Auwal Mosque, Cape Town

Auwal Mosque, Cape Town

The Auwal Mosque, alternatively spelled Awwal, Owal or Owwal, is a mosque in the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood of Cape Town, recognised as the first mosque established in the country. It was constructed in 1794 during the first British occupation of the Cape on land belonging to Coridon van Ceylon, a Vryezwarten (freed Black Muslim slave). Coridon's daughter, Saartjie van de Kaap, inherited the property that was being used as a warehouse, and donated it for the use as South Africa's first mosque.

The mosque was constructed in 1794 with renovations done in 1907 and extensive renovations done in 1936. It is the first mosque to observe public prayers and is where Cape Muslim traditions and the Arabic-Afrikaans language were first taught. It remains a symbol for Muslims of the recognition of Islam and the freedom of slaves to worship.

Qadi Abdussalam, affectionately known as Tuan Guru, was appointed the first imam. Tuan Guru was a religious leader and political prisoner. While in prison, he wrote the entire Quran from memory. This Quran is on display at the Auwal Mosque. Tuan Guru also used the mosque as a madrassah, or "religious" school, where he instructed both children and adults in matters of Islam.

After Guru's death, Saartjie van de Kaap's husband, Achmad of Bengal, assumed the position of imam. This position was to be held by members of his family until the last imam from this family, Gasan Achmat, died in 1980. The position has since been filled by many imams, including the likes of Sheikh Salih Abadi. Currently, Moulana Mugammad Carr and Sheikh Ismail Londt are joint imams.

Due to a dispute as to who was to be the next imam of the congregation, a portion of the Auwal congregation split off in 1807 and formed Cape Town's second mosque, the Palm Tree Mosque on Long Street.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Auwal Mosque on Map

Sight Name: Auwal Mosque
Sight Location: Cape Town, South Africa (See walking tours in Cape Town)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cape Town, South Africa

Create Your Own Walk in Cape Town

Create Your Own Walk in Cape Town

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cape Town is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bo-Kaap Quarter Walking Tour

Bo-Kaap Quarter Walking Tour

Bo-Kaap is Afrikaans for "above the Cape." The Bo-Kaap District is above Cape Town's city center, on the slopes of Signal Hill. It is the historical center of Cape Malay culture. In the 1760s, Jan de Waal bought land here and built houses he rented to his slaves.

Slaves came from Malaysia, Indonesia, and other parts of Africa. Many of these slaves were Muslim, and this area...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Cape Town Shopping Tour

Cape Town Shopping Tour

Cape Town is grand with quality shopping opportunities. Greenmarket Square, once the heart of Cape Town's business district – started off as a a slave market, then turned a cattle market – is just one of them. Today it houses South Africa's best flea market where one can find a broad selection of merchandise, from tribal costumes to precious jewelry and more.

Pan African Market is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles
Cape Town Introduction Walking Tour

Cape Town Introduction Walking Tour

Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias first mentioned the Cape of Storms in 1488, but it was soon renamed the Cape of Good Hope with an optimistic eye towards the trade routes it offered between Europe and the East.

In 1652, the Dutch East India Company settled a way-station here for ships traveling that route. Cape Town's natural harbor and strategic position made it the perfect location....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Historical Houses Walking Tour

Historical Houses Walking Tour

When Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Cape Town in 1652, his mission was to establish here a supply station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. The oldest buildings in today's Cape Town, dating from the second half of the 17th century, are the remnants of that era.

Garden House, originally a shabby tool shed owned by the Dutch East...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

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