ArticlePDF Available

Islam in Northern Mozambique: A Historical Overview

Authors:
  • Christian Michelsen Institute

Abstract and Figures

This article is a historical overview of two issues: first, that of the dynamics of Islamic religious transformations from pre-Portuguese era up until the 2000s among Muslims of the contemporary Cabo Delgado, Nampula, and to a certain extent, Niassa provinces. The article argues that historical and geographical proximity of these regions to East African coast, the Comoros and northern Madagascar meant that all these regions shared a common Islamic religious tradition. Accordingly, shifts with regard to religious discourses and practices went in parallel. This situation began changing in the last decade of the colonial era and has continued well into the 2000s, when the so-called Wahhabis, Sunni Muslims educated in the Islamic universities of the Arab world brought religious outlook that differed significantly from the historical local and regional conceptions of Islam. The second question addressed in this article is about relationships between northern Mozambican Muslims and the state. The article argues that after initial confrontations with Muslims in the sixteenth century and up until the last decade of the colonial era, the Portuguese rule pursued no concerted effort in interfering in the internal Muslim religious affairs. Besides, although they occupied and destroyed some of the Swahili settlements, in particular in southern and central Mozambique, other Swahili continued to thrive in northern Mozambique and maintained certain independence from the Portuguese up until the twentieth century. Islam there remained under the control of the ruling Shirazi clans with close political, economic, kinship and religious ties to the Swahili world. By establishing kinship and politico-economic ties with the ruling elites of the mainland in the nineteenth century, these families were also instrumental in expanding Islam into the hinterland. Only at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Portuguese rule took full control of the region as a result of military conquests of the ‘effective occupation’, and imposed new legal and administrative colonial system, called Indigenato, impacting Muslims of northern Mozambique to a great extent. After the independence in 1975, and especially since 1977, the post-independence Frelimo government adopted militant atheism and socialist Marxism, which was short-lived and was abolished in 1983 owing to popular resistance and especially, because of government’s perception that its religious policies were fuelling the opposition groups to take arms and join the civil war. The 1980s and 1990s were marked by an acute rivalry and conflicts between the two emerging national umbrella Islamic organizations, the Islamic Council and the Islamic Congress, each representing largely pro-Sufi and anti-Sufi positions. In the 2000s, these organizations became overshadowed by new and more dynamic organizations, such as Ahl Al-Sunna.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Islam in Northern Mozambique: A Historical Overview
Liazzat Bonate*
University of Cape Town
Abstract
This article is a historical overview of two issues: first, that of the dynamics of Islamic religious
transformations from pre-Portuguese era up until the 2000s among Muslims of the contemporary
Cabo Delgado, Nampula, and to a certain extent, Niassa provinces. The article argues that histori-
cal and geographical proximity of these regions to East African coast, the Comoros and northern
Madagascar meant that all these regions shared a common Islamic religious tradition. Accordingly,
shifts with regard to religious discourses and practices went in parallel. This situation began chang-
ing in the last decade of the colonial era and has continued well into the 2000s, when the
so-called Wahhabis, Sunni Muslims educated in the Islamic universities of the Arab world brought
religious outlook that differed significantly from the historical local and regional conceptions of
Islam. The second question addressed in this article is about relationships between northern
Mozambican Muslims and the state. The article argues that after initial confrontations with
Muslims in the sixteenth century and up until the last decade of the colonial era, the Portuguese
rule pursued no concerted effort in interfering in the internal Muslim religious affairs. Besides,
although they occupied and destroyed some of the Swahili settlements, in particular in southern
and central Mozambique, other Swahili continued to thrive in northern Mozambique and main-
tained certain independence from the Portuguese up until the twentieth century. Islam there
remained under the control of the ruling Shirazi clans with close political, economic, kinship and
religious ties to the Swahili world. By establishing kinship and politico-economic ties with the
ruling elites of the mainland in the nineteenth century, these families were also instrumental
in expanding Islam into the hinterland. Only at the beginning of the twentieth century, the
Portuguese rule took full control of the region as a result of military conquests of the ‘effective
occupation’, and imposed new legal and administrative colonial system, called Indigenato, impacting
Muslims of northern Mozambique to a great extent. After the independence in 1975, and
especially since 1977, the post-independence Frelimo government adopted militant atheism and
socialist Marxism, which was short-lived and was abolished in 1983 owing to popular resistance
and especially, because of government’s perception that its religious policies were fuelling the
opposition groups to take arms and join the civil war. The 1980s and 1990s were marked by an
acute rivalry and conflicts between the two emerging national umbrella Islamic organizations, the
Islamic Council and the Islamic Congress, each representing largely pro-Sufi and anti-Sufi
positions. In the 2000s, these organizations became overshadowed by new and more dynamic
organizations, such as Ahl Al-Sunna.
Introduction
The article provides a historical overview of the Islamic religious transformations and
Muslim relationships with the state in northern Mozambique from the pre-Portuguese era
up until the 2000s. It focuses in particular on six historical periods – starting from the Pre-
Portuguese era, it outlines the consequences for Muslims of the arrival of the Portuguese in
the sixteenth century, and then, the article proceeds examining changes engendered by the
nineteenth-century slave trade and the greater expansion of Islam into the mainland and by
History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
ª2010 The Author
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
the military campaigns of the Portuguese ‘effective occupation’ of the turn of the century.
The last two small subsections deal with the impact of the colonial legal and administrative
transformations on northern Mozambican Muslims and the situation of Muslims in the post-
colonial period.
Pre-Portuguese Era
Historical data pertaining to Islam or Muslims in Mozambique prior to the sixteenth
century are very scarce. Research has not been very systematic or comprehensive, but the
archeological evidence suggests that since at least, the eighth century, the coastal northern
Mozambique was part of the Swahili world, and thus probably shared Islamic religious
conceptions and practices with their Swahili neighbours. The data from the southern
coast of Chibuene in contemporary Inhambane province revealed that not only north but
also southern Mozambican littoral as well was part of the Indian Ocean trading networks
operating within the sphere of the Swahili and Islamic economic and culture influences
since at least the eighth century. At Chibuene, the Tana tradition pottery identical to that
of Shanga, Manda and Kilwa, dated as early as ca. 800–1150, together with the fragments
of Islamic glazed wares, and Sassanian and sgraffiato pottery were found.
1
Preliminary
archeological excavations carried out in the 1960s by Fernando Amaro Monteiro
2
and
Francois Balsan
3
at the extreme northern tip of the Cabo Delgado coast, a brief survey
on the Island of Angoche in 1975 by a team of the then University of Rhodesia,
4
and
1978 excavations in the Nampula province around the town of Nampula and near
Mozambique Island, and at Ibo Island in Cabo Delgado Province by a team from
Eduardo Mondlane University
5
all pointed towards relatedness of these regions to the
Swahili sites at the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts, and possibly even in the Comoros and
the northern Madagascar.
In the late 1980s, Duarte conducted a detailed fieldwork at a number of stone-built
sites of the northern Mozambican coasts of the contemporary Nampula and Cabo
Delgado provinces and identified the time of occupation by Swahili settlements ranging
from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries.
6
During 1994, Christian Isendahl carried
out archaeological survey on the mainland of Angoche, which suggested the presence of
the Swahili influence as early as the twelfth century.
7
The Arrival of the Portuguese
Portuguese records from the sixteenth century onwards attest unequivocally to the close
relationships between northern Mozambique and the East African coast, the Comoros
and to a certain extent, northern Madagascar. This proximity further supports the idea of
possible shared Islamic religious tradition of northern Mozambique and the Swahili
regions, although there has not been enough research for the period prior to the nine-
teenth century.
When Vasco da Gama arrived in 1498, he reported that Mozambique Island was ruled
by a sheikh subject to the sultan of Kilwa.
8
Duarte Barbosa also mentions that at the
beginning of the sixteenth century, Angoche, Sofala, Cuama and Mozambique ‘were all
under the obedience to the King of Kilwa, who was a great king amongst them’.
9
In fact,
since the end of the thirteenth century, Kilwa controlled the Sofala gold and ivory trade
with Great Zimbabwe and later Mwenemotapa, and maintained a strong control over the
southern coast till the end of the fifteenth century.
10
In 1505, however, the Portuguese
occupied Kilwa, Mozambique Island, Sofala and Cuama; later on, they took over
574 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Quelimane (Kilimani) in central Mozambique, and Inhambane and Bazaruto islands in
southern Mozambique, all ruled up until then by Swahili Muslims.
11
The Portuguese
conquest led to a gradual elimination of these kinds of Swahili enclaves in central and
southern Mozambique, which however continued to thrive in the northern part of the
country, especially at the coast stretching from Pebane to Palma.
After the initial confrontations with Muslims, the Portuguese pursued no concerted
efforts to interfere in the internal religious affairs of the region. Islam there was linked to
the ruling Swahili clans, in particular, the so-called Shirazis, who maintained control over
Islam and had intimate political, economic and kinship relations with the Swahili world.
Even Catholic evangelization was not as widespread and invasive as it was to be expected
from a state that had close-knit ties to the Church and upheld an official slogan of cross
and sword based on the ideals of the crusades and reconquista.
