Arabic Literature of Africa Online

Get access

(178 words)

This chapter is written by Bernd Radtke and R.S. O’Fahey

Ismāʿīl al-Walī and his immediate descendants were one of the most prolific and versatile family of writers in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Sudan.

The origin of the family is traditionally traced back to Bishāra al-Gharbāwī, a Jaʿalī holy man from the Dongola region who probably lived in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. Bishāra was granted privileged or tax-exempt status (Ar. jāh) by the Funj sultan, Bādī II (1054/1644-1091/1680; see Spaulding (1984-85), 8-11). Bishāra’s descendant, ʿAbd Allā…

Cite this page
“Introduction”, in: Arabic Literature of Africa Online, General Editor John O. Hunwick, R.S. O’Fahey. Consulted online on 21 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

▲   Back to top   ▲