Islam in South Africa

Islam in South Africa is a minority religion, practised by roughly 3% of the total population.[5] Islam in South Africa has grown in three phases. The first phase brought the earliest Muslims as part of the involuntary migration of slaves, artisans, political prisoners, and political exiles from the Dutch East Indies that lasted from about 1652 to the mid-1800s. The second phase was the arrival of indentured labourers from British India to work in the sugar-cane fields in Natal between 1860 and 1868, and again from 1874 to 1911. Of the approximately 176,000 Indians of all faiths who were transported to the Natal province, almost 7–10% of the first shipment were Muslims.

Islamic texts in the Nizamiye Mosque in Midrand

South African Muslims
جنوبی افریقی مسلمان
Total population
c.~1,804,289 (2021 est.)[1][2]
(3% of the population)
Regions with significant populations
Throughout South Africa
Religions
Majority: 95% Sunni Islam[3]
Minority: 5% Shia, 10–15% Non-sectarian Muslims
Languages
Urdu, Arabic, Afrikaans

Recognised regional languages
Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Gujarati, Balochi, Kashmiri, Turkish, Malay

Sacred and auxiliary language
Arabic[4]

The third phase has been marked by a wave of African Muslims following the end of apartheid in 1994. Recent figures put the number of these immigrants at approximately at between 75,000 and 100,000. In addition, a considerable number of Muslims from South Asia have also arrived as economic migrants.[6] Although the majority of Muslims are Sunni, smaller numbers are Shia and there is some Ahmadi following, particularly in Cape Town.[7]


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