12
The history of the rela-
tionships between the Portuguese and African Muslim rulers is extensively documented
in the archives of Portugal, Goa and Mozambique in a voluminous correspondence
written in Arabic script KiSwahili (lingua franca of the region). The majority of the
Swahili rulers of northern Mozambique claimed a Shirazi heritage as other ruling Swahili
families of the East African coast and the Comoros, as well as sharifian Hadrami descent,
especially of Ba Alawi clans of Ibn Al-Alawi and ash-Shatiri. Islam at the coastal northern
Mozambique was conceived as a regional Swahili tradition, incorporating African culture
and the influences of the Western Indian Ocean regions. Locally, this meant that Islam
was associated with the Shirazi clans at the coast, whose religious conceptions and identi-
ties on the one hand, incorporated local African perceptions, and on the other, those of
the Western Indian Ocean, such as of Hadramawt (Fig. 1).
Slave Trade and Islam
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, northern Mozambique and especially
coastal Swahili became involved in the international trade in ivory and slaves due to their
location near ports serving as outlets for slaves to be exported, and their roles as middle-
men between mainland African slave suppliers and slave buyers coming from across the
Fig. 1. ‘Zanzibari’ door, Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
Islam in Northern Mozambique 575
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Fig. 2. Group of Maruhani spirit possession fundis (masters), Angoche. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
Fig. 3. Rewa (Lewa) spirit possession fundi, Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
576 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Indian Ocean.
13
In this context, Islam and the political influence of certain Swahili
regions, such as Angoche, expanded significantly into the mainland.
14
Angoche’s chances
had increased considerably due to rising European abolitionist movement, the 1815
Vienna Treaty between Portugal and Great Britain, the 1836 Sa
´Bandeira Decree,
followed by the Decree of 1842 prohibiting the exportation of slaves.
15
As a result, the
ports of Mozambique Island and Quelimane, from where slaves were exported earlier,
became difficult destinations for slave traders (negreiros in Portuguese). By 1847, many
moradores (Portuguese settlers) of Mozambique Island had relocated their feitorias (Port.,
‘factories’ or ‘commercial establishments’) to Angoche.
16
By the 1850s, Angoche’s rulers
decided to seize for themselves the opportunity of capturing and selling slaves.
17
Musa
Mohammad Sahib Quanto (d. 1879) was instrumental in bringing the mainland under
the aegis of Angoche.
18
After several military confrontations with the Angoche’s major
commercial rivals of the time, the Zambezi prazos (Port., landed estates) of Maganja da
Costa, Angoche became an important destination for slave traders from the interior,
attracting caravans led by the Yao and the Marave, descending from the territories
surrounding Lake Niassa.
19
There was a substantial expansion of Islam in northern Mozambique as a result of Ang-
oche’s ambitions regarding the export slave trade, the significant population movements
from the mainland to the coast and the involvement of the region in the international
slave trade during the nineteenth century.
20
The Nguni and the new Makua migrations
Fig. 4. A hand-copied book on jinni, Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
Islam in Northern Mozambique 577
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Fig. 6. A hand-written book used for Ramuli, Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
Fig. 5. Muslim divination practice, Ramuli (Khat al-Raml), Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
578 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
of the nineteenth century altered the status quo of the region once more, but ultimately
these newcomers also ended up being absorbed by the Swahili Muslim societies at the
coast, mostly because of the leading roles that the coast played in the international slave
trade of the time.
Islam in northern Mozambique was, as Randall L. Pouwels puts it for East African
Coast, a ‘walimu style of Islam’.
21
The power of the new ritual experts, such as the walimu
(Sw., but in local vernacular) rested upon their Islamic religious knowledge, in particular
of the kitabu (Ar., Sw., and in local vernacular ‘the book’, i.e. the Qur’an), as well as local
traditional African knowledge of the spirit world of ancestors and, of the land and the sea
(Figs 2–9).
22
Fig. 7. A banner of a Muslim healer, Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
Fig. 8. A Muslim healer performing divination through contact with wa-jinni, Mozambique Island. Photograph by
L. J. K. Bonate.
Islam in Northern Mozambique 579
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Fig. 9. Traditional wooden board in a Qur’anic school, Angoche. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
Fig. 10. Handwritten book used for Rifa’iyya dhikr, Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
580 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
All religious rituals were accompanied by collective dancing, feasting and drum-
ming.
23,24
One of the ‘dance societies’ was the Rifa’iyya Sufi Order called in Mozam-
bique Molidi, Mawlid,orMawlid Naquira (from Emakhwa, ‘the dancing mawlid’, and
mawlid or mawlid un-Nabi is from Ar., Prophet Muhammad’s birthday celebration), as well
as Mawlid Rifa’i. In Zanzibar, according to Trimingham and Nimtz, the Rifa’iyya is
called maulidi ya hom (Figs 10–12).
25
As in the rest of the Swahili world, mawlid ritual has been ‘the center’ of Islam in
northern Mozambique, because mawlid festivities and life-cycle ceremonies accompanied
Fig. 11. A Rifa’i naquib performing a dhikr using dabushi with a murid. Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K.
Bonate.
Fig. 12. Rifa’i dhikr, Mozambique Island. Photograph by L. J. K. Bonate.
Islam in Northern Mozambique 581
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
by mawlid ritual were and still are central to their lives.
26
However, despite links to the
Swahili tradition, Islam in northern Mozambique had specific local characteristics also.
In the first place, as it was stated earlier, it was linked to the ruling African elites. In
the nineteenth century, the inland Africans too could embrace Islam which became an
inclusive and broader faith of all Muslims identified as the Maca, but as it was initially
circumscribed to the coastal ruling Shirazi clans alone, it was extended to other rulers,
the mainland chiefs.
In the second place, Muslims of northern Mozambique were matrilineal. This unique
feature can be explained by the fact that in comparison to the Swahili communities of
the Tanzanian and Kenyan coasts, where the Hadrami began arriving in the fifteenth cen-
tury, and the Omani, who later established the Sultanate of Zanzibar, in the eighteenth
century, the numbers of Arab immigrants to Mozambique were insignificant.
27
In partic-
ular, the Hadrami shurafa’, as descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and members of
the learned ‘ulama class, contested Shirazi Islamic claims. This impacted, as Kelly M.
Askew points out, on local conceptions of Islam which came to incorporate some princi-
ples of Islamic ‘orthodoxy’, including the replacement of the earlier matriliny by the Arab
patrilineal ideology, weakening women’s social situation and legal status.
28
In northern
Mozambique, the absence of the Arab competition over Islamic authority had allowed to
retain matrilineal descent and inheritance.
29
Although as Claude Meillassoux points out,
Fig. 13. Letter by Fatima binti Zacaria of Quinga, Mogincual, to the Portuguese Administrator at Mozambique
Island, 1893. Mozambique Historical Archives, Fundo do Se
´culo XIX, Governo Geral de Moc¸ambique, Caixa
No 8–156, Mac¸o 1.
582 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
matriliny does not mean matriarchy, it nevertheless allowed women to occupy important
political and social positions in northern Mozambique as opposed to their East African
Swahili counterparts.
30
Some women were even major chiefs, such as Nunu Fatima binti
Zacaria of Quinga, Mogincual and Nagima of Namarral, near Mozambique Island, as
their letters below attest (Figs 13 and 14).
Muslims and ‘the Effective Occupation’
From 1895 to the early twentieth century, the Portuguese undertook military campaigns of the
‘effective occupation’, resulting from the European ‘Scramble for Africa’, the 1884–1885 Berlin
Conference and the 1890 British proposal on the future borders between Portuguese and British
colonies in Africa. The campaigns envisioned conquering African territories militarily, taking a
full administrative and political control over them, and delineating borders between Portugal,
Great Britain and Germany.
31
The main objective was to enforce Portugal as a colonial power
in the face of the competition from other European powers.
It was into this environment of a generalized crisis that two important Sufi Orders came
in northern Mozambique. First came the Shadhuliyya Yashrutiyya in 1897, with Shaykh
Muhammad Ma’arouf bin Shaykh Ahmad ibn Abu Bakr (1853–1905) of the Comoro
Islands, who was the founder of the Order in East Africa.
32
The Qadiriyya reportedly
Fig. 14. Letter by the Namarral Macua Queen Nagima to the Portuguese Administrator at Mozambique Island,
18938. Mozambique Historical Archives, Fundo do Se
´culo XIX, Governo Geral de Moc¸ambique, Caixa No 8–9,
Mac¸o 2.
Islam in Northern Mozambique 583
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
was brought to Mozambique Island in 1905 (or 1904) by a certain shaykh ‘Issa bin
Ahmad, residing in Zanzibar who was also originally from Ngazidja in the Comoros,
who was a disciple of shaykh ‘Umar Uways bin Muhammad al-Barawi (1847–1909), also
the founder of the order in East Africa.
33
These new Orders transformed local conceptions and practices of Islam. For example,
in contrast to the authority of the old Muslim rulers, the Sufi leaders claimed an authority
of religious learning (‘ilm) and of written authorization (ijaza), situated within a chain of
transmission (silsila isnad).
