Some Examples of Funj Scholars

Mon, 09 Apr 2018

Dr. Mohammed Adam Abdul Rahman


The aim of this study is to document some scholars and Sheikhs of the Islamic Kingdom of Funj in Sudan, 1504-1821, by focusing on specific models according to the importance of the scholars and the role they played in the history of the Funj. The importance of this paper stems from the importance of the role played by these scholars in propagating and consolidating the true teachings of Islam among the people of the kings of the Funj and even among the kings themselves. A number of scholars and Sheikhs had a great place in the hearts of the kings of Funj, where some of them stood out in the field of politics and held the highest political positions, while some excelled in the field of the spirituality so they stressed and devoted themselves to mystical values. Occasionally, a number of Sheikhs and scholarsled the Funj army in internal and external wars, and acted as intermediaries in the resolution of the conflicts and, hence, their glorious place in the history of Sudan. Each scholar will be studied through highlighting his role in the dissemination Islamic teachings in the Islamic Kingdom of Funj as well as his contribution to the Kingdom's progress in addition to hisinfluence over the people and the political spherenear the kings of Funj. The study also examines the history of the arrival of each scholar to the territory of the Funj, the place from which he originated in order to highlight the great role played by the scholars of the Funj in the history of the Kingdom, focusing on the relationship between these scholars and the kings of Funj.

Study Methodology: The study followed the historical narrative analytic approach, which narrates and analyzes historical events.

Results: The study concluded that the Kingdom of Funj was a fertile breeding ground for scholars due to the veneration and the generosity of its people. Also, the Funj kings encouraged the scholars to come to the Kingdom, and offered them handsome gifts. In turn, these scholars had great influence on the Funj people and they spread the true Islamic teachings and their power extended to the political sphere within the kingdom.


Models of scholars and sheikhs of the Islamic Kingdom of Funj

The Reason behind the Epithet Halal al-Mashbouk "solver of puzzles






Introduction :

The study of the history of the Funj is considered an interesting and useful subject because of the many important historical events attached to it. The Funj scholars played a prominent role in the history of the Islamic kingdom of the Funj, both religious and political, and they had a profound social impact and some of them are still commemorated by the Sudanese people, while some of their graves represent sanctuaries for the Sudanese people today. It suffices that they have introduced Sudanese society to the current tradition of Sufi approach, where every family in Sudan now has a Sufi member. This confirms the extent of the penetration of these scholars or Sheikhs into the hearts of the Sudanese people. Whatever the contentions may be, no one can deny the role played by these scholars in the course of human history.

It is well-known that the alliance and partnership between the Funj and the Abdallab bore a relative stability resulting in political and administrative unity on whose shoulders the Kingdom of Funj was established. However, the religious and scientific aspects in the Kingdom were not yet resolved, and the Kingdom did not have any educational body or known scholars who could educate the masses, so there was an urgent need to develop this important function in the society of the Funj. Therefore, the task of education was a great burden on the kings of Funj. In view of the novelty of the Islamic faith, people were in great need for scholars to instruct them about the true teachings of Islam. The most influential and oldest of these scholars was Ghulamullah Ayed al-Yemeni who came from Helaila in Yemen to Dongola in the middle of the Fourteenth Century. According to one of the Sudanese traditions, Gholamullah decided to settle in Dongola because peoplethere were very confused and misguided about their faith. When people converted to Islam, he built mosquesandrecited the Holy Quran and taught himself due to the lack of Islamic scholars. So, hesettled in mosques and started teaching the Islamic doctrines to his disciples and the children of Muslims. The descendants of Ghulamullah Ibn Ayed also played an active role in spreading the Islamic teachings in the Funj kingdom (1).

Since the beginning of the establishment of Sennar, kings had welcomed the religious figures who can be attracted to the borders of Sennar, and they gave them lands scattered throughout the Sultanate (2). This attitude showed the intentions of the Funj kings to attract scholars, so they gave them expanses of lands to farm and exploit so they could stay in the kingdom. It was the best incentive for the scholars to stay and live under the royal patronage of the Funj.

The oral tradition of one of the oldest religious communities in Sennar indicates that the lands of the Wali (the scholar or the Sheikh) were always exempt from taxes and represented a sanctuary for those who are subject to oppression or suffering (3). This reflects the place of the scholars in the hearts of the Funj citizens, where the scholar became a refuge from injustice, insecurity and ignorance.

