Shaykh Yusuf Marouff
|Also Known As:||"Shaykh Yusuf al-Taj al-Khalwatt- al-Naqasar"|
|Birthplace:||Goa, East Indies|
|Death:||Died in Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa|
Son of Abd Allah Gallarang of Montjong-Iowe and Aminah
|Occupation:||Garleran or Makassar nobleman of high rank|
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About Shaykh Yusuf Marouff
Shaykh Yusuf ['Abidin Tadia Tjoessoep] was born in 1626 of noble birth in Goa in the East Indies. He fought alongside and supported Sultan Ajung of Bantam, Goa, in his war against the Dutch. Twice Shaykh Yusuf escaped from Dutch custody in the East, but was finally persuaded in 1694 to surrender on the promise of a pardon. The Dutch did not fulfil their promise and Shaykh Yusuf was banished, along with his family and followers, to the Castle in Batavia from where he was transferred, under armed guard, to the Castle in Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka]. Fearing Shaykh Yusuf's influence in Ceylon the Dutch exiled him to the Cape of Good Hope ten years after his initial surrender. The Shaykh arrived on board 'De Voetboog' on April 02, 1694 along with his retinue of 49 which included his two wives [Carecontoe and Carepane], two slave girls [Mu'minah and Na'imah], 12 children, 12 imams [religious leaders] and several friends with their families. He was royally welcomed by Governor Simon van der Stel at the Cape. They were housed on a farm in Zandvleit, near the mouth of the Eerste River in the Cape, far from Cape Town, on June 14, 1694. The Company's attempt to isolate Shaykh Yusuf at Zandvleit did not succeed. On the contrary, Zandvleit turned out to be the rallying point for 'fugitive' slaves and other exiles from (he East. It was here that the first cohesive Muslim community in South Africa was established. Since many of the Shaykh's followers hailed from Macassar, the district around Zandvleit is still known today as Macassar.
Other Easterners taken as slaves were Muslim political leaders who objected to Dutch domination in the East Indies, perhaps the most well-known being Shaykh Yusuf, whose kramat near Faure is today an important pilgrimage destination for South African Muslims. It is still not known whether Yusuf's remains lie in the tomb or were transported back to Macassar, as the Dutch government reported, but some of his descendants did remain. One of his grandsons married Marie Jordaan, whose origins were in France.
The controversy that the bodily remains of Sh. Yusuf of Macassar was returned to Batavia or not, was finally going to be laid to rest by the late Achmat Davids in his last intended publication, "Slaves, Saints, Convicts and Princes". In a personal communication with Kammie, just a few months prior his death, Achmat Davids championed the viewpoint that the bodily remains of Sh Yusuf is still interned at the Faure Kramat. According to Achmat Davids, if I correctly recollect was the fact that the local Cape Muslim community has been visiting his grave for several centuries as part of the local custom of paying homage to Sh Yusuf', before going on pilgrimage to Mecca. [personal communication] Other tentative evidence is the fact that Sh Yusuf died on 23 May 1699, whilst his surviving family left the Cape in 1704 i.e. nearly 3-4 years after his demise. This must be measured against unverified contemporary reports whereby 6000 Indonesians visit the national shrine of Sh Yusuf of Macassar on a daily basis ! No info on the number of visitors to the other tomb/kramat in his memory in Ceylon/Sri Lanka.
Others are of the opinion that in response to a petition of the Rajah of Goa to Dutch Governor-General and Council in Batavia, the [bodily] remains of Sh. Yusuf was allowed to be removed to Batavia when the Company permitted the solely Shaykh's widows, and daughters to be transferred to the East in 1704, whilst Sh Yusuf himself was buried on 23 May 1699 at Faure. His surviving entourage returned to Batavia on the two ships, De Liefde and De Speigel. In the case of his sons and grandsons, only those below the age of five/six were permitted to accompany 'returning entourage' of the late Sh Yusuf of Macassar. At the same time, the Company resolved to retain his friends and servants until they completed their terms of service as a measure to recoup the costs of maintaining the Sh. Yusuf and his retinue at the Cape.Two of the Shaykh's followers requested the Dutch authorities to permanently stay at the Cape, whilst one of Sh. Yusuf's daughters, Zytia Sara Marouff, who had married the Exiled King of Tamborah at the Cape, remained behind.