The Al Azhar Masjied was founded by Imam Kassiem Gamieldien in the late 1800’s. Imam Kassiem served as the first Imam of the Masjied.

Imam Kassiem Gamieldien’s son, Sheigh Abubakr Gamieldien better known as Imam Akaa studied at the Al Azhar College in Cairo. He served as the imam of the Masjied until his demise in 1945. At the time the masjied operated a madrassah, where the learners were taught Shariah studies by Hafith Abdul Mallick.

Sheigh Abduragman better known as Imam Amaanie, another son of Imam Kassiem, left for Cairo in the year 1900 to study at the Nasrih Government College in Cairo. He returned in 1907 and was appointed as Ustadh and Imam of the Indian College in Mowbray. In 1908, Sheigh Abduragman was appointed as co- Imam of the Al Azhar Masjied and assisted his brother in the duties of the Imam at the Masjied. He also acted as Headmaster of the madrassah at the Masjied. He passed away in Cairo in 1935.

In 1922, Sheigh Abduragman departed with his family, including his sons, Muhammad Shakir, Habib, and Muhammad Ihsan for Egypt.

Sheigh Muhammad Shakir, the eldest son of Sheigh Abduragman, completed his studies at the Al-Azhar University Cairo. He returned to Cape Town in 1938. He was recognized as one of the foremost Islamic scholars in the Cape and South Africa. He served as one of the Imams of the Al Azhar masjied for many years until his passing on in 1997.

Sheigh Muhammad Ihsan who studied at Cairo University returned to Cape Town in 1945 and was appointed as Imam of the Masjied after the passing on of Sheigh Abubakr in that very same year. Sheigh Muhammad Taib Jassiem who also studied at the Al-Azhtar College in Cairo assisted with the Jumuah prayers until 1972.

Sheigh Ismail Keraan, the current Imam of the Al Azhar masjied, was appointed as the assistant imam of the masjied in 1995. Sheigh Keraan was a student of the late Sheigh Shakir. Sheigh Keraan is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and studied at the Al Azhar College and also in Rhiyadh, Saudi Arabia. On the demise of Sheigh Muhammad Shakir, Sheigh Keraan became the Imam of the Masjied and has now been serving as Imam of the masjied for almost 17 years.


Ismail Hanif Edwards – His Life and Works by Moegamat Hoosain Ebrahim, 2004

Dr Ahmad Fuad Gamieldien- youngest son of Sheigh Abduraghmaan Gamieldien (born 1930 in Cairo)