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Islam and the catholic crusade movement in zanzibar

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Yona F. Maro, Sep 19, 2008.

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  1. Yona F. Maro

    Yona F. Maro R I P

    Sep 19, 2008
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    i Pre-Islamic Era in Zanzibar

    For the past three decades we have witnessed a radical study of the history of Zanzibar especially during the Omani Sultanate under the British Protectorate. Such history is neither perceived as an extension of European imperial history, nor it is exclusively concerned with the exploitation of Zanzibar by British colonial rulers, explorers, missionaries and administrators. But because of a Eurocentric colonial interpretation and exaggeration of Zanzibar's history as a hub of Arab's slavery, instead of as the exportation of the deluxe cloves in the global market, a new generation of Zanzibaris are utilizing innovative research materials at their own disposal. They are utilizing oral traditions, linguistic evidence and the archeological data for the Zanzibar perspective. They have now produced excellent studies which have put Zanzibar into the center of her historical development.

    The history of Zanzibar without its association with Islam and Arabic influence is like European history without the acknowledgment of Christianity and Romance languages. As Europe is associated with Rome and Greece, Zanzibar is a also associated with the East African region, but historically and culturally it ties are with Arabo-Persian influences because its geographical proximity, and the impact of Monsoon Winds which blow to Zanzibar for six months, and the rest six months to the Persian Gulf. Unlike the hinterland, Zanzibar had more cultural contacts with the people plying the Indian Ocean trade routes following the Monsoon Winds over the last two thousand years.

    The most important source for the Indian Ocean during this period, Periplus Maris Erythraen (Circumnavigation of the Erythraen Sea) written by an unknown Greek commercial agent based in Egypt. A considerable increase in knowledge of the Indian Ocean trade in Zanzibar and general and East in general is noticed ble in Ptolemy’s Geography, written about 156 CE. The last documentary source for the period is the Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes written during the first half of the six century. It was obviously belongs to the period when the Roman Empire and Roman trade in the Indian Ocean had already entered a period of precipitate decline. It is most useful for its information on Ethiopia, on the ascendancy of the Persian in the Indian Ocean. Because of natural highways of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, Zanzibar had received many visitors from kingdoms of Sumarian, which flourished between 6000 BC and 3000 BC and Assyrian from 2000 BC to 6000 BC, both in Mesopotamia whose people are the first to cultivate and settle the Fertile Crescent and are the ancestors of the Sumarians.

    The archeological investigations of Pre-Islamic Zanzibar are still in an embryonic stage but are supporting oral traditions. The excavation in 1910 proved that the ancient Egyptians, Sumarians and Sabeans visited the East African islands for international trade. The Sumarians are the first known people to develop a high civilization for their inscription which belonged to the Semitic Kingdom of Sargon of Akkad, founded in 2709 BC related the prosperous international maritime trade which flourished in 3000 BC between Mesopotamia, South Arabia and the East African coast. The relationships between Sumarian and Swahili languages are attested in their use of verbal forms instead of conjunctions, in addition to their similarities of words which have common peculiarities of grammar and construction. Swahili and Sumarian have almost similar thematic harmony of the vowels, which form a greater number of derivatives by means of suffixes and both have a system of Harfun (declension) by means of suffixes to the root word without causing significant changes. Other similarities are the absence of distinction between masculine and feminine genders as well as the existence of a negative conjugation.

    Such as linguistic relationship goes back when the Sumaerians, pioneered the sea route-trade as documented in some historical accounts. The origin of such people was the Persian Gulf where the first ship building industry started. He stated that the Serbeians who took control of the passage from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean (formally called the Zanzibar Ocean), around the first of millennium BC regulated the Indian Ocean from Sindh (now in Pakistan) and the Persian Gulf. It was the same time that the trade entered the flow in Zanzibar islands.

    Other early visitors to the East African coast were the Phoenicians, a navigating people from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. It is believed that they reached Zanzibar and Kilwa in about 1000 BC on their way to Sofala, in Mozambique for gold, silver and ivory. About 600 BC, a Phoenician fleet sailed the south part of Zanzibar and circumnavigated Africa before returning to the Mediterranean, three years later. About 526 BC when the Persians conquered Egypt, they opened the access to the Red Sea. After the decline of Greek domination, Persian again became the strongest naval power on the Indian Ocean to Zanzibar, and Arab settlement of the coast of East Africa had taken their route, despite the Persians to Zanzibar for trade continued through the upheaval even after the rise of Islam when Arab predominance became more evident in Zanzibar than any other East African countries. Extensive trade between East Africa and the kingdoms of the ancient civilization of the world continued to gained and by 500 BC the coastal islands, including Zanzibar had become part of a vast commercial empire, extending from Egypt, Greece and Rome across the Indian Ocean to India. About 138 BC, Chinese silk and porcelain reached Zanzibar via India.

    At the very beginning of the first Century CE, Zanzibar was part of the Kingdom of Saba (115 BC-525 CE), also known as Sheba. The Sabeans were a maritime people, with a large kingdom in Yemen and used the seasonal monsoon winds to travel regularly to and from Zanzibar. Their sailed south between November to February, during the Northeast Monsoon, carrying beads, the Chinese porcelain and clothes. Between March and September, they returned to north on the Southwest Monsoon, carrying food grains, mangroves poles for timber, spices, gold (from Sofala), ivory and ebony. These Arabs knew the East African coast as "Zinjibar" and thence the romantic name Zanzibar is derived.

    Besides the linguistic relationship between Swahili and Sumarian, the Babylonians, Sumarians and Persians also introduced horns to Zanzibar. In the Beit al-Amãn (The House of Peace) Museum, there are two big ancient horns belonged to the Shirazi rulers, enthroned as Mwinyi Mkuu (Sultan), meaning one who has great power for leadership.There are pictures of Babylonian horns on many old tombs-stones such as on the Kaburi (grave) of prince Haroun at Chwaka in Pemba. Haroun was the son of Mwinyi Mkuu Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman, famous as Mkame Ndume at Pemba. We are not very sure of the etymology of Pemba, but the Swahili word for horn is Pembe, used by Shirazi rulers both in Pemba and the southern region of the Zanzibar island as symbols of their power. The paraphernalia of horns as power, are mentioned in the Old Testament that Zedekiah ibn Khanaanah prepared two horns to symbolize the power of the Kings of Judah and Israel (1 Kings 22:11 and 2 Chronicles 18:10). The presence of horns in Zanzibar indicates the existence of ancient organized Perso-Arabo civilization and their Serikali, a Swahili word for government in Farsi (Persian), indicating that ustaarabu (civilization) of Perso-Arabic existed in Zanzibar islands before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) but countries like the Central Africa, Zaire, Bahr al-Ghazal (Southern Sudan) and Uganda have no knowledge of using horns for symbol of leadership as in Zanzibar prior to its Islamization.

    ii From Ethiopia To Zanzibar

    Islam reached peacefully in East Africa during the seventh century, and by the tenth century it became a dominant religion in Ethiopia, Somalia and the East African islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, Kilwa, Mafia, Pate, Lamu and Mombasa. It reached early in these countries due to their proximity to the Indian Ocean as well as the long prosperous economic, and political relations with the Persian Gulf countries. The domination of the Red Sea maritime trade route by the Islamic State of Madina, also helped the spread of Islam to East Africa. This is attested by a mosque foundation in Lamu where gold, silver and copper coins dated 830, were found during an excavation in 1984. The oldest intact mosque in East and Central Africa is dated 1007 at Kizimkazi in Zanzibar. The Swahili cities such as Kilwa and Zanzibar had grown rich from trading with both India and China to the extent that by 13th century, Kilwa had already acquired mints of their own, their kings stuck copper coins, inscribing their names. Recent archeologists in Zanzibar also had recovered a hoards of three thousands silver coins of local minting. One of the coins found at Kizimkazi with the name of Sultan Muhammad Ali belonged to the Shirazi dynasty, is implied by the Kilwa Chronicle. But the Fatimi dinar minted in Egypt was the basic international currency in the Swahili cities states. This was observed by the Moroccan globetrotter Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Zawati al-Tunzi (1304-1378), more famous as Ibn Battuta when he visited the East African islands.