34
These features had nothing to do with the hereditary power
and legitimacy of an African chieftainship or Shirazi families. However, local chiefly clans
fought hard and managed to appropriate an Islamic authority inked to the Orders, which
contributed greatly to a significant expansion of Islam in Mozambique during the first half
of the twentieth century (Fig. 15).
35
The Indigenato
Following the ‘effective occupation’, the Portuguese rule began implementing policies of
forced labor, direct taxation and arbitrary punishment towards its African territories (laws
of 1899, 1904, 1928 and 1930). These policies together with the 1907 Portuguese
Administrative Reform laid the basis of a system known as Indigenato, which was fash-
ioned on the French Code d’Indige
´nat. The 1907 Reform in particular discerned between
African and European legal rights and civil statuses. Africans became colonial subjects, liv-
ing within the jurisdiction of local ‘traditional customs and usages’ administered by the
appointed indigenous authorities, the re
´gulos regedores (Port., small-scale king, territorial
chief), whose main function was to carry out the orders of an often distant Portuguese
administrators. Europeans, on the other hand, became citizens of the metropolitan state
Fig. 15. Khalifa of the Qadiriyya Sufi Order, Sadaca Ncacha with his silsila. Pemba City, Cabo Delgado. Photograph
by L. J. K Bonate
584 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
and subject to its laws. The Indigenato was endorsed by the 1930 Acto Colonial, the Carta
Orga
ˆnica do Impe
´rio Colonial Portugue
ˆsand the 1933 Reforma Administrativa Ultramarina
(Administrative Reform of the Overseas Territories), and in essence remained intact until
1961 when it was formally abolished.
Like France, Portugal adopted an assimilationist and civilizing stance towards its colo-
nial subjects, who could opt for a status of assimilado corresponding to the French e
´volue
´,
provided they could prove to adopt Portuguese customs, language and culture, including
the European dress code. However, while the French system pressuposed in principle that
a Muslim could become an e
´volue
´, the Portuguese Estado Novo (1926–1974), driven by
intense nationalism, upheld Catholic faith as a crucial marker of the Portuguese national
and cultural identity.
36
From 1930 to the 1950s, the regime conceived of the Catholic
Church as the most adequate tool for its assimilationist agenda, which was expected to
‘nationalize’ (nacionalizac¸a
˜o) and ‘Portugalize’ (portugalizac¸a
˜o) colonial subjects through mis-
sion schooling.
37
Education was declared to be based on Christian values with obligatory
teaching of the precepts of Catholicism. In 1940, the Estado Novo deepened its commit-
ment to Catholicism by signing a Concordata agreement with the Vatican, and endorsing
the 1941 Estatuto Missiona
´rio (Missionary Statutes); however, despite the spread of mission
schools, between the 1930s and 1950s, the conversion to Islam in Mozambique increased
considerably, mainly due to the Sufi Orders and their African leadership. African Muslims
of northern Mozambique could hardly become assimilados not only because of the associ-
ation of the Portuguese national-cultural identity with the Catholicism, but also because
the vast majority of them lived under the indigenato rule of the old clans feeding into
the ranks of the re
´gulos, whose legitimacy was built upon Islam and African tradition of
chieftainship.
38
The attempt to undermine the Indigenato with 1954 Law did not bear any
palpable fruits and the assimilation option was opened to Muslims only in 1961 with the
Overseas Administrative Reform (Reforma Administrativa Ultramarina), which conceded
equal legal rights to all citizens independently of race, culture or creed. However, as
AbdoolKarim Vakil
39
argues, this Reform could not live up to the challenge facing the
colonial rule with regard to Muslims, that is – to recognize Islam, in particular in Africa,
as a religion and Muslims as culturally and politically citizens of Portugal, – the project
which remained largely unfulfilled. Association of Muslim re
´gulos with the colonial
regime, which was neither ‘traditional’ nor Muslim, made the nature of their authority
quite controversial, causing a great deal of internal conflict and heated debates among
Muslims, which sometimes led to gradual disjunction between the chiefly and Islamic
authorities. Some Muslim re
´gulos began taking up the notion of incompatibility of the
matrilineal ideology and the chiefly installation ceremonies with a ‘true’ Islam.
40
But the
chiefs were often compelled to preserve the matrilineal ideology, through which their
power and authority were legitimized. Their attempts to change local conceptions and
practices, in particular to transform matriliny into an Islamic patriliny were met with
strong opposition from local population, who linked the legitimacy of the chiefly lineage
to the spirit world of land and ancestors, who were believed to ensure the well-being
and the fertility of the land and its people (Fig. 16).
By the mid-twentieth century, a belonging to a Sufi Order and upholding Sufi ideas
and practices were the most widespread Islamic identity of northern Mozambique. How-
ever in the late 1960s and especially early 1970s, the authority of Sufi shaykhs came under
attack from the newly arrived Islamists, identified locally as the Wahhabis, educated
in Saudi Arabian Islamic universities.Reformist tendencies were already in place in the
1930s and 1950s, when the so-called sukuti (from Ar., sukut, quiet) Africans and the
Deobandi-educated Indian shaykhs criticized the loud dhikr and other Sufi practices.
Islam in Northern Mozambique 585
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Abubacar Musa Ismael ‘Mangira’, who returned in 1964 from Saudi Arabia after complet-
ing a Shari’a course at the Medina University was the most vocal among the Wahhabis.
41
He challenged directly the northern Mozambican Sufi establishment and found an
impressive support from the southern Deobandis and northern sukutis.
42
At this point,
Portuguese government intervened in favour of the Sufis, because they perceived that the
northern Mozambican Sufi leaders could be instrumentalized against the encroaching
independence movements, the perception which was essentially wrong.
43
Post-Colonial Situation
During the first years following the independence, especially in 1977, Frelimo adopted
Marxism and the so-called ‘scientific socialism’ and sought to eliminate a wide variety of
social practices and beliefs, deemed ‘obscurantist,’ ‘backward’ and thus contrary to
the modernist ‘revolutionary norms’, including initiation rites, traditional healing and
ceremonies of ancestral supplication, all at the base of the legitimacy and authority of an
African chieftainship.
44
Religion was identified as another ‘obscurantist element’, and the
government banned religious teachings from schools, nationalized religious institutions
and harassed and persecuted religious leaders. Muslims suffered immensely when the hajj,
celebration of Ramadan and other Muslim holidays, collection of the monetary donation
Fig. 16. Re
´gulo Abdul Kamal Megama of Chiure, Cab Delgado, ca. 1963. Photograph courtesy of his son, Aruna
Abdul Kamal.
586 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
and rehabilitation of the mosques, and the functioning of the Qur’anic schools were all
forbidden.
45
In 1981, Frelimo decided to reconsider its positions toward Islam and create a national
Muslim organization, the decision which might have been influenced by the Saudi-based
international Islamic NGO, the Muslim World League, especially given the Frelimo’s belief
that northern Mozambican Muslims were channeling their discontentment to Muslim
countries, who, in their turn, were aiding the resurgent opposition groups, such as
Renamo.
46
A nation-wide Islamic organization called the Conselho Isla
ˆmico de Moc¸ambique
(Islamic Council of Mozambique, CISLAMO) was established in a meeting between
the government and a group of Maputo imams in January 1981, which was convened
by Abubacar Ismael ‘Mangira’ with the purpose of responding to the Decree 12 1976 of
the new government prohibiting associations, because most Muslims were organized
into associations since the colonial period. The meeting elected ‘Mangira’ as the co-
coordinator, later first national Secretary of the Islamic Council. In December 1982,
Frelimo radically changed its policy towards religion in general.
Despite that the installation meeting of the Council occurred earlier, it was officially
legitimized only in March 1983, one month following the launching of another national
Islamic organization called the Congresso Isla
ˆmico de Moc¸ambique (Sunni) (the Islamic Sunni
Congress of Mozambique), which agglomerated a quasi-autonomous group of organiza-
tions, including most of the pre-colonial associations and confraternities, such as Sufi
Orders and Indian Sunni Comunidades Moametanas, all sharing an anti-Wahhabi stance.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the Islamic Council and Islamic Congress continuously
competed with each other for the Frelimo party and government patronage, and of the
international Islamic NGOs, which reverberated in violent clashes among their ordinary
followers.
In the 2000s, some of these conflicts ceased to exists, although the two organizations
still represent opposing ideological sides of the local Islam. However, some new and more
young, dynamic and sometimes politically active organizations, such as Ahl al-Sunna, as
well as Sufi revival groups and the new Muslim civil society organizations have overshad-
owed them to certain extent.
Short Biography
Liazzat J. K. Bonate is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town, working
on transnational Islamic NGOs and Muslim publics in Mozambique. She earned her first
BA and MA degrees at the Kazakhstan State University in Almaty, former USSR, fol-
lowed by an MA in Islamic Societies and Cultures at the School of Oriental and African
Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK and another MA in African History from
Northwestern University in the United States. She completed PhD in African History
with a dissertation on Islam and Chiefship in Northern Mozambique at the University of
Cape Town in 2007.
