Power and Tolerance within Ibadi of Oman and Zanzibar during the Nineteenth Century: A Few Reflections

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In Africa slaves were thought as less than human and, even when they embraced Islam - Sunni and never Ibadi as only the Arabs of Oman - were thought less than Muslim. With regards to the relationships between power and tolerance, although Ahmad bin Sa’id Al Bu Sa’id (1710-1783) had succeeded in uniting Oman under an Ibadi Imamate, the religious nature of his family’s authority did not last long. His son, Saiyid Sa’id bin Sultan Al Bu Sa’id (r. 1806-1856), was elected to the Imamate after him, but no other family member won the official approval of the religious establishment. The Al Bu Sa’id called themselves Sultans, a secular title having none of the religious associations of Imam. They further distanced themselves from Ibadi traditions by moving their capital from Rustaq, a famous Ibadi centre in the interior of Oman, to the trading centre of Muscat. The result was that the conflictual relationships between the coast and the interior were reconstituted. Starting from the 18th century, groups from the interior gradually began to settle on the coastal new centres. This paper will try to investigate on the multiple interconnections between different groups, and the relationships between power and tolerance, both in Oman - between the leadership and the tribal groups, as well as between the land and the sea - and along the littorals of Sub-Saharan East Africa - within slavery, Swahili society, and the maritime new economies - during the 19th century.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteToday's Perspectives on Ibadi History
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Ibadism
  • Indian Ocean History


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