Cape Malays…

and their Heritage

Self-Empowerment: Cape & First Publication (1850 – 1856)

Posted by tahirfarrath on February 7, 2010

(History of Muslims in South Africa)

1850 – Establishment of Jamia Masjid: fifth in Cape Town

The fifth oldest masjid in Cape Town is the Jamia or the Queen Victoria Masjid built in 1850. This masjidis situated at the corner of Chiappini and Castle Streets in Cape Town, adjacent to the disused stone quarry in Chiappini Street where in 1790 the first open-air Jumu’ah Salah was performed led by Im a m Abdull a h [Tuan Guru]. The Jamia Masjid is the largest masjid in Bo-Kaap. This was the firstmasjid built on land specially set aside for this purpose. Thus, the land grant promised to the Cape Muslims by General Janssens in 1804 was realised only in 1846.

The first iman of the Jamia Masjid was Imam Abdol Bazier [1850-1853], followed by Imam Abdol Wahab [1853-1872], Imam Shahibo [18721910], Im a m Hassiem [1910-1916], Imam Noor Hassiem [1916-1932], Imam Mogamat[Muhammad] Sudley [1932-1952], Imam Mogamat Nacerodien [1952-1979], Sheikh Mogamat Ganief [Muhammad Hanif] Booley [ 1979-?].

1856 – Al-Qawl al-Matin: the first in Arabic-Afrikaans language publication

In 1856, a treatise on Islam in Arabic-Afrikaans,Kitab AI-Qawl al-Matin Fi Bayan Umur al-Din[The Book of the Firm Declaration regarding the Explanation of the Matters of Religion], by Shaykh Ahmadul Ishmuniyu [Ahmad al-Ishmuni] was published by M C Schonegevel in Cape Town. Professor A van Selms of the University of Pretoria described “Al-Qawl al Matin as the oldest book in Afrikaans”. This, it is said, was the first Arabic Afrikaans publication. The lithographed copy of this book [25 pages] was published in 1910. Afrikaans was written in the Arabic script [with Afrikaans sounds]. AI-Qawl al-Matin preceded the first printed Afrikaans book, in Roman script, Zamespraak Tuschen Klaas Waarzegger en Jan Twijfelaar, by L H Meurant, which appeared almost six years later.


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