Notes
* Correspondence: University of Cape Town, Upper Campus, Cape Town 213, South Africa. Email: liazbonate@
hotmail.com.
1
R. T. Duarte, Northern Mozambique in the Swahili World (Eduardo Mondlane University & Uppsala University,
1993); P. J. J. Sinclair, ‘Chibuene – An Early Trading Site in Southern Mozambique’, Paideuma, 28 (1982): 149–64.
Islam in Northern Mozambique 587
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
2
F. A. Monteiro, ‘Pesquisas Arqueologicas nos estabelecimentos de Kiuya, Mbuesi e Quisiva’, Monumenta,2
(1966): 51–6.
3
F. Balsan, A la researche des Arabes sur le cotes du Nord Mozambique (Transcricao) (Monumenta II, Lourenco Marques:
Comissa
˜o dos Monumentos Nacionais de Moc¸ambique, 1966), 57–62.
4
R. T. Dickinson, Surface Survey of Archaeological Sites on Angoche Island, 28–19 May 1975 (Salisbury: the Central
African Historical Association, 1975).
5
P. J. J. Sinclair, An Archaeological reconnaissance of northern Mozambique (part I: Nampula province: part II: Cabo
Delgado province), Working Papers in African Studies, 12 vols., (Uppsala: Department of Cultural Anthropology,
Uppsala University, 1985).
6
Duarte, Northern Mozambique in the Swahili World, 60–78.
7
C. Isendahl, ‘Angoche: an Important Link of the Zambezian Gold Trade’, http://www.arkeologi.uu.se/afr/
projects/BOOK/isendahl.pdf (last accessed 24 Mar, 2009).
8
N. J. Hafkin, ‘Trade, Society, and Politics in Northern Mozambique, c. 1753–1913’, PhD Dissertation, Boston
University, 1973, 4.
9
D. Barbosa, A Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century
(New Delhi, Madras: Asian Educational Services, 1995), 11.
10
R. L. Pouwels, ‘Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean to 1800: Reviewing Relations in Historical Perspective’,
International Journal of African Historical Studies,352–3 (2002): 385–425, 387–400.
11
R. W. Dickinson, ‘The Archaeology of the Sofala Coast’, The South African Archaeological Bulletin,30N119 120
(1975): 84–104.
12
A. A. de Andrade, Relac¸o
˜es de Moc¸ambique Setecentista (Lisboa: Age
ˆncia Geral do Ultramar, 1955).
13
E. A. Alpers, Ivory and Slaves. Changing Pattern of International Trade in East Central Africa to the Later Nineteenth
Century (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1975), 218–19.
14
L. J. K. Bonate, ‘The Ascendance of Angoche: Politics of Kinship and Territory in the Nineteenth Century
Northern Mozambique’, in Lusotopie (Paris: Ed. Karthala, 2003), No 1, 115–43; L. J. K. Bonate, ‘From Shirazi into
Monhe
´: Angoche and the Mainland in the Context of the Nineteenth Century Slave Trade of Northern Mozam-
bique’, in B. Zimba, E. A. Alpers, and A. Isaacman (eds.), Slave Routes and Oral Tradition in Southeastern Africa
(Maputo, 2005): 195–219.
15
J. J. T. Botelho, Histo
´ria militar e polı
´tica dos portugueses em Moc¸ambique de 1833 aos nossos dias,2
a
edn. (Lisboa:
Centro Tip. Colonial, 1936), 157–65.
16
Hafkin, ‘Trade, Society and Politics’, 224.
17
E. do C. Lupi, Angoche. Breve memo
´ria sobre uma das Capitanias-Mo
ˆres do Distrito de Moc¸ambique (Lisboa: Typografia
do Annuario Commercial, 1907), 149.
18
Lupi, Angoche, 174, 182–198; P. M. De Amorim, Relato
´rio sobre a ocupac¸a
˜o de Angoche: Operac¸o
˜es de campanha e
mais servic¸o realizados, Anno 1910 (Lourenc¸o Marques: Imprensa NacionaL, 1911), 4–5.
19
Lupi, Angoche, 178–88; Amorim, Relato
´rio, 4–8.
20
E. A. Alpers, ‘East Central Africa’, in N. Levtzion and R. L. Pouwels (eds.), The History of Islam in Africa (Ath-
ens: Ohio University Press; Oxford: James Curry; Cape Town: David Philip, 2000), 303–27, 307–9; Heinemann.
21
Pouwels, Horn and Crescent, 95; A. C. Ahmed, Ngoma et Mission Islamique (Da‘wa) aux Comoros et en Afrique orien-
tale: Une approche anthropologique (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2002), 111, and passim.
22
According to northern Mozambican Muslims, interviewed during fieldwork, Islam is primarily ‘a kitabu (Ar.,
Sw., literate or book-centred)’ religion.
23
Neves in Informac¸o
˜es, 10.
24
Lupi in Angoche, 106–107.
25
J. S. Trimingham, Islam in East Africa (Oxford University Press, 1964), 101; A. C. Ahmed, Islam et Politique aux
Comoros (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1999), 118–48n.
26
C. Ahmed, Ngoma et Mission Islamique, 13–73, 241; C. Ahmed, Islam et Politique, 84–87, 169–71.
27
Hafkin, ‘Trade’, 50.
28
K. M. Askew, ‘Female Circles and Male Lines: Gender Dynamics along the Swahili Coast’, Africa Today,463–4
(1999): 67–101).
29
Lupi, Angoche, 144–46, 154–57; Amorim, Relato
´rio, 120; L. J. K. Bonate, ‘Matriliny, Islam and Gender in North-
ern Mozambique’, Journal of Religion in Africa,236 (2006): 139–66.
30
C. Meillassoux, Mulheres, Celeiros e Capitais, Trans. from French by A. Figueiredo (Porto: Edic¸o
˜es Afrontamento,
1977); J. A. G. de M. Branquinho, Relato
´rio da Prospecc¸a
˜o ao Distrito de Moc¸ambique (Um estudo de estruturas hiera
´rquicas
tradicionais e religiosas, e da sua situac¸a
˜o polı
´tico-social), Nampula, 22 April 1969 (Arquivo Histo
´rico de Moc¸ambique,
Maputo: Secc¸a
˜o Especial – No 20, S.E., 2 III P 6), 331.
31
E. Axelson, Portugal and the Scramble for Africa, 1875–1891 (Johannesburg: Witswatersrand University Press, 1967).
32
Interviews – with Shaykh Shaban Muze
´,khalifa of the Yashrutiyya, 2 November 1999, and with Shaykh
Abdurrahman Amuri bin Jimba, 2 November 1999.
33
Collective interview with Sufi shaykhs, 3 November, 1999, Mozambique Island; Interview with Shaykh
Abdurrahman Amuri bin Jimba, Mozambique Island, 2 November, 1999; Carvalho, ‘Notas’, 63.
588 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
34
F. Constantin, ‘Charisma and the Crisis of Power in East African Islam’, in D. C. O’Brien and C. Coulon
(eds.), Charisma and Brotherhood in African Islam, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 67–90.
35
L. J. K. Bonate, ‘Tradition and Transitions: Islam and Chiefship in Northern Mozambique, ca. 1850–1974’,
Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of Cape Town, 2007.
36
M. Cahen, ‘L’E
´tat nouveux et la diversification religieuse au Mozambique, 1930–1974, I – Le re
´sistible essor de
la portugalisation catholique (1930–1961)’, Cahiers d’e
´tudes africaines, 158 XL (2) (2000): 309–49, 311–3.
37
A. M. de M. P. N. de, ‘A Administrac¸a
˜o Colonial Portuguesa em Moc¸ambique no Pe
´riodo de Marcello Caetano
(1968–1974). Mecanismos e Relac¸o
˜es de Poder’ (PhD Dissertation, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2003), 101–2.
38
Bonate, ‘Traditions and Transitions’.
39
A. K. Vakil, ‘Questo
˜es Inacabadas: Colonialismo, Isla
˜o e Portugalidade’, in M. C. Ribeiro and A. P. Ferreira
(eds.), Fantasmas e Fantasias Imperiais no Imagina
´rio Portugue
ˆs Contempora
ˆneo (Porto: Campo das Letras, 2003), 247–98,
272.
40
B. B. Joa
˜o, Abdul Kamal e a Histo
´ria de Chiu
´re nos se
´culos XIX e XX (Maputo: Arquivo Histo
´rico de Moc¸am-
bique, Estudos 17, 2000), 83.
41
F. A. Monteiro, ‘Sobre a Actuac¸a
˜o da corrente ‘Wahhabita’ no Isla
˜o Moc¸ambicano: algumas notas relativas ao
perı
´odo 1966–77’, Africana, No. 12, 1993 March (Porto: Edic¸o
˜es de Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade
Portucalense, 85–111), 91–5, 104–5; F. A. Monteiro, O Isla
˜o, o Poder, e a Guerra: Moc¸ambique 1964–74 (Porto:
Ed. Universidade Portucalense, 1993), 413.
