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Islamic Africa
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.257
Number of Followers: 3  
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ISSN (Print) 2333-262X - ISSN (Online) 2154-0993
Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [293 journals]
  • Introduction: En-gendering Islamic Authority in West Africa
    • Abstract: Women and gender have very often been marginal or absent in the academic literature on Islam in West Africa. Where the literature has not itself marginalized or completely ignored women, it has often defined women as essentially marginal in relation to Islam. Contributors to this special issue of Islamic Africa seek not merely to bring more attention to Muslim women in West Africa but to examine the mutually constitutive relationships between Islamic authority and gendered discourses and practices. This introduction begins by reviewing the emergence of literature on women and gender in Muslim West Africa, pointing out some of the assumptions that have often limited this literature as well as recent attempts to ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T00:00:00-05:00
  • Piety, Moral Agency, and Leadership: Dynamics Around the Feminization of
           Islamic Authority in Côte d’Ivoire
    • Abstract: Recent studies of religion have focused on religious movements that entered the public arena through their participation in global debates on morality, culture, and politics.1,2 At the same time, sources of rapid social change—such as migration, as well as international norms enshrined in human rights legislation and international law—have influenced both the organization and the ideological basis of religious movements. These developments have created a space within which “accepted views” of gender relations and the status of women can be reconsidered.3 Studies of the “feminization of religion” have explored how women can operate as innovative religious actors and contribute to the reinterpretation of different ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T00:00:00-05:00
  • Aïcha’s Sounith Hair Salon: Friendship, Profit, and Resistance
           in Dakar
    • Abstract: The Sunnī reform movement in Dakar, Senegal, spans an eight-decade trajectory of political opposition and countercultural activism that has taken a multiplicity of forms as it has adjusted to local power relations, global commodity flows, and geopolitical changes. Beginning in 1934, small groups of urban Senegalese Muslims like the Liwāʾ Taʾākhī al-Muslim as-Ṣāliḥ (Brigade of the Fraternity of Good Muslims) gathered to challenge what they saw as the economic control of powerful Sufi ṭarīqa 1 leaders over followers and their complicity in the politics of the French colonial administration.2 These activists’ ideals coalesced into an Islamic reform movement by the 1950s and 1960s, where adherents advocated a Sunnī ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T00:00:00-05:00
  • Following in the Steps of ʿĀʾisha: Ḥassāniyya-Speaking Tijānī
           Women as Spiritual Guides (Muqaddamāt) and Teaching Islamic Scholars
           (Limrābuṭāt) in Mauritania
    • Abstract: When I strolled in 2007 through the central market of Nouakchott (Mauritania), I stepped into an Arabic bookshop to look at new publications. I found a thin booklet titled Mashāhīr al-ʿālimāt wa l-ṣāliḥāt min al-nisāʾ al-mūrītāniyāt (Celebrated Female Scholars and Upright Mauritanian Women) authored by Sīdi Aḥmad b. Maʿlūm b. Aḥmad Zarūq.1 The author honors famous Mauritanian women grouped into six categories: scholars (ʿālimāt; sing.: ʿālima), pious and upright personalities (ṣāliḥāt; sing.: ṣāliḥa), poets (shāʿirāt; sing.: shāʿira), healers (ṭabībāt; sing.: ṭabība), writers (kātibāt; sing.: kātiba), and directors of maḥāḍir (sing.: maḥḍara), traditionalist institutions for Islamic education.2 This categorization ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T00:00:00-05:00
  • Picturing Islamic Authority: Gender Metaphors and Sufi Leadership in
    • Abstract: Elimaan Diop1 is an appointed Sufi leader (muqaddam), a well-known specialist in esoteric uses of the Qurʾan, and an elder resident of Medina Baay, the spiritual capital of the Fayḍa Tijāniyya Sufi movement founded by Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse (1900–1975). Sitting on a plastic chair in the unpaved street in front of his house, he recounted to me and my companion some of the episodes he had witnessed during the lifetime of Shaykh Ibrahim, better known to disciples as “Baay,” or “Father” in Wolof. As a steady stream of disciples came through to prepare that evening’s sikkar meeting,2 our conversation shifted to the deep meanings and powers enveloped in the form of the Qurʾan’s letters. He explained that the first phrase ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T00:00:00-05:00
  • Medicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in
           Morocco, 1877–1956 by Ellen J. Amster (review)
    • Abstract: Postcolonial histories of health and medicine in Africa have contributed significantly to the destabilization of the global metanarrative of progressive modernity. By illustrating the very significant limitations of “Western” biomedicine in colonial African settings, these histories have also provided meaningful avenues through which to address issues of negotiation and agency by disempowered and marginalized populations. However, in recent years, the postcolonial histories of health and medicine in Africa have turned toward a greater emphasis on the spaces in-between “traditional” binary constructions of “colonizer/colonized” and “European/African” by focusing on cross-cultural interactions, cultural ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T00:00:00-05:00
  • Contesting Islam in Africa: Homegrown Wahhabism and Muslim Identity in
           Northern Ghana, 1920–2010 by Abdulai Iddrisu (review)
    • Abstract: The second half of the twentieth century witnessed the radical transformation of Islamic identities in Muslim West Africa. From being a hegemonic discourse, Sufi Islam became hotly contested by new religious movements, and especially by those inspired by the teachings of the revivalist Muhammad Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (d. 1792). With the founding of the third Wahhabi state in 1932, the Al-Saud and the Al-Shaykh (descendants of Muhammad Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab) took control of the Muslim Holy Lands and imposed their views on the new dynastic kingdom. In subsequent decades, Saudi Arabia strove to spread Wahhabism in the rest of the world. In West Africa, returned pilgrims from Mecca and African graduates from Middle Eastern ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T00:00:00-05:00
  • Islam, Youth, and Modernity in the Gambia: The Tablighi Jamaʿat by
           Marloes Janson (review)
    • Abstract: Living as we do in the rapidly globalizing postmodern present where the metanarratives of old are being challenged on a daily basis, movements like the Tablighi Jamaʿat—arguably the world’s biggest lay missionary-pietist movement—pose a quiet conundrum for scholars and laymen alike. Despite its presence in almost every country in the world, precious little has been written about it. Few works come to mind, notably by Masud, Reetz, and Sikand, but many of these academic studies have focused on the emergence of the Tablighi Jamaʿat in South Asia, from where it originated. Fewer studies exist of the Tabligh “along the margins,” that is, in other parts of the world where the Tabligh has arrived and taken root. Even ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-14T00:00:00-05:00
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