The Vagrant Law prevented Muslims in the borough of Durban from exercising their religious obligations after 9 p.m. at certain times of the year. In the document reproduced here, dated 26 March 1877, Muslims celebrating the Prophet Mahommed's birthday during the 'Maulud Sharif or 'Milad' complain of the annoyance caused by the curfew law and ask for exemption from it. Source: I.I. 1/4,13,87/ 1877, Natal Archives.
We the undersigned Mahomedans, native of India [,] at present residing in the borough of Durban, beg respectfully to bring to your kind notice the annoyance we suffer at the borough constables.
On Tuesday last about half past 9 p.m. we returned home after our religious duties and were seated in the veranda and some were in the act of leaving to their residence when several native constables came up to arrest us and had not the Indian interpreter come on the spot we would have [been] arrested and locked up. Even after the interpreter explain[ed] the matter to Sergeant Barthram he said that in future he would allow no coloured people on any account [to] be out after 9 p.m.
It is most painful and disheartening to us Indians after inviting us into this Colony and thus treated as slaves instead of free-born subjects and we are afraid that if this law interferes in any way with our religious matter it may cause some disturbance.