By John Glover

The Murid order, based in Senegal within the latter a long time of the 19th century, grew right into a significant Sufi order throughout the colonial interval and is now one of the such a lot recognizable of the Sufi orders in Africa. Murids have unfold the voice of Islam and Africa in live performance halls and at the airwaves via pop singers -- particularly Youssou N'Dour -- and identical to Shaykh Amadu Bamba M'Back?©, the founding saint of the order, usually used to grace the covers of works pertaining to Islam, African tradition, abolition, and ecu colonization. during this insightful and revealing examine, John Glover explores the way during which a Muslim society in West Africa actively created a notion of modernity that displays its personal ancient wisdom and identification. Drawing from Murid written and oral historic assets, Glover rigorously considers how the Murid order on the collective and person degrees has navigated the intersection of 2 significant historic forces -- Islam, in particular within the contexts of reform and mysticism, and ecu colonization -- and completed within the strategy an realizing of modernity now not as an unwilling witness yet as an lively player. eventually, Sufism and Jihad in glossy Senegal offers the reader with a brand new portrait of a society that has used its proposal of modernity to evolve and include extra ancient adjustments into its identification as an African Sufi order.

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Extra info for Sufism and Jihad in Modern Senegal: The Murid Order (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora)

Sample text

Meanwhile, in the Senegal River valley, social developments were also occurring that would affect the course of Islam in the area. By the late thirteenth century, a social division within the nomadic Fulbe pastoralists of the valley had been noted in an Arabic chronicle. Some of the Fulbe, referred to later by the French as Tukulor, were settling down in villages and towns and adopting a sedentary lifestyle. The Tukulor were led by the Torodbe, distinguished Islamic scholars and teachers who fall into the category of marabout.

For long-distance merchants, the universality of Islam allowed for a sense of religious well-being and protection when far from home and the local deities and ancestors. For the ruling class, Islam provided a new source of legitimacy for their power, both internationally and locally. Yet, the aristocrats had to be careful not to alienate the majority of their subjects who remained unconverted and thus frequently maintained local religious rites and aspects of culture within the court. Conversion to Islam among the commercial families of these states was generally more complete and stable, whereas, as will be seen below, conversion among the aristocrats was generally more syncretic with rulers vacillating from one generation to the next between a more “orthodox” form of Islam and a more syncretic form that was mixed with the local beliefs and practices.

The peasants within the kingdoms were largely unconverted to Islam or were superficially Muslim and lived in fear of the slave soldiers and frequently were the targets of punitive expeditions. Kajoor and Bawol’s initial era of formal independence provides us with a glimpse into important historical factors developing at that time that would come to affect the future course of Islamic reform in the region. The first factor was the complex organization of the aristocratic families within both states that included one royal patrilineage and a number of royal matrilineages and the lack of any clear means of succession to either throne.

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