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Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History 12 (CMR 12) covering the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas in the period 1700-1800 is a further volume in a general history of relations between the two faiths from the 7th century to the early 20th century. It comprises a series of introductory essays and also the main body of detailed entries which treat all the works, surviving or lost, that have been recorded. These entries provide biographical details of the authors, descriptions and assessments of the works themselves, and complete accounts of manuscripts, editions, translations and studies. The result of collaboration between numerous leading scholars, CMR 12, along with the other volumes in this series, is intended as a basic tool for research in Christian-Muslim relations.

Section Editors: Clinton Bennett, Luis F. Bernabe Pons, Jaco Beyers, Emanuele Colombo, Karoline Cook, Sinéad Cussen, Lejla Demiri, Martha Frederiks, David D. Grafton, Stanisław Grodź, Alan Guenther, Emma Gaze Loghin, Gordon Nickel, Claire Norton, Reza Pourjavady, Douglas Pratt, Radu Păun, Charles Ramsey, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Mehdi Sajid, Cornelia Soldat, Karel Steenbrink, Ann Thomson, Carsten Walbiner

As an Islamic radio station, ZuriaFM stands as an exception in the heavily pentecostalized Ghanaian mediascape. In this essay, I locate this station in this mediascape and discuss the “Islamic sphere” it co-brings into being. Thereby, I complement the mainly Christian case studies of media, institutions, and actors in the Ghanaian public sphere with an Islamic one. ZuriaFM has emerged as a central platform for Muslims in the country, and has significantly (re-)shaped this “Islamic sphere” by introducing new styles of preaching, preacher figures, and opening topics for debate. In this sense, I by and large agree with the prevailing “transformation thesis” in the literature on “modern” media and “Islamic spheres” which stresses the fragmentation and liberalization of debates and authority. However, ZuriaFM could also be perceived as contributing to a unification of Islamic standards, which calls into question the one-sided stressing of fragmentation and liberalization of the “transformation thesis”.

In: Islamic Africa

This article analyzes the impact of “modern”1 education on Shari’a practice and authority in Mogadishu, Somalia. More specifically, the article looks at the influence of graduates from modern Islamic universities on the Shari’a court movement in Mogadishu. The Shari’a Courts of Mogadishu, as they are now known, began to emerge in the Somali capital after the disintegration of the previous regime in early 1991. The Courts were formed in various neighborhoods in the city at different times throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. They were organized and run by neighborhood religious authorities and traditional elders. The Courts were thus independent of each other. When the Courts began to unify starting in 2003, a new group of elites educated in modern Islamic universities played an important role in their unification. This article looks at the education and socialization of these elites and how their rise to power changed Shari’a practice and authority.

In: Islamic Africa
In: Islamic Africa
In: Islamic Africa

‘Uthmān b. Fūdī (d. 1817) launched a jihad in Hausaland in 1804 and was successful in establishing a strong polity known as the Sokoto Caliphate. During this jihad, the Sokoto leadership clashed not only with non-Muslims but also with those who had historically been recognized as Muslims, such as the inhabitants of Bornu, a state neighboring Hausaland. Islamic law does not, in principle, permit attacks on Muslims. Therefore, to justify the jihad, the hostile Muslims had to be branded unbelievers. For that, ‘Uthmān and his successor, Muḥammad Bello (d. 1837), developed and instituted a provision on apostasy based on the idea of muwālāt (friendship) with unbelievers. This stipulation emerged as a substantial regulation legalizing the violence committed by the Sokoto leaders on Muslims who were opposed to them both within and outside the early Caliphate.

In: Islamic Africa

What does it mean to be forever framed as a Muslim cultural “Other”? And what kind of epistemic closure does such framing imply? The little that is written (academic and popular) about the Black African Muslim experience and encounter with Islam in South Africa often entraps this sector within the theme of “conversion to Islam”. This essay examines, therefore, the following question: to what extent does the theme and “narrative of conversion” perform a sort of racial coding that unintentionally writes off Black African Muslim identity as less authentic and therefore not fully Muslim? Taking as its data the available literature on the Black African Muslim sector, limited as it is, as well as selected pieces by a Black African Muslim writer and poet, the essay posits a reading that is attentive to Black African Muslim self-understanding, subjectivities and sense of self beyond the moment of conversion.

In: Islamic Africa

This paper explores the conflict between Abdullahi dan Fodio and his nephew, Muhammad Bello, over the origin of their ethnic group, the Torobbe-Fulani. Initially open to his uncle’s theories of an Arabocentric migration narrative, Bello went on to change his views abruptly and undermine his uncle’s work. Through sketching the background to the conflict followed by a close reading of the documents themselves–Abdullahi’s īdāʿ al-nusūkh and Bello’s critical commentary to it, the ḥāshiya–I suggest these documents offer different models for political legitimacy. Prefaced by a critical analysis of the use of the Fodiawa’s Arabic writings in Sokoto historiography, I suggest that future approaches must take into account the political nature of these documents, the specific contexts in which they were produced and the personal relationships of their authors.

In: Islamic Africa