1952 Historical Recordings of Allidina Jamal Walji Luvungivalla’s Ismaili Songs in Kiswahili at SAMAP


In my piece below about Ismaili songs in Kiswahili archived at the SAMAP, I mistakenly attributed the songs to Mukhi Allidina Jamal of Upanga Jamatkhana in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. My attention has been drawn by the family of the actual composer and singer, Allidina Jamal Walji Luvungivalla, that the (late) Mukhi Allidina Jamal, who I attributed the songs to, and the (late) Allidina Jamal Luvungivalla were different individuals. I convey my apologies to the readers as well as members of the two families for this confusion, and appreciate Allidina Jamal Luvungivalla family’s kind reaction and understanding in this matter of mistaken identity. I hope to obtain information about the actual composer in due course, with some background notes about the context of the compilations.

Needless to say, the short description I have provided in the piece about the singer of Anant Akhado, Mukhi Allidina Jamal, is fair and accurate, except that he is not the composer and singer of the Kiswahili songs — Malik Merchant, Editor, Simerg.com


Allidina Jamal's Swahile songs were recorded on Shellac recordes, similar to the one shown above.

Allidina Jamal’s Swahili songs were recorded on Shellac records, similar to the one shown above.

Simerg.com is pleased to bring to its worlwide viewers a unique link to a series of devotional Ismaili songs in Kiswahili which have been archived with the South African Music Archives Project (SAMAP), which aims to promote multidisciplinary research in the field of popular music and culture.

The songs were composed and sung by the iconic Tanzanian personality, Allidina Jamal (please see correction note at top of this page), who was the Mukhi of Dar-es-Salaam’s Upanga Ismaili Jamatkhana during the 1960’s. Before assuming the post as Mukhi, he would be regularly called upon to recite verses from Pir Hasan Kabirdin’s composition “Anant Akhado” to the delight of the Jamat. The few verses that he sung from this monumental composition before the first Dua provided immense inspiration to everyone in attendance, setting the stage and religious fervour for the prayers that followed.

The 1952 recordings were done on the brittle Shellac gramophone records, although the much better Vinyl technology had been introduced by then.

Friends and admirers of Mukhi Allidina Jamal as well as viewers who speak or understand Swahili will be thrilled to hear these songs of devotion which include titles such as Mubarak-mubarak imame-zaman, Kwimbho ya zilsile ya imamat, Kwimbho ya Nooran Mubbin and Kwimbho ya sifu ya imam.

We invite you to click Allidina Jamal Kiswahili Song Archives at SAMAP

Readers are also invited to submit comments on this unique memory that Mukhi Jamal has left behind as well as other fond recollections with respect to his recitations in Jamatkahanas around the world.