RelZim.org articles about Muslims in Zimbabwe
About 1% of Zimbabweans (100,000) are Muslim (various statistics). In the past two decades, the Islamic community has begun proselytizing among the majority indigenous population with some success.
There are mosques located in nearly all of the larger towns (including 18 mosques in the capital city of Harare, 8 mosques in Bulawayo) and a number of mosques in rural areas. The largest mosque, completed in 1982 in Harare’s suburban Ridgeview, can hold 2,000 people – a reflection of the needs of the diplomatic community which has grew up in the city since the end of international isolation in 1980.
The Zimbabwe Islamic Mission (ZIM), headed by Sheikh Adam Moosa Makda, is located in Kwekwe. The Muslim community has expanded its outreach efforts with the aid of the Kuwaiti-sponsored African Muslim Agency (AMA); a training center for Imams has been set up in another suburb of Harare, Waterfalls.
The arrival of Islam in Zimbabwe dates back a millennium to when Muslims established emirates on the coast of East Africa. But a significant Muslim population only entered Zimbabwe during the colonial period, primarily coming from the Indian subcontinent. Other Islamic migrants came from the Yao tribe of neighboring Malawi. There are a very small number of North African and Middle East immigrants.
There are a number of academic studies and popular stories about the Lemba (VaRemba) (here and here) tribe who seem to have historic Muslim ancestry (see also Ephraim Mandivenga’s book, Islam in Zimbabwe by Mambo Press). Genetic tests carried out by British scientists suggest that many of the Lemba tribesmen in southern Africa have Jewish origins.
Zimbabwe has its own Muslim Youth Organization.
The Majlisul Ulama Zimbabwe is a registered Islamic Welfare Organization founded in 1975. Its membership comprises of Islamic Scholars, Madrassah Teachers, Imaams, as well as other Religious Personnel serving the Muslim community in Zimbabwe.
Ismail Musa Menk is an active member of the Majlisul Ulama Zimbabwe and heads it’s Iftaa Department. He was born in Harare. He was tutored by his father who is a well known scholar and Da’ee. He completed his hifz and recitation courses at an early age and learnt the Arabic and Urdu languages whilst studying Shariah under his father. At the same time he attended St John’s College in Harare where he completed his secondary education. He then attained a degree in Shariah from the University of Madinah and later specialised at Darul Uloom Kantharia in Gujarat. He teaches at the Darul Ilm in Harare and finds the time to attend many international religious conferences, seminars etc.
He is also one of the Imaams at the Arcadia Masjid in Harare.
Istiqamah Foundation is active in promoting the Holy Quar’an in Zimbabwe.
See this directory of Muslim-run institutions in Zimbabwe for more information.