Wednesday, April 3, 2013


The Ratiep, where the participants stab and hit themselves without injury, has been a regular practice in Cape Town for over a century. It is said that the dhikr - the recitation of Allah's names - imbues the participant with protection against injury. This group was performing at the karamat - or tomb of Shaikh Yusuf of Makasar (the political exile and founding father of South African Islam in 1694) - over the Easter Weekend. The festival at the Karamat dates back 150 years when Muslim families would pack their belongings into donkey carts and camp for the weekend at the banks of the Kuils River where Sh Yusuf lies buried.




Pics © Shafiq Morton

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