42
Monteiro, ‘Sobre a actuac¸a
˜o,’ 92–5, 104–5; Monteiro, O Isla
˜o, o poder, e a guerra, 413.
43
L. J. K. Bonate, ‘ Muslims of Northern Mozambique and the Liberation Movements’, Social Dynamics,352
(2009): 280–94.
44
H. West, Kupilikula: Governance and the Invisible Realm in Mozambique (Chicago and London: The University of
Chicago Press, 2005), xvi, 151–2.
45
L. J. K. Bonate, ‘Muslim Religious Leadership in Post-Colonial Mozambique’, South African Historical Journal,
60 4 (2008): 637–54).
46
Bonate, ‘Muslim Religious Leadership’.
Bibliography
Albuquerque, J. M. de, A Campanha contra os Namarrais. Relato
´rios (Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional, 1897).
Albuquerque, J. M. de, Moc¸ambique, 1896–1898 (Lisboa: Manoel Gomes, 1899).
Albuquerque, J. Mousinho de, Cartas de Mousinho de Albuquerque ao Conde de Arnoso (Lisboa: Comissa
˜o Nacional
para as comemorac¸o
˜es de centena
´rio de Mousinho de Albuquerque, 1957).
Alpers, E. A., ‘Trade, State, and Society among the Yao in the Nineteenth Century’, Journal of African History,103
(1969): 405–20.
Alpers, E. A. ‘Towards a History of the Expansion of Islam in East Africa: The Matrilineal Peoples of the Southern
Interior’, in T. O. Ranger and I. N. Kimambo (eds.), The Historical Study of African Religion (London:
Heinemann, 1972), 172–201.
Alpers, E. A. Ivory and Slaves. Changing Pattern of International Trade in East Central Africa to the Later Nineteenth
Century (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1975).
Alpers, E. A. ‘Gujarat and the Trade of East Africa, c. 1500–1800’, The Journal of African Historical Studies,91
(1976): 22–44.
Alpers, E. A. ‘Islam in the Service of Colonialism? Portuguese Strategy during the Armed Liberation Struggle in
Mozambique’, Luzotopie (1999): 165–84.
Alpers, E. A., ‘East Central Africa’, in N. Levtzion and R. L. Pouwels (eds.), The History of Islam in Africa (Athens:
Ohio University Press; Oxford: James Curry; Cape Town: David Philip, 2000), 303–27.
Alpers, E. A., ‘A Complex Relationship: Mozambique and the Comoro Islands in the 19th and 20th Centuries’,
Cahiers d’e
´tudes africaines, 161 (2001); http://www.cairn.info/article.php?ID_ARTICLE=CEA_161_0073,
accessed on 31 Mar, 2010.
Amorim, P. M. de, Relato
´rio do Governador, 1906–1907 (Lourenc¸o Marques: Imprensa Nacional, 1908).
Amorim, P. M. de, Informac¸o
˜es Relativa a
´Regia
˜o de Angoche. Noticia Historica sobre o Distrito de Moc¸ambique (Lourenc¸o
Marques: Imprensa Nacional, 1910).
Amorim, P. M. de, Relato
´rio sobre a ocupac¸a
˜o de Angoche: Operac¸o
˜es de campanha e mais servic¸o realizados, Anno 1910
(Lourenc¸o Marques: Imprensa Nacional, 1911).
Andrade, A. A. de, Relac¸o
˜es de Moc¸ambique Setecentista (Lisboa: Age
ˆncia Geral do Ultramar, 1955).
Axelson, E., Portugal and the Scramble for Africa, 1875–1891 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1967).
Barbosa, D., A Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century (New Delhi
and Madras: Asian Educational Services, 1995).
Barradas, L., ‘Inhambane de Outrora’, Monumenta, 2 (1969): 20–4.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘The Ascendance of Angoche: Politics of Kinship and Territory in the Nineteenth Century North-
ern Mozambique’, in Lusotopie, 1 (Paris: Ed. Karthala, 2003), 115–43.
Islam in Northern Mozambique 589
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘From Shirazi into Monhe
´: Angoche and the Mainland in the Context of the Nineteenth Century
Slave Trade of Northern Mozambique’, in B. Zimba, E. A. Alpers, and A. Isaacman (eds.), Slave Routes and Oral
Tradition in Southeastern Africa (Maputo: Filsom Entertainment, 2005a), 195–219.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Dispute over Islamic Funeral Rites in Mozambique. A Demolidora dos Prazeres by Shaykh
Aminuddin Mohamad’, In Le Fait Missionnaire, 17 (2005b), 41–61.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Matriliny, Islam and Gender in Northern Mozambique’, Journal of Religion in Africa,236 (2006):
139–66.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Roots of Diversity in Mozambican Islam’, Lusotopie, Brill, Mai, XIV 1 (2007a): 129–49.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Islam and Chiefship in Northern Mozambique’, ISIM Review, 19 (Leiden: International Institute
for the Study of Islam in the Modern World, 2007b): 56–7.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Islamismo in Mozambico. Gli scritti di Shaykh Aminuddin Mohammad’, Afriche e Orienti, Nos
3–4 (2007c): 89–100.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Islamic Education in Mozambique’, Annual Review of Islam in South Africa, No. 9, 2006–7
(2007d): 53–7.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Traditions and Transitions: Islam and Chiefship in Northern Mozambique, ca. 1850–1974’, PhD
Dissertation, University of Cape Town, 2007e.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘O Isla
˜o Negro: As Abordagens Coloniais do Isla
˜o no Norte de Moc¸ambique’, Religare, No. 3,
Marc¸o, Universidade Federal de Paraı
´ba – Joa
˜o Pessoa (2008a): 73–81.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘A Teoria do ‘‘Encerramento do Ijtihad’’ no Direito Isla
ˆmico’, Revista Crı
´tica de Cie
ˆncias Sociais,
No. 80, Marc¸o, Universidade de Coimbra (2008b): 195–211.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Muslim Religious Leadership in Post-Colonial Mozambique’, South African Historical Journal,604
(2008c): 637–54.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘The Use of Arabic Script in Northern Mozambique’, Tydskrif vir letterkunde, University of Pretoria
45 (2008d): 133–42.
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘A debate sobre o ‘‘Encerramento do Ijtihad’’ e sua critica’, in B. de Sousa Santos and P. M.
Meneses (eds.), Epistemologias do Sul (Coimbra: CES, Almedina, 2009a), 243–58
Bonate, L. J. K., ‘Muslims of Northern Mozambique and the Liberation Movements’, Social Dynamics, 35\2
(2009b): 280–94.
Botelho, S. X., Memoria estatı
´stica sobre os domı
´nios portugueses na Africa Oriental (Lisboa: Typographia de Jose
´Baptista
Morando, 1835).
Botelho, J. J. T., Histo
´ria militar e polı
´tica dos portugueses em Moc¸ambique de 1833 aos nossos dias, 2nd edn. (Lisboa:
Centro Tip. Colonial, 1936).
Branquinho, J. A. G. de M. ‘Relato
´rio da Prospecc¸a
˜o ao Distrito de Moc¸ambique (Um estudo de estruturas
hiera
´rquicas tradicionais e religiosas, e da sua situac¸a
˜o polı
´tico-social), Nampula, 22 April 1969’, (Fernando da
Costa Freire, Prospecc¸a
˜o das Forc¸as Tradicionais – Distrito de Moc¸ambique, Provı
´ncia de Moc¸ambique, SCCI,
Secreto. Arquivo Histo
´rico de Moc¸ambique, Maputo, Portugal, Lourenc¸ o Marques, 30 December 1969).
Arquivo Histo
´rico de Moc¸ambique, Maputo: Secc¸a
˜o Especial – No 20, S.E., 2 III P 6.
Cahen, M., ‘L’E
´tat nouveux et la diversification religieuse au Mozambique, 1930–1974, I – Le re
´sistible essor de la
portugalisation catholique (1930–1961)’, Cahiers d’e
´tudes africaines, 158, XL 2 (2000a): 309–49.
Cahen, M., ‘L’E
´tat Nouveau et la diversification religieuse au Mozambique, 1930–1974, II – La portugalisation
de
´sespe
´re
´e (1959–1974)’, Cahiers d’e
´tudes africaines, 159, XL 3 (2000b): 551–92.
Camiza
˜o, A., Governo do Distrito de Moc¸ambique. Indicac¸o
˜es Gerais sobre a Capitania – mo
´r do Mossuril. Appendice ao
Relato
´rio de 1 de Janeiro de 1901 (Moc¸ambique: Imprensa Nacional, 1901).
Capela, J., A Repu
´blica da Maganja da Costa 1862–1898 (Porto: Edic¸o
˜es Afrontamento, As Armas e os Varo
˜es 11, 1988).
Capela, J., O escravismo colonial em Moc¸ambique (Porto: Edic
¸o
˜es Afrontamento, Colecc¸a
˜o As Armas e Varo
˜es 12, 1993).
Capela, J., and Medeiros, E., O tra
´fico de escravos em Moc¸ambique para as Ilhas do Indico, 1720–1902 (Maputo: Eduardo
Mondlane University, 1987).
