Abdillahi Nassir

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Abdillahi Nassir
عبداللهی ناصر جمعه.jpg
Personal Information
Full Name'Abdillahi Nasir Jum'a
Well-Known As'Abdillahi Nasir
BirthJune 1, 1932
Place of BirthKenya
DeathJanuary 11, 2022
Burial PlaceKenya, Mombasa
Scholarly Information
WorksShia na Taqiya: Majibu na Maelezo (Shiism and taqiyya or dissimulation), Shia na Qur'ani (Shiism and Qur'an), Shia na Sahaba (Shiism and Companions).
Socio-Political Activities
Socio-Political
Activities
A member of the Constitutional Conference of Kenya, Representing the people of Mombasa in Parliament, establishing Imam Ali (a) seminary, establishing the public library, membership in the general assembly of the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly.

ʿAbdillāhī Nāṣir Jumʿa (1 June 1932 – 11 January 2022), known as ʿAbdillāhī Nāṣir, was a Kenyan Shiite scholar who played a role in the spread of Shiism in Kenya and other African regions. He was a Sunni scholar who converted to Shiism in 1975.

His cultural and religious activities include

He was a member of the Constitutional Conference of Kenya and a member of the general assembly of the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly. He wrote over twenty-five books and essays about Islam and Shiism in Swahili.

When he was young, 'Abdillahi Nasir attended the movement for Kenyan independence from the UK. He was a member of the Constitutional Conference for independence from the United Kingdom.

Biography

'Abdillahi Nasir Jum'a was a Kenyan Shiite scholar who, after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, became an intellectual leader of a group of Kenyan Shias.[1] He was born in a Sunni family in Mombasa, Kenya, on 1 June 1932.[2]

In 1950, Nassir went to Zanzibar in Tanzania, where he studied in a Teacher Training College. He then returned to Mombasa, where he began teaching at the Arab Primary School and the Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education.

In 1964, Abdillahi went to Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, where he cooperated with BBC as a supervisor of the Arabic-Swahili section. Since 1965, he was the editor-in-chief of the Swahili section of Oxford University Press, the East African Section. And from 1974 to 1977, he became the head of the East African Section of Oxford University Press. Before 1980, he returned to Mombasa.

Death

'Abdillahi Nasir died on 11 January 2022 at the age of 89 in Mombasa, Kenya. On 12 January 2022, he was buried in Ganjoni Cemetery in Mombasa.

Conversion to Shiism

'Abdillahi Nasir was a Sunni scholar, but since the 1960s, he found tendencies toward Shiism. As he says, after acquaintance with the virtues of Imam 'Ali (a), he speculated that he was superior to other companions of the Prophet (s). After studying 'Allama al-Amini’s book al-Ghadir, and other books, he came to believe that Shiism was the right denomination. In 1975, he converted to Shiism.

In the early 1980s, after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, he officially announced his conversion to Shiism, which led to a decline in his popularity among Sunni Muslims in Kenya. Reportedly, Wahhabi centers tried to return him to Sunni Islam, but to no avail.

Cultural Activities

'Abbasi Medal was awarded to Abdillahi Nasir by the then head of the Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri in Africa, in April 2011, in recognition of her religious activities.

'Abdillahi Nasir established Imam 'Ali (a) Seminary in Kenya. He debated with Wahhabi muftis and delivered religious speeches in Tanzania, India, Pakistan, the UK, the US, and Canada in Swahili and English. His efforts to spread Shiism in Kenya and other African areas are said to be effective.

He was also a member of the general assembly of the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly. Moreover, he founded a public library. In April 2011, he was awarded the Abbasi Medal[3] by the World Federation of KSIMC (Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities) in Africa, in the seventy-second assembly of its higher council in Mombasa, because of his religious activities.

Before officially announcing his conversion to Shiism, he served as the representative of East Africa for the Word Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from 1978 to 1980.

Political Activities

When he was young, 'Abdillahi participated in the movement of Kenyan independence from the United Kingdom between 1957 and 1963, and between 1961 and 1963, he was a member of the legislative council before the Kenyan independence. Moreover, he was a member of the Constitutional Conference of the country in Lancaster House in London, which met for Kenyan independence from the British Empire. He also represented the people of Mombasa in the parliament.

Works

'Abdillahi Nasir wrote about 25 books and essays in Swahili about Shiism. Moreover, he translated and interpreted certain Suras of the Qur'an. Some of his works are translated into English and Rwandan (an official language of parts of Africa).

Shiism and Taqiyya

'Abdillahi wrote the book Shia na Taqiya: Majibu na Maelezo (Shiism and taqiyya or dissimulation) in Swahili in reply to the book al-Khutut al-'arida li-l-usus al-lati qam 'alayha din al-Shi'a al-Imamiyya al-ithna 'ashariyya (The outlines of the foundations on which the religion of Twelver Imam Shia stands) by Muhibb al-Din Khatib (d. 1389/1969), a Wahhabi mufti, which was also published in Swahili. In that book, 'Abdillahi Nassir Jum'a discusses the nature of taqiyya (dissimulation), the problems faced by Shi'as during the Umayyad and Abbasid reigns, and taqiyya from the Sunni and Shiite perspectives.

The book Yazid was never Amir al-Mu'minin

Here are some of his works:

  • Shia na Qur'ani: Majibu na Maelezo (Shi'ism and Qur'an)
  • Shia na Sahaba: Majibu na Maelezo (Shi'ism and the companions)
  • Shia na Hadith: Majibu na Maelezo (Shiism and hadith)
  • Ukweli wa Hadith ya Karatasi (The truth of the paper hadith)
  • Mut'a Ndoa ya Halali (Mut'a legal marriage)
  • Malumbano Baina ya Sunni na Shia (Conflict between sunni and Shi'a)
  • Sura al-Ahzaab: Tafsiri na Maelezo (Surah al-Ahzaab: translation and tafsir)
  • Tafsiri ya Sura at-Talaaq (Tafsir of surah talaq)
  • Yazid Hakuwa Amirul-Mu'minin (Yazid was not Amir al-Mu'minin)
  • Hadith Al-Thaqalayn: Hadith Sahihi (Hadith al-Thaqalayn; an authentic hadith)
  • Ahlul Bayt: Ni Nani, Si Nani (Ahl al-bayt)
  • Maulidi: Si Bida, Si Haramu (Prophet's birth, neither heresy nor haram)
  • Tafsiri ya Juzuu ya 'Amma (Translation of 'Amma juz')

Notes

  1. The status of Kenyan Shiites (Persian)
  2. Death of a great Shiite scholar in Kenya (Persian)
  3. Abbasi Medal is a medal awarded by the World Federation of KSIMC to those who promote Shiism. The medal is named after 'Abbas (a), the son of Imam 'Ali (a).

References