Al-Inkishafi (MS 253029a)

Material Information

Al-Inkishafi (MS 253029a)
Series Title:
Hichens Collection : Al-Inkishafi and Correspondence
Hichens, William, -1944 ( Author, Primary )
Publication Date:
Paper ( medium )
Handwritten and typescript manuscript : Black ink on thin paper, hadnwriting on thin paper


Subjects / Keywords:
Swahili poetry ( LCSH )
Religious belief
Islam ( LCSH )
Imani za kidini
Kiswahili mashairi
Faith ( LCSH )
Sayyid Abdallah bin Nassir
Kijuma, Muhammad ( Author )
Al-Hinawy, Mbarak, Sheikh-Sir, 1896-1959 ( LCNA )
Sikujua, Mwalimu
Records (Documents) ( LCGFT )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Kenya -- Lamu County -- Eastern Africa -- Lamu -- Lamu Island
-2.269444 x 40.902222


This manuscript is likely to be complementary to the original copy of the poem, catalogued as MS 47770. This volume contains conspectuses of five versions of Al-Insishafi. The first is a typescript copy in roman character of a version by Mbarak Ali Hinawy, 38 leaves long. This copy is followed by notes, of which nine pages are unreadable, by Hichens, in English. The second is a typescript copy of the poem in the Shairi form, by Sayyid Abdallah bin Abdalla, the author, with 79 baiti. Here the author is, however, referred to as Sheikh Sayyid Abdallah bin Abdallah bin Ali bin Sheikh Abubakar bin Salim, which is, in fact, a very complicated and misleading way of addressing the author. This is probably a choice of the collector. This copy was given to Hichens by Muhammad Kijumwa. The third is a long section of notes and comments on the poem and the author, by Hichens. Hichens discuss the content as well as giving information on Swahili poetry (prosody, metres system) and the context of Al-Inkishafi. It also provides historical information. There are also scattered notes, possibly inserted at random, which do not seem to follow a specific order. These provide general information on the poem, author, scribes, and availability of copies. The fourth section contains a translation of the poem in typescript, with notes. Some parts of the translation have the Swahili version attached. The fifth part contains a series of Appendices that list the names of those who have copies of Al-Inkishafi, like Muhammad Kijumwa, Sheikh Ali Al-Amin, Sayyid Mansab. The appendix also lists, in order, notes on: the grammar of the poem, the art of the scribes, the Swahili alphabet, vocabulary, and it concludes with an extensive bibliography. The bibliography is divided into 4 sections: 1-Swahili language and Dictionaries, 2- History and custom, 3-Arabic and Arabian Poetry, 4- Swahili literature After the bibliography, we find part of a poem by Mwalimu Sikujua, in Kiamu, given to W.E. Taylor in 1889. Hichens speculates that this poem may have been written on the basis of Al-Inkishafi, and he calls it ‘ Ina hada’s Duniya’, meaning ‘The false Inkishafi’ Handwritten and typed notes are inserted within the poem, some not so readable. ( en )
General Note:
Date of Composition: circa 1930 AD (circa 1349 A.H.)
General Note:
Languages: Swahili (Roman script)
General Note:
Dialects: KiAmu
General Note:
Extent: 1 volume
General Note:
Incipit: Conspectus of Five Versions of The Inkishafi.
General Note:
See SOAS University of London manuscripts MS 47770, MS 380548, MS 256191, MS 196884d
General Note:
From the Hichens Papers via Miss M.C. Bryan (gift), 23 February 1970
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Hichens, William, -1944 : URI
General Note:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Kenya -- Lamu County -- Lamu -- Lamu Island
General Note:
Publication information: Sayyid Abdallah A. Nasir. 1972 (1939). Al-Inkishafi: The Soul’s Awakening. Trans. and ed. by William Hichens. Nairobi: Oxford University Press.
General Note:
Publication information: Sayyid Abdallah A. Nasir. 1977. Al-Inkishafi: Catechism of a Soul. Trans. and ed. by J. de Vere Allen. Nairobi: East African Literature Bureau.
General Note:
Publication information: Hichens, W. 1939. Al-Inkishafi. London: Sheldon Press
General Note:
Publication information: Allen R. 1946. Inkishafi-A Traslation from the Swahili. African Studies, 5, pp.243-249
General Note:
Publication information: Harris, L. 1962. Swahili Poetry. Clarendon Press: Oxford, pp.86-102
General Note:
Publication information: Mlamali, Mh. Wa. 1980. Ikisiri ya Inkishafi. Nairobi: Longman
General Note:
Publication information: Hamza Mustafa Njozi. 1998. The use of Ambiguity in Al-Inkishafi. Afrika und Ubersee, band 81, pp. 227-238

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS University of London
Holding Location:
Archives and Special Collections
Rights Management:
This item may be in the public domain. Its status has yet to be assessed.
Resource Identifier:
MS 253029 ( SOAS manuscript number )
MS 253029a ( SOAS manuscript number )