ASJA’s National Representation

As the majority Islamic Body in the minority among other religious groupings in the country, it is our responsibility to ensure that Islamic values and laws are respected and that Muslims are treated with fairness at all levels especially at the national level. With strong representation in the late 1960’s, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act was proclaimed so that our sons and daughters could be registered at birth as legitimate and not illegitimate as we were previously classified. Since then, Imams and other qualified persons have been appointed as Marriage and Divorce officers on an on-going basis.

With the attainment of Independence in 1962, the ASJA’s role in the community was boosted with the President General being placed on the Government’s protocol list as the Chief Representative of the Muslim religion in Trinidad and Tobago.

The ASJA gained further prominence by having Government declare Eid ul Fitr as a public holiday, for the first time, and, to demonstrate the gratitude of the Muslim community, the ASJA hosted a grand Eid dinner at the Trinidad Hilton in 1967 which the then Governor General, Sir Solomon Hochoy, officers and members of the ASJA, Heads of Government Departments, representatives of the Judiciary and the Diplomatic Corps attended. Regarding the Eid holiday, the policy of the ASJA remains the same as it is today in that whenever there is doubt of the sighting of the moon, on the 29"' day Ramadan, the holiday will be given on the following day. The Muslim Coordinating Council maintains the situation today.