    During his visit in 1331, Arabic was already the common literary and the commercial language spoken all over these coastal islands. He worked as the Chief Qadhi (Supreme Jurist) in the Maldives islands for one year using Arabic as his working language. In Kilwa, he was hosted by Sultan Abdullah bin al-Mudhaffar al-Hassan, nicknamed Abu al-Muwahhib (The Father of Gifts) and he reported that Kilwa, was one of the beautiful and best constructed towns in the world, and by that time he had seen the cities of India, China, Egypt and Morocco, his native country. He then visited Malindi, Mombasa and Pemba before he wrote his book entitled, Tuhfat al-Nazaãr fi-Gharã’b al-Amsãr Wa-’Ajãib al-’Asfãr, known as Rihalar Ibn Batuta (The Voyages of Ibn Battuta), in which he noticed the Shafi’i Madrasa (Islamic School), descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the influence of Yemen in the courts of the East African islands. Not only did Ibn Battuta notice some visitors from Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) and Yemen in Kilwa, indicating that Arabic was spoken in Kilwa, but the letter addressed to the King of Portugal has its beginning composed in Saj (the rhymic prose), common in the Qur’an.

    But Islam was catastrophically challenged by Crusaders in the guise of explorers, traders and colonialists. Their mission was executed by a euphemism of "Catholic Crusade Movement" (CCM), from Portugal. As Islam sequentially spread in Ethiopia, Somalia and Zanzibar so did Crusades which were waged against its progress. The discourse of Crusade against Islam in Ethiopia, was discussed by Taqiyyu al-Din bin Ahmad bin Ali al-Makrizi (1364-1442), who provided one of the early authoritative accounts in his book called Al-Ilmãm man bi-Ardh al-Habashah Min Muluk al-Islam (Survey of the Muslim Kings of Abyssinia). Another book by the same author entitled Al-Dhahab al-Masbuk fi-Dhikr man Hajja min al-Khulafãh wa al-Mulk (The Book on the Pilgrimage of Caliphs and Kings), contains interviews which the author collected during his settlement in Mecca with pilgrims especially from Africa between 1435 and 1437. One of the most significant accounts of the Catholic Crusade against Islam in East Africa is found in Tuhfat al-Zaman, better known as Futuh al-Habash (The Conquest of Ethiopia) by Shihãb al-Din. The author himself was the eyewitness to many of the events which he recorded (1506-1542) when he accompanied Imam Ahmad bin Ibrahim al-Ghazi (d. 1543), known in Ethiopia as Imam Ahmad Grãn (Leader Ahmad the Left-handed), more famous for his heroic conquests in Ethiopia. He embarked upon the greatest Jihad against the Portuguese ever known in Ethiopia until he was martyred by them. His loss was not only the defeat of the Muslim Sultanates in Ethiopia, but also the East African history entered a new epoch of Portuguese domination.

    Qutb al-Din bin Muhammad bin Ahmed al-Nahrawali, author of the book, Al-Barq al-Yamani fi Al-Fath al-Uthmani (The Ottoman Conquest of Yemen), described the expansion of the Ottomans and the Portuguese as well as their interests in East Africa. This indispensable book was published first under the title of Ghazawãt al-Jarakisah wa-al-Atrãk fi-Junub Bilãd al-Jazirah (Jarkish and Turkish Conquests in the Southern Peninsula). The Ethiopian’s resentment against Portuguese Crusaders and their desire for an alliance with the Yemenis, was described by Sharaf al-Din al-Hassan bin Ahmed bin Saleh al-Jamali al-Haymi (1609-1659) in his book, Sirat al-Qãdi Sharaf al-Din al-Hassan bin Ali bin Al-Hassan fi Dukhulihi Ardh al-Habashah, better known as Sirat al-Habashah (Sharaf al-Din’s Report from Ethiopia). Zayn al-Din's book, Kitab Tuhfat al-Mujahidin fi-Ba’ad Ahwa’al Burtuqaliyyin (The Book of Resistance Against Portuguese Expansion), is another important source on Portuguese during the sixteenth century in East Africa. The two volumes of Imam Nural-Din Abdullah bin Hamid bin Salum al-Salimi under the title Tuhfãt al-A’yãn bi-Sirat Al-’Umãn (The History and Life of Omani Dynasties), are significantly important in the history of Islam in Zanzibar. The first volume is exclusively devoted to the early history of Oman and provides an account of the Portuguese and the history of the al-Busady dynasty in both Oman and Zanzibar. Shuhaib al-Din Ahmed Ibn Muhammad bin Majid (1432-1500), a native of Julfar in Omani who knew Swahili and visited Zanzibar, was the pilot of Vasco da Gama (1469-1524) from Malindi, the coast of Kenya to Calcutta and Malabar coast of India. Among his many books on oceanography, the Fawa’dh fi-Usul Ilm al-Bahr wa-al-Qawaidãh (The Book of Benefits of the Principles of Seamanship), is considered as one of the best on the history of Portuguese in Oman and Zanzibar.

    It was only recently that the study of Islam in East Africa started to attract the attention of contemporary scholars. But most of them neglected the Crusade against Islam in Zanzibar because such religious conflicts seem to belong to the Middle East, despite it is an ecumenical imperative against Islam in any Muslim country, including Zanzibar. Muslims in Zanzibar and East Africa in general were the pioneers of resistance against Crusades, colonialism and Christianity. Their resistance which was the longest and the strongest in the African history can be divided arbitrarily into three phases. The first phase (1498-1595), when the Swahili states remained independent under the government of their own traditional Shirazi ruling dynasties and were fighting against the Catholic Crusaders from Portugal. They inflicted catastrophic damages to some of the Swahili towns but had little control over the inhabitants until Alffonso Albuquerque gained superiority in the region. The second phase (1595-1650), started with the construction of the Fort Jesus at Mombasa, under the supervision of an Italian Giovanni Batista Cairato. Mombasa then became the capital of the Portuguese Crusade in East Africa.

    This lead to the virtual collapse of the Shirazi dynasties, but the Shirazi islanders continued to pay allegiance to their respective Sultans. The third phase (1650-1700), ended after Muslim liberation due to an alliance between Imam al-Busaid of Oman and Shirazi dynasties of the East African islands. In 1660, Pate and Mombasa asked for help and an Omani fleet was dispatched and besieged Fort Jesus. This last phase collapsed when Mombasa fell in 1698 after a long siege by Seif bin Sultan Seif al-Yarubi who appointed Nassor bin Abdullah al-Mazrui as the governor. But it was not until the Oman placed their garrisons on Kilwa, Zanzibar and Pemba, when the Crusaders lost control over the East African islands. After being expelled from Mombasa and their Fort Jesus was seized, they fled to Mozambique for implantation of Christianity in the gist of colonialism (1700-1975), and they remained there until the country got independence.




    i Zanzibar in Muslim Historiography

    Prior to the advent of the Crusaders in Zanzibar, it is not known to what extent the 15th Century Portuguese knew about Muslims in Zanzibar. But it is crystal clear that after the emergence of Islam in Zanzibar, some Muslim historiographers and cartographers paid much attention to visiting and documenting about Bilãd Zanj (Land of the Black), the East Coast of Africa. It is possible that some Portuguese had a knowledge of the books of the early Muslim scholars who mentioned the geographical position of Zanzibar islands, the presence of Muslims and their respective Sultans. For instance, Uthman bin Amr bin Bahr al-Furqayam al-Basr, famous as al-Jahiz (776-869), himself a descendent from Bilãd al-Zanj but born at Basra, the cradle of Thauratul-Zunuj (The Zanj Revolt), replied in his treatise titled, Al-Fakhãr al-Sudãn min al-Abyãdh (The Pride of Blacks Over the Whites), that the natives in the Bilãd Zanj are in both Qambalu (Pemba) and Lunjuya (Unguja), just as Arabs are the descendants of Adnan and Qahtan in the Middle East. Qassim Hawqal Nusaybi al-Hawqal (fl. 943-977), born in Baghdad explained in his Kitãb Surat al-Ardh (The Shape of the Earth) that Qumbalu is located between Bilãd al-Habash (Ethiopia) and Bilãd al-Zanj, though he named the Indian Ocean as Bahr al-Fãris (The Persian Ocean), contrary to Abdullah bin Hassan bin Ali bin Hussein bin Ali al-Masoud (913-956), who in his book titled Muruj al-Dhahãb wa-Manãdin al-Jawhãr (Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems), referred to it as the Bahr al-Zanj (The Zanzibar Ocean), after his visits to Zanzibar. His last visit occurred when he left Baghdad in 912 across Sohar, then the greatest Omani sea-port in the Muslim world. He left Sohar with ship owners; Muhammad bin Zaidabud and Jawhar bin Ahmed. He stated that Pemba was (already) occupied by Muslims prior to 730 when Muslims occupied (the islands of) Creoles. This implies that Pemba and Zanzibar, were Muslim before his visit, a fact which is supported by the Pate Chronicle and the excavated gold coin of dinar, struck by Seif Ullah Jafãr Yahya, the vizier of Khalifah Haroun bin Rasheed (780-809), who sent several Muslims to Zanzibar. The gold coin dated 798 was excavated at Unguja Ukuu (Old Zanzibar City), where Neville Chittick excavated pottery of the Sassanian Islamic type.

