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Holy Men and Social Discourse in Colonial Benaadir
Studies of nineteenth and twentieth century Islamic reform have tended to focus more on the evolution of ideas than how those ideas emerge from local contexts or are disseminated to a broad audience. Using the urban culture of southern Somalia, known as the Benaadir, this book explores the role of local ʿulamāʾ as popular intellectuals in the early colonial period. Drawing on locally compiled hagiographies, religious poetry and Sufi manuals, it examines the place of religious discourse as social discourse and how religious leaders sought to guide society through a time of troubles through calls to greater piety but also by exhorting believers to examine their lives in the hopes of bringing society into line with their image of a proper Islamic society.