Utenzi wa Aisha na Mohammed (MS 53497d)

Material Information

Utenzi wa Aisha na Mohammed (MS 53497d)
Series Title:
Hichens Collection : Swahili Poems
Kijuma, Muhammad ( contributor )
Publication Date:
Paper ( medium )
Handwritten manuscript in black ink and pencil on thin paper


Subjects / Keywords:
Islam ( LCSH )
Religious history
Legends ( LCSH )
Swahili poetry ( LCSH )
Kiswahili mashairi
History -- Religious aspects ( LCSH )
Islam -- History ( LCSH )
Gabriel (Archangel) ( LCSH )
Muḥammad, Prophet, -641 ( 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 section of MS 53497 contains the transliteration of the poem ‘Utenzi wa Ayesha na Muhammad’ given to Hichens by M. Kijumwa in 1933. The title of the poem in the manuscript mistakenly refers to Aisha as Ayesha; and in Abou egl’s thesis Aisha is referred as ‘Esha’. According to Abou Egl (unpubl. 1983), Hichens did the transliteration, and Kijumwa provided a glossary of the poem. However, the glossary is not enclosed with the poem. The poem contains 155 stanzas, but as noted by Abou Egl, four stanzas are, in fact, Quranic verses. Therefore the poem has 151 original stanzas. The content of the poem narrates the epic story of the marriage of the Prophet with his second wife Aisha. There are many events and situations, surrounding the main theme of the poem, in which the main characters are involved. The first 6 stanzas are an introductory ode to the Prophet. At Stanzas 7 and 8, the story begins with the death of Khadija and the need for someone to raise their daughter Fatima. At Stanza 9, the Prophet, wrongly addressed as ‘Tuma’ rather than ‘Tumwa’, expresses sadness and loneliness after the death of Khadija. In Stanza 10, he considers whether to take another wife, and asks advice of the angel Jibril. Jibril says that God has already arranged the marriage in Paradise. At Stanza 21, Aisha is introduced as the daughter of Babakari (Abu Bakr). At Stanza 23, Abu Bakr is asked to marry his daughter to the Prophet. The story continues with description of many events, until Aisha and Mohammed finally marry. After the wedding, the poem narrates Other events, for instance, the occasion when Aisha was accused of betraying the Prophet. This incident is reported in the Qur’an to be a malicious insinuation of misconduct. Aisha did not betray the Prophet. These rumours were short-lived, and her innocence was established beyond doubt. The lead researcher suggests that the main purpose of this Utendi could be to represent this particular incident involving Aisha, in order to show that Aisha’s integrity is beyond doubt as stated in the Qur’an. The Utendi also, more generally deplores the malice of human beings. The transliteration contains many spelling and grammatical errors. For instance, in Stanza 1, kipande 2, ‘mema’ should be ‘mwema’, and in kipande 4, ‘jema’ should be ‘njema’. Stanza 3, kipande 3, ‘ni kithimu’ should be ‘nikhitimu’. Stanza 4, kipande 1, ‘nisaliye’ should be ‘niswaliye’; and in kipande 2 ‘sahaba’ should be ‘swahaba’. Stanza 6, kipande 4, ‘rathiya’ should be ‘radhiya’. Stanza 7, kipande 3, ‘Fatimaha’ should be ‘Fatima’; and in kipande 4, ‘kwa myeya’ should be ‘kumleya’. Stanza 8, ‘kwa siri’ should be ‘kasiri’, which means to become. Many more errors of this kind can be found throughout the poem. ( en )
General Note:
Date of Composition is unknown
General Note:
Languages: Swahili (Roman script)
General Note:
Dialects: KiAmu
General Note:
Poetic Form: Utenzi
General Note:
Extent: 33 leaves
General Note:
Purchased from Kegan Paul, 6 October 1948
General Note:
Incipit: Patiyani zinjifuri, Na Wino mema khiyari, Na kalamu ya sufuri, Ilo jema kuandikia
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Kijuma, Muhammad : URI
General Note:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Swahili Coast
General Note:
Scribe: Kijuma, Muhammad
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.
General Note:
Publication information: Abou Egl, Mohammad. 1983. The LIfe and Works of Muhamadi Kijumwa. PhD thesis, SOAS-University of London, pp 226-228

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 53497d ( SOAS manuscript number )