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Roman Loimeier

Abstract

African Muslim societies were characterised, in the 20th century, by the emergence of reformist movements that have gained, since the 1970s, major social, religious and political influence in a number of countries, including Northern Nigeria, Senegal, Zanzibar and Sudan. These movements of reform are, however, not recent phenomena. Rather, they look back to a history of several generations of reformist endeavour and thought that may have been influenced, to a certain extent, by external sources of inspiration. This contribution shows how the biographies of major reformist personalities such as Cheikh Touré in Senegal, Abubakar Gumi in Northern Nigeria and 'Abdallâh Sâlih al-Farsy in East Africa reflect a number of common features of Islamic reform in Africa, while their programmes of reform were shaped, at the same time, by local frame conditions.

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Roman Loimeier

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Roman Loimeier

Abstract

In the last decades, African Muslim societies have experienced multiple processes of modernization, as, for instance, in the sphere of education. As a consequence, the number of African Muslims literate in African languages has grown tremendously and so has the number of texts, including religious texts, published in these languages. At the same time, the Qur'ān has been translated into many African languages, and these translations of the Qur'ān have triggered disputes among religious scholars on the translatability of the Qur'ān as well as the interpretative orientation of these translations. The disputes over the translation and interpretation of the Qur'ān into African languages might contribute to the emergence, in sub-Saharan Africa, of a tradition of scholarly debates that would stress contextualized interpretations of the text.

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Between Social Skills and Marketable Skills

The Politics of Islamic Education in 20th century Zanzibar

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Roman Loimeier

The present volume is a pioneering study of the development of Islamic traditions of learning in 20th century Zanzibar and the role of Muslim scholars in society and politics, based on extensive fieldwork and archival research in Zanzibar (2001-2007). The volume highlights the dynamics of Muslim traditions of reform in pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial Zanzibar, focussing on the contribution of Sufi scholars (Qādiriyya, ʿAlawiyya) as well as Muslim reformers (modernists, activists, anṣār al-sunna) to Islamic education. It examines several types of Islamic schools (Qurʾānic schools, madāris and “Islamic institutes”) as well as the emergence of the discipline of “Islamic Religious Instruction” in colonial government schools. The volume argues that dynamics of cooperation between religious scholars and the British administration defined both form and content of Islamic education in the colonial period (1890-1963). The revolution of 1964 led to the marginalization of established traditions of Islamic education and encouraged the development of Muslim activist movements which have started to challenge state informed institutions of learning.
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Roman Loimeier

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Roman Loimeier

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Roman Loimeier