From the late eighteenth to the end of the twentieth century, the kahanī, a narrative genre of Indic Shi’i Muslim oral literature, was integral to East African Khōjā female spirituality. The narrative prayers endowed Khōjā women with an exclusive form of spiritual authority with which to act on behalf of the community through private rituals and public provision of the communal sacrament. The analysis of the kahanī of the sixth Imam (najharē sādik) exemplifies the structure of these narratives and provides insight into how they were understood in praxis, that is, in their performance within the Khōjā community of contemporary Dar es Salaam. The kahanī genre is an instructive example of how women, in the “periphery” of Muslim civilization, envisioned, localized, and related to the saints of the Near East while retaining the Indic legends and narrative structures of their indigenous heritage.
"The Narrative Prayers ('kahanī') of the African Khōjā,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 1
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol1/iss2/5