Malay Graves in Santos Bay, Mossel Bay, Western Cape
The Malay Graves can be found at the Dias Museum Complex which is also part of the Mossel Bay Historic Walk Tour. The grave site was discovered in 1968, close to the famous Post Office Tree. Not much is known about the graves themselves, but records show that the land had been granted more than 100 years before, as a burial ground for Muslims.
It is believed that one of the graves belongs to an important Muslim dignitary who died at sea and was buried here in the 19th Century. Following Muslim tradition all the graves are aligned perpendicular to the Qibla (“direction” in which Muslims face during salah or formal worship), i.e. they are all facing Mecca. The tradition also insists on burying the deceased as soon as possible after their death and the body is shrouded in white linen, placed on his or her right side and with their head facing Mecca.
The grave markers are simple as outwardly lavish displays are discouraged in Islam. Many times the graves were unmarked or marked only with a simple wreath.
The Dias Museum Complex has many other features and a few hours can be spent here looking at all the various attractions.
Things to do and see
- Grave site
- Old Post Office Tree
- Dias Maritime Museum
- Dias Cross
- The Fountain
- Shell Museum
- Botanical Garden & Braille Trail
Admission rates to the Museum Complex are between R5 and R40. Prices are subject to change, please contact the Dias Museum Complex to confirm rates.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 27˚C with high rainfall in March and October.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C with the lowest rainfall in June and July.
Commercial Airlines offer flights into George Airport, 50 km from Mossel Bay. Car hire facilities are located at the Airport.
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