CAIRO - Muslims around the world are praying for the recovery of South Africa's icon and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, who has been in a serious condition at hospital from a lung infection.
ISNA applauds Mandela for his special qualities as a leader and a model of virtues of integrity and sincerity, the Islamic Society of North America said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
We join the South African nation, Muslims of South Africa and the whole human family in fully identifying with his lifelong struggle and spirit of sacrifice.
We pray to Allah that his legacy will continue to emblazon the people of South Africa and the world.
Mandela has been admitted to hospital a week ago suffering from a lung infection.
South African officials have said Mandela is recovering slowly, but remains in a serious condition.
"We are grateful that he continues to get better," South African President Jacob Zuma said.
"Over the last two days, although he remains serious, his doctors have stated that his improvement has been sustained."
Jailed for 27 years for fighting white minority rule, Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994.
Mandella, who is now 94, won a Nobel Peace Prize for preaching racial harmony and guiding the nation peacefully into the post-apartheid era.
Mandela, popularly known by his clan name "Madiba", has a history of lung problems dating back to his time at the windswept Robben Island prison camp near Cape Town.
His repeated bouts of illness have reinforced a creeping realization among South Africa's 53 million people that they will one day have to say goodbye to their first black president.
Pray for Mandela
Muslim leaders have called for praying for the South African icon to recover.
We urge our brothers and sisters in American mosques to mention his contribution and remember him in their duas, ISNA said.
Muslim leaders say Mandela has been an inspiration for millions of people around the world.
"It is an honor for us as South Africans to share Madiba with the international community, said Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director of ISNA's Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances.
We fully understand and appreciate the global interest in this world icon. We are so proud to call him our own."
He urged South Africans, and the international community, to "continue to keep President Mandela and the medical team in their thoughts and prayers".
Muslims in South Africa have already held a special dua session at the historic Awwal Mosque in the Bo-Kaap for the recovery of the anti-apartheid hero.
When he is in pain, all of us are in pain. When he feels discomfort, all of South Africa is in discomfort, said Sheikh Ebrahim Gabriels of the Muslim Judicial Council.
We ask (God) to grant him relief from discomfort and to cure him of his ailments.
MJC President Maulana lgsaan Hendricks said the Muslim community recognizes the great contribution made by Mandela for the freedom and liberation struggle of the country.
He came to this mosque to show his appreciation for the contribution that Muslims had made to the struggle during Apartheid.Muslims make up some 1.5 percent of South Africa's 53 million population, according to the CIA fact book.