Carvalho, A. P. de, ‘Confrarias Muc¸ulmanas nativas da Cidade de Moc¸ ambique. Subsı
´dios para a historia da sua
fundac¸a
˜o e actividades’, Voz Africana, (1972a): 17, 19.
Carvalho, A. P. de, ‘Confrarias Muc¸ulmanas nativas da Cidade de Moc¸ ambique. Subsı
´dios para a historia da sua
fundac¸a
˜o e actividades’, Voz Africana, (1972b): 5.
Carvalho, A. P. de, ‘Notas para a histo
´ria das confrarias Isla
ˆmicas na Ilha de Moc¸ambique’, Arquivo, No. 4 (Maputo:
Arquivo Histo
´rico de Moc¸ambique) (1988): 59–66.
Chittick, N., ‘The ‘‘Shirazi’’ Colonization of East Africa’, The Journal of African History,63 (1965): 275–94.
Conceic¸a
˜o, A. R. da, Entre o Mar e a Terra: Situac¸o
˜es Identita
´rias do Norte de Moc¸ambique (Maputo: Prome
´dia, 2006).
Coutinho, J. de A., As duas conquistas de Angoche, No. 11 (Lisboa: Pelo Imperio, 1935.
Coutinho, J. de A., Memo
´rias de um velho marinheiro e soldado de A
´frica (Lisboa: Livraria Bertrand, 1941).
Cunha, J. A. da, Provincia de Moc¸ambique. Estudo acerca dos usos e costumes dos Banianes, Bathias, Parses, Mouros, Gentios
e Indigenas (Moc¸ambique: Imprensa Nacional, 1885).
Da Cunha, (Padre) S. S., Antiguidades histo
´ricas da Ilha de Moc¸ambique e do litoral fronteiro, desde os tempos da ocupac¸a
˜o
(Lisboa: Oficinas ‘Unia
˜o Gra
´fica’, S.A.R.L., 1939).
590 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Dickinson, R. W., ‘The Archaeology of the Sofala Coast’, The South African Archaeological Bulletin, 30 (1975): 84–
104.
Dickinson, R. T., Surface Survey of Archaeological Sites on Angoche Island, 28–19 May 1975 (Salisbury: The Central
African Historical Association, 1976.
Duarte, R. T., Northern Mozambique in the Swahili World (Central Board of National Antiquities, Sweden: Eduardo
Mondlane University, Mozambique & Uppsala University, 1993).
Elton, F., Travels and Researches among the Lakes and Mountains of Eastern and Central Africa. (London: H. B. Cotteril,
1879).
Enes, A., ‘De Lisboa a Moc¸ambique’, in Sero
˜es, Vol. 2 (Lisboa: Administrac¸a
˜o e Officinas, 1902).
Enes, A., Moc¸ambique (A Report Presented to the Ministry of the Colonies of the Portugal.) (Lisboa: Sociedade de
Geografia de Lisboa, 1893 , reprinted in 1913).
Geffray, C., A Causa das Armas: Antropologia da Guerra Contempora
ˆnea em Moc¸ambique (Translated from French by
A. O. Ferreira) (Porto: Edic¸o
˜es Afrontamento, 1991).
Geffray, Ch., Nem Pai nem Ma
˜e. Critica de Parentesco: O caso de Macua (Translated from French into Portuguese by
Maria do Rosa
´rio Paiva Bole
´o) (Maputo: Editorial Ndjira Lisboa: Editorial Caminho, AS, 2000).
Geider, T., ‘The Paper Memory of East Africa: Ethnohistories and Biographies Written in Swahili’, in A. Harneit-
Sievers (ed.), A Place in the World. New Local Historiographies from Africa and South Asia (Brill: Leiden, 2002), 255–88.
Gonc¸alves, J. J., O Mundo A
´rabe-isla
ˆmico e o Ultramar portugue
ˆs. Estudos de Cie
ˆncias Polı
´ticas e Sociais, No. 10 – Centro
de Estudos Polı
´ticas e Sociais da Junta de Investigac¸o
˜es do Ultramar, Ministe
´rio do Ultramar, 1958.
Hafkin, N. J., Sheikhs, Slaves and Sovereignty: Politics in Nineteenth Century Northern Mozambique (Denver, CO:
African Studies Association, 1971).
Hafkin, N. J., ‘Trade, Society, and Politics in Northern Mozambique, c. 1753–1913’, PhD Dissertation, Boston
University, 1973.
Horton, M., and Middelton, J., The Swahili. The Social Landscape of a Mercantile Society (Oxford and Malden, MA:
Blackwell Publishers, 2000).
Hutchinson, E., The Slave Trade of East Africa (London: Sampson Low; Marston, Low and Searle, 1874).
Isaacman, A., and Isaacman, B., Mozambique: From Colonialism to Revolution, 1900–1982 (Boulder, CO: Westview
Press and Hampshire; England: Gower, 1983).
Isaacman, A., and Isaacman, B., Slavery and Beyond: The Making of Men and Chikunda Ethnic Identities in the Unstable
World of South-Central Africa, 1750–1920 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2004).
Isaacman, A. F., and Isaacman, B., A Tradic
¸a
˜o de Resiste
ˆncia em Moc¸ambique: O Vale de Zambeze, 1850–1921 (Porto:
Afrontamentos, 1979).
Isendahl, C., ‘Angoche: An Important Link of the Zambezian Gold Trade’, 2007; http://www.arkeologi.uu.se/afr/
projects/BOOK/isendahl.pdf (last accessed on 24 Mar, 2009).
Joa
˜o, B. B., ‘Factores de reorganizac¸a
˜o das chefaturas no Norte de Nampula e Sul de Cabo delgado na Segunda
metade do Se
´culo XIX’, Arquivo, 14 (Maputo: Outubro) (1993): 175–84.
Joa
˜o, B. B., Abdul Kamal e a Histo
´ria de Chiu
´re nos se
´culos XIX e XX (Maputo: Arquivo Histo
´rico de Moc¸ambique,
2000) (Estudos 17).
Kathupa, J. M. M., The Grammar of Emakhuwa Verbal Extensions (London: SOAS, 1991).
Katupha, J. M. M., A Preliminary Description of Sentence Structure in the e-Sa
´aka Dialect of e-Ma
´khuwa (London: SOAS,
1983).
Kro
¨ger, O., ‘Report on a Survey of Coastal Makua Dialects’, SIL International, 2005.
Lobato, A., A expanc¸a
˜o portuguesa em Moc¸ambique de 1498–1530. 1 and 2 vols. (Lisboa, MCMLIV: Estudos Moc¸am-
bicanos, Age
ˆncia Geral do Ultramar, 1954).
Lupi, E. do Couto, Angoche. Breve memo
´ria sobre uma das Capitanias-Mo
ˆres do Distrito de Moc¸ambique (Lisboa:Typogra-
fia do Annuario Commercial, 1907).
Lupi, E. do Couto, Escola de Mousinho. Episodios de Servic¸o, Moc¸ambique 1895–1910 (Lisboa: Imprensa Lucas & Ca,
1936).
Lyndon, C., and Lyndon, A., ‘Enathembo: An Appraisal of Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Factors’, SIL International,
2007.
A Manual of Portuguese East Africa. Composed by the Geographical Section of the Naval Intelligence Division, Naval
Staff, Admiralty, Oxford. 1920.
Martin, B. G., Muslim Brotherhoods in Nineteenth Century Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976).
Matos, P. A. V. De, Diciona
´rio Portugue
ˆs-Macua (Lisbon: Junta de Investigac¸o
˜es Cientı
´ficas do Ultramar, 1974).
Mazrui, A. M., and I. N. Shariff, The Swahili: Idiom and Identity of an African People (Trenton, NJ: Africa World
Press, Inc., 1994).
Mbwiliza, J. F., ‘Towards a Political Economy of Northern Mozambique: The Hinterland of Mozambique Island,
1600–1900’, PhD Dissertation, Columbia University, 1980.
Mbwiliza, J. F., A History of Commodity Production in Makuani 1600–1900. Mercantilist Accumulation to Imperialist
Domination (Dare es Salaam: Dar Es Salaam University Press, 1991).
Islam in Northern Mozambique 591
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Medeiros, E., As etapas da escravatura no norte de Moc¸ambique (Maputo: Arquivo Histo
´rico de Moc¸ambique; Estudos
4, 1988).
Medeiros, E., Histo
´ria de Cabo Delgado e do Niassa (c. 1836–1929) (Maputo: Central Impressora, financed by the
Swiss Cooperation Agency in Mozambique, 1997).
Mello Machado, A. J. de, Entre os macuas de Angoche: Historiando Moc¸ambique (Lisboa: Prelo, 1970).
Middleton, J., The World of the Swahili: An African Mercantile Civilization (New Haven & London: Yale University
Press, 1992).
Monteiro, F. A., ‘As comunidades isla
ˆmicas em Moc¸ambique: Mecanismos de comunicac¸a
˜o’, in Africana, No. 4,
1989 March (Porto: Edic¸o
˜es de Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade Portucalense, 1989): 65–89.
