Utenzi wa Buniya ‘L-Islamu (MS 380551a)

Material Information

Utenzi wa Buniya ‘L-Islamu (MS 380551a)
Series Title:
Knappert Collection :
Khatwibu bin Qadhi Omar, Faqihi ( Author, Primary )
Faqihi Khatwibu bin Qadhi Omar ( contributor )
Publication Date:
Paper ( medium )
Handwritten manuscript : In blue and red ink


Subjects / Keywords:
Islam ( LCSH )
Religious practice
Religious belief
Imani za kidini
Faith ( LCSH )
Mazoezi ya kidini
Islam -- Customs and practices ( LCSH )
Poetry ( LCTGM )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Swahili Coast
-9.633997 x 39.778998


In this utenzi (composed in a northern dialect that may be designated Kigunya, Kitikuu or Kibajuni) the poet discusses the five pillars of Islam. He also touches upon many Other religious duties. That additional discussion and the concluding prayer suggest certain elements of the poet’s society: the valuing of self-reliance, for example, and the fear of being known by one’s neighbours as someone in need. The poet and scribe may be one and the same; or Faqihi Khatwibu bin Qadhi Omar may be scribing the work of another. The poet begins by invoking God and then admonishes his audience. Hardships such as hunger should be endured without complaint, he writes, and the death of a loved one should be accepted without extreme grief. He then discusses the way women should comport themselves during eda, the period of mourning after the death of a husband. The second pillar, swala, is named in stanza 97. The poet discusses the punishments to be endured, in this world and the afterlife, by those who do not pray and the blessings that accompany prayer. He also comments on the importance of obeying one’s parents, of abstaining from alcohol and on proper behaviour towards a man who doesn’t pray. One should not answer greeting of such a man, for example, share his food or sit where he sat. The poet introduces the third pillar, the giving of alms, in stanza 166. He describes the dangers of miserliness in life (the crops of a miserly farmer, for example, will be stunted by inadequate rain) and the punishments that await the miserly after death. The fourth pillar, fasting during Ramadan, is introduced in stanza 188. The poet describes three blessings to be enjoyed by those who share futari, the meal that breaks the fast, with Others and discusses rules governing fasting. The fifth pillar, pilgrimage to Mecca, is introduced in stanza 219. The poet describes how a pilgrim’s sins disappear with every step he takes on his journey and how the hair of a man who is shaved after the pilgrimage will become light on the Day of Judgement. He also writes of the error of sending another on pilgrimage in one’s place. After a concluding prayer (from stanza 228), the scribe praises the fine handwriting of his father. The scribe includes marginal notes. Some comprise entire stanzas; Others are explanations of lines or Arabic phrases. ( en )
General Note:
Date of Composition: 1964? AD (1384? A.H.)
General Note:
Languages: Swahili (Arabic script)
General Note:
Dialects: KiGunya; KiTikuu and KiBajuni
General Note:
Poetic Form: Utenzi
General Note:
Extent: 1 exercise book (59 pages)
General Note:
Incipit: Bismillahi awwali, namdhukuru Jalali, Rabbi asiwo mithali, dhati na swifaze pia
General Note:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Swahili Coast
General Note:
Purchased from Dr. J. Knappert, March 1993
General Note:
Scribe: Faqihi Khatwibu bin Qadhi Omar
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, Jan. 1967. Traditional Swahili Poetry. Leiden: E.J. Brill

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 380551 ( SOAS manuscript number )
MS 380551a ( SOAS manuscript number )