By Anne Bang
Anne Bang focuses at the ways that a selected Islamic brotherhood, or 'tariqa', the tariqa Alawiyya, unfold, maintained and propagated their specific model of the Islamic religion. Originating within the South-Yemeni quarter of Hadramawt, the Alawi tariqa in general unfold alongside the coast of the Indian Ocean. The Alawis are the following portrayed as one of the cultural mediators within the multi-ethnic, multi-religious Indian Ocean international within the period of ecu colonialism.
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Extra info for Sufis and Scholars of the Sea: Family Networks in East Africa, 1860-1925 (Indian Ocean Series)
71 The letter goes on to give Hasan the speciﬁcs of his nisba: ˙ Your forefather was al-Habı¯b \Abd Alla¯h b. Ahmad b. Ha¯ru¯n b. \Abd ˙ ˙ al-Rahma¯n, whose line continues to the Prophet (May God bless him and ˙ \ grant him peace). In the genealogy of Abd al-Rahma¯n al-Mashhu¯r it is ˙ also written that Sayyid \Abd Alla¯h b. Ahmad b. Haru¯n made his home in ˙ al-Sawa¯hil and that he had offspring there. It also says that \Abd al-Rahma¯n b. Ahmad died in Tarı¯m in 999/1591 and that his descendants ˙ ˙ are in the Comoros and in Sawa¯hil.
Sumayt and \Abd Alla¯h b. \Alawı¯ ˙ ˙ \ al-Hadda¯d. It was probably through Umar b. Saqqa¯f that he came into contact ˙ with \Abd al-Rahman b. Sulayma¯n al-Ahdal of the inﬂuential al-Ahdal family ˙ of Zabı¯d in Yemen. Through him, in turn, Ahmad b. \Umar b. Sumayt took ˙ ˙ prayers and adhka¯r deriving from the ‘enigmatic saint’ behind a number of reformist-oriented Suﬁ orders of the nineteenth century, Ahmad b. Idrı¯s ˙ (d. 13 \ When we turn to the later career of Ahmad b. Umar b. Sumayt we ﬁnd an ˙ ˙ explicit activism, which probably had its root in the da\wa, the call towards God 39 ¯ L B I N S U M AY T THE A ˙ and proper religious practice as initially propagated by the previous generation of ‘revitalisers’.
As ˙ discussed in Chapter 1, the emergence of \Alawı¯ sub-branches during this century can be linked to the consolidation of the \Alawı¯s as a distinct stratum. The Sumayt family is also typical in the sense that in the four hundred years ˙ since its sixteenth century-founding, we ﬁnd religious scholars and holy men in almost every generation, indicating a continued emphasis on Islamic learning and tradition. Yet another typical trait is trade and migration. From the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, we ﬁnd Sumayts dispersed over large ˙ parts of the Indian Ocean, indicating a high degree of mobility coupled with trade and scholarly activities.
Sufis and Scholars of the Sea: Family Networks in East Africa, 1860-1925 (Indian Ocean Series) by Anne Bang