From the news desk

Excitement ahead of Kramat Festival

After its cancellation last year due to the drought in the Western Cape, organisers of the annual Kramat Festival in Faure are expecting bumper crowds at the religious site this Easter weekend. The festival is a unique Cape Malay tradition, which has been celebrated for hundreds of years.
More than 5 000 Cape Muslims attend the religious and cultural event every year, to honour Shaykh Yusuf of Macassar and to support the fundraising efforts of the Nurul Latief Islamic Association.

Shaykh Yusuf of Macassar remains the most prolific figure of Islam in South Africa, a scholar who brought the vibrancy of Islam and tassawuf within the Cape. Shaykh Yusuf is buried on the hill overlooking Macassar at Faure and many Muslim families have maintained the tradition of paying their respects at his burial place.

Families across the city will trek to the historic Faure site on Friday, to set up camp for the long weekend. Many Muslim families see the weekend breakaway as a chance to relax, but also connect with their spiritual roots. The festival has a family like atmosphere and is an opportunity to meet up with old friends and family.

Thursday will commence on a spiritual note in the form of a thikr after Esha at the Nurul Latief masjid.
On Friday, Jumuah salah will be performed at the masjid, to be broadcast live on VOC. This will be followed by a honorary programme for the Indonesian Consul-General and a ziyarat of the Karamat of Shaykh Yusuf.
During the evening, locals can look forward to the spiritual uplifting sounds of the Yemeni moulood by the Mahabba Foundation, the Salawaat, a ratiep display and the Malay Choirs.

On Saturday afternoon is the traditional Palestinian programme after Asr, including the Habibia Brigade and a horse parade. This year, a visiting Palestinian soccer team will be also be in attendance.

With Lailatul Ba’ra (Rua) being marked on Saturday evening, the Faure masjid is expected to be filled with campers. Organisers say they will combine the religious programme with entertainment from the Cape Malay choirs after the mosque sermon. VOC will broadcast the programme live on air after Maghrib.
For youth, there will be a touch rugby tournament on Friday and Saturday. There will also a fun-walk on Sunday at 9am and a tug-of-war for all campers.

For history enthusiasts, Strand historian Ebrahim Rhoda will present his latest book ‘Islamic Dawah at the Cape during the Dutch and British colonial period 1652-1842’

Prices for the festival are as follows:
Weekend campers 18th – 22 April
Adults: R100
Pensioners: R80
Children under 12: R50
Tents: R350
Parking: R50
Special family price: R750

For day visitors, entry costs:
Adults: R40
Pensioners: R30
Children under 12: R10

For more information, contact:
Shabier Ismail 082 441 60 42
Ebrahim Peters 082 562 5457

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