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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:God, Anti-Colonialism and Drums: Sheikh Uways and the Uwaysiyya
Author:Ahmed, Christine C.
Geographic term:Somalia
Subjects:Muslim brotherhoods
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Abstract:Sheikh Uways B. Muhammad al-Barawi was the leader of the most effective pan-Islamic movement in East Africa. The Uwaysiyya not only revitalized Islam in East Africa, but also changed its nature from the religion of the elites to a mass-based movement, a movement that clearly challenged European colonialism. An outline of the history of Islam in Somalia and the 19th-century changes that occurred in the southern portions of the country is presented in order better to understand the development of Sheikh Uways' movement. Born in Brava in 1847, Sheikh Uways studied in Baghdad under the Qadiri master Sayyid Mustafa. After his return to Somalia in 1881 he started a mosque-school which became the most important Qadiriyya education centre in southern Somalia and possibly in all East Africa. The Uwaysiyya branch of the Qadiriyya order was quite successful in converting many groups in East Africa: it accepted exslaves and outcasts as members and incorporated local customs, e.g. the use of drums and banners. Sheikh Uways, who was also a famous poet, was killed in 1909 by members of a rival order. Note, ref.