    The first cartographer who compiled the detailed description of the world map in 1154 which includes the islands of Unguja and Pemba, was probably Abu Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Idriss (1100-1164), born in Morocco. He explained that the inhabitants of Unguja are predominantly Muslims, a fact which is supported by the 1107 date on the Kizimkazi Mosque at Unguja. One who visited and wrote extensively about Tumbatu, the sister island of Unguja and Pemba islands was Yaquot bin Abdullah bin Hamawi al-Rumi (1179-1229), a freed slave of African origin. In his famous book, Mul'jãm al-Buldãn (Geographical Dictionary), he wrote that Unguja, is the large island and the seat of the elected kings. Unguja was important trading center because all the vessels which traded in this coast come there to disembark. He also mentioned that the inhabitants have been removed from Unguja to Tumbatu, whose inhabitants are (also) Muslims. This statement is supported both by the Tumbatu Chronicle and the ruined town known as Makutani that was built by Sultan Yusuf bin Alawi from Shirazi. Regarding Pemba, Yaquot said that there are two elected Sultans in Pemba; one in the city of Mtambwe (Mtambwe Mkuu), and another in Mtambalu (Ras Mkumbuu), but one Mfalme (Sultan) came from Kufa, He recieved this information from Sheikh Salih bin Abdul Malik bin Hallawi al-Basri, a trustworthy and first-hand eyewitness who knew the Sultan who came from Kufa. Though Yaquot gave no reason for the removal of people from Unguja, the anonymous author of Kitãb al-Sulwa fi-Akhbar Kilwa (The History Book Concerning the Pleasure Concerning of Kilwa) pointed out that Sultan Sulayman bin Hassan (1178-1195), conquered some parts of the East African coast and declared himself a ruler of Sofala, Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar. Therefore, Sultan Sulayman bin Hassan might be responsible for this migration to Tumbatu.

    Another Muslim historiographer who wrote about Unguja and Pemba was Ibn Said al-Magharabi (1213-1286), born in Spain. He described in his geography book, Kitãb Bast al-Ard fi'tul wa'l-Ardh (The Book of Extension of the Land on Longitudes and Latitudes) that Qambalu, is the Jazirãt al-Khadhrã (The Green Island), the term which is still common in Zanzibar. The term is also mentioned in the Kitãb al-Fawãid fi Usul wa'al Qawaidãh (The Book of Benefits of the Principles of Seamanship) by Shihãb al-Din ibn Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn al-Majid (1432-1500), already mentioned as the Omani navigator who knew Swahili and he was the pilot of Vasco da Gama from Malindi to India.

    It stands to reason that some of these books about the geography and the Muslims in the Zanzibar islands were accessible to some Portuguese historians and geographers such as Fra Mauro Comoldes. His map of 1460 shows the Zanzibar islands and Sofala, the Muslim city built by a Muslim ruler, Musa bin as-Sambiq though his name was erroneously corrupted to Mozambique, the former Portuguese colony. According to Joas de Barros (1496-1570), a Portuguese historian, "the king of Zanzibar was the line of the king of Mombasa, our enemies. The inhabitants were white Moros (Muslims) and black Moros....The (Muslim) women were adorned with jewels and gold from Sofala." Duarte Barbose, a Portuguese historian who visited the East African islands (1500-1518) also reported that "the islands of Mamfia (Mafia), Pemba and Zinjibar (Zanzibar) are inhibited by Moros. The islands have many mosques and the Moros honour greatly the Alcoron (Qur'an) of Mfamade (Muhammad)."

    The Portuguese needed the information about Muslims in East Africa because the Portuguese were seeking for the legendary Christian monarch of Ethiopia known as Prester John. They wanted his assistance to evangelize the East African Muslims. His legends emerged during the Crusades when a word spread that a Nestorian king priest joined the march to capture Jerusalem from Islamic hands. The legendary exploits of Prester John were first recorded by Otto of Freising in Chronicon (1145), and subsequent mention was made of his purported grandson (or son), King David of India. In 13th Century, Alberic de Trois-Fontaiunes said that in 1165 Prester John sent a letter to several European princes, such as Frederick Barbarossa (1152-1190) of Germany and Manuel Comnenus. The letter was a fiction but his hand-tinted map is ironically, preserved in the Zanzibar National Archives.

    ii The Origins Of Crusade In Zanzibar

    The word Crusade comes from the Latin word Crux, meaning Cross, and members of the Crusade sewed the symbol of the Cross of Christ on their outer garments. The objective of Crusades was to spread Christianity, dominate Muslims and annihilate Islam. This mission continues in different ways and it still lingers over the minds of contemporary Christians even though some of them condemn as colonialist wars that donned the cloak of Christianity despite their frenzy brutalities and atrocities to the Muslims.

    It is widely believed and asserted by Orientalists that Crusade against Islam started in Jerusalem (The City of Peace) when the First Crusade (1096-1099) was led by Peter, the Hermit after Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118), the Emperor of Constantinopole, asked Pope Urban II (also known as Urban the Blessed) to fight against the Muslims and liberate the (supposed) tomb of Jesus Christ (pbuh) in Jerusalem. In answering to the call of Pope Urban II, 150,000 the Crusaders marched to Constantinapole. Their first encounter with the Muslims was Eskisheshir (Dorylaeum) and they spilt into several branches. Baldwin of Boulogne went through Armenia captured Ruha (Edessa) in 1098, and founded the first Christian Latin State. Tancred of Sicily marched through Cilicia and captured Tarsus but Bhemound proceeded to Antioch, occupied it and became the second Latin state. Raymond of Toulouse captured Ma’rrat al-Nu’man, killed over 100,000 Muslims who surrendered to him and committed their city to the flames. Ramlah succumbed in 1099 and in Jerusalem Muslim women and children were not spared as one among the Crusaders on July 15, 1099 witnessed:

    With drawn swords our people ran through the city; nor did they spare anyone, not even those pleading for mercy. If you had been there, your feet would have been stained up to the ankles with blood. What more shall I tell? Not one of them was allowed to live. They did not spare the women or children. The horses waded in blood up to their knee, nay up to the bridle. It was just and wonderful judgment of God. (p. 113).

    The Crusade culminated the foundation of the Crusader States in the Middle East and the construction of sixty Churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus Christ (pbuh) was allegedly buried after his so called Crucifixion. The first serious Muslim reaction came from Imad al-Din Zanji (1127-1262), the ruler of Mawsil who carved a kingdom for himself out of Halab, Harrana and northern Iraq. He recaptured Ruha in 1144 and carried off Jocscelin II in chains. The collapse of the Crusader king reverberated through Europe and Frank cried for help which brought about the Second Crusade (1147-1149), which attacked Mesopotamia in response to the tragic loss of Edessa in 1144 to Imad al-Din Zanji, and was led by King Louis VII of France who was joined with Emperor Conrad III of Germany (1137-1152), the principal leaders inspired by the preaching of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Peter the Venerable, who was responsible for the first translation of the Qur'an into Latin, wrote to King Louis VII that he should kill as many Muslims as (Prophets) Moses (sic) and Joshua had killed Amorites and Canaanites.

    Nur al-Din, the son of Imad al-Din al-Zanji was a more illustrious ruler than his father. He added Damashq (Damascus), the rest of the principality of Ruha and all of Tripoli to his realm. Both Bohemond III and Raymond II of Tripoli were brought to Halab, in chains. This Crusade led by Conrad III of Germany and Louis VII of France, consisted French and Germans Knights. But when the Crusaders controlled Jerusalem for 88 years, the Qubbãt al-Sakhãr (Dome of the Rock) built in 691 by Khalifah Abdul Malik al-Marwan (685-750), was turned into a Church. It was renamed the Temple of Solomon until it was liberated in 1187 by the most renowned Kurdish Muslim general named Salahud-Din bin Youseff Ayoubi (1138-1193), known in the West as Saladin.

    The Crusade (1189-1192), focused on the recapturing of Jerusalem from Muslims. It was initiated and participated by noted Richard Coeur de Lion, known as Richard the Lion Hearted (1189-1199), the King of England and one of the most notorious Crusaders in his time. He nearly massacred all inhabitants of Acre despite his promise to the contrary but he was killed in this Crusade. Other noted participants were King Philip II Augustus of France (1180-1223), but he returned home soon after he arrived in Jerusalem, while his counterpart the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of Germany (1152-1190), died before he arrived Jerusalem. After capturing Cyprus, they concentrated all of their forces against ‘Akka, which he took in 1191 after the battle that lasted for two years. These bellicose kings and emperors strongly opposed Salahudin Youseff Ayoubi for his remarkable political and military might against the Crusaders.

