Great Scholars of Zanzibar in the 18th to 19th Century

The Omani Sultanate in Zanzibar were known to be the pinnacle players in the success of the Swahili coast of East Africa, from defeating Portugal in naval warfare and monopolising trade in the Indian Ocean, to giving jurisdictions to independent Swahili states that they governed from Zanzibar. Despite being an economical powerhouse in trade and business, they were also avid leaders in the preservation of the Islamic religion in the East African coast.

They maintained this by appointing Walis, Chief Qadhis and Religious leaders in each state where they managed all religious affairs, and also maintaining good relations and respect with them. Religious leaders were mostly learned men who were appointed at their respective hometowns within the Swahili coast, in order to relate and easily socialise with their people and followers.

However, at times where there was a lack of scholarship in another city state, some scholars would move to be the main Qadhi in another city. Below is a collection of some of the greatest scholars who resided in Zanzibar, it is worth to mention a large number of these scholars origins came from different parts of the Swahili Coast, such as the Amawi’s and Sheikh Sayyid Umar Qullatayn who both come from Barawa. The Sumayt hailed from the Comoros Islands and Shaykh Abdallah Salih Al Farsi was of Mombasa origin.

May Allah have mercy upon the Scholars.

 

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