Things To Do in LadysmithSoofie Mosque
Where? Ladysmith, KwaZulu Natal.
When? Open daily from 13h00 to 14h00 and 17h00 to 21h00.
How? Call +27 (0)36 637-7837
How much? Falls into price group R1 to R100 per person. Confirm with the provider.
One's initial reaction, upon seeing the Soofie Mosque for the first time, is 'wow'. As rich as the Islam tradition is in South Africa, nowhere else in the country is there a mosque of quite these proportions and beauty. It makes a visit to the town of Ladysmith that much more compelling.
Built in 1969 the graceful Soofie Mosque is regarded as one of the finest in the country. Its fine filigree stonework, scalloped archways, proud turrets and distinctive minarets – architectural features of Islamic mosques that look like tall spires – makes it visually appealing and sought after by photographers.
Known locally as the Soofie Masjid (mosque), the origins of the marvellous religious building date back to 1895 when Hadrat (also spelt Hazrath) Soofie Saheb, regarded as an important Muslim mystic, arrived in South Africa. He made it his mission to build as many as 12 mosques along the eastern inland seaboard of Durban as he could within 15 years.
The Soofie Mosque would have originally been built between the time of Hazrath Soofie Saheb's arrival and his death in 1910. It was then taken on during the sixties by master builder Jamaloodeen, who saw it as his personal mission to renovate the mosque as a tribute to the revered creator of the structure.
The resplendent building, now far larger than when initially built, was both created and renovated without a drawing - it was said that Jamaloodeen simply sketched daily drawings in the sand outside the mosque.
One of the most prominent aspects of the original structure to remain untouched in the building is the mihrab, a semi-circular niche in the wall of the mosque that indicates the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, and the direction Muslims face when praying.