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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ulamaa and religious competition in a Mrima town
Author:Chande, Abdin N.ISNI
Periodical:Islam et sociétés au Sud du Sahara
Geographic term:Tanzania
Islamic education
Abstract:Leadership conflict, which has its origins in the mid-nineteenth century, continues to be a problem among the Segeju. This article shows how factionalism between two rival Segeju clans underlies religious competition in the coastal Swahili town of Tanga (Tanzania). After the religious leadership vacuum created by the death of Sheikh Ali Hemed al-Buhriy in 1957, initial attempts by the Segeju to work together in TAMTA, a religious teachers' association, gave way to a long-standing friction between two rival clans, the Kamadhi and the Boma, based in the suburbs of Ndumi and Mnyanjani respectively. This eventually resulted in the formation of two rival networks of madrasah (Muslim schools and mosques). Even though competition between 'ngoma' (dance) groups declined in the 1940s and 1950s, clan competition persisted, primarily in the form of clan factionalism among rival leaders jockeying for control over the local Muslim community. The madrasah leaders are clearly vying for power within their own community. The establishment of a third madrasah in the mid-1970s by some elements of the Digo, who desired to see members of their ethnic group forge ahead in the religious educational field, added a new competitor to the religious scene. However, although Sheikh Shaaban attracted a considerable share of Digo sympathy to his cause, he failed in his efforts to carve out a major sphere of influence. Bibliogr., notes, ref.