    The Fourth Crusade (1202-1204), was initiated by Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) who backed Theodore, the Count of Chamaque to lead this Crusade. He bombarded North Africa, following the recommendation of Richard the Lion Hearted, possibly because Salahud-Din bin Youseff Ayoubi was the Egyptian leader, similar to Mussa al-Nusayr whose general Tariq bin Ziyad liberated the Spanish Muslims in 711 from the Catholic Crusaders.

    The Crusades for the annihilation of Islam in Africa were considered by Catholics as the most ecumenical solution for Christianity. They were legalized by various Papal Bulls. The first Bull named Same Charissimus (April 4, 1418) urged all Christians kings and princes to aid King John of Portugal in Crusade against the Moors (Muslims) and other enemies of the Holy Name of (Jesus) Christ. Because the Bull fell on deaf ears, due to preoccupation of powers in Europe, another Bull known as Rex Regum (September 8, 1436), was issued in which the Pope stated that "all the lands newly conquered would belong to the king of Portugal." While the Bull termed Dum Diversas (June 18, 1452) gave the King of Portugal the power to wage war on infidels (Muslims) with the aim of converting them to Christianity. The Bull Romanus Pontifex (January 8, 1454), confirmed the preceding Bull. Two years later, when the Portuguese realized that they were in jeopardy of losing Ceuta (Morocco), the other Bull Etisi Cuncti (February 16, 1456) urged all Christian princes to aid the Portuguese for Crusade against Islam in West and East Africa.

    It should be pointed out that to the Christian mind, the Crusades were the only answer against Islam. Therefore, a series of Catholic Crusades continued until the Spanish Inquisition in 1493, six years before Vasco da Gama with his army arrived Zanzibar and Pemba as motivated by Prince Henry (1394-1460), the Navigator. His chronicler Gomes Eannes de Azurara (1410-1473), mentioned some motives that prompted Prince Henry to (East) Africa. First, "to discover how far the territories of the Moros (Muslims) extended because every wise man is obliged by natural prudence should have a knowledge of the power of his enemy." Second, "to find a Christian king (Prester John), who for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ (sic) might became allies in fighting the Muslims." Third, to extend "faith of our Lord Jesus Christ (sic) and to bring him to the souls that should be saved."

    This indicated that Christianity provided an ideological justification for Crusade against Islam in East Africa. The Portuguese who sailed with Vasco da Gama to East Africa were devout people of the Catholic Renaissance. They were mainly Franciscans and chaplains who impossible for them to isolate politics from Christianity. The Rev. G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville, one of the noted missionaries in Zanzibar revealed that the Prince Henry's foreign policy was to banish Islam in East Africa. In his policy, the separation of Church from State as advocated by contemporary Christians did not signify the separation of Christianity from politics. In their Catholic fanaticism, the Portuguese waged Crusade and depersonification of Muslims from Zanzibar to Oman. They started perilous game of plunder, torture and murder, driving for imperial domination of Muslims. The advantage of Crusaders was enhanced by a Papal Bull of Pope Nicholaus V, issued in 1455 granting King Alphonso of Portugal, the monopoly in all areas they had conquered provided that the (East) Africans (Muslims) were converted to Christianity. According to Lilyan Kesteloop, the Bull states:

    We after scrupulous reflection, are granting by our Bull full and entire freedom to King Alphonso to conquer, to besiege, to fight, and to submit all the Sarances (Muslims), Pagans, and other enemies of Christ, wherever they may be; and to seize the kingdoms, the dukedoms, their princendom, the lordship, personnel properties, landed properties, and all the wealth they withhold and possess; and to submit these persons to perpetuate slavery; to appropriate these kingdoms, duchies, principalities, counties, lordships, properties and wealth, to transmit them to their successors; to take advantage and make use of them personally and with their offspring. As they have received the so-called powers, King Alphonso and Infanta have acquired, possess, and will possess, rightly and indefinitely, these islands (of Zanzibar), seas and these wealth. (p. 86).

    The advent of the Portuguese Crusade in Zanzibar resulted in wide spread of Muslim revolts against the Christians. While many contemporary historians still maintain an apocryphal belief that the Portuguese came to Zanzibar (and India) as explorers for spices under the patronage of Prince Henry, a few have a different opinion. Professor Sulayman S. Nyang stated in his book titled Islam, Christianity and African Identity that the spread of modern Christianity in (East) Africa can be traced to the pioneering efforts of Prince Henry, the Navigator. His efforts started when his father King John determined to annihilate the Muslim power in Africa. On July 25, 1415, he left Lisbon, the capital of Portugal with 200 warships and his three sons, including Prince Henry. Their appearance and huge amanda off the Ceuta (Morocco) caught the Muslims by a terrible astonishment. When Cauta fell on August 24, 1415, a celebration for their victory was held in Lisbon where Prince Henry was knighted for his bravity and meritorious Crusade.
    Prince Henry, was the third son of five surviving Portuguese-English sons of the bastard John I, of the House of Aviz and Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt. Prince Henry was the ardent architect of Portugal’s geographical and navigational explorations with the involvement of Christian missionaries in Africa during the second half of the fifteenth century. Not only he mapped out the plans, but launched the expeditions for the charting of the African coastline, and was given authorizations in a Bull by Pope Nicholus V in 1455 to go forth and conquer African lands and take possession of their wealth. The explorations that followed had a strong religious as well as economic and political purposes, though it was not possible to distinguish the religious from these other interests. Though Prince Henry did not sail to East Africa for Crusade but his mission to establish Christian kingdoms in Africa was pursued by his Catholic mentors after his death. The Portuguese were not only anxious for the propaganda of Catholicism in African kingdom but also saw these kingdom as potential partners and allies in their struggle against Islam. The year 1482 saw arrival of a Portuguese ship at La Mina (Elmina) in Ghana and the beginning of Catholicism in Africa. Mass was celebrated under a tree and prayers said for the "conversion of natives from idolatry and the perpetual prosperity of the Church." In Benin attempts were made in 1485 to establish Christian kingdoms but little was accomplished due to the shortage of Christian missionaries, failure to train indigenous clergy and reluctance of many Africa rulers to convert to Christianity.

    The history of Portuguese Crusades in East Africa followed a similar pattern to that in West Africa. In 1486, Barthelomew Diaz (d. 1500) failed to reach East Africa due to the strong rage of tempest across the Cape of South Africa. When he perished in the tempest of the South African coast, King of Portugal appointed Pedro da Covilhe to collect information of the East African coast. The information he collected (1487-1491) might have helped Vasco da Gama who left Portugal on July 8, 1497 and commanded his heavily armed ship called Sao Gabriel (Saint Gabriel) and his brother called Paula da Gama commanded Sao Raphael, ran ashore at Chake Chake, Pemba. Vasco da Gama arrived in Zanzibar on February 28, 1498 and proceeded to Mombasa where he received a strong hostile reception from the Sultan but a warm welcome in Malindi, an old enemy of Mombasa. He built a pillar of friendship on the shore of Malindi and employed Shuhaib al-Din Ahmed Ibn Muhammad bin Majid to guild him from Malindi to India. After Vasco da Gama returned to Portugal, the Catholic missionaries came to spread the gospels to Belgium Congo, the former Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) whose king; Nzima Kuwu converted to Christian in 1492, and renamed Joao (John), after the father of Prince Henry. And his baptized prince was renamed Affonso, after Affonso de Albuquerque, the ruthless and diabolical Crusader from East Africa to Oman and South East Asia. This Congolese prince became a bishop after Christian education. The Jesuist fathers were installed as councilors to the African king and functioned as prime ministers. The king never made important decisions without reference to his own local African councils. He became absolute monarchy under the control of the Catholic Church.

    An anonymous author of the original book entitled Kitãb al-Sulwa fi-Akhbar Kilwa (The Book of Pleasure Concerning the History of Kilwa) written in 1520 gave more enlightenment on the early history of Kilwa, the sister island of Zanzibar and Pemba, under the Shirazi dynasty from Iran. He indicated to write the early history of Kilwa to the time of Sultan Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Shirazi. But when the events were connected with Vasco da Gama to Kilwa with nineteen ships, he abrutly ended with the words; "There ends what I have found." He ended that way because what followed was a humiliating episode which no loyal Muslim citizen of Kilwa could be proud and the title of his book may be a misnomer. However, he said that the Mafia Sultan rejoiced the coming of the Portuguese:

    They thought the Frank (Afritis) were good and honest men. But those who knew ther truth confirmed that they were corrupt and dishonest persons who had only come to spy pout the (Muslim) land inoprder top seize it. (p. 6).

