On Tuesday 23 September, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visited the Auwal Masjid, South Africa’s oldest mosque. The Auwal Masjid was established in 1794 in what was previously known as the Cape Malay district.
The Duke and Duchess received a warm welcome
Shaamiela Samodien, 63, who cooked for the couple, told AFP that they were honoured to host the Royal family, and added: “It made us feel good. […] They tried koeksisters and apple crumble”.
Royal correspondent Omid Scobie said on Twitter:
“Harry and Meghan had an informal chat with the family about the area and community. “It didn’t feel like having royalty over,” Shamiela told me. “They’re very down for earth. And proud parents — they said Archie has been very comfortable since arriving.”
Scobie also tried the koeksisters, and used the ‘fine’ emoji to express her delight.
Some of the delicious treats (including traditional koeksisters, which I’ve just tried and are) waiting for Harry and Meghan at the home of local Chiappini Street resident Shamiela Sanodien
Viewing of the manuscript
During their visit, the royal couple viewed the first-known manuscript of the Qu’ran in South Africa, which was drafted by the first Iman, Qadi Abdussalam, affectionately known as Tuan Guru.
He wrote the Qu’ran from memory while imprisoned on Robben Island. During the first British occupation, Guru – who was an Indonesian Prince – was released from prison and settled in the Bo-Kaap.
After Guru’s death, Achmad of Bengal assumed the position of Imam. Since his death in 1980, the position has been filled by many imans, including Sheikh Salih Abadi and Moulana Mugammad.
After a quick lunch (and change into appropriate attire), Harry and Meghan arrive at the @AuwalMasjid Mosque..
The Sussex’s also met with community leaders
After the vieweing, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also met members of different faith groups to learn about the work the Auwal Mosque does to promote interfaith dialogue in the region.
The Auwul Mosque welcomes visitors of all denominations and hosts inter-faith dialogues to develop inter-communal and inter-faith understanding between South Africa’s varied communities.
The Duke and Duchess also met with community leader Jacky Poking to watch a cultural performance, and to meet with Iman Sheikh Ismail Londt, as well as community leader Mohamed Groenewald.
They were met by Imam Sheikh Ismail Londt and Muslim community leader, Mohamed Groenwald. Inside they are being introduced to faith leaders and to view the first known manuscript of the Qu’ran in South Africa (which was drafted by an Imam from memory imprisoned on Robben Island).