Citation
Utenzi wa Hirqal (MS 45022a)

Material Information

Title:
Utenzi wa Hirqal (MS 45022a)
Series Title:
Taylor Papers : Swahili Verses
Added title page title:
Story of Heraclius
Added title page title:
Book of Heraclius
Added title page title:
Kyuo kya Hereḳali
Creator:
Mwana, Kupona, 1810-1860 ( Author, Primary )
Kijuma, Muhammad ( scribe )
Publication Date:
Language:
Swahili
Materials:
Paper ( medium )
Technique:
Handwritten manuscript : Handwritten in black and red ink on old thick papers

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Islam ( LCSH )
Christianity ( LCSH )
Religious belief
Oral history ( LCSH )
Swahili poetry ( LCSH )
Uislamu
Kiswahili mashairi
Faith ( LCSH )
Imani za kidini
Jibril
Gabriel (Archangel) ( LCSH )
Muḥammad, Prophet, -641 ( LCNA )
Prophet Mohammed
ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Caliph, approximately 600-661 ( LCNA )
علي بن أبي طالب، الخليفة، 600-661
Jaafari Mwana Amuye Bashiri
Heraclius
Ibnu Omari
Abdalla Shuhuri
Genre:
Poem
Utenzi
Poetry ( LCTGM )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- Syria -- Damascus Governate -- Damascus
Coordinates:
33.513056 x 36.291944

Notes

Abstract:
This section of MS 45022 contains a poem, utenzi, of 1150 stanzas, of one line in each stanza, that narrates of a war between Muslims and Romans. Because of its content, the poem can be considered an oral historical account. The poem was given to Ernest Dammann by Muhammed Kijumwa in 1937, in Lamu. Hirqal, known as Heraclius, was a Roman governor who fought against the Muslims. The poem contained here is not complete, and it misses the beginning. The pages are numbered by leaf. The utenzi starts by naming three soldiers (messengers), Jaafari Mwana Amuye Bashiri, Abdalla Shururi, and Zaidi, who have died in the war. The Prophet is said to have spent seven days commemorating the deaths. In Islam however the commemoration of the death does not last more that three days, except in the case of a widow commemorating her husband, in which case it lasts for four months and ten days. At page 1, Jibril comes to give him God’s orders to the Prophet and to the ‘Swahaba’ (Prophet’s followers). Jibril tells them to go to attack the city of Tabuk in Sham (Syria). At page 2, Ali is given the role of writer by the Prophet so that he can account for the events that are taking place at that time. A letter is then sent to Hirqal by the Prophet, written by Ali, is which the Prophet tells Hirqal that his religion/belief, of believing that Jesus is the son of God, is wrong. At page 4, there is the Muslim doctrinal formula ‘laa ilaha illa llahu, Muhammadun rasulu llah’, ‘there is no God but Allah, and Muhammadun is his messenger’. Ibnu Omar is the one delivering the letter, which will entitle him to go to Paradise as promised by the Prophet. The poem narrates of Ibnu Omar preparation for the trip to deliver the letter. Ibnu Omar delivers the letter to the minister of Hirqal at Tabuk. The minister disagrees with the content of the letter and reply by saying that they will not stop believing in their religion because they were transmitted from the ancestors. At page 9, the letter is sent to Hirqal who is residing in Damascus. Hirqal replies to the Prophet with another letter in which he declines the recommendations. Both Hirqal and the Prophet, pages 11 to 14, tell their followers to be ready for war. The poem narrates the preparation for war and how thousands of Muslims came from many cities to Medina to support the Prophet. The battle, with sword and spear, between the two factions is vividly described from page 15 to 18. At the end, the utenzi narrates that the Muslims won over the Romans and took Hirqal minister and his friend as prisoners where they were told to be Islamised. They refused and they were thus killed by sword. Overall, the poem extensively and vividly narrates in a way in which the sequence of events is sometimes difficult to follow. The narrative of the war is from a Muslim perspective, and in many instances the enemies are called ‘kafiri’, non-believer in Islam, or infidels. The adaptation of Arabic scripts into Swahili is quite easy to follow thanks also to the good quality of scribing. The Swahili dialect used is mainly Kiamu with Other northern expressions. ( en )
General Note:
Date of Composition is unknown
General Note:
Languages: Swahili (Arabic script)
General Note:
Dialects: KiAmu and Northern
General Note:
Poetic Form: Utenzi
General Note:
Extent: 31 leaves
General Note:
Purchased from Mrs W.E. Taylor for £10, March 1930 (entered in Accession Book 21 January 1942)
General Note:
Incipit: Wa kwanda ni Jaafari Mwana Amuye Bashiri, na Abdalla Shururi, naye Zaidi
General Note:
Other copy: Sham or al-Sham (سوريا in Arabic) is an archaic rendering for Greater Syria, the Levant.
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Mwana, Kupona, 1810-1860 : URI http://viaf.org/viaf/55052255
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Kijuma, Muhammad : URI http://viaf.org/viaf/43775563
General Note:
Asia -- Syria -- Damascus Governorate -- Damascus
General Note:
Asia -- Syria
General Note:
Asia -- Arabian Peninsula -- Byzantine Empire -- Tebük
General Note:
Asia -- Arabian Peninsula -- Saudi Arabia -- Tabuk Province -- Tabuk
General Note:
Scribe: Kijuma, Muhammad
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, J. 1958. Het Epos Van Heraklios. Druk: Fa N.J. Hofman-Alkmar, Netherland.
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, J. 1977. Het Epos van Heraklios. Meulenhoff, Amsterdam, Netherland.
General Note:
Publication information: Abou Egl, Mohammad. 1983. The life and works of Muhamadi Kijuma. PhD thesis, SOAS, University of London. pp. 240-242

