From the news desk

Brave caretaker sacrifices his own well-being to protect karamat

The caretaker of the Shaykh Nurul Mubeen shrine on the hills of the mountain in Oudekraal battled intense heat during a fire in a desperate bid to protect the karamat. 48 year old Abdurahmaan Rupen refused to leave the burial site, despite the inferno rapidly spreading across the mountain slopes on Wednesday. The fire is still burning high up on the mountain and fire-fighters are struggling to extinguish the blaze, due to the strong winds.

According to his sister Narriman Yen, he bravely sacrificed his own well-being to ensure the protection of the karamat. Rupen’s home was completely gutted in the blaze, with him and wife fleeing only with the clothes on their backs.

“My mother got a call from my sister in law [Rupen’s wife] saying the mountain is on fire and they had to run for their lives. When we got there, my sister in law was walking on the road completely bewildered. She told me my brother had gone back to the blaze to check on the kramat,” she told VOC News.

Yen tried to follow him up the mountain but a fireman stopped her because the smoke and fire was too dense. She then waited for him to return.

“He never complained once. He just had this complete sadness in his eyes and said to us, ‘just take my wife home and I will stay with the karamat. I cannot leave it’.”

She then tried to persuade him to go home with the family, but he refused. Rupen felt it was his duty to sleep at the karamat and ensure its protection. He continues to sleep there.

“He’s got absolutely nothing. He hasn’t even left the karamat to wash himself or to get food.”

“He just tells us that Allah will provide. That’s the person he is.”

Rupen has a slight cough following exposure to the thick plumes of smoke, but thankfully he did not suffer smoke inhalation.

Currently, there is no electricity on the mountain. A solar panel he had been using burnt out during the fire, which means he is unable to charge his phone. He remains cut off to communication.

His wife is currently staying with their daughter in Pelican Park, while he sleeps at the revered burial site.
Shaykh Nurul Mubeen’s grave is reached by ascending the 99 steps from Victoria Road up the mountain slope. The tomb stands beside a stream.

The Cape Mazaar Society confirmed that miraculously, none of the other kramats on the mountains slopes of Oudekraal and Camps Bay were burnt.

The family is calling on the community to assist with donations to get him back on his feet.
Contact Narriman Yen on 021 591 4551 to make a donation. VOC


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