    At Malindi, the Portuguese were well received because it was at war with Mombasa, and hoped they would prove allies:

    When the people of Malindi saw them, they knew they were bringers of war and corruption, and were troubled with very great fear. They gave them alll they asked for....And Franks (Afritis) asked for a pilot to guide them to India, and after that back to their own land, God curse it.! (p. 6).
    The arrival of Portuguese to Zanzibar was the first landmark for the strong hostility and competition between Islam and Christianity, starting with the conquests through brutalities, bombardments. These Crusades, branded as the European conquests began in July 12, 1502 when Vasco da Gama, in his second voyage to East Africa became the first Crusade in the region. He was the first to bombard Kilwa, the integral part of a "Federation of Islamic State" (FIS) in East Africa.
    Before the bombardments, Sultan Hassan bin Talut (1277-1294) of Kilwa minted his first coinage of copper but gold was for the international exchange as Ibn Batutta had observed that gold was rarely given. Vasco da Gama first came to Kilwa during the reign of Sultan Ali bin Fudah bin Sultan (1495-1499) and he was confronted with strong hostility by Ibrahim Muhammad (1490-1499), accompanied with Muhammad Rukn ad-Din al-Dabuli Ankon (d. 1505) and two lawyers named Ayoub and Omar. On July 12, 1502, Vasco da Gama anchored at Kilwa with fleet which like the Muslims of Cauta (Morocco), caught them with terror as Joas (John) de Barros (1496-1570) stated that (the natives of) Kilwa (were) alarmed with such a horrible terror and the manner in which the admirals (Crusaders) fired all the times with a continuos roar of artillery. Vasco da Gama bombarded the Muslim palace to the ground at Kilwa, two years after he had attacked Sofala. He then ordered the (Muslim) hostages to be stripped naked and bound hands and feet, and put in his boat and to remain roasted in the sun until they died." He captured the palace, imprisoned Ibrahim Muhammad and forced Sultan Ali bin Fudah bin Sultan the heavy tribute to King Manuel of Portugal, he demanded the Muslims to take their legal cases to the Catholic courts such as at Goa in India.




    i The Portuguese Motive In Zanzibar

    It can be argued that the advent of the Portuguese Crusaders in East Africa in general and Zanzibar in particular, was motivated by the success of the Spanish Inquisition. The later, was ordered in 1478 by the fanatic Catholic monarchs; Isabele (1415-1504) and her husband Ferdinand (1452-1516) that culminated to the downfall of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Spain on January 2, 1492. In spite of the fact that Ferdinando and Isabele pleaged themselves to uphold the rights of the Muslims to practice their religion, to continue use of their language and customs, to receive protection of life and property; such pledges were soon disregarded when Cardinal Jimenzez de Cisneros who argued that a contract with Muslims was not binding on a Christian. In 1498, the Cardinal Jimenzez de Cisneros went to Granadah, Spain and compelled many Muslims to take sacrament of baptism and accept Christianity as the true faith. It was this year that Vasco da Gama and his armed vessels arrived in Zanzibar and Pemba for what might be called their feasibility study for the Crusades against the Muslims in Zanzibar.

    Perhaps the Portuguese were more motivated by their Christian faith that wherever Islam is predominant, Christians should vehemently oppose the supremacy of Islam and Crusades against Muslims are inevitable. Muslims are warned in the Qur’an the ultimate goal of Christians in their respective countries. Christian missionaries and Orientalists who went to Muslim countries condemned Islam as the only religion of anti-Christ and cunningly or forcefully urged Muslims to convert to Christianity. In thie same veins, the Portuguese anticipated that Zanzibaris would embrace Christianity and forsake Islam. This indicated that the motive of the Portuguese in Zanzibar and East Africa in general or India, was not for the monopolization of trade spices, or exploration as we are made to believe. Rather, it was an ecumenical Crusade against Islam through economic exploitation, brutal aggression and political oppression. The Rev. Lyndon Harris wrote that the intention of Portuguese in East Africa, was the Crusade to Islam:

    The Portuguese intended to destroy Islam to secure the gold traffic of Sofala, to dominate the Indian Ocean and to banish all Islamic peoples held of the wealthy trade with India and to divert it by way of Cape route into the coffers of Portugal. This was, to compared as its spirit, with the Crusade. (p. 22-23).

    Affonso de Albuquerque and Ruy Lorenco Ravasco continued what was left by Vasco da Gama, the first Crusader against Islam in East Africa. Because one year after his departure from Zanzibar, they invaded both Kilwa and Zanzibar, respectively. Affonso de Albuquerque reduced dozens of mosques into ashes before he transferred the Portuguese garrison from Kilwa to Mombasa, two years before he invaded the cities of Sahar and Karyat (Qaryat) in Oman. Ruy Lorenco Ravasco captured over 20 Muslims, forced the Sultan of Zanzibar to be a subject of Portugal and to allow the Portuguese ships a free access to Zanzibar. He also massacred 34 Muslims, including a prince and totally destroyed all the Islamic presence at Unguja Ukuu, the old city of Zanzibar which by then had its own mint factory. The Rev. G. S. P. Freeman testified that Zanzibar rulers minted their own coins in the 13th Century. Before Zanzibar was bombarded it had a democratic system of government known as Serikali (Persian; Serkali), whose leader was crowned as Mfalme (King) or Mwinyi Mkuu (Sultan) but Malkia (Queen) in case of a female. The administrative head was appointed as Waziri (Minister), assisted by Mudiri (Governor), and in turn by Sheha (Persian; Shah). The position of Sheha like that of Mwinyi Mkuu appeared to be by a hereditary or appointment.
    Two years latter (1505), the Portuguese bombarded Zanzibar under the command of Joas Homen and Lopo Chanoca. It was in the same year that the King of Portugal appointed Dom Duarte de Lemos to collect the exorbitant annual tribute from Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar refused to pay the tribute and Pemba became more belligerent to the Portuguese, both islands were severely punished by the Portuguese under the leadership of Dom Duarte de Lemos. They looted, set fire to some settlements on Zanzibar and plundered the old Muslim town of Pujuni, near Chake Chake in Pemba. When the people of Pate opposed the Portuguese in 1571, Francisco Barreto, a Portuguese governor of India (1555-1558), attacked Zanzibar in collaboration with Father Francisco Mancloaros, who started the Jesuit Society at Zanzibar in 1560, when the Portuguese built the first Church on what is now the city of Zanzibar. Barreto was killed at Sofala, an ally of Zanzibar and Mombasa.

    When Affonso de Albuquerque left Mombasa in 1505 for attacking the cities of Sahar, Karyat (Qaryat), Kalhut, Khor Fakkana and Hormuz, the premier city of trade in Oman, the ruler of Hormuz, Sheikh Seif al-Din was forced to became a vassal of the Portuguese. Subsequently, the Viceroy Francisco de Alphonso attacked Mombasa in which the Portuguese built the Fort Jesus in 1594 by the order of the Viceroy Mattias de Albuquerque. As a result, Mombasa became the capital of the Portuguese when the whole of East African coast from Lamu to the north to Sofala in the south, was virtually under the Portuguese domination. The Mafians submitted to pay their tribute to Portugal while the Pembans escaped to Mombasa "leaving nothing in their homes, and the Zanzibaris fled to the bush. Their (Zanzibar) town was captured and looted after pierced in the flesh with the sharp points sword-blades." Randall L. Pouwels explained that the motive of the Portuguese in the East African islands was a Catholic Crusade against Muslims:

    The Portuguese partially considered their activities on the cost and elsewhere as a crusade against infidel Muslims....Violent assaults against civilian populations were launched under the eyes, and with the approval of Catholic clergymen who sailed with the fleets. Once a town had been occupied by force, often these same clergy were introduced with or without the consent of local peoples. Active proselytization began in the 1560s when Jesuits started work on the southern coast, to be followed soon afterwards by the Dominicans and Augustinians at Mombasa, Zanzibar, Faza and Pate. (p. 39).

