Dr. Auwais Rafudeen, a lecturer at Unisa University in Pretoria, highlighted the role of Sufism in spreading the culture of love and moderation and spreading the values of Islam in South Africa by talking about Sheikh Al-Aref Al-Bilu Yusuf Al-Maqasari Al-Khlawi, who was born in Sulawesi, during the conference organized by the South African section of the Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema on the theme of “The common religious constants: the foundations of the components of the African identity”, on 25 and 26 Shawwal 1440 H corresponding to 29 and 30 June 2019, in Pretoria.
Professor Auwais Rafudeen stood by the personality of Skheikh Yusuf, mentee of the best Islamic scholars and dignitaries in Indonesia since his childhood. After that, he studied in India and moved to Yemen and Syria which is the land of the Two Holy Mosques. This happened before his return to Indonesia in 1667.
Dr. Auwais added that during this scientific journey, Sheikh al-Maqasari has mixed between Islamic sciences and Sufi orders, and became especially linked to the Khalawi way, and became the bearer of its banners, till holding the title of “Taj Khalutiyat.” It was estimated that Sheikh Al Aref was expelled to Cape Town, South Africa, in 1694, where he died a year later
Dr. Rafudeen mentioned the impact of the great Sheikh Makassari in the dissemination of Islam and its promotion in South Africa. He also stressed that, for Sheikh Yussuf, Sharia was the basis of Sufism, in accordance with his doctrinal choice which was the Asha’arite Dogma.
To sum up, Dr. Awis Rafieuddin called on the point that Sheikh Yusuf Al-Maqsari’s approach makes Sufism an important means of establishing a culture of tolerance, love and moderation.