In this book, Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui edit, translate, and study an Arabic manuscript of the Royal Library of Rabat, containing 77 appointments of provincial officials. The Almohad Caliphs were the first Berbers to unite the whole Maghrib and the Iberian Peninsula under an imperial ideology elaborated at the end of the 12th C.E. by the most famous scholars, such as Averroes.
This peripheral Islamic dynasty produced a pragmatic documentation that provides exceptional information about the administrative, political, ideological, and religious organisation of the largest medieval European-African Empire. Buresi and El Aallaoui convincingly stress the importance of the literature of the Chancellery in renewing the history of power and authority in medieval Islamic lands.
The political transition in 1991 and the new regime’s policy towards the ethnic and religious diversity in Ethiopia have contributed to increased activities from various Islamic reform movements. Among these, we find the Salafi movement which expanded rapidly throughout the 1990s, particularly in the Oromo-speaking south-eastern parts of the country. This book sheds light on the emergence and expansion of Salafism in Bale. Focusing on the diversified body of situated actors and their role in the process of religious change, it discusses the early arrival of Salafism in the late 1960s, follows it through the Marxist period (1974-1991) before discussing the rapid expansion of the movement in the 1990s. The movement’s dynamics and the controversies emerging as a result of the reforms are discussed, particularly with reference to different understandings of sources for religious knowledge and the role of Islamic literacy.