The colourful houses of the Bo-Kaap in Cape Town are cheerful and photogenic and I really enjoyed walking through the area on a recent trip to the city. However, it was only when I was asked by a Singapore guest more to include a visit to the Kramat of Tuan Guru that I dug deeper and found out so much about the history of this Muslim area.
Did you know South Africa is the second most halaal-friendly country in the world?
Did you know that the Muslim community in Cape Town is the largest in South Africa?
The Kramat of Tuan Guru
Address: Top of Longmarket Street, Bo Kaap
Tuan Guru (meaning respected teacher) was a prince from the Tidore in eastern Indonesia. He was banished to the Cape in 1780 by the Dutch because of a conspiracy against them. He was imprisoned on Robben Island for 12 years until 1792. During this time he wrote a book on Islamic law and scribed several copies of the Holy Qur’aan from memory. These are thought to be the first Qur’aans in the country.
Tuan Guru made various significant contributions to the Islamic faith in South Africa including fighting for a venue for the community to perform Friday prayers and establishing the first Islamic school (Madresa). He is known as the Father of Islam in South Africa.
The Kramat (holy burial site of a Sheikh) of Tuan Guru is located in the Tana Baru graveyard in Longmarket Street, Bo-Kaap.