SITUATED near a taxi rank in one of Cape Town's oldest surburbs, Mowbray, masjid ul-Rashideen was built in 1891 to serve a community that would be broken up by the apartheid Group Areas Act of the 1960s. Close to the Liesbeeck River where the Koi-San once watered their cows, and with a backdrop of Devil's Peak and Table Mountain, the gentrified residential and commercial area is now highly sought after for its Victorian cottages and buildings.
For over 100 years the community has not forgotten the centrality of the mosque, although being scattered far and wide. Today, it is Somali traders and Arabic-speaking immigrants who line-up in its daily prayer rows with the broader community filling the mosque on big occasions such as the Friday prayers, Hajj classes and the two 'Eid festivals.
The mosque, which was fully renovated in 1999, is a peaceful oasis in a busy neighbourhood. It is a solid reminder of a community that refused to away, despite the ravages of apartheid.
Recently, the Dairut us-Salihiyyah Dhikr Circle held their final mawlud of the season at the mosque on a cool Saturday afternoon. The mawlud, which commemorates the life of the Prophet Muhammad, was well attended and also celebrated the birthday of Hajjah Naeema, the leader of the group. Maulana Irshaad Sedick, the guest speaker, spoke about the merits of motherhood, saying it "intimidated" him that the mosque was filled with people at whose feet would lie Paradise.