Tag Archives: Ramadan

Christmas and Id-al-Fitr – religious harmony in practice

Can’t resist posting this, our first blog, again this year!

Father Christmas

float used at the procession for the lantern festival on the eve of Id-al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan), taken by Humphrey Fisher in Freetown, Sierra Leone, January 12th, 1967. Freetown is on the Atlantic coast of Africa, and Humphrey spent Christmas 2013  with us on the Atlantic coast in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Reflecting on his life spanning Islam and Christianity, we decided to start this blog together.

Religious tolerance

has been a hallmark of Humphrey’s view of life. He has engaged with so many different Christian denominations in his life (spirituality) and in his research (Africa). While his academic career developed his focus on Islam south of the Sahara, his personal life drew him to become a Quaker and later to be ordained in the Church in Wales. And one of his earliest articles was on religious toleration among Muslim and other religious groups in West Africa, published in Patterns of Prejudice, a journal of the Institute of Jewish Affairs.

At this time of the birth of Jesus, so important in Islam and Christianity, we wish you

Joy &


at this time; may we nourish the seeds of


with love together throughout the coming year.

(posted by Thomas and Julie)

How Islam came to Sierra Leone: interview in Vai / English with al-Hajj Brimah, 1967

Humphrey’s main research interest during his 1966-67 trip to Sierra Leone was the arrival and subsequent history of Islam in that country. Here he recorded an interview with al-Hajj Brimah on 2/6/1967. Al-Hajj Brimah speaks in Vai, through a translator. He describes how the Muslim religion came to Sierra Leone: initially through the Mandingo people, who arrived from Guineau via Liberia.

To hear the interview, click on the white triangle below.

If this does not work in your browser, click HERE to open a new tab and hear the audio.

Humphrey’s 1967 journal describes this interview from page 1311 onwards: this will be added in a another post later this year.

The photo was taken earlier that year on 13/1/67, the feast of Id-al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, in Klinetown, Freetown.