    It must pointed out that the Portuguese were not the only European Crusaders in Zanzibar. In November 1591, Edward Bonaventura, captained by Sir James Lancaster, was probably the first British Crusader to Zanzibar, allegedly to get supply of fresh food and water by the Sultan. After his first visit, more British ships were calling at Zanzibar for their perversity or carnal interests. Because in 1628, John Henderson, a Scottish sailor escaped with a Zanzibari princess. Their portraits are in the present collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Following the advent of British ships to Zanzibar, the Portuguese strengthened their position. In 1594, they built a fort at Chake Chake, Pemba but the Fort Jesus in Mombasa received more Portuguese settlers to attack Muslims.
    One among the most notorious Portuguese settlers was Fransisco de Seixas Cabreira, the commander of the Fort Jesus. He was known as Afriti (Devil), but when the word was applicable to any Portuguese, the British Colonial Crusaders substituted it with the word Mreno (Portuguese), from reino, meaning "kingdom" in Portuguese. Since then, Afrit is uncommon outside Zanzibar but Mreno is used in all the Swahili-English dictionaries. Fransisco de Seixas Cabreira is documented in Jambangome Chronicle that he attacked Pemba several times and in each occasion he was successful in writing tribute through force and intimidation. He reported on October 9, 1654 that with 280 troops (Crusaders), expelled the Queen of Zanzibar and destroyed ten dhows that came from Pemba. Fearing denunciations of their faith and blatant disrespect for their Islamic Law, the Muslims in Pemba waged Jihad that killed nearly all the Portuguese settlers in one night. They attempted to assassinate their native Liwali (Swahili term derived from Arabic word, wãli for counselor) for being identified as a puppet of the Portuguese settlers, and a puppet can only protect the interests of their masters. The Liwali escaped to Malindi but was soon returned to Pemba by a Portuguese captain Thomas de Souza Continho. In 1596, the Liwali was deported to Mombasa, where he was baptized and renamed Don Phillip before he married to a Portuguese girl known as Dona Anna. In Mombasa, he received Christian education at Augustinian Convent which was built in 1596 by Francisco da Gama, a lineal descendant of Vasco da Gama. The Muslims in Mombasa resisted the Crusades but they were not successful since the Portuguese were heavily armed with guns, well-trained and more prepared than the Muslims who had spears, stones, clubs and strong Faith. The Muslims lost their properties and they were forced to pay a heavy annual tributes to Portugal. William Hichens graphically described the havoc perpetrated by the Portuguese:

    Mombasa was five times burned to the ground, its peoples put to the sword or carried into slavery; yet it rose again and again from its smoking ashes, and stands today with the scarlet banner of Islam's liberty flying from its battlements. Kilwa was ravaged with fire and sword; it people were driven from their homes; craven usurpers who yielded in greed and cowardice to the cajolings and threats of destroyers were raised to power in seats of rightful rulers. The mosques and mansions of Lamu and Pate were pulled to the ground or shattered by bombardment; the Sheikhs (Muslims scholars) were put to death and the people were mulcted in huge fines for that they had done no more than defend their (Islamic) faith and the freedom of their native soil. (p. 122).
    According to the Mombasa Chronicle, "the Portuguese flung stones at the people while they were at prayers; and they used to turn the people out of their houses and take possession; till the people of Mombasa were driven out to disappear." It further said about the Portuguese that:

    The made the people suffer all kinds of iniquities. The old injustices were perpetrated again. They brought evil upon Muslims; they went into their houses and drove out owners and violated their women, so that the people fell into despair. Eventually, the feast day of the Portuguese came, and they all left the Fort (Jesus), save a very small number who remained. They were surrounded by the Swahili (people), who cut their throats. (p. 13).

    In 1614, the Sultan of Mombasa named Hassan bin Ahmed was summoned to a Catholic court at Goa, where he refused to accede with the Portuguese demands. The dispute began when the Sultan wanted to make annual pilgrimage to Mecca, send trading voyage to China, and have the economic treaty with Pemba, the source of rice to Mombasa. The Portuguese refused the sultan to deposit his entire grain stock in Fort Jesus but because the Sultan rejected he was taken to Goa. On his return to Mombasa, he was soon assassinated by Simao de Mello Pereira for a bribe offered by the King of Portugal. Sultan Hassan bin Ahmad was succeeded by his brother, Muhammad bin Ahmed. His son Yusuf, then seven years old was sent to Goa for Catholic education at Augustinian Convent. After being baptized in Goa, he was renamed Dom Jerenimo Chingulia and given a Portuguese wife to adopt Euro-Christian imperialistic culture. In 1627, he wrote a letter to the Pope, shortly before he returned to Mombasa to take up his throne.
    According to Professor Ali A. Mazrui, himself born in Mombasa, these (East) African people after going through Christian missionaries became perfect acculturates of western culture. Their education in missionary converted them to cultured mulattos and assimilated the culture of the western imperialistic rulers. Professor Sulayman S. Nyang stated that the term cultural mulatto was used by the Senegalese President Leopard Senghor to describe himself.

    ii Zanzibar Jihad For Protection

    Muslim liberation is not enshrined in the Holy War, because the term is not mentioned in the Qur’an or the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), but it is erroneously understood by most Orientalists and Christians as military expedition to impose Islam with swords upon other nations and to confiscate their lands. They propagate that Islam was spread by swords, yet ignore that the Muslim liberation is embodied in Jihad, the legal defensive or offensive struggle against oppression and aggression against Muslims. The word Jihad is derived from Jahad or Juhd which means exerting of ones power in repelling the enemy whether by word or by deed. This can be fighting against devil, visible enemy or striving against self and evil passions. Muslims are exorted to propagate, defend and keep Islam in their country:

    Fighting is prescribed upon you, and you dislike it but it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows and you know not. (Surah al-Baqarãh; 2:216).

    Fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and Faith in Allah altogether. (al-Anf'al; 8:39).

    It is on this justification that Jihad against the Portuguese Crusade in East Africa was declared by Prince Yusuf bin Hassan bin Ahmed (1607-1638), known by the Portuguese as Dom Jerenimo (Herenimo) Chingulia. However, he was not assimilated by western imperialistic rulers nor was he converted into a cultural mulatto, like the baptized Congolese prince who was renamed Alfonso and became a priest. Because when Dom Chingulia returned to Mombasa in 1626 despite of being a Catholic and his Christian education at Goa, with a Portuguese wife, he entered the Fort Jesus on the pretext that he wished to pay respect to the Portuguese Commander, Pedro (Priest) Leytan de Gamboa. Soon after entering, he murdered Pedro Lytan de Gamboa. This is supported by the inscribed sandstone found at Uroa in the Zanzibar island. The sandstone which has inscription in bold Roman letters of Portuguese origin reads: "LEITAO"...(capi) TAO MOR MENDES." Since sandstone was unknown in Zanzibar, it was possibly imported from Portugal, and not intended for Uroa, James Kirkman, a British archeologist in Zanzibar contend that its presence in Uroa was due to shipwreck.
    Kirkman also concluded that "the only "LEITAO" prominent in East Africa was Laytan de Gamboa, the Captain of (Fort Jesus at) Mombasa murdered by Dom Jeronimo, and his tombstone was being sent to Portugal." We can infer that Dom Chingulia demonstrated that a Muslim must lead in Jihad against any Crusaders by murdering all the Portuguese settlers in Mombasa, except only four who escaped to Pate. He publicly renounced his Christianity, resumed his origin birth name, Yusuf bin Hassan bin Ahmed and declared Jihad against the Portuguese Crusaders in East Africa for the sake of Allah as stated in the Qur'an:

    To those against whom war is made permissible is given (to fight), because they are wrong and verily Allah is Most Powerful for their aid. (Surah al-Hajj; 22:39).

    Yusuf bin Hassan bin Ahmed was supported in Zanzibar not only because he had gained a high reputation and killed the Commander of the Portuguese Crusaders, Pedro Leytan de Gamboa, but Jihad is a permanent religious obligation as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) categorically said to the Muslims:

    Jihad is an obligation (to every Muslim) until the day of resurrection. One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah, nor did he express any desire for Jihad, died the death of a hypocrite. (Sahih Muslim Vol. 3, No. 1571).
    As a result of fierce Jihad in Mombasa, the Portuguese concentrated their Crusades to Zanzibar where they had erected a hermitage in 1612 for Catholicism. They regarded the resistance in Zanzibar a serious threat to the implantation of Christianity and their security in Mombasa and East Africa in general. Therefore, in 1631, Fransisco de Seixas Cabreira, who ruthlessly suppressed Jihad in Mombasa and Pemba, bombarded the palace of Queen Mwana wa Mwana in Zanzibar to the ground. He also seized all the dhows which were received from Kilwa and Mafia but the Queen escaped to Yemen. Her palace was replaced by the Church but it was destroyed in 1652 by the Omani Muslim soldiers under the command of Seif Sultan Seif al-Yarubi, the son of then Sultan of Oman.
    In fighting against oppression, the Muslims are advised to migrate to a peaceful country. This is so crucial that the Qur'an blames Muslims for not abiding a migration (Surah al-Nisa; 4:97), perhaps they may develop strategies for Muslim liberation away from their motherland. When the Portuguese sent a strong army to recapture Mombasa in 1632, Yusuf bin Hassan bin Ahmed had already sailed to Yemen. There he might have collaborated with Queen Mwana wa Mwana for a military retaliation against the Portuguese in East Africa until they martyred him in 1638 at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

    Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah and are then slain or die, on them will Allah bestow. Verily a goodly Provision. Truly Allah is He Who bestows the best Provision. Verily He will admit them to a place which they shall be well placed. (Surah al-Hajj; 22:58-59).