Thus, since its inception, the Kingdom of Funj adopted a clear Islamic mission, namely to spread the Islamic da'wa. This helped the scholars and the Sufi leaders to strive to spread the Islamic culture among the people of the Kingdom in all their intellectual, political and social ranks. The Sheikhs had a great role later in establishing the Islamic teachings and concepts among the people of the kings of the Funj, and they  found in the kings the utmost interest until the scholars in the Funj kingdom reached a great degree in the hearts of the kings who loved them and gave them all the comforts and encouraged them greatly, and maybe the reason behind this was the political support provided by these scholars to the Sultans, in addition to the blessings that was bestowed on the Sultan by the Sheikh. Many of these clerics were expatriates from outside Sudan and took high training and scientific degrees from Egypt and Hejaz, and after the local educational institutions produced a sufficient number of clerics of Sudanese origin, they outnumbered the clergy of foreign origin. Many clerics and scholars were born in the early Seventeenth and early Eighteenth Century in Sudan and were trained locally and were popular heroes among the public, who benefited offered their services as healers and teachers as well as spiritual leaders.

Models of scholars and sheikhs of the Islamic Kingdom of Funj:

Ghulamullah bin Ayed:

He is the scholar Gholamullah Ibn Ayed, who came from Yemen to Dongola, the first to establish a School for the Quranic "Khalwa". In the early Tenth Century AH, he entered the land of Dongola, and the news spread among the people about a Yemeni man named Ahmad ibn Ayed, known as Gholamullah ibn Ayed, who later became the grandfather of the Rekabyah sect. Gholamullah came from a town called al-Helaila in Yemen and started teaching people the Quran. ( )

His real name was Ahmed, and he was called Gholamullah because when he was young, a fire burned his house, and his mother called his father, Mr. Ayed, and said to him: "The son is in the fire" so he said to her: "God preserves him!" and God protect him and he was unscathed, so he was called God's boy, but the people knew that God did not give birth nor had a father, and in fact his father called him Ahmed, and he came with his father from Yemen via the Red Sea.However, this contradicts what was known about his initiative to establish schools as soon as he came to Dongola. Even if we assume that he was young and that his father is the one who played this role, there is nothing tocause the narratives ignore the role of the fathe. ()

On the whole, it not strange for Gholamullah to play this role, the dissemination of Islamic teachings in Dongola, because belongs to a family versed in jurisprudence and religion and famed for its Karamat "miracles" as it well as establishing Quran's Khalawi. ()

The religious environment in which Gholamullah grew up was instrumental in spreading the teachings of Islam in an environment dominated by the teachings of Christianity at that time. He had always advocated the spread of Islam and the teachings of Islam, and he faced many difficulties in propagating the teachings of the Islamic theology in Dongola. ()

We conclude from this that Gholamullah had the determination characteristic of his family to play his role in an environment that was religiously ambivalent. He probably initiated the teaching of the Qur'an to the people and matters of religion and the principles of jurisprudence that are known to his family and by his grandchildren and the children of Jabir afterwards. But we cannot say for certain the degree of impact left by Gholamullah Ibn Ayed in the field of jurisprudence, because he was dominated by the religious doctrine of Shafi'i, while there is no clear heritage of this doctrine in the areas of Dongola.We also did not plausibly find in the family accounts anythingindicates the dissemination of the Shafi'i doctrine in the new country. ()

There are questions over the doctrine of Gholamullah Ibn Ayed, which derives its religious reference from the Shafi'i doctrine, a doctrine that undoubtedly did not find a vast number of Sudanese converts, considering that the majority of Sudanese people embrace the Maliki school. Perhaps the reason behind that is the fact that the bulk of the scholars who came to Sudan espoused the Maliki doctrine. But this does not diminish the status of Sheikh Gholamullah, and does not do disservice the great role he rendered in Sudan as the foremostamong the scholars, he was the first to enter Sudan and worked in teaching the Quran and the dissemination of the correct teachings of Islam. Sheikh Gholamullah also helped in opening religious schools and the spread of Islamic teachings in a systematic  way and this became a tradition in his offspring passed from one generation to the next.

