Moroccan Female Religious Agents: Old Practices and New Perspectives, Ouguir studies Moroccan female religious agents in particular historical women saints and Sufis, the way they constructed powerful saintly personalities that challenged the dominant conventional norms, and the way they are received by venerators and feminist Islamist activists of modern Morocco.
Through hagiographic and oral narratives, Ouguir examines the techniques religious women followed to achieve ethical self-formation and strong religious personalities that promoted them to leadership. She also examined the venerators’,
murshidᾱt and Islamist feminists’ reception of women saints in their discourses. Ouguir states convincingly that Moroccan religious women agents in both Morocco’s past and present are to be highlighted for broader discourses on Muslim women and feminism.
This volume showcases a variety of innovative approaches to the study of Muslim societies and cultures, inspired by and honouring Gudrun Krämer and her role in transforming the landscape of Islamic Studies. With contributions from scholars from around the world, the articles cover an extraordinarily wide geographical scope across a broad timeline, with transdisciplinary perspectives and a historically informed focus on contemporary phenomena. The wide-ranging subjects covered include among others a “men in headscarves” campaign in Iran, an Islamic call-in radio programme in Mombassa, a refugee-related court case in Germany, the Arab revolutions and aftermath from various theoretical perspectives, Ottoman family photos, Qurʾān translation in South Asia, and words that can’t be read.
Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui wrote his essays of this Guidance (
Uwongozi) collection in Mombasa between 1930 and 1932, providing social critique and moral guidance to Kenya’s coastal Muslims during a period of their decline during British colonial rule. The essays were initially published as a series of double-sided pamphlets called Sahifa (The Page), the first Swahili Islamic newspaper. Inspired by contemporary debates of Pan-Islam and Islamic modernism, and with a critical eye on British colonialism, this leading East African modernist takes issue with his peers, in a sharply critical and yet often humorous tone. Al-Amin Mazrui was the first to publish Islamic educational prose and social commentary in Swahili. This bi-lingual edition makes fascinating reading for specialists and general readers.
Living Knowledge in West African Islam examines the actualization of religious identity in the community of Ibrāhīm Niasse (d.1975, Senegal). With millions of followers throughout Africa and the world, the community arguably represents one of the twentieth century’s most successful Islamic revivals. Niasse’s followers, members of the Tijāniyya Sufi order, gave particular attention to the widespread transmission of the experiential knowledge (maʿrifa) of God. They also worked to articulate a global Islamic identity in the crucible of African decolonization.
The central argument of this book is that West African Sufism is legible only with an appreciation of centuries of Islamic knowledge specialization in the region. Sufi masters and disciples reenacted and deepened preexisting teacher-student relationships surrounding the learning of core Islamic disciplines, such as the Qurʾān and jurisprudence. Learning Islam meant the transformative inscription of sacred knowledge in the student’s very being, a disposition acquired in the master’s exemplary physical presence. Sufism did not undermine traditional Islamic orthodoxy: the continued transmission of Sufi knowledge has in fact preserved and revived traditional Islamic learning in West Africa.