Shia Islam in South Africa

Shia Islam historically has had minimal presence in South Africa, which is heavily Sunni with some small Ahmadiyya and Shia minority. However, following the 1979 Iranian Revolution there were allegedly some sympathetic conversions of Sunnis to Shiism. In the same period, the Ahlul-Bayt Foundation and the scholar Aftab Haider established a Shia mosque in the Cape Town neighbourhood of Ottery.[1]

South Africa also has a small minority of Shia of Indian heritage, from communities such as the Dawoodi Bohras and the Khojas,[2] particularly in port cities such as Durban.

Adjacent to South Africa there are many countries having small populations of Islamic communities. One of them is Namibia where the shia community exists, please find more information on Ahlul-bayt Foundation of Namibia.


  1. Heinrich Matthée (2008). Muslim Identities and Political Strategies: A Case Study of Muslims in the Greater Cape Town Area of South Africa, 1994-2000. kassel university press GmbH. pp. 136–. ISBN 978-3-89958-406-6. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  2. Yasurō Hase; Hiroyuki Miyake; Fumiko Oshikawa (2002). South Asian migration in comparative perspective, movement, settlement and diaspora. Japan Center for Area Studies, National Museum of Ethnology. Retrieved 14 August 2012.

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