Sheikh Hamad Abu Danana:

Sheikh Hamad Abu Danana was one of the pioneering Muslim scholars who came to Sudan in the 15th Century and settled there. He is the brother-in-law of Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Sulaiman al-Jozuli, the founder of the Shazili sect in Morocco. Sheikh Hamad Abu Danana was the first to introduce the Sufi teachings in Sudan and laid the foundations of the Shazali sect in it. ( )

When Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Sulaiman al-Jozuli died, one of his daughters married Sheikh Hamad Abu Danana, who traveled to Sudan with his son, Alsayed bin Hassan Al-Bayti, who lived in Sagadi West (now reserved). In 849 AH: 1445 AD, he introduced the Shazali teachings in Sudan, and after his death he was buried in the Abu Delayq area. ()

In this way, the Shazali method is the first approach of Sufism that entered Sudan, largely due to Sheikh Hamad Abu Danana, the founder of Sufism in Sudan. It might be argued that the prevalence of these teachings are ascribable to the religious hiatus Sudanese people were in and exploited by the the initiators of these teachings, This in turn leads us to accept the idea that the early scholars such as Gholamullah ibn Ayed and Sheikh Hamad Abu Dananah contributed to the infiltration of the Islamic da'wa in its early stages, Hence, in enumerating the Funj scholars, we need not go beyond these two clerics as the founders of the spread of Islam and Islamic doctrines in the Funj kingdom.

Mahmoud Al-Araki (Ragel Al-Gasir):

Scholars contributed to enriching the scientific renaissance in the Funj kingdom through the respect and reverence bestowed on scholars by the Funj kings in general. The testimony to this was the hospitality given to Sheikh Mahmoud al-Araki, who was a witnessto the establishment of the Funj state and was returning from Egypt. He learned under the sheikhs of Al-Azhar, and after his return he established seventeen schools. He was the first to raise awareness of religious teachings and to correct misconceptions within the community.

Sheikh Mahmud al-Araki was famous for being the first to instituting Uda “a period after divorce that a woman cannot get married in” jurisprudence into Sudan. Upon his assumption of duties in the Funj's court, he found that Islam there was flawed, perhaps due to the novelty of the Funj's knowledge of Islam and the lack of scholars among the Funj people. In his book of the classes "Altabqat", Wad Daifallah narrated that the Funj's did not have a school for Islamic teachings or the Quran. It is said that the man used to divorce a woman and another one would marry her during the same day, without Uda, until Sheikh Mahmoud al-Araki came from Egypt and taught the people the Uda law. Helived in Bahar Abyad, and he built a palace now known as Mahmoud's Palace ( ).

Mahmoud Al-Araki was born in Al-Ubyad. He traveled to Egypt to receive education at the hands of Al-Nasser Al-Laqani and Shams Al-Deen Al-Laqani, and he was the first to order the people to observe Uda. Al-Araki lived after his arrival from Egypt in Al-Hawa Island on the White Nile and built his palace between Al-Hassania and Alis "now known as Alkawa". Mahmoud al-Arki arrived in Sudan at the time of the kingdom of the Funj, and Sheikh Khojaly said that from Khartoum to Alice (Alkawa) there was seventeen schools and Mahmoud remained there until he died in Al-Gesair (i.e. the palace). ()

It is clear that Mahmoud al-Araki exerted an important effort to spread the teaching of Islam in the kingdom of Funj, in addition to introducing the jurisprudence of Uda for the first time to Sudan, he built a number of schools of Islamic teachings, and schools here denote "Khalawi" because it was the only system of education known in the country of the Funj.

According to Yusuf Fadl, he is an Arab from Bani Arak, a branch of the Juhaynah tribe. He studied jurisprudence in Azhar by two imams of the Maliki School, Naser al-Laqani (1453-1529) and his brother Shams al-Din (1478-1551) and he studied the field of jurisprudence and other sciences such as grammar. () Sheikh Mahmoud al-Araki is the one who introduced the Araki method to Sudan, but it did not gain popularity among the Sudanese, perhaps explicable through the recent knowledge of the Sudanese of such methods which were based on collective organization. Another possible reason was that the pioneer of the sect, Mahmoud al-Arki,was more concerned about teaching people rather than to inculcate his new method into the minds of the people, and its subsequent division into three branches which rendered it very complex. ()

Jabir's Children:

Many of the Sudanese students who immigrated to Egypt to seek knowledge have followed the path of Mahmoud al-Araki, and among them was Ibrahim bin Jabir bin Gholamullah ibn Ayed al-Yamani. It is no wonder that Ibrahim strove to seek knowledge in Egypt, because his family was famous for religious knowledge since the days of his grandfather Gholamullah. ()

He is the Sheikh and Imam, Ibrahim ibn Jabir ibn Awn bin Sulayem bin Ribat bin Gholamullah. He was born in Petrang (an island in the land of the Shaygya), and went to Egypt and benefited from Sheikh Mohammed Banofri, and learned jurisprudence and grammar from him, and then went to Taranj and studied Khalil and The Message "Al-Risala", and he was the first to study Khalil in the country of the Funj and people traveled to study under his instruction, and he taught forty people there. ()

It is said that the reason behind the greatness of the children of Jabir is an answered prayer from their mother. Hername was Safya, and it is said that they had a greasy vessel, and they threw the grease into the ground, so she came and found the grease in the ground, and prayed that God make them wedges on earth, and then she heard murmuring in the air saying "Amen".

