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Editor: Kai Kresse
Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui wrote his essays of this Guidance ( Uwongozi) collection in Mombasa between 1930 and 1932, providing social critique and moral guidance to Kenya’s coastal Muslims during a period of their decline during British colonial rule. The essays were initially published as a series of double-sided pamphlets called Sahifa (The Page), the first Swahili Islamic newspaper. Inspired by contemporary debates of Pan-Islam and Islamic modernism, and with a critical eye on British colonialism, this leading East African modernist takes issue with his peers, in a sharply critical and yet often humorous tone. Al-Amin Mazrui was the first to publish Islamic educational prose and social commentary in Swahili. This bi-lingual edition makes fascinating reading for specialists and general readers.
This book presents fifty-one didactic and devotional Sufi poems (with English translations) composed by the ulama of Brava, on Somalia’s Benadir coast, in Chimiini, a Bantu language related to Swahili and unique to the town. Because the six ulama-poets, among whom two women, guided local believers towards correct beliefs and behaviours in reference to specific authoritative religious texts, the poems allow insight into their authors’ religious education, affiliations, in which the Qādiriyyah and Aḥmadiyyah took pride of place, and regional connections. Because the poems refer to local people, places, events, and livelihoods, they also bring into view the uniquely local dimension of Islam in this small East African port city in this time-period.
Author: Thomas F. Glick

noxious odors, which ostensibly caused disease. “Eastern” spices were not necessarily eastern. The most popular spice in medieval Cairo was cinnamon; it came in two varieties, “Chinese” and “Ceylonese”, both of which, however, were imported from east Africa. Cloves were not popular, and even less were

In: Medieval Encounters

describes the East African coasts in such detail » (p. 215). En effet, al-Idrīsī ou Ibn Saʿīd s’y attardent avec profit. En outre, si les toponymes sont ici nombreux, leur positionnement même relatif est incohérent. Au-delà du cap Guardafui, les chercheurs écrivent « the identification of the other

In: Medieval Encounters

Westerners in the Indian Ocean region and (as we shall see below) to the special seafaring skills which such Westerners often possessed. As a result, black slaves from East Africa, and especially Christians from Ethiopia, were probably on the whole much more numerous than any contingent of “Frankish” rowers

In: Medieval Encounters
Author: Adam Gaiser

Merchants (Princeton: Markus Wiener, 2003), 3; Savage, “Berbers and Blacks,” 365-366. The reference to the pilgrimage in this passage may be significant: while many slaves came from India and East Africa, slaves from North Africa generally arrived via the Ḥijāz, when the pilgrimage season brought large

In: Medieval Encounters

picked up stories about other regions which he did not himself visit, such as Japan (‘Cipangu’), where the walls and roofs of the ruler’s palace were allegedly covered with gold, or the East African coast. In its scope, consequently, his book had no precedent: in Professor Larner’s words, ‘never before

In: Medieval Encounters
Author: Adam Knobler

Velho, Roteiro , 85-93. Similar reports were written of Christians and Christian-Muslim conflicts along the East African coast, reports which were echoed in royal circles as well as in the writings of mariners. See Velho, Roteiro , 32-33 [10-11 April 1498]. Also see the letter from Mañuel to Fernando

In: Medieval Encounters

India, whose collapse around 500 was accelerated by invasions of the “Hunas”. 32 In the west, the Sasanian Empire was competing with the Roman Empire across the Afro-Eurasian transition zone from the Caucasus via the Middle East to South Arabia and East Africa, also through proxy wars between

In: Migration Histories of the Medieval Afroeurasian Transition Zone