From the Jebel Nafusa to Cairo: Notes on Ibadi Print Culture and the Buffalo Agency (part 2: Qāsim al-Shammākhī) | من جبل نفوسة إلى القاهرة: ملاحظات حول ثقافة الطباعة عند الإباضية ووكالة الجاموس (الجزء الثاني: قاسم الشماخي)

I return here to the first Ibadi newspaper published in Cairo in the 20th century: the Nibrās al-Mashāriqa wa-‘l-Maghāriba, which was recently published in one volume Oman in 2014 (ed. Ṣulṭān al-Shahīmī). The paper ran for about three years (1322-1326AH/1904-1906CE) under the direction of Qāsim b. Saʿīd al-Shammākhī & Muṣṭafā b. Ismāʿīl al-ʿUmarī. In the previous post I talked about an interesting connection between the Nibrās, Sulaymān Bāshā al-Bārūnī (d.1940), and the Ottoman Prefect of Yefran in the Jebel Nafusa, Mūsā Bey Grāda. Here, I’d like to talk about one of the paper’s editors, Qāsim al-Shammākhī, and his family.

Hujja_Cover

Figure 1: The title page of the lithograph edition of Qāsim al-Shammākhī’s K. sard al-ḥujja (Alexandria, 1309AH)

I first encountered Qāsim al-Shammākhī about eight years ago when I did some work on Ibadi manuscripts at the National Library in Tunisia (a catalog is available here), which holds two texts connected him. The first is a manuscript version of his book entitled Kitāb sard al-ḥujja (BnT A-MSS-21391). At the time I only knew he was an Ibadi journalist, who was born and remained in Cairo. This explained the Egyptian government’s watermark and the naskh (as opposed to Maghribi) script, but I did not yet know about the Buffalo Agency (Wikālat al-Jāmūs) school and library that was operating in Cairo during his lifetime. Manuscript copies of the Kitāb sard al-ḥujja are unusual, since the work dates to around the same time as the much more widely circulated lithograph edition (see Figure 1) [1].

Al-Shammākhī rubbed shoulders with the leading Muslim reformers of his time and was known in both Ibāḍī and non-Ibadi Salafi circles. His newspaper, the Nibrās, was printed at the Maṭbaʿa al-Salafiyya in Cairo, run by none other than Rashīd Riḍāʾ (d. 1935). But in all of his journalistic writing and global Islamic reform activism, al-Shammākhī did not forget his Ibadi colleagues in Cairo. In addition to writing about Ibadism, his connection with the Cairene Ibadi community appears in the form of the books (including two of his own) that he donated to the Ibadi school and library in Ṭūlūn, the Buffalo Agency. [2]

But Qāsim’s Buffalo Agency connection did not come out of nowhere. The second way in which I had already encountered him was through a didactic poem and commentary written by his grandfather, Qāsim b. Sulaymān al-Shammākhī (d.1265/1848), a manuscript copy of which is also housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale de Tunisie (BnT-A-MSS-22223). A copy of this same text also appears in the list of waqf books from the Agency’s library (there is an outside chance that they share the same exemplar) [3]. It merits mentioning that the owner of this particular manuscript was also the author of one the richest sources for the history of the Buffalo Agency: the Taʾrīkh of the 19th century Jerban (Tunisian) historian Ibn Taʿārīt (d.1289/1872).

ختام قاسم بن سعيد الشماخي

Figure 2: The seal & signature of Saʿīd [b. Qāsim b. Sulaymān] al-Shammākhī, father of Qāsim b. Saʿīd al-Shammākhī. The seal appears on a late-19th century document, likely written by him during his time as Wakīl to the Tunisian government in Egypt. The original is allegedly in the National Archives in Tunis, but I took this from a photocopy.

