Sheikh Yusuf Kramat

Faure is a suburb of the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is home to one of the most treasured historical sites in the Muslim religion. The Sheikh Yusuf Kramat is a spiritual shrine and a site of pilgrimage for many Muslim communities. Visitors are welcomed at the Sheikh Yusuf Kramat, which is the final resting place of this legendary icon and nobleman. His revolutionary work, opposing the invading Dutch armies in Macassar, led to his capture and relocation to the Cape of Good Hope in 1693.

Even though Sheikh Yusuf was warmly welcomed by Governor Simon van der Stel on 17 June 1693, his arrival in the Cape of Good Hope was not of his own choice. Known for being a revolutionary against the Dutch, and becoming famous for his numerous escapes, his captors were not willing to risk losing the evasive Sheikh and made the decision to relocate him. Sheikh Yusuf and his followers were given the farm Zandvliet, where he offered sanctuary to slaves who were on the run. He preached the message of Islam to all who were willing to listen, and is seen as one of the founding fathers of the Muslim religion in South Africa. It is also said that the Sheikh and his family were the first to read the Koran on South African soil.

Kramats are holy shrines of Islam, and noblemen were traditionally buried in a kramat. Throughout the Cape Peninsula, approximately twenty kramats can be found, but the Sheikh Yusuf Kramat is by far the most significant. Sheik Yusuf passed away at the age of 73, on 23 May 1699. He was laid to rest in a kramat that closely resembles a mosque.

Located on a small hill just above Faure, the kramat has a bed on the inside, covered in colorful quilts, under which Sheikh Yusuf is interred. Even though some historians argue that his body was taken back to the East Indies, as indicated in some historical documents, most believe that he is still at peace in the kramat in Cape Town and make pilgrimage to this site to pay their respects.