More than 250 years ago a prophecy was made that there would be a “Circle of Islam’ around the Cape. According to local beliefs the circle is complete, comprising the tombs of Auliyah (friends of the Almighty) who were brought as slaves to the Cape. These shrines are often referred to as Kramats or Mazaars.
The Cape Mazaar Society and vidamemoria initiated the serial nomination of the Kramats towards declaration of the ‘Circle of Tombs’ as National Heritage Sites.
Nominations were submitted to the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) and discussed at SAHRA Grading Committee meetings held 26 August 2020 and 15 September 2020.
The first phase involves 10 Kramats and further sites will identified in future.
Nominated sites are:
- Sheikh Yusuf Kramat, Faure
- Sayed Mahmud, Summit Road Constantia
- Sheikh Abdul Mutalib, Constantia Forest
- Sheikh Abdurahman Matebe Shah, Constantia
- Tuan Dea Koasa and Tuan Ismail Dea Malela, Simonstown
- Sheikh M Hassen Ghaibie Shah, Signal Hill
- Tuan Kaape-ti-low, Signal Hill
- Sayed Moegsien bin Alawieal Aidarus, Mowbray
- Sheikh A ibn Muhammad AlIraqi, Mowbray
- Sheikh Noorul Mubeen, Oudekraal
The contribution of the Muslim Community to the history and traditions of the City of Cape Town have been vital since early Cape Settlement. The social and cultural uniqueness of the city is largely due to the important role played by its inhabitants through the centuries.
The Kramats are not only places of spirituality but are tangible signs of the emergence and spread of the Islamic faith throughout the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa. The Saints resting in these holy shrines played a significant role in developing contemporary South Africa.
The Kramats are of heritage significance in terms of religious, historical and cultural value. The declaration of the Kramats would ensure the preservation and protection of these heritage resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
Heritage sites reflect the legacy that will be reflected in the formal record and provides an opportunity for communities to take pride in their heritage, their stories and their identity.
The declaration of the Western Cape Kramats as Heritage sites is another significant milestone in the unfolding development of the Liberation struggle of our Democracy of South Africa. It is vital for the bright future of a Nation to pay homage and salute the sacrifices of our forefathers for liberation from the tyranny and enslavement of the colonial occupiers of yesteryear.
Sheikh Abduragmaan Alexander
Imam Masjidul Quds in Gatesville and
President: Cape Mazaar Society
aim of consultation
create awareness of nominations
garner support for declaration
All comments received will be included within a participation report to be submitted to the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).
SAHRA will then make their decision regarding declaration as national heritage sites.