Discourses of Muslim Scholars in Colonial Ghana

by John Hanson and Muhammad al-Munir Gibrill

Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)

Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)
Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)
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Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)
Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)
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Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)
Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)
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Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)
Hosting Ramadan (praise poem)
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Transcript: Download (175 KB)
Translation: Download (340 KB)

Related Essay
Creator: al-ḥājj 'Umar ibn Abī Bakri of Kete-Krachi
Description: This praise poem was composed by al-ḥājj 'Umar Krachi (al-ḥājj 'Umar ibn Abī Bakr) to thank the people of Tetemu for hosting him during the month of Ramadan.

The poem reveals an instance of the widespread West African Muslim practice of hosting Muslim scholars during the month of Ramadan. Al-ḥājj 'Umar Krachi visited the Muslim community of Tetemu, perhaps the name of a town or neighborhood, whose residents accorded him hospitality during the month of ritual fasting. This hosting allows the community to benefit from al-ḥājj 'Umar's teaching, including sermons and tafsīr (exegesis of the Qur'an). At the 'īd al-fitr (festival of breaking the fast), the people of Tetemu gave al-ḥājj 'Umar gifts. They also showed respect and appreciation by seeing him from town with a large crowd of dignitaries and other residents of the town.

The poem begins with the usual amatory prelude and shifts to the main subject, praising the virtuous and generous people of Tetemu. The praise is offered by the opening description of the people of the town as generally kind, generous and hospitable. It allocates an entire section to Mūwa, a woman who was so accommodating that she never ceased bringing him gifts and foods throughout his stay. She is described as unique, not only among all women, but also among all people past and contemporary. The last section is devoted to some individuals, dead and alive who were generous and benevolent to him.

Date: 1910
Date Range: 1910-1919
Location: Kete-Krachi , Volta Region, Ghana
Format: Text/pdf
Language: English
Rights Management: Educational use only, no other permissions
Contributing Institution: Muhammad al-Munir Gibrill; John H. Hanson; Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana at Legon; Northwestern University; MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters & Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University
Contributor: Muhammad al-Munir Gibrill (translator and transcriber); John H. Hanson (reviewer)
Digitizer: MATRIX
Archive: University of Ghana at Legon, Institute of African Studies
Source:
University of Ghana at Legon, Institute of African Studies, Arabic collection, document number 16 (vi). 
 

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