Muhammad Idris Muhammad Saleh (Maalim Idris): 1934-2012

12 June 2012

Muhammad Idris Muhammad Saleh died in Zanzibar on March 5th 2012, aged 78. Known locally as Maalim Idris (or Maalim Idrisa), his impact on the Zanzibari community was first and foremost as a religious leader and a teacher, but also as a keeper of the history of Islamic scholarship in East Africa, a writer and as a collector.

Sixty Letters in Arabic Script from the Mozambique Historical Archives

16 February 2012

This book contains sixty historical letters written in Arabic script (Ajami) found in Mozambique Historical Archives in Maputo, with their scanned images, respective transliteration into Latin script, translation into Portuguese (for now), and the description of the historical contexts and lives of each of the authors of the letters. At the end of each section, a list of relevant bibliography is included.

The Manuscript Collection of the Riyadha Mosque, Lamu, Kenya

15 June 2011

The Riyadha Mosque in Lamu, Kenya, is one of the longest continuously functioning and one of the most influential Islamic teaching institutions in the Swahili world. The first time I heard about the Riyadha Mosque of Lamu, was – typically – neither in Kenya nor in East Africa, but in Hadramawt, Yemen. More precisely, I was in the city of Sayun, in a public building overlooking the Riyadha Mosque there, founded in 1879 by Ali al-Hibshi. The Riyadha of Sayun is both the namesake and the model for the Lamu Riyadha and the relationship between the two institutions remained strong. The Lamu Riyadha was founded in the late 19th century by Salih b. Alawi Jamal al-Layl (1853/53-1936), based on the teaching taking place in the Riyadha in Sayun – particularly the mawlid celebrations implemented by Ali al-Hibshi.