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Philosophising in MombasaKnowledge, Islam and Intellectual Practice on the Swahili Coast$
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Kai Kresse

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627868

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627868.001.0001

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Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany Swahili poetry and the conservation of cultural knowledge

Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany Swahili poetry and the conservation of cultural knowledge

Chapter:
(p.104) (p.105) 4 Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany Swahili poetry and the conservation of cultural knowledge
Source:
Philosophising in Mombasa
Author(s):

Kai Kresse

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627868.003.0005

Historically, poetry and its performance were applied to a wide range of incidents in Swahili social life. Swahili poetry has long been used for Islamic and social education, as well as for ideological attacks between political or religious opponents. Reformist poets, for instance, railed against the supposed enemies of ‘pure’ Islam, such as the traditional healers practising divination or spirit-possession. This chapter presents an epigraph characterising Nabhany's literary and cultural project that can serve as a guideline through these passages which attempt to give a portrait of this important intellectual. Nabhany is a self-trained scholar who has assisted many academics in their research and, over decades, himself worked through various fields of Swahili cultural knowledge.

Keywords:   Swahili social life, Islamic education, Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany, Swahili cultural knowledge

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