West African ʿulamāʾ and Salafism in Mecca and Medina

Jawāb al-Ifrῑqῑ - The Response of the African

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Chanfi Ahmed shows how West African ʿulamāʾ, who fled the European colonization of their region to settle in Mecca and Medina, helped the regime of King Ibn Sa’ud at its beginnings in the field of teaching and spreading the Salafῑ-Wahhabῑ’s Islam both inside and outside Saudi Arabia. This is against the widespread idea of considering the spread of the Salafῑ-Wahhābῑ doctrine as being the work of ʿulamāʾ from Najd (Central Arabia) only. We learn here that the diffusion of this doctrine after 1926 was much more the work of ʿulamāʾ from other parts of the Muslim World who had already acquired this doctrine and spread it in their countries by teaching and publishing books related to it. In addition Chanfi Ahmed demonstrates that concerning Islamic reform and mission (daʿwa), Africans are not just consumers, but also thinkers and designers.
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Biographical Note

Chanfi Ahmed has been trained in Islamic studies and received his PhD in Social History at the EHESS in Paris. Until 2013 he was a Research Fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin. His books include Islam et politique aux Comores, Paris, 2000, Ngoma et mission islamique (Daʿwa) aux Comores et en Afrique orientale. Une approche anthropologique, Paris, 2002; Les conversions à l’Islam fondamentaliste en Afrique au sud du Sahara. Le cas de la Tanzanie et du Kenya, Paris, 2008.

Review Quotes

'Chanfi Ahmed’s West African Ulama and Salafism in Mecca and Medina. Jawāb al-Ifrῑqῑ - The Response of the African presents a critical approach into the study of what could be termed as the encroachment of Wahabbism in present West Africa in general and Nigeria, Mali, and Mauritania in particular. [.....]
Chanfi therefore, gives detailed information on the first set of migrants to Mecca and Medina, their interpretation of Hijra, and Jihad, and a description of the routes they followed in the cause of the migration and the factors that led to it'.

Yusuf Abdullahi Yusuf, University of Jos, in African Studies Quarterly | Volume 16, Issue 2 | March, 2016

'It is more likely than not, that students of Islam in Africa, Arabists as well as Africanists will find Chanfi's work rich, engaging and, at the same time, stimulating. His scholarly horizons as well as his wit reading of Arabic texts bring excitement to observers of the African condition who are interested in finding today's questions in yesterday's answers. West African ʿulamāʾ and Salafism in Mecca and Medina evokes what is achievable in the task of retrieving Africa's reservoir of history when multidimensional linguistic skills are summoned to exhume the corpus of the African past'.

Mbaye Lo, Duke University, in Research Africa Review Vol. 1 No. 1 pp.18-21, June 2017
https://sites.duke.edu/researchafrica/ra-reviews/vol-1-no-1/

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Hijra on the Sudan Road (Ṭarīq al-Sūdān)
Hijra in Islam and West Africa: A Movement of People, Ideas, and Hope
Hijra, Jihād, the Mahdī, and Ḥajj in Islam and in West African Islam
The Hijra Related to the Mahdī
The Reaction of the Colonizers to the Muhājirīn

2 The ʿUlamāʾ Forerunners of the Hijra and Teachers in the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina
Shaykh Alfā Hāshim al-Fūtī (1866–1931): A Genius for Survival
Muḥammad ʿAbdallāh b. Maḥmūd al-Madanī (Ag Maḥmūd Abdullahi): The “Intransigent” Salafī Missionary

3 The ʿUlamāʾ of the Second Generation, Heirs of the Hijra and Teachers in the First Islamic Institutes in Saudi Arabia
Ḥammād al-Anṣārī (1344–1418/1925–97)
“Riḥlat min Ifrīqyā ilā bilād al-ḥaramayn” [Traveling from Africa to the two holy cities]
The Anṣār al-Sunna in Sudan
The Legacy of Shaykh Ḥammād al-Anṣārī in West Africa
ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Yūsuf al-Ifrīqī
Jawāb al-Ifrīqī [Response of the African]
Tawḍīḥ al-ḥajj wa-l-ʿumra kamā jāʾa fī l-kitāb wa-l-sunna [Explanation of ḥajj and ʿumra according to the Qurʾān and the Sunna]

4 The Dār al-Ḥadīth in Medina and the Ahl al-Ḥadīth
The Dār al-Ḥadīth in Mecca
The Establishment and Expansion of the Ahl al-Ḥadīth Movement in the Eighteenth Century
Muḥammad Ḥayāt al-Sindī (d. 1163/1750)
Walī Allāh Dihlawī (1703–63)
Ṣāliḥ al-Fullānī (1752–3/1803)
Muḥammad b. ʿAlī l-Shawkānī (1173–1250/1760–1832)
Nadhīr Ḥusayn Dihlawī (1805–1902)
Ṣādiq Ḥasan Khān (1834–90)
Ṣanāʿullāh Amristari (1868–1948)
The Doctrine of Ahl al-Ḥadīth as Reflected by these ʿUlamāʾ
A Brief Political History of the Hijaz in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Educational Institutions Founded in the Hijaz by the Ottomans and the Ashrāf
Nation-State or Umma-State: ʿUlamāʾ Support of the Saudi State
Maʿhad al-Riyāḍ al-ʿIlmi (Riyadh Institute of Islamic Religious Sciences)

5 The ʿUlamāʾ of the Third Generation: Teachers and Administrators in the First Islamic Universities of Saudi Arabia
Shaykh ʿUmar b. Muḥammad Fallāta (1345–1419/1926–98)
Writings, Lectures, and Teaching of ʿUmar Fallāta
Muḥammad al-Amīn al-Jakanī l-Shinqīṭī (Āb Wuld Ukhtūr) (1325–93/1907–73)
The Writings of Shaykh Shinqīṭī

6 Africa in the Islamic University of Medina
History of the Foundation of the University
Africa in the Daʿwa Policy of the Islamic University of Medina and of the Saudi State as Reflected in the Statutes and Other Texts of the University
Daʿwa in Africa By and With the Africans
Shaykh Taqī l-Dīn al-Hilālī (d. 1407/1987)

7 Biography (Tarjama) in the Islamic Tradition according to the ʿUlamāʾ
The Concept and Tradition of Tarjama (Biography) according to ʿUmar Fallāta and ʿAṭiyya Sālim
ʿAṭiyya Muḥammad Sālim with al-Ifrīqī and al-Shinqīṭī
The Teaching Method of al-Ifrīqī (Manhaj al-Ifrīqī)
ʿAṭiyya Muḥammad Sālim with Shaykh al-Amīn al-Shinqīṭī (Āb Wuld Ukhtūr)
The Tarjama according to Shaykh ʿUmar Fallāta in his Conference Paper on Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Ifrīqī
An Interpretation

Conclusion

Bibliography
Works and Primary Sources in Arabic
Works in Other Languages
Index

Readership

Scholars and students of Islam in West Africa and Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

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