Shaykh Sufi

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Abd Al-Rahman bin Abdallah al Shashi
TitleShaykh Suufi
Died1904 (aged 74–75)
Era19th century
Main interest(s)Astrology, Poetry, Islamic philosophy, Islamic literature
OccupationMuslim scholar

Abd Al-Rahman bin Abdullah al Shashi (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله الشاشي‎) (b. 1829 - 1904), popularly known as Sheikh 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[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  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