Cape Town on Foot: From the Slave Lodge to Bo-Kaap

    Ursula profile
    09 Dec 2016
    Clock 40min      Length1mi
    7 ratings

    Nurul Islam Mosque

    Pay wave

    Stop here, outside the Nurul Islam Mosque.

    Welcome to Bo-Kaap! The name means, 'the High Cape', and this is the oldest, but never exclusive, Muslim area of the country.

    The first humble homes here belonged to European settlers. But in the latter half of the 18th century prosperous Muslims began buying some of these houses and moved up from the Long Street area. This changed the face of Bo-Kaap and it became a predominantly Muslim area, initially known as 'Slaamse Buurt', meaning, "the Islamic Neighbourhood".

    Bo-Kaap stretches from the Strand and Castle Street Quarry in the north to Carisbrook Street in the south, and from Buitengracht in the east to Military Road running along Signal Hill in the west.

    Including the Long and Loop Street mosques, you'll find ten mosques in this small pocket of Cape Town.

    The name of this mosque, 'Nurul Islam Mosque', means ‘Light of Islam’. Its minaret is set back and not easily noticed. It was here that the young imam, Abdol Rakiep, transgressed against Sunni Shafee tradition when he delivered his sermon to less than forty members resulting in the start of the Hanafee Mosque on Long Street. Remember that story?

    You can now continue walking along this street. Keep the houses on your right and I'll meet you at the next corner.

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