The second traditiongoes: Because their father Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) found them leaving their writing sheets when his Table was broken, they all worked to mend the wreckage, so he said to them: "We have all been preoccupied with the world with an honest intention, so may Allah bless them and make them love religion ( ). There were four of them, the one with the most knowledge was Ibrahim, and the most religious was Abdurrahman, and the most God-fearing one was Ismail, and the one who prays the most wasAbdul Rahim, and their sister was Fatima, the mother of Sheikh Segairoun ().

The family progeny of Jabir played a great role in spreading the sciences and teachings of the Islamic religion in the kingdom of the Funj and, indeed, the whole of Sudan and distinguished this family is that the teachings and knowledge were equally spread to its member’s men and women. What distinguishes this family is that the knowledge is not limited to men only, but that their sister Fatima was one of the scholars of her time and had excelled in the teaching of teachings of the Quran, and was one of the scholars who left a fingerprint in history.


Ibrahim Al-Bolad was famous for being the first to introduce the teaching of the book "Mukhtasar Khalil Bin Ishaq" in the country of the Funj. Ibrahim completed the teaching of the book seven times and his school produced many scholars who became Awlya', including the brothers of Abdurrahman, who traveled to Egypt to complete his studies and after his return he took his brother Ibrahim place in teaching in Petrang.Subsequently, he established two schools or two mosques in Korti and Al-Dafar and he divided his attention among these three schools where he would spend four months in each of them. () He authored "Resala fi Alfatawi Wal Ahkam" and another entitled "Tarsheed Almoredeen Fi Ilm Altasawof". Abdurrahman was known for his wealth and it is said that his guards numbered about forty slave who carry swords. ()


She was like her brothers, and many Shaygya people studied under her and her daughters (). Fatima was no less knowledgeable than her brothers in science and virtue, and from her offspring emerged another religious family who equal children of Jabir, namely the family of Sheikh Segairoun. () Shaikh Segairoun learned under his uncle SheikhIsmail ibn Jabir, who authorized him to teach and then went to Egypt where he studied Mokhtasar Khalil under Ali Muhammad al-Banufri. Upon his return he sat in his brother's council and taught jurisprudence, and he described Segairoun as a person who gathered knowledge, jurisprudence, and Sufism. ()

Following the invitation of the Sultan of the Funj Badi Sayyid al-Qawm, who believed in sheikh Segairoun and his righteousness, in 1612 Segairoun emigrated to Dar al-Abwab (Dar al-Ja'alieen), where the he Sultan gave him a land south of Shendi in the area of Al-Fijaijah and he established a mosque there where he taught religion sciences. Under the leadership of his son and the successor of Sheikh Al-Zein, the school flourished until it became famous in that area and became the most important educational center in the northern part of the Sultanate of the Funj. ()

Sheikh Al-Zain was known for his knowledge and good deeds, he was described as the Sheikh and the imam of the world, and a universal blessing. He was described in "Altabaqat" of Wad Daif Allah who wrote: "He sat in his father's circle after him and people traveled to him. and the sons and the fathers studied under him, and he taught Mukhtasar Khalil, and he circle was around one thousand student and his students became the sheikhs of Islam, and great scholars studied under him such as: Sheikh Badawi Wad Abu Daleef, Sheikh Khojali bin Abdulrahman, Sheikh Abu Zaid son of Sheikh Abdul Qadir, Faqih Daif Allah al-Fadhli (the grandfather of the author of Tabaqat Wad Daif Allah), and the jurist Abu Bakr Wad Nour, and in general all the regions until Dar Dalee, i.e. Waddai, we find that its Fuqahaa "religious teachers" were his students or the disciples of his students. ()

These are examples of the family of Jabir's children, who have been teaching in Sudan throughout the ages, so we find that their grandchildren establishing schools in different parts of Sudan in Abu Haraz and Hilaliyah. ()

The family of the children of Jabir is anillustrious example of the connected nature of of the Funj scholars, a family famous for knowledge and education they inherited from their ancestor’s generation after generation, and this family had anunmistakable footprint in the history of the Kingdom of Funj. There, they played a key role in the dissemination of education and teaching the Holy Quran and the Sunna to all members of the Funj community without discrimination, and the activity of this family continued until fairly recently and the name of the Sheikh Segairoun is still associated with Khalawi, mosques and all beacons of science in Sudan.

