Arabic Literature of Africa, Volume 1 Writings of Eastern Sudanic Africa to c. 1900


Editors: John Hunwick and O'Fahey
Eventually to be completed in six volumes, Arabic Literature of Africa will provide a survey of Muslim authors writing in Arabic in Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa and a bibliography of their works. Falling within the tradition of the great works of Brockelmann and Sezgin, it will form a basic reference tool for the study of Arabic writing in areas of the African Islamic world that fall outside the parameters of these works. While primarily a work of reference, it will also attempt to provide an outline of the intellectual history of Muslim societies in the areas it covers: the Nile valley, East Africa and the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the western Sahara, from earliest times to the present.
The first volume covers Eastern Sudanic Africa (mainly the modern Sudan) until approximately 1900. It comprises twelve chapters organised by theme or period and aims to present as complete a coverage as the present state of our knowledge will allow.

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R.S. O'Fahey was educated (B.A. & Ph.D.) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has taught at Khartoum and Edinburgh and presently holds a chair in Middle Eastern and African History at the University of Bergen. Previous books include Kingdoms of the Sudan (with J.L. Spaulding), London 1974; State and Society in Dār Fūr, London 1980; Land in Dār Fūr (with M.I. Abu Salim), Cambridge 1983, and Enigmatic Saint. Aḥmad ibn Idrīs and the Idrīsī Tradition, London 1990.
' C'est un travail d'une qualité exemplaire.' Jean-Louis Triaud, Bulletin Critique des Annales Islamologiques. ' The layout of the work, its clarity together with the easy to check presentation makes of this first volume an invaluable and essential reference work for anyone seriously interested and concerned about Islam in Africa...The series on Arabic Literature in Africa is already indispensable in the study of Islam in the African continent.' J.L.B., Islamo Christiana, 1995. ' The value of this work is not confined to its meticulous listing of authors and titles. It provides also much of the data required for a literary biographical dictionary of the region...O'Fahey and his collaborators have produced a major bibliographical work of reference which is unlikely to be superseded for many years to come.' P.M. Holt, Bulletin School Oriental & African Studies, 1995. ' On ne peut que proclamer son admiration pour le travail présenté le plus intelligemment possible dans ce livre de références qui fera date dans la science des textes arabes écrits dans la région orientale du Sahara.' Revue IBLA. ' Le monde scientifique qui s'intéresse à l'Islam et à l'Afrique se réjouit de la mise en chantier éditoriale de ce travail titanesque et souhaite qu'il puisse être mené à bon port.' Constant Hames, Studia Islamica, 1995. ' Ce travail d'érudition exemplaire constitue une avancée importante dans le domaine de l'histoire intellectuelle et littéraire de l'Afrique musulmane subsaharienne…' Jean-Louis Triaud, Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions, 1995. ' is a first comprehensive bio-bibliographical survey of Arabic writings in the Sudan, based on practically all information available at the moment. A praiseworthy innovation of Arabic Literature of Africa is the English language of the book...[a] valuable reference work.' Boguslaw R. Zagorski, Studia Arabistyezne, 1995. ' The present volume...immediately takes its place as the basic reference work for its subject.' M.W. Daly, BRISMES, 1996. ' The inclusion of the project Arabic Literature of Africa in the Handbook of Oriental Studies , which since its inception in 1953 has proved to be a handbook in the best sense of the word, vouches for the standard set by the editors of the present project. Africanists will eagerly look forward to subsequent volumes.' S.V. Sicard, Journal of Religion in Africa, 1996. ' Der vorliegende Band, der erste in einer in eindera auf sechs Bände angelegten Reihe, stellt einen wichtigen Meilenstein in der Dokumentation arabischer Regionalliteraturen dar.' Stefan Reichmuth, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 1996. ' ...these two volumes are not only invaluable references for all future research in this field, they also set a very high standard of scholarship for the recording of bibliographical and biographical information which will render future research much more coherent and systematic.' L.B., Journal of African History, 1997.