Bendigo Islamic Association – Early Muslim Settlers

There are some findings which prove that some Muslims had been living in Bendigo long time ago. We have found a grave of “Glaum Mohammad Bux” in White Hills Cemetery. He also known as Mattab Shaah, is recorded as an “Indian Hawker”, received Islamic burial rites and his grave, unlike the Christian graves nearby, is aligned to the qibla (Mecca). There is a small neglected Muslim section of the old White Hills cemetry.

A local historian confirms that there are two others “Hawkers” named “Deedee” Khan and “Old” Swahree, both Afghans and practising Muslims, who were based in Bendigo for many decades. There were once a dozen Afghans resident in Bendigo working as Hawkers. All accounts say that they were well-like and respected. Travelling with horse and cart they brought fabrics, utensils and other goods to remote homesteads. The Afghans once camped in the old haymarket beside the old Town Hall (now parkland).    


This piece is taken from the website of the Bendigo Islamic Association.

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