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS University of London
Holding Location:
Archives and Special Collections
Rights Management:
This item is believed to be in the public domain
Resource Identifier:
MS 45022 ( SOAS manuscript number )
MS 45022a ( SOAS manuscript number )

Full Text
Item Reference: MS 45022a
Collection: Taylor Papers
File Reference: MS 45022
Title: Utenzi wa Hirqal
First lines of manuscript: Wa kwanda ni Jaafari Mwana Amuye Bashiri, na Abdalla Shururi, naye Zaidi
Authors: Bwana Mwengo wa Athman
Scribe: Muhammed Kijumwa
AD Date: n.d
AD date of composition: n.d
AH Date: n.d
AH date of composition: n.d
Extent: 31 leaves
Resource Type: Poem
Poetic Form: Utenzi
Format: Handwritten manuscript
Language: Swahili
Script: Arabic
Relevant Dialects: Kiamu and other nothern dialects
Subject and keywords: Islam, Christianity, religious beliefs, oral history, Swahili poetry
People: Prophet Mohammed, Jibril, Ali, Abdalla Shuhuri, Jaafari Mwana Amuye Bashiri, Heraclius, Ibnu Omari
Biographical history:
Archival history: None
Physical characteristics: handwritten in black and red ink on old thick papers
Electronic reproductions: None
Existence/location of copies: None
Finding aids: None
Relevant publications: Knappert, J. 1958. Het Epos Van Heraklios. Druk: Fa N.J. Hofman-Alkmar, Netherland. Knappert, J. 1977. Het Epos van Heraklios. Meulenhoff, Amsterdam, Netherland. Abou Egl, Mohammad. 1983. The life and works of Muhamadi Kijuma. PhD thesis, SOAS, University of London. pp. 240-242
Notes:
Scope and content: This section of MS 45022 contains a poem, utenzi, of 1150 stanzas, of one line in each stanza, that narrates of a war between Muslims and Romans. Because of its content, the poem can be considered an oral historical account. The poem was given to Ernest Dammann by Muhammed Kijumwa in 1937, in Lamu. Hirqal, known as Heraclius, was a Roman governor who fought against the Muslims. The poem contained here is not complete, and it misses the beginning. The pages are numbered by leaf. The utenzi starts by naming three soldiers (messengers), Jaafari Mwana Amuye Bashiri, Abdalla Shururi, and Zaidi, who have died in the war. The Prophet is said to have spent seven days commemorating the deaths. In Islam however the commemoration of the death does not last more that three days, except in the case of a widow commemorating her husband, in which case it lasts for four months and ten days. At page 1, Jibril comes to give him God's orders to the Prophet and to the 'Swahaba' (Prophet's followers). Jibril tells them to go to attack the city of Tabuk in Sham (Syria). At page 2, Ali is given the role of writer by the Prophet so that he can account for the events that are taking place at that time. A letter is then sent to Hirqal by the Prophet, written by Ali, is which the Prophet tells Hirqal that his religion/belief, of believing that Jesus is the son of God, is wrong. At page 4, there is the Muslim doctrinal formula 'laa ilaha illa llahu, Muhammadun rasulu llah', 'there is no God but Allah, and Muhammadun is his messenger'. Ibnu Omar is the one delivering the letter, which will entitle him to go to Paradise as promised by the Prophet. The poem narrates of Ibnu Omar preparation for the trip to deliver the letter. Ibnu Omar delivers the letter to the minister of Hirqal at Tabuk. The minister disagrees with the content of the letter and reply by saying that they will not stop believing in their religion because they were transmitted from the ancestors. At page 9, the letter is sent to Hirqal who is residing in Damascus. Hirqal replies to the Prophet with another letter in which he declines the recommendations. Both Hirqal and the Prophet, pages 11 to 14, tell their followers to be ready for war. The poem narrates the preparation for war and how thousands of Muslims came from many cities to Medina to support the Prophet. The battle, with sword and spear, between the two factions is vividly described from page 15 to 18. At the end, the utenzi narrates that the Muslims won over the Romans and took Hirqal minister and his friend as prisoners where they were told to be Islamised. They refused and they were thus killed by sword. Overall, the poem extensively and vividly narrates in a way in which the sequence of events is sometimes difficult to follow. The narrative of the war is from a Muslim perspective, and in many instances the enemies are called 'kafiri', non-believer in Islam, or infidels. The adaptation of Arabic scripts into Swahili is quite easy to follow thanks also to the good quality of scribing. The Swahili dialect used is mainly Kiamu with other northern expressions.
Description
Location: None
Places: Sham (Syria), Tabuk, Damascus
Further Info:



HIRQL [sic, Hirql]

[3 Swahili poems:

(1) 2 fragments of the Hirql [sic, Hirql] saga, on Muhammads victory over the Romans under Hirql [sic, Hirql] (Heraclius): ff. 1-30;

(2) a poem on Muhammads victory over the army of qatirifu: ff. 31-48;

(3) a poem on the legend of Moses protecting Gabriel disguised as a dove from Michael disguised as a hawk: ff. 49-51.

Written in Arabic script, in leather case with rude ornamental designs.]

[Manuscript, 19th century].