Monday, April 9, 2012

The Qadiriya OF SOMALIA, the oldest Sufi Order in Islam

The Qadiriya, the oldest Sufi Order in Islam, was introduced into Harar in the 15th century by Sharif Abu Bakr ibn 'Abd Allah al-'Aydarus (known as al-Qutb ar-Rabbani, ("The Divine Axis"), who died in 1508-9 (A.H.91 1 ) . Abu Bakr is probably the best-known Shai'ite saint in southern Arabia - where he is called al-'Adani (15) and his mosque is the most famous in Aden (16). The Qadiriya became the official Order of Harar and has considerable influence in the surrounding country. To the south the Order does not appear to have acquired much importance in the interior of Somalia until the beginning of the l9th century when the settlement of Bardera, known locally as jamaha, was founded on the Juba river. The Qadiriya has a high reputation for orthodoxy, is on the whole literary rather than propagandist, and is said to maintain a higher standard of Islamic instruction than its rivals. The Ahmediya, and the derivative Saalihiya, were both introduced into southern Somalia towards the close of the last century, although the Ahmediya may have entered British Somaliland somewhat earlier. This Order was founded by Sayyid Ahmad ibn Idris al-Fasi (1760-1837) of Mecca and brought to Somalia by Sheik Ali Maye Durogba of Merka. Muhammad ibn Salih, in 1887, founded the Saalihiya as an offshoot of the Rashidiya founded by Ahmad ibn Idris's pupil Ibrahlm al-Rashid (Cerulli, 1923, pp. 11, 12; Trimingham, 1959, pp. 235 6). The principal Saalihiya proselytizer in Somalia was Sheik Muhammad Guled, a former slave, who launched the Order there by the foundation of a community among the Shidle (a Negroid people occupying the mid-reaches of the Shebelle river, see Lewis, 1955, p. 41). Muhammad Guled died in 1918 and his tomb is at Misra (named after Cairo, Misra in Somali), one of the communities which he had established among the Shidle. The Order's stronghold is in Somalia but there are some communities in British Somaliland. According to Cerulli (op. cit., pp. 14, 18) the Saalihiya is strongly propagandist and inferior to the Qadiriya in mysticism and teaching. In the past it has been closely associated with Somali nationalism and the two rebellions of this century have taken place under its mantle and in its name. The more important rising was that led by Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah (born about 1865) of the Habr Suleemaan Ogaadeen tribe, who made several pilgrimages to Mecca (1890-9), and joining the Saalihiya, sought to attract the northern Somali to this Order. He founded several communities and in 1895 proclaimed himself khalifa-designate in Somaliland. In 1899 he assumed the title of Sunni Mahdi and initiated the jihad against all infidels. He was repudiated by the leader of the Saalihiya in Mecca and from 1900 to 1904 British forces, with from time to time half-hearted Ethiopian and nominal Italian support, conducted four major campaigns against him. His power was continually diminished but the rebellion was never decisively crushed and dragged on until 1920 when the Mahdi died. The Ahmediya with the smallest number of adherents of the three Orders is said to concentrate more on teaching than the Saalihiya (Cerulli, 1923, pp. 12 ff.). Both Orders are for the most part distributed in cultivating villages along the two rivers of Somalia and in the fertile land between them. Qadiriya congregations, on the other hand, are more usually dispersed amongst tribes and do not form autonomous settlements of cultivators. This, naturally, is particularly the case in the north where there is little arable land. Where the congregation forms a stable cultivating settlement, the land, which has been acquired through adoption into a host tribe, is the collective property of the community and is divided among the affiliates by their sheik

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