Ramadan Kareem from Iziko

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2014

Iziko wishes all our Muslim colleagues, partners and their families a joyous and peaceful Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is set to start, following the sighting of the crescent moon, on 28 June 2014. Over this period, the sense of community created through charity is palpable in the historically Muslim community of the Bo-Kaap, at the foot of Lion’s Head. Explore a culture that has helped shape Cape Town for centuries, and get to know another facet to this beautiful city by visiting the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum on Wale Street.

Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of spiritual renewal through fasting, prayer, and practicing selflessness. Fasting, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is observed from dawn until sunset during this holy month. Ramadan will end on 27 July 2014, subject to the sighing of the new moon, when Eid ul-Fitr, or the Festival of Fast Breaking, is celebrated.

Did you know that the ancestors of the majority of the Muslims in the Cape arrived from 1658 onwards as slaves, political exiles and convicts from East Africa and South East Asia? Under apartheid, the area was declared an exclusive residential area for Cape Muslims under the Group Areas Act of 1950, and people of other religions and ethnicities were forced out of the Bo-Kaap.

The Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, which dates to 1768, is the only house that retains its original form. The building is a rare example of early urban Cape Dutch architecture from the mid-eighteenth century. It was restored in the 1970s and opened as a museum in 1978. Today, the museum showcases local Islamic culture and heritage, houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, and offers an authentic insight into how Islam evolved in the Cape.

Experience the heart of Cape culture in a community that strives to retain its Muslim roots amid the onslaught of increasing gentrification, western ideals, and urban modernity. Visit the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, a gateway to gaining an appreciation of this important part of Cape and Muslim history.


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