The Hamziyyah is a Swahili panegyric that plays a significant role in the religious life of the Swahili people of the Lamu archipelago. The book engages with canonical, yet under-explored genre of poetry with interesting insights. It occupies canonical position in Swahili literary archives. It is an inter-linear translation of the Arabic kasida, Umm-al-Qura (the mother of all villages). During the Lamu maulidi festival (the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad), expert reciters known as "mabingwa wa Pate" (Experts of Pate) recite it to an audience. This book addresses the performance of the Hamziyyah during the festival with an intensive examination and analysis of the role it plays in the veneration of the Prophet. von Olali, Tom
Tom Olali holds a PhD in African Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies(SOAS), University of London and an MA in Swahili Studies from the University of Nairobi. His field of interest is in Swahili Civilization. He is a full time faculty member in the department of Linguistics and Languages at the University of Nairobi.