    When the Portuguese learnt that Yusuf bin Hassan bin Ahmed had quitted Mombasa, Pedro (Priest) Rodrigues Botelho, who had been left with two heavily armed vessels at Zanzibar to circumvent Jihad, invaded Mombasa. Perhaps it was Fransisco de Seixas Cabreira, the commander of the Fort Jesus in Mombasa who martyred Sultan Muhammed bin Abdul Rahman, famous as Mkame Ndume and radical leader of the Muslim resistance at Pujini in Pemba. In his autographed inscription over the gateway of Fort Jesus, Fransisco de Seixas Cabreira stated that he "punished the (Muslim) rebels on the East African islands with a great chastisement never expected...(also) chastised Pemba (and) killed the revolted (Muslim) ruler (Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman), and all those (Muslims) of any repute, and made them pay to His Majesty" of Portugal. This self-inscription is supported by the Chronicle at Jambangome, the oldest city in Pemba. It was written in 1606 by anonymous author at Pemba under the instruction of Sharif bin Yusuf bin Burhan. The chronicle was found between the pages of the Qur’an by Sheikh Theniyan bin Khalfan, who made its copy, which was translated into English by Sheikh Abdul Rahim bin Mohammad bin Jidawi, of the Zanzibar High Court. It was deposited at the General Museum known as Beit al-Amãn (The House of Peace), built in 1925 during the heydays of the Omani Sultanate (1700-1964), that upon the request, liberated Zanzibar from the Portuguese Crusaders.
    The Jambangome Chronicle indicated that after Fransisco de Seixas Cabreira attacked Pemba, his mission was continued by "Kison bin Jojone" who arrived in Pemba with five ships of Crusaders to demand the tribute. The Shirazis assembled and Maalim Juma bin Kombo, the Sheikh of the Shirazi and the Sultan of Pemba said: "Look hear you Kison, we are not going to give you anything. We don’t known who you are. We are not your slaves. Let that be known to you, Kison." For this reason, Kison declared a Crusade but the Shirazi fought for 32 days, Kison could not conquer the Shirazi and he left together with his companions. In 1652, Kison came back with 65 ships full of Crusaders and demanded tribute from the Shirazis but they refused to pay, and fought Jihad for 60 days. They killed 13,014 Crusaders and 364 became martyrs but Kison did not get anything and went back with his people. In 1656, he returned with 70 ships and landed at Mkumbuu. For seven days the Shirazi from Chwaka, Kojani, Weja, Shumbe, Micheweni, Waizi and Mwajani gathered at Mkumbuu. It was a Jihad against the Portuguese Crusaders because all the Shirazi in Pemba stood firm to protect Islam and dignity of Pemba.

    When Kison demanded another tribute, the Majlis Shur’a (The Consultative Body), composed of Maalim Juma bin Kombo, Shaame bin Ali, Mfalme (Sultan) Haroun bin Hassan bin Ali and Mwinyi bin Sharif bin Kutub (Qutb) bin Mahaz al-Baalawi, assembled at Mkumbuu. Their leader Maalim Juma bin Kombo said to him that: "Hear! Kison, we are not agree to pay tribute at all." Kison said: "Do you not agree to pay tribute even which was agreed upon formally? Maalim Juma bin Kombo replied: "Look Kison, you had better leave (for) we don’t know whether you are the son of Jojone, who had a ring mounted with a red jewel. If you are his real son produce the ring and the symbol belonging to your father. On seeing this symbol, Maalim Juma bin Kombo responded: "Your words are true." Kison then demanded annual tribute of 16,000 dirham from them, but Sharif bin Qutub bin Mahaz al-Baalawi retorted that: "We don’t agree to that amount, perhaps we shall pay 12,000 dirham. Because both Kison and Maalim Juma bin Kombo agreed, the Shirazis and Kison gathered and wrote a document under an oath by both parties.

    However, this was not the final episode because when Kison soon left to Portugal, the Shirazis congregated and recited Hal-Badr, derived from Ahl-Badr (People of Badr), asking the Help of Allah as He help the Muslims during the Battle of Badr in 624, during the month of Ramadhan. This was first Muslims a historical victory under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with only 300 Muslims who defeated over 1,000 pagans as promised by Allah:

    And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr when you were a weak little force. So fear Allah much that you may be grateful. (Qur’an; 3:123).

    In Zanzibar and Pemba, recitation of Hal-Badr reminds the first and most famous Jihad at Badr, between the pagans from Mecca and Muslims of Madina. The Shirazis in Pemba recited Hal-Badr from the Islamic passage to ask Allah to bring down the malediction of heavens upon the enemies of Allah and Muslims. It is an application of Tawassul, Seeking a Help of Allah as He did to the Muslims who fought at the Battle of Badr. There is a Hadith related by al-Bazzar in which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

    If anyone of you lost something or needs Help (from Allah) which in an open land, then let him say: O slaves of Allah help me. (Muslim).
    Because the Shirazis know that only Allah has the power for every thing, tawassul is permitted. When news came to Pemba that Kison’s ship sank and himself was drawn, the Shirazis in Pemba and Zanzibar were so thankful that they all shouted Al-Hamdul-Lillahi (Praise be to Allah) in their rejoice.




    i Portuguese Legacy in Zanzibar

    Although the Portuguese failed to impose Christianity in Zanzibar during thier Crusades for about 200 years they made a little contribution. They introduced wine and prostitution in Zanzibar islands and wild pigs in Pemba. The have left a Church bell which was found at Welezo and it is placed in the Cathedral Church in Zanzibar. Ironically, they left no Church but the Portuguese word for a Church, is igreza so named because their forts were used as prison and since then gereza is the Swahili word for a prison.


    Dancador DANGURO Brothren
    Vinyo MVINYO Wine
    Carta KARATA Cards
    Copas KOPA Heart
    Pao PAU Club
    Sete SETI Seven
    Trunfo TURUFU Trump
    Mandioca MUHOGO Cassava
    Tabaquerra TUMBAKU Tobacco
    Bibo BIBO Cashew
    Pera PERA Guava
    Bandeira BENDARA Flag
    Bomba BOMBA Pump
    Boia BOYA Buoy
    Buli BULI Teapot
    Foronha FORONYA Pillow case
    Caixa KASHA Box
    Copo KOPO Pot
    Caraco KOROSHO Cashew nut
    Lenco LESO Scarf
    Mesa MEZA Table
    Padre PADRI Priest
    Peca PESA Coin
    Roda RODA Pulley
    Sapata SAPATU Slipper
    Sombreiro SHUMBURERE Hat
    Trombeta TARUMBETA Trumpet

    To this amalgam the Portuguese made little contribution in Zanzibar Swahili other the introduction of certain fruits and playing cards. They contributed nothing to arts, building, literature and politics.

    ii Muslim Liberation And Islamic Revivalism

    Since the formative Islamic history of Zanzibar is incomplete without the acknowledgment of Oman, it is imperative to provide a brief introduction of Oman before elucidating its potential role for the liberation and Islamization of Zanzibar.

    Originally, the Iba’dhi Muslims were members of the Khawarijis, who escaped persecution from Basra in Iraq. They rallied behind the elected Imam in defense of their religio-political freedom. The Iba’dhi of Omanis had always insisted on the customs of electing their Imam who had to fulfill his promise or an agreement even if it might cost him his life. Nasir bin Murshid al-Yarubi, was the first Imam who heralded an Omani political renaissance. In 1625, he occupied Hormuz, expelled the Portuguese from Sohar in 1645, and in 1648, he forced them to give up Kuryat, Matera and Dubeira. He had the strong sagacity and determination to unify his people behind him and launched offensive assault against the Portuguese from Oman to Zanzibar. What was initiated by Imam Nasir bin Murshid al-Yarubi was completed by his cousin Imam Sultan bin Seif bin Malik al-Yarubi (1649-1679), his successor who continued the struggle against the Portuguese in Oman and Zanzibar.

