Sheikh Muhideen bin Sheikh Abd Sheikh al Qahtani was a great grand mufti of Shaf’i in East Africa, he was born in Barawa, in 1790 where he grew up and started his studies there. He carried on studying religious science after he moved with some of his family to Lamu, then Mombasa, Malindi and Kilwa before permanently settling in Zanjibar to become the chief kadhi (Jurist) and the Mufti of the Shaf’i Madhab in East Africa, this was under the rule of both Sayid Saeed bin Sultan (1804-1856) and his son Majid bin Saeed (1856-1870) of Zanzibar. There are currently many documents of Islamic rulings found carrying his signature.
Sheikh Muhyiddin was well respected and highly regarded on every corner of East Africa, endowed with a great capacity for negotiation, King Sayid Saeed handed him the power to represent him, and solve most challenging disputes and disagreement between people. Very close to King Saeed that they went to perform Hajj together in Mecca, in 1840, Sheekh Muhyiddin stood out by holding a series of lectures in the sacred Masjid.
Sheekh Muhyiddin massively contributed in construction of religious schools in Zanzibar and Pemba, he was himself a teacher in one of small masjid in a town of Kwanda, where he used to live in Zanzibar. He also dominated in constructing many Masajid in East Africa, he helped King Majid to build the great Masjid Aljum’a in Malindi which at the time accommodated thousand worshipers.
Among his disciples, some of the greatest scholars in Africa are:
– Sheekh Abdulaziz bin AbdulGhani Al Amawi al Baraawi (originally from Barawa too)
– Sayid Ahmad bin Salim bin Abubakar bin Salim (who was born in Comoros Island then Migrated to Zanzibar)
– Sheikh Suleiman Alhayyat (from Indian Origin)
– Sheikh Muhamad bin Ahmad bin Hassaan Almowruni
– Sheikh Hassaan bin Yussuf Almanjaziiji
– Sheikh Ahmad bin Saliheen Alsubhi
– Sheikh Fudheel bin Ali Almanjaziji (also from The Comoros Island he came to Zanzibar seeking knowledge he attended in every lecture and studies by Sheikh Muhyiddin until he mastered religious science to become Sheekh Muhyiddin’s Successor in his Masjid in Zanzibar.)
Sheikh Muhyiddin Alqahtani also was a great poet and composed many books, remembered up until today for a legacy he left behind.
He departed this world on 2 December 1869.
رحمه الله ونور ضريحه.
1. الحركة العلمية في زنجبار وساحل شرق إفريقية.
2. جهينة الأخبار في تاريخ زنجبار.
3. بغية الآمال في تاريخ الصومال.
4. البوسعديون حكام زنجبار.
5. Baadhi ya Wanavyoni wa Kishafi wa Mashariki ya Afrika/The Shaf’i Ulama of East Africa. Abdallah Salih Farsy,
6. Horn and Crescent….. traditional islam east africa
7. Les Swahili entre afrique et arabie.