1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - The first mosque : Caledon Street, Uitenhage

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-0745
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Abstract


Op 5 Maart 1849 skryf aartsdeken N.J. Merriman (1809-1882) op een van sy eerste togte om met sy nuwe parogie in die Oos-Kaap vertroud te raak, dat 'n klompie Maleiers hulle in Port Elizabeth en Uitenhage bevind het. Van hulle het eersame posisies in Algoabaai beklee en hulle het ook 'n moskee in Uitenhage gehad - die enigste in die kolonie.
Merriman was in albei gevalle verkeerd. Teen 1849 was veel meer as 'n paar "Maleiers" in die Oos-Kaap woonagtig en die moskee in Uitenhage was nie die enigste een in die kolonie nie. Wat sy opmerking belangrik maak is dat dit die eerste verwysing na 'n gevestigde Moslemgemeenskap en 'n voltooide plek vir aanbidding in daardie deel van die land is.
Oor die moskees in Kaapstad en omgewing is sedert 1970 heelwat navorsing gedoen en etlike publikasies het die lig gesien, waarvan die sleutelbronne die werke van Achmat Davids en Frank Bradlow & Margaret Cairns is. Wat die toestand in die res van die Kaapkolonie was, is minder bekend en gepubliseerde bronne is nie geredelik beskikbaar nie.
In hierdie artikel word gekyk na beskikbare bronne om die geskiedenis na te loop. Die toestande in die destydse Uitenhage word kortliks beskryf en die koms van die eerste Moslems en die stigter van dié geloof in Uitenhage word uitgelig. Hierna word gepoog om die moskee aan die hand van konstruksiegetuienis te rekonstrueer en onbeantwoorde vrae word geïdentifiseer.

[There are] [are] [they] .


Thus wrote Archdeacon N.J. Merriman (1809-1882) on 5 March 1849 during one of his first trips to acquaint himself with his new parish in the Eastern Cape, where he would eventually become archbishop.
Merriman was wrong on both counts. By 1849, there were far more than only a few "Malays" in the Eastern Cape and the mosque in Uitenhage was not the only one in the colony. What makes his remark important is the fact that it is the first reference to a settled Muslim community and a completed place of prayer in this part of the country.
Since 1970, much research has been done on the mosques in Cape Town and vicinity and a number of publications have seen the light, among which the key sources are works of Achmat Davids and Frank Bradlow & Margaret Cairns. What the situation was in the rest of the Cape Colony is less well known and published sources are not readily available.
In this article available sources to trace the history are reconsidered. Conditions in the Uitenhage of that time are described briefly and the arrival of the first Muslims and the founder of the faith in Uitenhage are highlighted. Then an effort is made to reconstruct the mosque with the aid of construction evidence and unanswered questions are identified.

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/content/culture/21/1/EJC30687
2007-06-01
2016-12-10

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