Cape Town on Foot: From the Slave Lodge to Bo-Kaap
Stop here, outside the Boorhaanol Mosque, which was built in 1884.
The mosque was originally known as the Pilgrims’ Mosque and has been closely linked to strife and discord amongst the Muslim population since its start.
After the 1930s Slums Act the Cape Town City Council was willing to allocate another mosque site, but it was rejected. By this time the building was showing severe strain. The wooden minaret was the first to have been built in Cape Town and it blew off in a gale. It was replaced by an incongruous-looking concrete structure that was so ugly that it was decided that a renovation was necessary. The refurbishment and simultaneous extension started after the second World War. Its name was also changed, to Mosque Boorhaanol, meaning the Proof of the Faith.
The mosque has always been deeply involved in the upliftment of the community. It established a secular school bursary fund, as well as a burial society which provided paupers’ burials and emergency relief. It also introduced scouting and girl-guiding, and helped instil a sense of responsibility amongst the youth.
Continue walking down the hill.