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Abū Bakr Bā Kathīr

(706 words)

Author(s): Bang, Anne K.
Abū Bakr b. ʿAbdallāh Bā Kathīr al-Kindi (1881–1943) was the second son of the well-known Zanzibari scholar and founder of the Madrasa Bā Kathīr, ʿAbdallāh b. Muḥammad Bā Kathīr (d. 1925) (Bang, Sufis; Loimeier). Abū Bakr studied with his father in the school that bore his name, and with several of his father’s teachers, among them Aḥmad b. Abī Bakr b. Sumayṭ (d. 1925). The latter was born in Grande Comore to a father from Ḥaḍramawt, and was the leading scholar of East Africa in the period. He was also a leading shaykh of the ṭarīqa ʿAlawiyya. In 1923 he journeyed to Ḥaḍramawt and Mecca, …
Date: 2019-05-08

Aḥmad b. Sumayṭ

(308 words)

Author(s): Bang, Anne K.
Aḥmad b. Abī Bakr b. Sumayṭ (1861–1925) was born in Moroni, Grande Comore, in the north Mozambique Channel, to a father who had immigrated from Ḥaḍramawt, in southern Yemen. The Sumayṭ family was of the Bā ʿAlawī, descendants of the Prophet and adherents of the ṭarīqa ʿAlawiyya. This order emphasises the teacher-student transmission of knowledge that is combined with spiritual insight through descent from the Prophet. Aḥmad b. Sumayṭ visited Yemen three times in order to reconnect to his ancestral origin. He also travelled to Egypt and Istanbul, where he studi…
Date: 2019-05-08

ʿAlawiyya in East Africa

(802 words)

Author(s): Bang, Anne K.
The most influential Alawī clans in East Africa have, according to Alawī genealogy, been the Āl Jamāl al-Layl and the Āl Shaykh Abī Bakr b. Sālim (al-Mashhūr, Shams al-ẓahīra).The ʿAlawī clan has its origin in Ḥaḍramawt, Yemen, but is now spread throughout the rim of the Indian Ocean, accompanying the Ḥaḍramī diaspora. Its development from a descent based clan line to a Ṣūfī order started in the seventh/thirteenth century, and this process is particularly linked to the name of al-Faqīh al- Muqaddam al-Sayyid Muḥammad b. ʿAlī Bā ʿAlawī al-Ḥusaynī (d. 653/1232). While ʿAlawī migration t…
Date: 2019-05-08

Aḥmad b. ʿAlī Manṣab

(1,570 words)

Author(s): Loimeier, Roman | Bang, Anne K.
Aḥmad b. ʿAlī Manṣab al-Ḥusaynī (1863–1927), known as Sayyid Manṣab b. ʿAlī, was a leading Muslim scholar in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Zanzibar. He is best known in retrospective accounts as an early representative of what later came to be known as Islamic modernism in Zanzibar specifically and on the East African coast in general. Islamic scholarship and learning in Zanzibar in the nineteenth century was strongly influenced by several networks of scholars: the Ibāḍīs (mainly of Omani origin, whose version of Islam differs from t…
Date: 2019-05-08

East Africa

(2,721 words)

Author(s): Alpers, Edward A. | Bang, Anne K.
East Africa is today an important world region of Islam, with a history reaching back to the earliest centuries of the faith. Although data are both unreliable and disputed, the 2014 edition of the CIA World Factbook indicates that Muslims are said to constitute approximately 11.1 percent of the population of Kenya (4.9 millions); 12.1 percent of Uganda (4.2 millions); 35 percent of Tanzania (16.8 millions); 4.6 percent of Rwanda (552,000); 2.5 percent of Burundi (270,000); perhaps ten percent of…
Date: 2019-05-08