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The following is an extract from an upcoming book by Dr. Abdulkadir Hashim, Senior Lecturer in Sharia & Islamic Studies and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, which will cover Muslim intellectual contributions along the East African coast.

View extracts chronologically by clicking below:

1. Sayyid Umar bin Amin
2. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Muslim (Mselem) al-Amiri
3. Shaykh Abubakar ibn Muhammad ibn Abubakar Al-Maawi (Bwenye Kai)
4. Shaykh Ali bin Abdalla bin Nafi’i bin Abdalla al-Mazrui
5. Sayyid Abubakar bin Abdulrahman (Mwenye Mansab)
6. Shaykh Faysal bin Ali bin Abdalla Al-Laami
7. Sayyid Abdurahman bin Ahmad (Mwinyi Abudu)

 

8. Habib Swaleh bin Alwi bin Abdalla bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Abdalla bin Ahmad bin Harun bin Abdulrahman bin Ahmad bin Abdalla bin Shaykh Muhammad Jamal al-Lyl.

Habib Swaleh was born in Sanghani, Comoro in 1844 AD/1269 AH and died in Lamu on the 2nd of Muharram, 1354 AH/ the 6th  of April, 1935 AD.  His sixth grandfather, Harun bin Abdulrahman, came from Hadhramut in the tenth century AH and settled in Pate.  His fourth grandfather, Abdalla bin Ahmad, travelled to The Comoros with his son, Sayyid Ahmad.  Habib Swaleh's father, Sayyid Alwi, settled in Mitsujini. He died in 1311 AH. 

Habib Swaleh first came to Lamu to his uncle Mwenye Sayyid Ali.  At the age of 18, Habib Swaleh had leg problems and his father, Sayyid Alwi, sent him to his uncle in Lamu for treatment for a year after which he returned to The Comoros.  In 1287 AH, Habib Swaleh took permission from his father to travel and settle in Lamu. 

Habib Swaleh’s mother is from Msujini, Comoro. Habib Swaleh’s wife, Fatma Mwanamkaa, was from Sanda Mjini in Comoro.  Fatma Mwanamkaa was the mother of Sayyid Ahmad Badawi bin Habib Swaleh.  Mwenye wa Makka proposed to his student, Habib Swaleh, to marry Mwana Esha Bwansalilu who was the daughter of Mwenye wa Makka’s wife hailing from the Nabhani family.  Habib Swaleh’s sons from Mwana Esha Bwansalilu were Sayyid Hassan (Mwenye Kombo) and Habib Aidarus. Habib Swaleh was given a portion of land by Mwenye Mansab where he built Masjid Riyadha in 1310 AH. There he established maulid in 1311 AH.  Later, Habib Aidarus bin Habib bin Swaleh extended the outer part of the mosque and built qubba (dome) in 1366 AH.

Teachers

Among Habib Swaleh’s were his uncle Sayyid Ali bin Abdalla Jamal al-Lyl (1260 AH - 1354 AH), Shaykh Abubakar bin Shaykh Muhammad Al-Maawi (Bwenye Kai) and Sayyid Muhammad Makki (Mwenye wa Makka), who was also a traditional herbalist (twabibu). 

Students

Habib Swaleh taught some prominent scholars of Lamu. They include his two sons, Habib Aidarus and Sayyid Ahmad Jamal Al-Lyl and his grandson, Sayyid Ali Ahmad Badawi Jamal Al-Lyl. Habib Swaleh also taught Sayyid Abubakar bin Abdulrahman Al-Husaini (Mwenye Manswab), Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Maawi , Shaykh Abdalla bin Muhammad Bakathir, Shaykh Ali bin Hassan Al-Qumri, Shaykh Salim Jumaan Al-Qayswari, and Shaykh Abdulatif bin Uthman Al-Qumri.  Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Maawi and Sayyid Ahmad Badawi used to study at Habib Swaleh’s residence everyday (with the exception of Friday) from midnight until two o’clock in the morning for almost eight years.

Darsas

Habib Swaleh held darsas (lectures) at Masjid Riyadha

References

Harith Swaleh, (Ramadhan 1425/2004).Chaguo la Wanavyuoni, Mombasa: Bajaber Printing Press.

صالح محمد علي بدوي (شيخ باحسن), ه1410 -1989م

عبدالقادر بن عبدالرحمن بن عمر الجنيد, العقود الجاهزة



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