Sheikh Idris bin Mohammed Al-Arbaab:

He was an Imam and a Sheikh of Sufism. He knew of all kinds of sciences and it is said that he was born in al-Aelafoun, and was sent by his father to Sheikh al-Bandari to seek knowledge and al-Bendari prophesied that he would be a great Imam, he was also taught by Sheikh Hamad Wad Zarrouk in al-Sababi, he also sat to Sheikh Ban Naqa Al-Qadeer and entered Sennar with him, where King Omara asked for him, and called him the son of Mahas tribe. It is said that the mother of King Omara fell ill with a severe illness, and the sheikh Ban Naqa prayed for her but she did not recover, then sheikh Idris prayed for her and she immediatelyrecovered, then the king asked Ban Naqa about Sheikh Idris, and he answered saying that he would have a great destiny. ()

One of his most famous fatwas was his prohibition of snuff. () he was very generous, the number of his food plates which he honored his guest by would number sixty, and he was very devout. It was said that once, King Paddy bin Ribat king of Sennar, gathered the sheikhs of the Funj and said to them that Sheikh Idris my Sheikh and my patriarch, and I would give him half of my house, but Sheikh Idris stopped him and told them this house is the house of the Nuba, and you took it from them, and I'm not accepting it. ()

Ismail "Sahib Al-Rababah":

Ishmael ibn al-Sheikh Makki al-Dagalashi, memorized the Quran under the jurist Mohamed Wad Menoufali, the successor of his father Sheikh Makki, and learned jurisprudence and Tawheed under Sheikh Mukhtar, and then proceeded to teach the message and Tawheed and has poems and poetry in the praise of the Prophet "peace be upon him", and words in which he mentions the characteristics of the Aolya', and a book on method and prayers. ()

The Reason for the Nickname: Sahib Al-Rababah (the man with the tambourine)

 The reason for his nickname was that he was a skillful player of the Rababah "The tambourine", and when he played it, each strike had an amazing tone,

Al-Rababah is a musical instrument made of pumpkin and leather, with strings of horsehair. It is widely used in western Sudan and is known in the rest of the Sudan. () Shiekh Ismail died in Alis "Alkawa" in a battle with the Sholok tribe. ()

Taj Al-Din Al-Buhari:

The publisher of the Qadiriyah method in Sudan, who came in the year 985 AH: 1577 AD, at the invitation of a Sudanese merchant, and during his seven-year stay a number of managers joined the Qadiriyah sect to society. From these sprang his successor Muhammad Al-Hameem Ibn Abd Al-Sadiq, the grandfather of al-Sadakab and Banaaga, the grandfather of al-Ya'qobab. ()

The Nickname:

His name is Mohammed Al-Buhari and his nickname means the shining moon, and was socalled because of of his glowing face. () He was the successor to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, and was born in Baghdad and then traveled to Mecca. From where he came to the country of Sudan, and his arrival was during the beginning of the reign of Sheikh Ajeeb. ()

It seems that the reason for his arrival is the supplication of the merchant Dawood to come to Sudan to guide people and he told him of the widespread ignorance and the welcome treatment of the scholars by the rulers. As it was the case for Ibrahim Al-Buladi in introducing jurisprudence and Sharia, Taj al-Din introduced the path of Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani and most of his activity was in Al-Jazeera. ()

Hassan Wad Hassouna:

Sheikh Hassan bin Hassounah bin Haj Musa, whose father came from Morocco or Andalusia, was born on the island of Kjway near Shindi, went out to seek knowledge and the land the land of Hijaz, Egypt and the Levant for about twelve years.He became famous in the country of the Funj for treating patients, and it is said that he treated king, Nasser brother of King Baddy Wad Ribat, and was very much cherished in the hearts of people. ()

Many Karamat were attributed to this Sheikh, after he emigrated to Hijaz. He returned to Sudan and lived in Funj. It was said that the king of Funj Badi II, Abu Digen Wad Ribat was a supporter. This Sheikh continued his efforts to spread education in the country until he died of an explosion in his rifle when he tried to hunt a crocodile. Before his death Sheikh Hassan founded the village of Wad Hassouna, which is located about twenty-seven miles west of the area of Abu Deliq. Sheikh Wad Hassouna is the grandfather of Hasanab, and had many reservoirs of rain water (Hafayer), and this is due to his great wealth as a result of his trade.He was buried in his own resting dome, east of the Blue Nile off the railway station in Almasid area.

