Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cape Malay Bo-Kaap

The early history of the Malays in the Cape goes way back to the time of slavery through the power struggle between the Portuguese and the Dutch for the supremacy (ownership) of the seas.
The Dutch built a large army targeted at places like Bombay, Medan ,India ,Java and Ceylon.

The leaders of these areas resisted against the Dutch in the far east and united in the fight for freedom.
They were captured and brought to the Cape as slaves.
These slaves, men of great spiritual intellect, received the highest respect from the communities.
They taught unity and peace amongst the different faiths and religious groups such as Hinduism, Christianity, Javanese and Indian.
They did not have much experience on the battle field but brought with them the Ideology of Islam as well as their building, cabinet making, candle making, welding and other skills.

These pioneers of the Muslim community in the Western Cape, also known as “Auwliah”, were laid to rest in tombs or “Mazaars” or more commonly known as “Kramats” around the Cape Peninsula.

For many years this history was passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth.

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