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Tuan Guru – Shafiq Morton
Tuan Guru wrote the Qur’an from memory on Robben Island. He taught slaves about dignity and Islam. In 1793, he founded the first madrasah in South Africa, in the warehouse of Coridon of Ceylon. This became South Africa’s first mosque, the Auwal mosque, in Dorp Street. Defying authorities, he led the first Jumu’ah in the Chiappini Street quarry in 1797.
Sarah (Saartjie) van de Kaap (1775 – 1847) chose Islam above personal. She bought the Dorp Street properties (the house and the mosque) for 3,000 guilders from her mother who had inherited the properties from her husband. Her husband was the Imam of the mosque. The act of transfer was a clear recognition of women’s Islamic right to property ownership.
Abdol Burns of the Bo-Kaap, was a community leader and the first president of the Cape Town Cricket Union. He organised the first Malay inter-town cricket tournament in 1890. In 1886, he marched at the head of a crowd of 3,000 protesting at the City council’s decision to close the Tanu Baru cemetery and the burying of a young child.
Sheikh Salih Abadi not only read the Quran day and night, he also taught the Quran to so many, but most importantly, genuinely embodied Hifth-ul-Quran. His humble Quranic aura compelled one to stand up out of respect, his dress code and punctuality was that of a true role model, he truly believed that Allah was Sufficient for our Providence and Sustenance and the total humility, sincerity and endurance whilst in Ebadah are the noble characteristics exemplified by him.
Dr Achmat Davids’ was committed to building a better society. He unlocked the history, the culture and the beliefs of the Bo-Kaap community. His book, Mosques of the Bo-Kaap (1980), reflects the struggle of their forefathers. He wrote more than 40 publications culminating in his magnum opus: The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims from 1815 to 1915: A Socio-Linguistic Study.