Makki Shbika raises questionsabout the authenticity of the narrative of Wad Daif Allahregarding the arrival of the grandfather of Sheikh Hassan Wad Hassouna to Morocco from Andalusia. It seems that he was one of those whom the Spanish Muslims expelled from Andalusia. However, Wad Daif Allah greatly exasperated the Karamat of Sheikh Wad Hassouna, talking about his generosity and wealth, while as a matter of fact he was one of the Karamat Sufis rather than jurisprudence and Share'a knowledge. ()

Sheikh Farah Wad Taktok:

        There is no specific date for the birth of Sheikh Farah Wad Taktok, but there are some suggestions made by Al-Tayyib Muhammad Al-Tayeb in his book "Halal al-Mashbuk" where he says: "Wad Daif Allah, In his genealogy of Sheikh 'Arbab al-Aqa'id, whom Farah Wad Taktok learned from, died in the year 1100 AH, meaning that the sheikh may have been born in the middle of the Eleventh century. This was vindicated by what his grandchildren said, namely that the Sheikh reached more than a hundred years.A study of the history of his colleagues and coeval, Mohammed Wad Om Marium, indicates that the latter was born in 1055 AH, and died in 1142 AH, Moreover, uponthe death of Sheikh Khojali in 1155 AH, a manuscript wasfound with Sheikh Farah Al-Qassim in Al-Ja'aleen's Kassab, a descendant of Sheikh Farah, which was written by Muhammad ibn Muhammad.It said: "Sheikh Farah died because fever from which he suffered for five days. He died in Sunday, the twentieth day of Rabe' Alawal, in 1147 Hijri, after the cross of the noon. He said the Shehadatain and recited“Sorat Al-Ekhlas” three times, and was buried on the noon of the Monday in Hejerat project which is his current resting place.He was in the age of one hundred and a few years, and he livedduring the reign of Sultan Baddi Abu Digen, one of the greatest kings of the Funj"

Sheikh Farah Wad Taktok is considered as one of the most important Sheikhs of the kingdom of Funj and has a great impact on the society to a great extentand his influence is still undiminished. Sheikh Farah Wad Taktok is known for his wisdom and greatintellect and his words became proverbs that are still cited today. He is Farah bin Mohammed bin Gaddour bin Abdell bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Abtah ofthe the Batahin tribe, Al-Abdalab branch. Hewas born and lived during the Seventeenth Century during the reign of the Funj Islamic kingdom (1504- 1821) in the city of Sennar in southeastern Sudan.

There are some accounts that revolve around the name of Wad Taktok, which is a title ratherthan a name. This title was bestowedupon the father of the Sheikh and then to the son Farah, and we may find that in the poetry of the sheikh where he says:

I'm Farah Wad Taktok...

His father (Taktok) and mother were blessed

And his brothers and other families.

    However, there is another narrative that goes that one of the sheikhs called on Sheikh Farah when he was a student ofhis, and that was after doing a special work so he fell unconscious, and his chest started to beat convulsively "Tak Tak" so he named him Taktok. The third narrative says: The interlocutor with Sheikh Farah hears Takik (voice) of his chest from the frequent recitation of the Quran.

He was famous for composing poems on the Faqih Arbab and accompanied the Faqih Amar and studied Arabic under him. He was also a poet and a skillful orator, who have works in the interpretation of Quran and Tawheedand literature.  He was very sagacious, and among his sayings: "Those who fear death are going to die". It was said to him: Who's more famous, you or Sheikh Ismail Al-Deglashy? So he answered saying "He has the advantage over me because he is a Knight son of a Knight, and I am the Knight son of a drafter, and the drafter is the one who is better in using the paper than the trumpet and the bayonet’. Some of the Christians converted to Islam because of him and he was buried in Berber, and his grave is still recognizedand visited. ()

The Reason behind the Epithet Halal al-Mashbouk "solver of puzzles":

Some Sheikhs named him that name, and the story behind this name is: It is said that King Aonsa had a strong relationship with the Shukriya who gave him a camel, and he became very impressed by the camel, and one night, the king among his people were talking about the Karamat of the poor, so he said to them:Ye people, if the poor do all these Karamat, can they teach the camel to read and write? They replied with yes. He then said to them: Gather them all in the morning, so when they gathered them he asked them to teach the camel to read and write, so they all couldn't do anything and one of them said only Farah Wad Taktok can solve this, so they went to him fearful of the king, and told him his demand, so they took him to the king and he said to the king: "I am taking this matter on behalf of the poor, but the student needs four years to learn reading and writing" The king allowed him to take the camel and teach him in four years.When he came out of the king’s court, the poor followed him and said to him: "were you serious?" and Farah Wad Taktok replied: "These four years are going on and the fate is going to be fulfilled, either on the king or on the camel or the poor. And in the four years what Sheikh Farah expected happened, and the king and the camel died in the following years, so they named him "Halal al-Mashbouk".