    The victory of Omani against the Portuguese Crusaders was so jubilantly celebrated in the East African islands that the Shiraz ruling dynasties sent a high delegation to Oman, requesting for the expulsion of the Portuguese in their Muslim islands. Fransisco da Seixas Cabreira, commander of the Fort Jesus acknowledged this fact when he reported to Goa on August 20, 1653 that "the rulers of Zanzibar and Pemba...had asked help from Muscat (Oman), like the Muslims of India had appealed to the Mamluk Sultan." The Sultans of Mombasa and Pate sent their delegations to Imam Sultan bin Seif bin Malik al-Yarubi. The requests were similar to the Spanish Muslims who asked for a military help in 711 to Mussa bin Nusayr of North Africa. Imam Sultan bin Seif bin Malik al-Yarubi agreed to liberate the Zanzibar Muslims from horrendous oppression and suppression. He sent his son Seif, analogous to Musa bin Nusayr when he had sent General Tariq bin Zaid, who liberated the Spanish Muslims.

    Following the Omani victory against the Portuguese in January 1650, Seif bin Sultan al-Yarubi arrived Zanzibar in 1652 to help Queen Mwana wa Mwema He arrived Zanzibar with ten thousand soldiers and twenty eight ships, including Al-Falaq (The Dawn), the largest ship which carried eighty guns; three of them are still in Zanzibar. They were used by Seif bin Sultan al-Yarubi who destroyed the first Church. He also sacked the Portuguese settlements in Zanzibar, imprisoned 400 Portuguese, killed many Portuguese Crusaders, including Viceroy Manoel de Nazereth and burnt the Portuguese settlements in Pemba. By 1668, virtually the East African islands were under the Omani control except the Fort Jesus in Mombasa. Nevertheless, the Queen of Pemba who had surrendered in 1679 to the Portuguese became a Christian and was sent to Goa. In 1682, she was persuaded by the Portuguese to return to Pemba as they had tried in vein to Prince Yusuf bin Hassan bin Ahmed of Mombasa. As in the case of their native Liwali who was baptized and renamed Don Phillip, this plot to install a puppet Queen in Pemba became abortive. Because when she returned to Pemba, the natives expelled her and the Portuguese were also expelled in 1695 by Seif Sultan al-Yarubi from Zanzibar and Pemba. Consequently, not only he helped Queen Mwana wa Mwana returned to Zanzibar from Yemen in 1710, but also liberated the Zanzibaris who then pledged allegiance to the Sultan of Oman for protection and friendship:

    The Believers, men and women, are protectors one another. They enjoin what is just (and right) and forbid what is evil (and wrong), they observe regular prayers, pay Zakat and obey Allah and his Messenger. On them will Allah pour His Mercy for Allah is Exalted in power (and) Wise. (Surah at-Taubãh; 9:71).

    After the death of Queen Mwana wa Mwana, she was succeeded by her son Yusuf and when the later died, its kingdom was divided into two portions. The southern portion with his capital at Kizimkazi was ruled by his son Bakari bin Yusuf, whilst the northern portion, which is the modern town of Zanzibar was ruled by his daughter Fatima (fl. 1696-1710) who lived at Mkunazini. She was married to Abdullah bin Yusuf from Hadhramout, and bore him a son Hassan who shared exile to Oman with her during the Portuguese aggression. On their return to Zanzibar, Hassan was the first Mwinyi Mkuu (Sultan) to settle at Shangani in the Zanzibar city. He was succeeded by his son, Sultan bin Hassan, and in turn by Ahmad Hassan al-Alawy during the reign of Ahmad Said (1744-1784), the first al-Busaid Imam of Oman and the joint ruler of Oman and Zanzibar until it was separated by the British, the new Crusaders who replaced the Portuguese.
    As we have earlier stated that Prince Henry was instrumental for the penetration of Catholic Christianity both in Zanzibar and Oman. The Portuguese devastated Zanzibar before they attacked the main trading cities of Muscat, Sahar and Qaryat in Oman. This is one among the reasons for the Shirazy dynasty in Zanzibar to sent delegation to their Muslim counterpart, the al-Busaidy dynasty in Oman under the leadership of Sultan bin Seif bin Malik al-Yarubi (1649-1679), asking liberation. Therefore, contrary to the Portuguese in Zanzibar, the Omani Sultanate was neither imperialist nor colonialist as erroneously purported by the Orientalists, the intellectual thinkers for the British Colonial Crusaders in Zanzibar and Oman. It was the Shirazi ruling dynasty who asked the Omani to stay in Zanzibar for protection because the Portuguese Crusaders left to Mozambique, instead of returning to their country.

    The Omani Sultanate in Zanzibar facilitated Islamic revivalism but it was neither aggressive in Islamization of the East African interior nor enforced Iba’dhism to the Muslims for two reasons. First, there is no compulsion in religion (Surah al-Baqarãh; 2:256). Second, members of the ruling dynasty were not ulama in either Ibadhi or Shafi’i Islamic School of Fiqh, the most dominate School of Fiqh (Jurisprudence) in East Africa. My grandfather Sheikh Fattawi bin Issa bin Mussa al-Shirazi (1910-1987), Chief Qadhi of Zanzibar told me that it was this reason that the Sultans invited Shafi’i and Shi’a ulama from different countries for Islamic revivalism in Zanzibar. His predecessor, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saleh Farsy (1912-1982), who described some of the Sha’fi ulama in Zanzibar during the Omani Sultanate indicated that most of the invited ulama were from the Hadhramout, Oman, Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, India, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Some from other East African countries such as the Comorro and Lamu. But one of the most prominent invited ulama by Sultan Said bin Sultan (1806-1856), was Sheikh Muhyddin bin Sheikh bin Abdullah al-Qahtany (1789-1869), born and raised at the Muslim city of Barawa in Somali. He was the first Chief Qadhi for the Sunni Muslims and the first Chief Minister during the Omani Sultanate in Zanzibar. He built a few mosques in Zanzibar and authored many books in Arabic and Swahili. But his famous book in the West is the redaction of Kitãb as-Sulwa fi Akhbar Kilwa (The Book of Pleasure Concerning the History of Kilwa), commonly known as Kilwa Chronicle, donated to the British Museum by John Kirk when he was in Zanzibar (1873-1887) for the British colonial Crusade. Sheikh Abdul bin Qãdir al-Danãh from Lebanon came to Zanzibar after agreement between Sayyid Khalifah bin Said bin Sultan (1888-1890), the Sultan of Zanzibar and Sultan Abdul Hamid (1876-1909), the Khalifah of Uthmaniyyah (Ottoman) Empire of Turkey.

    The Sultanate in Zanzibar knew that the economic development was crucial for stability of the Islamic State. Because the economy of Zanzibar was destroyed by the Portuguese from prosperity to poverty, the Omanis focused on Islamization of International economy so that Allah might pour His Mercy. These justifications were not recognized by British Orientalists though they have attested the common adage during the Omani Sultanate in Zanzibar: "When they tune the pipe in Zanzibar, they dance as far as to the Lakes" (of Victoria, Malawi and Tanganyika). The Rev. Lyndon Harries, the former Orientalist in Zanzibar stated this adage in his book titled Islam in East Africa, published by the Universities Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) for the Christian missionaries to meet the "challenge" of Islam in Zanzibar. His prediction "the tune has changed to the reverse" came to pass because Muslims in Zanzibar are now under the secular protection of Christians, contrary to what Allah ordered them in the Qur'anic verdict:

    O you who Believe (Muslims)! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you who turns to them (for intimate friendship, protection and the Union) is (one) of them. (Surah al-Maidãh; 5:51).
    The above warning was the most prudent precaution and the lesson in East Africa. At the time of the arrival of Sayyid Said bin Sultan (1791-1856) to Zanzibar in 1828, a visiting American merchant, Edward Roberts, from New Hempshire said that "fearing another invasion by the Portuguese (Crusaders), the people of Zanzibar placed their islands under the protection of the grandfather of the present Imam." The Rev. Bartle Frere was also given a similar information in 1873 when he went to Zanzibar.
    Muslim protection among themselves is so vital and prudent that in 1678, when the Portuguese Crusaders went to the island of Pate, whose Sultan's delegation had gone to Muscat for help from Imam Sultan bin Seif al-Yarubi but since the Portuguese arrived earlier, they beheaded the Muslim rulers of Pate and Lamu islands, with many other Muslims. In 1686, the Portuguese also captured the Sultan of Pate and sent him to Goa, where he was assassinated on Christmas Day in 1688, with twelve of his Liwalis. On December 13, 1698, two centuries after the first arrival of Vasco da Gama, the Omani Muslims stormed the fortress in Pate. When they did not find any Portuguese, they hoisted their flag, marking the collapse of the Portuguese dominance. The Portuguese also attempted to recolonise Mombasa in 1699, 1703 and 1710 but failed due to the Omani resistance though Mombasa succumbed to the Portuguese after the expulsion of Omanis while Zanzibar remained the Muslim state (1700-1964) under the Omani protection.

    Sheikh Jamaduni issa
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
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