Shaykh Abu Bakr Effendi Book


“The Crescent at the Cape, the True Story of Shaykh Abu-Bakr Effendi”, authored by author and veteran journalist, Shafiq Morton and jointly published by Awqaf SA and IRCICA.

Tuan Guru – founder of South Africa’s first mosque and madrasah – had been in his grave for half a century. The Cape Muslim population had exploded in size but was sliding into decline. Many of the imams, lacking education, had become ignorant and entitled. There was an unending conflict in the community, which was fought out in the Cape High Court.

In the same year, a group of concerned community elders made a call for a teacher to be sent to the Cape from Istanbul. No one knows who these people were, but it was their intervention that saw the arrival of Shaykh Abu-Bakr Effendi, an Ottoman scholar, in early 1863.

Welcomed by those keen to learn, he faced abuse from a coterie of imams who felt threatened by him. Sadly, it is their malcontent that has so jaundiced his story for over 140 years. In this well-researched biography, Shafiq Morton reveals for the first time the true story of Shaykh Abu-Bakr Effendi, one of the stand-out historical figures in the growth of Islam at the foot of Africa.


SHAFIQ MORTON is a Cape Town-based photojournalist, editor, surfer, and radio presenter. He presents the popular Drivetime afternoon current affairs slot at Voice of the Cape radio station. On his show, he has interviewed thousands of guests hailing from over 100 countries.

Stockists of the book


This is an online store that will cater for all requests nationally.


Baitul Hikmah – online shop – 222 Kenilworth Road, Overport, Durban (at Mariam Bee)

Purchase your copy of the book and have it delivered to your door

Cape Town

Masjidul Quds Gift Shop – Balu Parker Blvd, Gatesville, Cape Town

Tel: 021 691 1999

Sawants Creations – Hajjie Ebrahim Crescent, Rylands, Cape Town

Tel: 021 699 1200

Timbuktu Books – 7 Church Street, Athfin Centre, Athlone, Cape Town

Tel: 084 507 1295


Iqraa Agencies

Tangerine Street, Laudium, Pretoria

Tel: 012 374 2987

Radio interview

Cape Talk with Lester Kiewet