Monteiro, F. A., O Isla
˜o, o Poder, e a Guerra: Moc¸ambique 1964–74 (Porto: Ed. Universidade Portucalense, 1993a).
Monteiro, F. A., ‘Sobre a Actuac¸a
˜o da corrente ‘‘Wahhabita’’ no Isla
˜o Moc¸ambicano: algumas notas relativas ao
perı
´odo 1966–77’, in Africana, No. 12, 1993 March (Porto: Edic¸o
˜es de Centro de Estudos Africanos da Univer-
sidade Portucalense, 1993b): 85–111.
Neves, F. A. da S., Informac¸o
˜es a
´cerca da Capitania-Mo
´r de Angoche (Lourenc¸o Marques: Imprensa Nacional, 1901).
Newitt, M., ‘The Early History of the Sultanate of Angoche’, Journal of African History, XIII 3 (1972a): 397–406.
Newitt, M., ‘Angoche, the Slave Trade and the Portuguese’, Journal of African History, XIII 4 (1972b): 659–72.
Newitt, M., ‘The Southern Swahili Coast in the First Century of European Expansion’, Azania, XIII (1978): 111–26.
Newitt, M., Portugal in Africa: The Last Hundred Years (London: C. Hurst, 1981).
Newitt, M., A History of Mozambique (London: Hurst and Co., 1995).
Nimtz, A. H., Jr., Islam and Politics in East Africa: The Sufi Orders in Tanzania (Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota
University Press, 1980).
Nurse, D., and Phillipson, G. (eds.), The Bantu Languages (London: Routledge, 2003).
Nurse, D., and Thomas, S., The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800–1500
(Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985).
Peirone, F. J., A tribu ajaua do Alto Niassa (Moc¸ambique) e alguns aspectos da sua problema
´tica neo-isla
ˆmica. Estudos
Missiona
´rios, No. 1 (Lisboa: Centro de Estudos Missiona
´rios, Junta de Investigac¸a
˜o do Ultramar, 1967).
Pelissie
`r, R., Histo
´ria de Moc¸ambique: Formac¸a
˜o e oposic¸a
˜o, 1854–1918, 2 vols. (Lisboa: Editoria Estampa, 1987).
Petzel, M., ‘A Sketch of Kimwani (a Minority Language of Mozambique)’, Asia & Africa, No. 2 (2002): 88–110
(Department of Oriental and African Languages, Go
¨teborg University).
Pouwels, R. L., ‘Oral Historiography and the Shirazi of the East African Coast’, History in Africa, 11 (1984): 237–67.
Pouwels, R. L., Horn and Crescent: Cultural Change and Traditional Islam in East African Coast, 800–1900 (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1987).
Pouwels, R. L., ‘Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean to 1800: Reviewing Relations in Historical Perspective’,
International Journal of African Historical Studies,352–3 (2002): 385–425.
Prata, P. A. P., Grama
´tica da lı
´ngua Macua e seus dialectos (Cucuja
˜es: Sociedade missiona
´ria Portuguesa, 1960).
Prata, P. A. P., Diciona
´rio Portugue
ˆs-Macua (Cucuja
˜es:Sociedade Missiona
´ria Portuguesa, 1973).
Prata, P. A. P., Diciona
´rio Macua-Portugue
ˆs(Lisbon: Instituto de Investigac¸a
˜o Tropical, 1990).
Prestholdt, J. G., ‘As Artistry Permits and Custom may Ordain: The Social Fabric of Material Consumption in the
Swahili World, circa 1450 to 1600’, PAS Working Papers No. 3 (Evanston: Northwestern University, 1998), 56.
Rodrigues, D., A Occupac¸a
˜o de Moc¸ambique (1869–1909) (Lisboa: Editada pela Revista de Infantaria, 1910).
Rzewuski, E., ‘Origins of the Tungi Sultanate (Northern Mozambique) in the Light of Local Traditions’, in
S. Pilaszewicz and E. Rzewuski (eds.), Unwritten Testimonies of the African Past. Proceedings of the International
Symposium Held in Ojrzano
´w n. Warsaw on 07–08 November 1989 (Orientalia Varsovensia, Vol. 2) (Warsaw:
Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 1991a), 193–213.
Rzewuski, E., ‘Mother Tongue Father Tongue Convergence: On Swahilization and Deswahilization in
Mozambique’, in J. R. Dow, T. Stolz, N. Boretzky, W. Enninger, and M. Perl (eds.), Minoritatensprachen
Sprachminoritaten (Bochum: Brockmeyer, 1991b), 267–305.
Santos, J. (Frei) dos, Ethiopia Oriental: Descric¸a
˜o das terras da Africa Oriental e dos diferentes povos, animais e aves que
habitam, e das conquistas e batalhas gloriosas dos portugueses (Lisboa: Biblioteca dos Cla
´ssicos Portugueses, 1891).
Sau
´te, A. R., O interca
ˆmbio entre os Moc¸ambicanos e as misso
˜es crista
˜s e a educac¸a
˜o em Moc¸ambique (Maputo: Prome
´dia,
2005).
Shadeberg, T. C., and Mucanheia, F. U., Ekoti: The Maka or Swahili Language of Angoche (Ko
¨ln: Ru
¨diger Ko
¨ppe
Verlag, 2000).
Sheriff, A., Slaves, Spices and Ivory in Zanzibar (London: James Currey; Nairobi: Heinemann Kenya; Dar Es Salaam:
Tanzanian Publishing House; Athens: Ohio University Press, 1987).
Silva Rego D. R. da (ed.), Documentos sobre os Portugueses em Moc¸ambique e na A
´frica Central, 9 vols. (Lisboa: Centro
de Estudos Histo
´ricos Ultramarinos, 1962–89).
Sinclair, P. J. J., ‘Chibuene – An Early Trading Site in Southern Mozambique’, Paideuma 28 (1982): 149–64.
Sinclair, P. J. J., ‘An Archaeological Reconnaissance of Northern Mozambqiue (Part I: Nampula Province: Part II:
Cabo Delgado Province), Working Papers in African Studies, 12 (Uppsala: Department of Cultural Anthropol-
ogy, Uppsala University, 1985).
592 Islam in Northern Mozambique
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Sinclair, ‘Space, Time and Social Formation. A Territorial Approach to the Archaeology and Anthropology of
Zimbabwe and Mozambique, c. 0–1700 AD’, Doctoral Dissertation, Societas Archaeologica Upsaliensis 9
(Uppsala: Department of Archaeology, Uppsala University, 1987), 90.
Souto, A. M. de M. P. N. de, ‘A Administrac¸a
˜o Colonial Portuguesa em Moc¸ambique no Pe
´riodo de Marcello
Caetano (1968–1974). Mecanismos e Relac¸o
˜es de Poder’, PhD Dissertation, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2003.
Spear, T., ‘Early Swahili History Reconsidered’, International Journal of African Historical Studies,332 (2000): 257–90.
Theal, G. (ed.), Records of South-Eastern Africa, 9 vols. (Cape Town: C. Struik, 1964)
Trimingham, J. S., Islam in East Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964).
Vakil, A., ‘Questo
˜es Inacabadas: Colonialismo, Isla
˜o e Portugalidade’, in M. C. Ribeiro and A. P. Ferreira (eds.),
Fantasmas e Fantasias Imperiais no Imagina
´rio Portugue
ˆs Contempora
ˆneo (Porto: Campo das Letras, 2003), 247–98.
Vakil, A., ‘Pensar o Isla
˜o: Questo
˜es coloniais, interrogac¸o
˜es po
´s -coloniais’, Revista Critica de Cie
ˆncias Sociais,69
(2004): 17–52.
de Vilhena, E. J., Companhia do Niassa. Relato
´rios e Memo
´rias sobre os Territo
´rios pelo Governador (Lisboa: Typographia
da ‘‘A Editora’’, 1905).
West, H., Kupilikula: Governance and the Invisible Realm in Mozambique (Chicago and London: The University of
Chicago Press, 2005).
Islam in Northern Mozambique 593
ª2010 The Author History Compass 8/7 (2010): 573–593, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00701.x
Journal Compilation ª2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
... In Mozambique, the relationship dynamics between Sufis and other Muslims, especially pro-Sunnis, and the region's exposure to Islamic currents from the greater Swahili coast and Africa are documented by Liazzat Bonate. This scholar and researcher on Mozambique observes that: 86 'The 1980s and 1990s were marked by an acute rivalry and conflicts between the two emerging national umbrella Islamic organisations, the Islamic Council and the Islamic Congress, representing largely pro-Sufi and anti-Sufi positions. In the 2000s, these organisations became overshadowed by new and more dynamic organisations, such as ASWJ. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Collaborative research between the Institute for Security Studies and the Judicial Training Institute of Mozambique revealed that people in Cabo Delgado see the discovery and poor governance of natural resources as a cause of the insurgency. The study also found few links between the insurgency and organised crime, and that regional rather than ethnic differences play a major role in the conflict.
