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About Malay Muslims in South Africa The history of the Malay Muslims in South Africa (so-called Cape Muslims) started at the time of the 1st colonisation of the Cape by the Dutch East India Company. First group of Muslims who came to Cape Town in 1657. They were 12 slaves from Madagascar and Java. The following year, 1658, it was a group of African Muslims from Angola. From that time cargo with slaves were brought regularly by Dutch. Cape soon became the centre of competition between the European countries interested in very profitable slave trade and spice trade. Due to this Cape earned for itself the title “Tavern of the Seas”. The Malays who were political offenders or prisoners, considered by the Dutch as undesirable, were reported from Batavia and other Dutch possessions. The numbers of Malays increased tremendously during the 18th century. Traditional Food of Cape Malays As they were excellent cooks, soon they rightfully gained a very good reputation in cooking and baking skills and were employed by Dutch. In the process of learning the foreign recipes they added their traditional ingridients that greatly ehnaced Dutch’s and other’s national meals and tarts and these Euro-Malay dishes and delicaties are very popular till now: favourite milktarts are now so widely available and popular among all communities that it is almost a MUST in all shops, including even the biggest South African supermarkets. Spices were the basic for trade between the East and the West and it influenced the food in South Africa. Indian finger-licking dishes and Malay skillfully prepared delicious meals and variety of European recipes from all over the world makes Capetownian food very unique and suitable to any taste and any food and health habits. In today’s largets supermarkets, prestigious restaurants, McDonalds, Pizzas, KFC, Subways, as well as in regular cafes, small stores and even in outside stols and shops on wheels one can always find Halaal - food aspect plays an important role in Capetonian Muslim life and Muslims are tempted to eat out – as almost everywhere food is halal and very tasty. Take-aways and fast delivery also widely available, even on Fridays after Juma Salaah tasty and un-expensive food is on sale – not only to gain fund-raising for the poor and for the masjid’s needs but also in order to give Muslim women an opportunity to come and gain knowledge by listening to inspirational lecture in the mosque instead of spending many hours in the kitchen in this sacred day of the week. In some mosques a list made of numbers of regular musallis (people who regularly visit this particular mosque – usually who live nearby etc.) – each family is given an opportunity to do a righteous deed – to provide Juma food fund-raising event – by bringing food that will be sold and the money will go for donations. Taking in consideration that such events comes subsequently, in turn, and each’s turn usually happen only 1-3 times per year – than even when food is being prepared by one family with help of their women’s falk, still much better to cook 1-3 times per year and be free in other’s Fridays throughout the year. And moreover this food is prepared with an intention for: donations, fund-raising for needy and poor, for educational needs in madrasa in this mosque and last but not least: to free other’s women busy schedule and to give them an opportunity to come to the mosque and to gain more knowledge and not to worry what her family will eat for lunch today. Muslims love outing dinners and Sunday’s lunches with their families, almost impossible to find such a husband who won’t spoil his wife with regular visits to local restaurants and cozy cafee. Muslim women here are greatly respected and treated with high appreciation, usually provided with domestic worker by their husbands – so that the wife can have more time for education, family and herself.

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