Scholars of the Circles: Role of Qādīs in Training and Transmission of Islamic Learning along the East African coast between mid nineteenth and twentieth centuries
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Since the mid-19th century, darsa has played a significant role in shaping Islamic scholarship along the East African coast. This article discusses, firstly, the methodology adopted in darsa teaching and the influence of chuo (Qurʾān School) on the orientation of Qāḍīs. Islamic learning was based on a comprehensive syllabus (manhaj) that incorporated various disciplines to train Qāḍīs for their future career. Secondly, the syllabus and its role in training Qāḍīs are examined. Towards the turn of the twentieth century, a formalised system of Islamic learning was established in form of a madrasa, and the older syllabus was modified. The final part of the article illustrates the role of Qāḍīs in transmission of Islamic learning over generations through an intellectual chain.