alaikum to all the sisters. It was a pleasure meeting all of you beautiful sisters and to the organisers of the conference, I must say the team is super fabulous in all aspects and I always look forward to the conference each year. I really loved the goodie bag and the stuff in it. A big thank you for always making us feel special.”

Download PDF version of program HERE

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