... The findings of this study have the potential to contribute towards improved healthcare outcomes among Mozambicans by providing culturally competent care. [19]. After 400 years of foreign governance, the native inhabitants aspired for their independence and achieved their freedom by attacking the Portuguese administrators [20]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In settings where traditional medicine is a crucial part of the healthcare system, providing culturally competent healthcare services is vital to improving patient satisfaction and health outcomes. Therefore, this study sought to gain insight into how cultural beliefs influence health-seeking behaviors (HSBs) among Mozambicans. Participant observation and in-depth interviews (IDIs) were undertaken using the ethnonursing method to investigate beliefs and views that Mozambicans (living in Pemba City) often take into account to meet their health needs. Data were analyzed in accordance with Leininger’s ethnonursing guidelines. Twenty-seven IDIs were carried out with 12 informants from the Makonde and Makuwa tribes. The choice of health service was influenced by perceptions of health and illness through a spiritual lens, belief in supernatural forces, dissatisfaction with and dislike of the public medical system on grounds of having received poor-quality treatment, perceived poor communication skills of health professionals, and trust in the indigenous medical system. This study confirmed the need for health professionals to carefully take cultural influences into consideration when providing care for their patients. We recommend an educational intervention that emphasizes communication skills training for healthcare workers to ensure successful physician/nurse–patient relationships.
... Researchers have focused on the dances, neglecting the music and sound that accompanies them. Tamele and Vilanculos (2002) studied Maulide Nakira and Tufo from a historical and descriptive perspective; Arnfred (2004) looked at how Tufo is performed as a dance, linking it with the oral traditions regarding the history of the dance and context of the songs; Macagno (2007) gives a detailed account of how Maulide Nakira is practised and how it arrived on the Island, but with no description of its sonority; and Bonate (2010) references that all religious rituals are accompanied by collective dancing, feasting and drumming done by dance societies, one of them being the Rifa'iyya Sufi Order called Maulide Nakira 1 in Mozambique. ...
... In Nampula province, the most of northerly region of Mozambique, the majority of the population is Muslim. In the centre and south of Mozambique the majority is Christian (Bonate, 2010). For both religions, condom use is a serious problem as they consider it is a sin against Allah and God as these divinities orientate men to procreate and fill the earth. ...
... In signing up, the couple joined what has grown into a global phenomenon over the past few decades: the manifestation of Salafi-inspired Islamic reformism in Muslim contexts across the world (Kepel 1994;Roy 2002). The emergence of this brand of reformism has been relatively recent in northern Mozambique, but it has expanded rapidly, at the expense of historically prevalent Sufi-oriented forms of Islam (Bonate 2007;2010;Declich 2013). 5 The attraction it offered to Rajah and Jafar was its radical break with the Makhuwa notions of relatedness described earlier. ...
Article
Urban migrants in Nampula City, northern Mozambique, perceive themselves to be living in an environment where they are particularly vulnerable to sorcery attacks. Key to this sense of vulnerability are Makhuwa notions of matrilineal descent and relatedness, which work to locate sorcery fears in the interstices of two kinds of proximity, namely social and physical. Accordingly, people fear the translocal reach of the ill will of kin residing in the countryside, with whose well-being they remain connected regardless of the physical distance. Simultaneously, there are threats posed by urban neighbours who, due to their proximity in physical terms but separation in social terms, are considered dangerous. This article analyses practices of conspicuous exchange as one of the strategies urban migrants employ in coping with these anxieties. Specifically, it draws on the life histories of two women in one neighbourhood of Nampula City to explore the challenges they experience in meeting demands for material assistance from rural kin and urban neighbours. The analysis shows that their accounts of sorcery are structured by the difficulty of balancing such demands in a setting of poverty and socio-economic inequality. This finding has implications for anthropological theories of sorcery, misfortune and urban migration.
Article
Full-text available
The province of Cabo Delgado, in the extreme north of Mozambique, is experiencing a difficult situation of armed conflict linked to the presence of an “Islamist” insurgency launched by the group known as al-Shabaab. The essay reconstructs and analyses the main topics and the most relevant axes of this complex political and social process, by examining in particular: origins and characteristics of the group, the ways in which it was formed, the main reasons underlying the phenomenon, placing them within the socio-economic context of the region. Finally, it discusses some aspects related to military responses to the rebellion, including the role of some international actors.
Article
How can male experiences of spirit possession contribute to feminist-influenced anthropology, which has focused mostly on the subordination of women and/or their resistance to male power? I engage with this question by examining the story of Alfio, a male Makhuwa spirit healer living in the city of Nampula in northern Mozambique, who both draws upon and negotiates with female power within spirit possession. I first provide the historical context of Alfio’s story, showing how spirit possession in the matrilineal context of northern Mozambique was originally a domain of female power. I then look at how the Islamization brought about by the nineteenth-century slave trade challenged women’s spiritual power, especially with the introduction of Muslim male spirits (matxini) into local cosmologies. Given that the spirit complex that emerged during the slave trade is still prominent in Nampula today, I draw on Alfio’s story to explore the effects of Islamization on spirit possession and society. Specifically, I show how, although matriliny endured, matxini and Islam provided male healers with resources to attenuate female power and appropriate female ritual spaces. I conclude by comparing Alfio’s story with those of other healers, reflecting on the implications of these changes in spirit possession for gender relations in present-day Mozambique.
Book
Full-text available
This book tells the history of the changing gendered landscapes of northern Mozambique from the perspective of women who fought in the armed struggle for national independence, diverting from the often-told narrative of women in nationalist wars that emphasizes a linear plot of liberation. Taking a novel approach in focusing on the body, senses, and landscape, Jonna Katto, through a study of the women ex-combatants’ lived landscapes, shows how their life trajectories unfold as nonlinear spatial histories. This brings into focus the women’s shifting and multilayered negotiations for personal space and belonging. This book explores the life memories of the now aging female ex-combatants in the province of Niassa in northern Mozambique, looking at how the female ex-combatants’ experiences of living in these northern landscapes have shaped their sense of socio-spatial belonging and attachment. It builds on the premise that individual embodied memory cannot be separated from social memory; personal lives are culturally shaped. Thus, the book does not only tell the history of a small and rather unique group of women but also speaks about wider cultural histories of body-landscape relations in northern Mozambique and especially changes in those relations. Enriching our understanding of the gendered history of the liberation struggle in Mozambique and informing broader discussions on gender and nationalism, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of African history, especially the colonial and postcolonial history of Lusophone Africa, as well as gender/women’s history and peace and conflict studies.
Preprint
Full-text available
This article examines the life and letters of a nineteenth-century Muslim woman political leader of northern Mozambique called Nunu Fatima binti Zakaria, who rose to power from among the established traditional coastal Muslim Shirazi families. How women like her accessed political power, what constituted that power and how it was exercised is the focus of this article, which also analyses the type of correspondence Nunu Fatima and other African leaders used in order to communicate with the Portuguese and others up until the beginning of the twentieth century. And finally, a translation of one of Nunu Fatima's letters is given with a discussion of its content and importance in the last part of the article.
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores historical roots for the existing diversity of the conceptions of Islam among African Sunni Muslims of Mozambique. This diversity is frequently expressed by internal Muslim debates and competitions centred on the nature of Islamic authority and on the definition of ‘orthodoxy.’ After identifying roughly three divergent conceptions of Islamic authority and ritual among Mozambican Muslims, the author analyses specific historical contexts within which each of these conceptions of Islam emerged and confronted one another. In particular, the paper focuses on changes with respect to religious authority and ritual. One of the central arguments of this paper is that on the emergence of each new conception, local Muslims set upon redefining what constituted the centre and the margin of Islam in Mozambique, but despite the attempts to the contrary, the old conceptions have persisted and continuously posed challenges to the newly-established centre.
Book
The publications of the Hakluyt Society (founded in 1846) made available edited (and sometimes translated) early accounts of exploration. The first series, which ran from 1847 to 1899, consists of 100 books containing published or previously unpublished works by authors from Christopher Columbus to Sir Francis Drake, and covering voyages to the New World, to China and Japan, to Russia and to Africa and India. This 1866 volume contains an English translation of a Spanish manuscript version of a document originally written in Portuguese about 1514. The supposed author, Duarte Barbosa, who may have been a relative of Magellan, is said to have spent sixteen years exploring the Indian Ocean. The complex history of this manuscript narrative is given in detail in the translator's preface, and the book has explanatory notes and an index.
Book
In this first major historical study of Islam among the Swahili, Randall Pouwels shows how Islam and other aspects of coastal civilization have evolved since about AD 1000 as an organic whole. Coastal Africans, he argues, simply adopted Islam as the spiritual vehicle best suited to their expanding intellectual needs and to meeting the opportunities presented by their physical and cultural environment. The culture and religion that developed were strong, rich, supple, self-assured. yet capable of accommodating change where it was unavoidable or preferable. All these characteristics were put to the test in the nineteenth century, when coastal peoples were subjected to intense Arabizing and Westernizing influences. Pouwels demonstrates how local people went on asserting their own traditions while assimilating what they chose from both worlds. East African Muslims, therefore faced the twentieth century divided on issues of local cultural autonomy and the need to conform to external cultural pressures.