Qāsim b. Sulaymān  & ʿAbdallāh b. Yaḥyā al-Bārūnī, father of Sulaymān Bāshā al-Bārūnī, had been close friends in Cairo. Both would have spent time at the Buffalo Agency, as did Qāsim’s son Saʿīd (the father of Qāsim the journalist, founder of the Nibrās). Saʿīd has very quickly been turning into a main character in my book project on the Buffalo Agency, as I learn how connected he was to its history.

Saʿīd b. Qāsim al-Shammākhī (d.1883, see Figure 2) spent much of his life in Cairo, endowing several books to the Buffalo Agency’s library while teaching there. [4] Another book, endowed by one of the biggest contributors of books to the Buffalo Agency library, a man named Sulaymān al-Khānūsī, was copy of the work of Ibadi jurisprudence entitled the Kitāb al-īdāḥ that contains a marginal note by Saʿīd [5]. In it, he noted that he had read this particular copy and studied it while teaching the famous Kitāb al-nīl wa-shifāʾ al-ʿalīl by ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Thamīnī (d.1223/1808), at the Agency in 1272/1855. Finally, Saʿīd received a couple of Omani books for the library from Ibadi pilgrims on their way back from Mecca. The books were meant for those students under his guidance, suggesting he was the the director at the time.

This may seem like an unusual story of three successive generations from the same family with several ties to the Buffalo Agency. But in actuality, it represents a fairly common history of multiple generations of Maghribi Ibadis traveling to and from Cairo. This particular example also demonstrates another aspect to this history: Maghribi Ibadis (like other Maghribi immigrants) sometimes stayed in Cairo for many many years. In some cases, like Qāsim, they were “Maghribis” who were born in Egypt and never left. Overall, Qāsim al-Shammākhī’s life represents this long history of Maghribi Ibadis in Egypt and his relationship with the Buffalo Agency and print culture can be seen as a kind of continuation of the relationship his predecessors had with manuscript culture and Buffalo Agency in the 19th century.

هذه المرّة، أرجع إلى أول جريدة إباضية ظهرت في القرن العشرين وهي “نبراس المشارقة والمغاربة” التي أسّسها قاسم بن سعيد الشماخي وزميله مصطفى بن إسماعيل العمري. في المقال السابق، كتبت قليلا عن بعض الروابط بين الجريدة وسليمان باشا الباروني وبين جبل نفوسة حيث أنّني سأركّز هنا على أحد محقّقي الجريدة: قاسم بن سعيد الشماخي وعائلته

المرّة الأولى التي أكتشفت فيها قاسم بن سعيد الشماخي كانت منذ ثماني سنوات عندما وجدت نصّين لهما علاقة به في المكتبة الوطنية التونسية. أحدهما كان نسخة مخطوطة من تأليفه “كتاب سرد الحجة على أهل الغفلة” (فهرس من المخطوطات متوفّر هنا وانظر صورة رقم ١). في ذلك الوقت، لم أعرف تفاصيل حياته إلا أنّه كان صحفيا في القاهرة. لم أعرف شيئا عن وكالة الجاموس ولا الجالية الإباضية في القاهرة. نسخ مخطوطة من “كتاب سرد الحجة” نادرة نوع ما لأنّ الكتاب ظهر في عصر الطباعة ونسخ مطبوعة منه موجودة كثرة [1]

عاش قاسم الشماخي في بيئة الإصلاح الإسلامي في القاهرة وكان مشاهير حركة الإصلاح معارفه في مصر. على سبيل المثال، كانت “النبراس” من منشورات المطبعة السلفية التي أدارها الناشط الإصلاحي المشهور رشيد الرضاء. مع أنّه كان ناشطا خارج السياق الإباضي، قاسم الشماخي لم ينس زملاءه الإباضية في القاهرة وبالإضافة إلى كتاباته حول الإباضية، يوجد دلائل أخرى على علاقته المستمرّة بالجماعة الإباضية وهي الكتب التي أوقفها لمكتبة وكالة الجاموس [2]