Abu Al-Hassan:

Dafallah ibn the Faqih Daifallah, read the Quran at the hands of Faqih Abdul-Dafi' and Tawhid and Mukhtar Al-Khalil under his father with the knowledge of inheritance so became proficient in the Islamic knowledge, as well as Mukhtasar al-Khalil. He was very intelligent and God-fearing and took the Khalwa after his father. He prayed all night and fasted all day, praying for Allah all the time, he was upright, and he kept his secrets.

Abu Aqla: (Al-Kesheef)

His name is Muhammad and Aqla is his daughter. He followed his uncle's sect Sheikh Abu Idris, and he taught the people and guided them, and he was called AL-Kesheef "the knower" cause he told he people about their secrets and what they have been hiding, and when he was about to die, he said: "I am leaving this place." People thought that his departure was to the sea, but he died soon after that. His sons are Abdullah Al-Tirifi, who was a known scholar, Shams al-Din, Idris and Hamad Abu-Qurun, all of whom are virtuous people.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Dafallah al-Araki:

He studied Quran under his father and traveled to seek knowledge in the lands of the Shaygyeah under Sheikh Abdulrahman ibn Jabir. After he received a degree of education in the Shaygyeah lands, he returned to his family in the Helaliah forest, and started teaching and was famous there, and Sheikh Ajeeb Al-Kabir gave him the judiciary and he took it with chastity and integrity.

Sheikh Abdulrahman Ibn Hamadto:

Abd al-Rahman bin Hamdato al-Khatib, the Imam of the world, the Sheikh of Islam and the Mufti of the people, learned under Sheikh Ismail Ibn Jabir and under sheikh Al-Banufri who praised him and said that he is competentdecree Fatwas because he mastered all the secrets of the Sheikhs. Many great scholars studied under him such as Hamad bin Al-Aghbash and Ibrahim Ibn Batiha, yet his qualities were piety, worship, and asceticism in word and deed.

Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Issa: (Siwar al-Dahab)

Muhammad bin Issa bin Saleh al-Budairi, poularlyknown as Siwar al-Dahab, was taught Khalil by his father, Sheikh Issa.He also studied doctrines and logic and science of the Quran under Al-Masri and took the method and then the reputation of Sheikh Mohammed spread in the Funj Island. Among those who took the science of Tawheed and jurisprudence from him: Hussein Abu Ashar the sheikh of Awlad Burri and Sheikh Issa Wad Kano and Abdullah Al-Aghbash the  father of Faqih Nasser al-Turgomi father of the jurisprudent Abu Sinin and Arbji's sheikh and jurist Abdul Rahman Wad Abu Mulah, the father of sheikh Khojaly. He was appointed to the judiciary and ruled by Sharia'. After his death he was buried in Dongola and his grave is known and still being visited. He is considered to be one of the men who combined the Sufi path and the Sharia' sciences.


After the establishment of the Funj kingdom as the first Islamic kingdom in Sudan, its king sought knowledge and the first step was to attract scholars to their country to spread the sciences and teachings of the Islamic religion. They were good at the encouragement of the scholars and sheikhs who played an active role in dispelling the darkness of ignorance that was enshroudingthe population of the Kingdom.Theconsequence was that the Khalawi, mosques, and schools spread in the Kingdom of the Funj, and the Kingdom witnessed many migrations of scholars and sheikhs from outside the country who effectively contributed to the development of the Kingdom regarding education and political aspects.


The study reached many findings based on this investigation. It was apparent that the kings of the Funj revered and respected scholars and clerics, and hence encouraged them to settle in the Kingdom and dedicate themselvesto its service. The entry of scholars and sheikhs led to the emergence of Sufi methods in Sudan for the first time, and the Sudanese culture was suffused with Islamic doctrines. Finally, the belief of the people in the sheikhs granted them a special degree of sanctity and respect which still intact today.


