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Durban Buildings & Architecture
The multicultural city of Durban is home to a large and well established Muslim community. With more than 100 mosques and shrines, this Islamic influence adds a unique aspect to the city's diverse architectural heritage.
PEACE AND RESPECT- All are welcome, but please dress modestly and remove your shoes in designated area. If you wish to enter a mosque, seek permission from the local imam, and once inside stand or kneel quietly. Organised tours of the Grey Street Mosque can be arranged with the IPCI. Congregational prayers are held five times daily.
Find out more: Contact the IPCI on 031 304 5746 for or visit the Sheikh Ahmed Deedat Centre opposite the Grey Street mosque.
Introduction - The First Muslims in Durban
Muslims first arrived in Natal in 1860 after the British had colonised the region and began recruiting indentured labourers from India to work on the sugar-cane plantations. From 1875 onwards, Muslim places of worship sprang up in and around Durban. As the number of Muslims grew, the need for a congregational masjid (mosque) became urgent. In 1881 a site was purchased in Grey Street and the first masjid was built in Durban.
Islam is a monotheistic religion which reaffirms the teachings of Moses and Jesus Christ through the Prophet Mohammed. The Arabic word 'Islam' means 'voluntary surrender to the will of Allah and obedience to His commands'. The five fundamental acts of worship for Muslims are as follows:
Testifying that there is no deity but God and that Mohammed is His last and final Prophet
- Praying (Salah) five times a day
- Giving alms (Zakaat)
- Fasting (Saum) during the month of Ramadan
- Making the pilgrimage (Haj) to Mecca if one has the means
Researcher: Yusuf Patel
Photographer(s): Roger Jardine