Abd Al-Rahman bin Ahmad al-Zayla'i

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Muslim scholar
Abd Al-Rahman bin Ahmad al-Zayla'i
Title Shaykh
Born 1820
Died 1882
Ethnicity Somali
Era 19th century
Region East Africa
Main interest(s) Islamic philosophy, Islamic Jurisprudence

Shaykh Abd Al-Rahman bin Ahmad al-Zayla'i (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن أحمد الزيلعي‎) (b. 1820–1882)[1] was a Somali scholar who played a crucial role in the spread of the Qadiriyyah movement in Somalia and East Africa.

Early life[edit]

Al-Zayla'i was born in the rural village of Kedilai northwest of Mogadishu. Under the supervision of the local Ulema, he studied elementary ilm until he absorbed all they could teach him. Eventually surpassing his teachers, he decided to move to Mogadishu, where he obtained knowledge from the great scholars of the city including Sheikh Isma'il b. Umar al-Maqdishi.[1]

Shaykh al-Zayla'i traveled to various Islamic centers in the Horn of Africa, honing his intellectual skills. After completing his education, he returned to his home village. He then established a community of pupils near Qulunquul, setting out to spread the Qadiriyyah order throughout the upper Shebelle region. This enhanced his reputation and also helped the order gain considerable success amongst the region's pastoralists, the religious elite, and the villagers of the interior.

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