Grave of Shiekh Farah wad Taktuk

Source: Al-Tayeb Mohamed Al-Tayeb

The dome of Idees wad Al-Arbab in Al-Aelafoun

Source: wad Dheaf Allah – Al=Tabagat book


-  "The Light of Darkness," MacMichael's Collection of Papers, National Archives, pp. 459-476.

  - The human slave, "Cities in Sudan" in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth centuries, "Sudan in Letters and Donuts, Part 2,1971, pp. 63-70.

  -Spaulding, J, The Heroic Age in Senar, 1956, p.8-9

  - Mohiuddin, Mohammed Saleh, Mshikha Abdalab, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, I 2,1972, p.

  -Spaulding, J, op.cit, p.12

  - Al-Tayyib Muhammad al-Tayeb:  al-Missid, 1991, p. 269.

  - Handbook of Muhammad Nafie, a manuscript in description of the lineage of Ghulam Allah ibn Abid

  - Muhammad Ibrahim, History of Religious Education in Sudan, Dar al-Jabal, Beirut, I, 1979, p

  - Hult, the parents and the Salafists and the Mahdi in Sudan, I 2, Beirut, 1971, p.

  -Hey Hamad Gabrahim, op. Cit., P. 38.

  - Fayez Hassan Hassan, Sennar, Capital of Islamic Culture in 2017.

Semantics and meanings, number of duplicates (6-7), Peace Research Institute, University of Khartoum, 2014, pp. 13-35, p.

  - G. Singer Tamringham, Islam in Sudan, translated by Fouad Mohamed Akkoud, Supreme Council of Culture, Khartoum, 2001, p. 214 English version p. 223.

 - Ahmed bin Haj Abu Ali - the manuscript of the Book of Shona, investigation Shater Albasili - p

  -Mohamed Al-Noor Bin Daifallah, The Book of Classes Concerning the Pious, the Righteous, the Scholars and the Poets in Sudan, edited  by Yusuf Fadl, Institute of African and Asian Studies, University of Khartoum, 1974, p.

  - Ibid., P. 245.

  - Yusuf Fadl Hassan, op. Cit., P. 25.

  - Yahya Hamad Ibrahim, op. Cit., P. 143.

  - Hassan Al-Fateh, God's Proximity, Sufism in Sudan, Thesis submitted to the Master of Arts, University of Khartoum, Faculty of Arts, unpublished, 1965, p.

  - Yusuf Fadl Hassan, Sinnar Capital of Islamic Culture, op. Cit., Pp. 25-26.

  - O Daifallah, op. Cit., P. 46.

  - Ibid., Pp. 46-47.

  - himself, p.

  - Yusuf Fadl Hassan, previous reference, p. 26.

  -Mahmed Al-Nur and Da Deef Allah, previous reference, pp. 47-49.

   - Mahjoub visit, Islam in Sudan, series Iqra, Cairo, 1960, p

  - Ibid., P. 47.

  - Yusuf Fadl Hassan, op. Cit., P. 26.

  - Ibid., Pp. 26-27

  - Oh Daifallah, pp. 74-77

  - Yusuf Fadl, op. Cit., P. 27

  - Oh Daifallah, previous reference, pp. 50-52

  - himself, pp. 55-55

  - himself, pp. 58-61

  God's Dove, op. Cit., Pp. 92-93

  - himself r, 93

  - Self, footnote, p. 92

  - himself p. 26

  - Yusuf Fadl Hassan, previous reference, p

  - O Daifullah, op. Cit., P. 128

  - ibid., P. 128

  -Meki Shabikeh, op. Cit., P. 52

  - O Daifallah, previous reference, pp. 134-148

  - Richard Hull, Dictionary of the Translations of Sudan's Flags from the Ancient Ages until 1948, translated by Saif al-Din Abdul Hamid Al-Naim, Sudan Printing Press Company Limited, Khartoum, 2016, p.

  -Mike Shbika, op. Cit., Pp. 54-55.

  - Tayeb Mohammed Al-Tayeb, Farah Wad Ttok, Halal Almashbok, Khartoum, 1996, pp, 49-50.

  - Ibid., P. 48.

  - Himself, pp. 47-49.

  - O Daifallah, op. Cit., P. 313

  - Tayeb Mohammed al-Tayeb, op. Cit., Pp. 24-27.

  - Da Daifallah, previous reference, p. 66.

  - Ibid., Pp. 70-71.

  - Himself, p. 253.

  - Himself, p. 257.

   - Makki Shabikeh, op. Cit., P. 53.

Add Comment