كانت لقاسم الشماخي خلفية عائلية بوكالة الجاموس. في المكتبة الوطنية التونسية، توجد نسخة من قصيدة مشهورة لجده، قاسم بن سليمان الشماخي (١٢٦٥/١٨٤٨) الذي زار الوكالة أيضا وكان رفيقا لسليمان باشا الباروني. في مكتبة الوكالة كانت نسخة موقوفة من نفس الكتاب وتوجد إمكانية أنّهما من نسخة الأم نفسها [3]. والجدير بالذكر أنّ صاحب النسخة في المكتبة الوطنية التونسية كان سعيد بن تعاريت (ت١٢٨٩/١٨٨٢)، المؤرّخ الجربي الذي يثمل كتابه من أهم المصادر لتاريخ وكالة الجاموس

والد قاسم الشماخي، سعيد بن قاسم بن سليمان (ت١٨٨٣، وانظر صورة رقم ٢)، كان يقيم بالوكالة أيضا، حيث أدار أمورها ودرّس الطلبة الذين درسوا فيها. بالإضافة إلى ذلك، أوقف هو بعينه عدّة كتب للوكالة [4]. توجد نسخة موقوفة من “كتاب الإيضاح” في مكتبة الوكالة فيها ملاحظة بخط سعيد الشماخي أنّه قرأ الكتاب وهو يدرّس “كتاب النيل” (تأليف عبد العزيز الثميني) لطلاب بوكالة الجاموس في عام ١٢٧٢/١٨٥٥[5]. وخلال إقامته بالوكالة، وصلا كتابان من عمان موجّهان لسعيد الشماخي لأنّه كان ينظر على الطلبة بالوكالة

قد تبدو قصة العائلة هذه استثنائية ولكنّها في الحقيقة قصّة عادية في تاريخ الوكالة. كثرا ما سافرالجرابة والإباضية المغاربة جيلا بعد جيل إلى القاهرة للدراسة والتعليم والتجارة. يذكّرنا هذه القصّة أيضا أنّهم في بعض الأحيان لم يرجعوا إلى بلادهم بل استوطنوا بمصر. أخيرا، تمثّل حياة قاسم بن سعيد الشماخي استمرارا للعلاقة ما بين العلماء والتجار الإباضية بالقاهرة وبين إهداء الكتب لوكالة الجاموس عبر القرون

 

 

 

Notes

[1] Q. al-Shammākhī, Kitāb sard al-ḥujja ʿalā ahl al-ghafla (Lithograph: Alexandria, Egypt 1309).

[2] See references in M. Custers, “Catalog of Waqf Books at Wikālat al-Baḥḥār.”

[3] M. Custers, “Catalog,” 4.

[4] These included A copy of the Sharḥ al-Nūniyya by Abū Naṣr Fatḥ al-Malūshāʾī (copyist Ram. b. Aḥmad al–Ghūl al-Qillālī al-Jarbī, 1769) and “[t]he Ḥāshiyawas written by Sul. b. Muḥ. b. ʿUmar al-Shammākhī, student of the author.” [(Custers Trans. 1); A copy of al-Warjilānī’s al-ʿAdl wa-‘l-inṣāf , copied by Ram. b. Aḥmad al-Ghūl al-Qillālī 1187/1773-4; A copy of al-Janāwunī’s K. al-Waḍʿ, with a ḥāshiya, purchased in 1260/1844 from Ahmad al-Ghūl [father of the copyist of the previous manuscript]; A copy of Ibn Waṣṣāf’s Kitāb al-ḥall wa-‘l-iṣāba, purchased in 1250/1834 in Tunis. The book itself was quite old, though, copied in 828/1425; A copy of Abū Ghānim al-Khurasānī’s al-Mudawwana al-Kubrā (copied 1134/1722). Again, see references in Custers, “Catalog of Waqf Books.”

[5] Custers, “Catalog,” p.4.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s