Islamic Sufi Networks in the Western Indian Ocean (c.1880-1940)

Ripples of Reform

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In the period c. 1880-1940, organized Sufism spread rapidly in the western Indian Ocean. New communities turned to Islam, and Muslim communities turned to new texts, practices and religious leaders. On the East African coast, the orders were both a vehicle for conversion to Islam and for reform of Islamic practice. The impact of Sufism on local communities is here traced geographically as a ripple reaching beyond the Swahili cultural zone southwards to Mozambique, Madagascar and Cape Town. Through an investigation of the texts, ritual practices and scholarly networks that went alongside Sufi expansion, this book places religious change in the western Indian Ocean within the wider framework of Islamic reform.
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Biographical Note

Anne K. Bang, Ph.D. (2000) is a Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway. She has published widely on the Islamic history of East Africa, including the monograph Sufis and Scholars of the Sea (Routledge, 2003).

Review Quotes

'In fact, the volume is impressive. It impresses through its sheer quantity of facts, be that information concerning persons, or the detailed description of the written and oral sources (interviews) in the appendix. [...]

....a very well-investigated presentation loaded with an abundance of details, which by means of the index can serve as a kind of reference work for experts, but also as informative reading for anyone interested in the history of Islam in Africa'.

Angelika Brodersen, in Entangled Religions, 2, (2015)

Table of contents

Foreword and Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
List of Figures
Note on Transliteration, Quotes and Dates

1 Introduction
The Ripple and the Reef: Perspectives and Objectives

2 The Luminescent Sun and Brilliant Rays of Light: Towards a Geography of Reform
Towards a Geography of Reform: A Web of Centres
The Ḥaramayn: The Blessed and the Radiant
The Ḥaḍramawt: Home of the Luminescent, Encompassing Mid-Day Sun
Zanzibar: The Brilliant Star of East Africa
Lamu and the Riyadha Mosque
The Comoro Islands: Moon Islands in a Sea of Sun
Rays of Light and Hierarchies

3 The Branches of the Qādiriyya and the Shādhiliyya in Northern Mozambique: Silsilas to the South
The Ṭarīqa Qādiriyya in Zanzibar
The Qādiriyya in Mozambique: Multiple Routes South
Muḥammad Al-Maʿrūf and the Spread of the Shādhiliyya in Northern Mozambique
The Emergence of Sufi Orders in Norhern Mozambique

4 The Shādhiliyya in Northern Madagascar c. 1890–1940: The Planting of a Garden and the Growing of Malagasy Roots
Islam in Northern Madagascar
Family, Religion and Trade on Madagascar: East African-Comorian Networks and the Shādhiliyya
Aḥmad al-Kabīr: The Great Shaykh of the Ṭarīqa Shādhiliyya of Northern Madagascar
Reform and the Emergence of a Malagasy Sufi Order

5 The Cape Town Muslim Community and East African Sufi Networks: Beyond the Monsoon
Islam in South Africa and Cape Town
Muhammad Salih Hendricks: From Periphery to Centre to the Network
Other Travellers – More Daʿwa

6 Travelling Texts: Arabic Literate Learning in Coastal East Africa, c. 1860–1930
Textual Transmission and Religious Authority
Book Knowledge in the Age of Manuscripts: 1860s into the Twentieth Century
From Manuscript to Print: Parallel or Converging Authorities?
Manuscripts, Printed Books and Religious Authority

7 Ritual of Reform – Reform of a Ritual: Rātib al-Ḥaddād in the Southwestern Indian Ocean, c. 1880–1940
Rātib Al-Ḥaddād as Sufi Reform
Rātib al-Ḥaddād in East and South Africa
The Rātib in Writing: Textualization of Charisma
The Rātib Performed: Reform of a Ritual?
The Rātib al-Ḥaddād: New Reform of a Reformist Ritual?

8 Consolidating the Network: Waqf Distribution and New Organizations in Zanzibar, c. 1900–1930
Scholarly Networks and the Zanzibari “Meccan Waqfs”, c. 1880–1940
Waqf Distribution within Intellectual Networks: Consolidating Reform through Waqf Funds
From Networks to Organizations: The Rise of the Jamʿiyya, c. 1900–1930

9 Conclusions
On Ripples and Reefs: Agency in a Translocal World
Sufi Reform on the Move
The Ecumene that wasn’t – yet?

Appendix 1
The Zanzibari “Meccan Waqfs” Contained in ZA-HD10

Sources and Bibliography
Arabic Textual Material
Arabic Manuscript Sources (Listed)
Archival Sources
Oral Sources/Interviews
Bibliography

Index

Readership

Students and researchers interested in the Islamic history in the Western Indian Ocean, as well as Sufi and Muslim movements in general.