Ottoman State sent a professor of Islamic theology Abu Bakr Effendi to the Cape of Good Hope in 1862. As an Ottoman theologian, Abu Bakr Effendi’s approach to women in Muslim society should be important in order to understand his noteworthy works on the Cape Muslims. Also as far as it is understood from his works, as soon as he got the opportunity, he opened a separate school for Muslim girls and appointed his wife TahoraSaban as the headmistress of the school in 1866. When he began to perform his educational activities certainly, he also had to have considered the status of Muslim women in Ottoman society. In the nineteenth-century South African Muslim community, there were hardly any women recognized in its society. At this point, it is seen that Abu Bakr Effendi not only opened a school for women but also made his wife TahoraSaban the school principal by educating her. The impact of this perspective on South African female identity is undoubtedly significant. Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabî (AH 560-638), who lived more than eight centuries ago, should have declared that woman and man are absolutely equal in terms of human potentiality. Ibn ‘Arabî says that a woman shares the degree of perfection with a man, and that man is favored by superlative perfection. Ibn ʿArabī writes of the true significance of women, showing the exceptionally high regard in which he holds them. Ibn ʿArabī is keen to underscore that it is the metaphysical significance of women, and not their physical form, that was made beloved to Muḥammad. Abu Bakr Effendi used Arabi’s Fusus al-hikam in his school and taught it to his students. Certainly, Tahora was aware of this book and used it in her school curriculum.  The first time, Tahora’s handwritten notes will be used in this research. This study will reveal the influence of Abu Bakr Efendi on South African Muslim woman and their identity in society.

Keywords: Abu Bakr Effendi, Ottoman State, South Africa, Cape Muslims, School for Muslim Girls