Sheikh Yusuf Macasari


Sheikh Abidin Tadia Yusuf of Macassar.
BORN: 1626 in Macassar (present-day Indonesia)
DIED: 1699 in South Africa
Sheikh Yusuf was the nephew of King Bisei of Goa. He went on Hajj in 1644 and then married the daughter of the Sultan Ageng of Bantam where he became an Imaam. A revolution, engineered by the Dutch, broke out in 1680. Sultan Ageng was deposed.
In 1683 the Dutch attacked and Sultan Ageng was defeated but escaped with 5,000 followers. Among them was Sheikh Yusuf. They continued Jihad against the Dutch. Many died from starvation rather than surrender, and eventually Sultan Ageng was captured.
Yusuf escaped and continued resistance. In Sept 1683, he was wounded but escaped to Cheribon. He then took refuge in a village. His group was reduced to 24, mainly Ulama. In 1684 he surrendered on promise of pardon. The Dutch broke this promise and he was jailed at Batavia.

Sept 1684: Jailed in Sri Lanka. By then he was regarded as a Kramat, saint, for his Jihad against the Dutch.

1694: Exiled to the Cape. Royally welcomed by Governor van der Stel. Housed on the farm Sandvlei with 94 followers. The settlement soon became a sanctuary for fugitive slaves. It was here that the first cohesive Muslim Community in SA was established.

1699: Sheikh Yusuf (rahmatullahi alaihi) passed away.