This is a really nice piece!
I wonder if Sh Amienoellah has similar stories to share from his ancestors?
Virtues of Building a Masjid: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (Discourses on the Islamic Way of Life)
On At-Talib's blog:
Allah decreed that the Dutch attacked Cape Town seize it. The Britishers had known that the Malaysian were very good fighters and warriors. They were very brave. So, they asked them to drive away the Dutch but the Malaysians said that it made them no difference whether the Britishers had authority of the Dutch, for they were slaves any way. However, they were willing to fight the Dutch on condition that they be permitted to offer prayers in Cape Town and allowed to build a mosque.We must heed this fact- these people did not demand monetary remuneration. They did not ask to be set free, and they did not put forth any material condition. Their only demand was that they be allowed to build a mosque. Accordingly, they fought the Dutch very bravely and compelled them to retreat. The Malaysians then reminded the Britishers of their demand and were allowed to build a mosque. These poor people built the first mosque in Cape Town in very trying conditions. They lacked proper tools and material and money. They even could not determine the Qiblah [ The direction in which Muslims Pray, facing the Ka’bah at Makkah} with the result that it is off the mark by 20 degree or 25 degree. Today, the prayer mats are spread at the proper angle which leaves disalligned with the walls.
ONLY THE DEMAND TO BUILD A MOSQUE
These brave people did not ask for a house to live in and they did not demand money. They did not seize the opportunity to demand proper food and drink. Their demand was that they should be allowed to construct a mosque. This is the history of the Muslim people. They preferred a mosque over everything else and did not omit the duty of building it in their pitiable condition, too.
May Allah (swt) enable us to be from those who are able to build mosques for the people. May Allah make all the mosques a source of goodness and blessing for the people of the neighbourhood. May He cause these people to fulfill their obligations and may they inhabit their mosques and keep them occupied. Ameen.