Shaykh Sufi

Abd Al-Rahman bin Abdallah al Shashi
Title Shaykh Suufi
Born 1829
Died 1904 (aged 7475)
Ethnicity Somali
Era 19th century
Occupation Muslim scholar
Religion Islam
Jurisprudence Shafi'i
Creed Qadiriyyah
Main interest(s) Astrology, Poetry, Islamic philosophy, Islamic literature

Abd Al-Rahman bin Abdallah al Shashi (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله الشاشي) (b. 1829 - 1904), popularly known as Shaykh Sufi, was a 19th-century Somali scholar, poet, reformist and astrologist.[1]


Shaykh Sufi was born in Mogadishu, where he founded the Qadiriyyah congregation, an Islamic school of thought or tariqah whose disciples included colleagues of his such as Uways al-Barawi. He studied astrology and wrote extensively on the future of Mogadishu and religious sciences, and authored popular books such as Shadjarat al Yakim ("The Tree of Certitude").[2]

Besides his scholarly career, Shaykh Sufi was known as a great mediator between merchants and shop keepers in the coastal cities. As a reformist, he is credited with having put an end to what he considered to be the urbanites' immoral dancing rituals. In private, he also wrote many poems, which would eventually be taken up by fellow scholars such as Abdallah al-Qutbi in their books.

Pilgrimage to his Mausoleum

After his death in 1904, Shaykh Sufi's resting place became a site of annual pilgrimage for the faithful from across Somalia and East Africa. A cemetery would eventually be constructed around his mausoleum, where prominent Somali ministers, entertainers and Presidents would also be buried.

See also


  1. Historical dictionary of Somalia by Margaret Castagno pg 141
  2. E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936 By M Th Houtsma, T W Arnold, A. J. Wensinck pg 487
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