Utenzi wa Abdurahmani na Sufiani (MS 53497a)

Material Information

Utenzi wa Abdurahmani na Sufiani (MS 53497a)
Series Title:
Hichens Collection : Swahili Poems
Buhriy, Hemedi bin Abdallah ( Author, Primary )
Publication Date:
Paper ( medium )
Typescript manuscript with black ink


Subjects / Keywords:
Islam ( LCSH )
Religious history
Legends ( LCSH )
Swahili poetry ( LCSH )
Kiswahili mashairi
History -- Religious aspects ( LCSH )
Islam -- History ( LCSH )
Muḥammad, Prophet, -643 ( LCNA )
Prophet Mohammed
Abū Bakr, Caliph, -634 ( LCNA )
Abu Bakr
Poetry ( LCTGM )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Swahili Coast
-9.633997 x 39.778998


This is an incomplete poem, containing 957 stanzas, narrating the legend of Abdulrahmani and Sufiyani, two historical characters who lived in Mecca at the time of the Prophet and who became Muslims at that time. They were also called Maswahaba because of their support for the Prophet at the time of the rise of Islam in the 6th and 7th century. In the legend, Sufiyani was a Sultan, and Abdulrahmani, the son of Mohammed’s companion Abu Bakr, went to his sultanate to marry his daughter, and to be part of the sultanate’s army. A complete summary of the story is to be found in MS 255733a Further observations regarding the type of language used shows that the scribe, or the transliterator, has written this poem in a recent time. As noted in MS 255733a, the dialects used vary from northern to southern, although the author is from Tanga, in the south. In many instances, the syllables with dental ‘t’ are rendered as ‘cha’, and the dental ‘d’ is rendered as ‘nj’, using southern forms. The rhyming pattern is not always correct. For instance, in stanza 17, kipande 1 and 3 do not have the same final syllables. ( en )
General Note:
Biographical information: The poet was a member of the al-Buhry family, a well-known family in Tanga. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were poets, and his grandfather was the Mazrui governor of Mtang’ata. The published works of Hemed Abdallah Said al-Buhry include the History of Africa that appeared in 1952 as a supplement to Tanzania Notes and Records, in a translation by E.C. Baker, a work that was said (by the author’s son) to have been written at the request of German officials. His published poems are Utenzi wa Seyyidna Huseni bin Ali; Utenzi wa Kutawafu Kwa Nabii; Utenzi wa Kadhi Kassim bin Jaafar; Utendi wa Qiyama; Utenzi wa Vita vya Wadachi Kutamalaki Mrima; and Utenzi wa Abdirrahmani na Sifiyani. This manuscript suggests that the poet remembered Utenzi wa Abdirahamani from the recitation of his father, while the published version, more likely correct, states grandfather.
General Note:
Date of Composition is unknown
General Note:
Languages: Swahili (Roman script)
General Note:
Poetic Form: Utenzi
General Note:
Extent: 58 leaves
General Note:
Incipit: Awali bisimilahi, jina la Mola Ilahi, pweke asiye shabihi, ndiye wahedi l kahari
General Note:
Purchased from Kegan Paul, 6 October 1948
General Note:
See SOAS University of London manuscript MS 255733a
General Note:
See also SOAS University of London manuscript MS 255733a
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Buhriy, Hemedi bin Abdallah : URI
General Note:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Swahili Coast
General Note:
Publication information: Hemed Abdallah Said al-Buhry. 1961. Utenzi wa Abdirrahmani na Sufiyani. Trans by Roland Allen, with notes by JWT Allen. Nairobi: EALB.
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, Jan. 1967. Traditional Swahili Poetry. Brill, Leiden.
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, Jan. 1979. Four Centuries of Swahili Verse. London: Heinemann, pp. 210-217.
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, Jan. 1999. A Survey of Swahili Islamic Epic Sagas. Lewiston, New York; Queenston, Ontario; Lampeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press; pp. 32-33.
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, Jan. 1971. Swahili Islamic Poetry. Brill, Leiden.
General Note:
Publication information: Dammann, Ernest. 1940. Dichtungen in der Lamu Mundart des Suaheli. Hamburg, de Gruyter

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 53497 ( SOAS manuscript number )
MS 53497a ( SOAS manuscript number )