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Ripples of Reform
In the period c. 1880-1940, organized Sufism spread rapidly in the western Indian Ocean. New communities turned to Islam, and Muslim communities turned to new texts, practices and religious leaders. On the East African coast, the orders were both a vehicle for conversion to Islam and for reform of Islamic practice. The impact of Sufism on local communities is here traced geographically as a ripple reaching beyond the Swahili cultural zone southwards to Mozambique, Madagascar and Cape Town. Through an investigation of the texts, ritual practices and scholarly networks that went alongside Sufi expansion, this book places religious change in the western Indian Ocean within the wider framework of Islamic reform.
In: Islamic Sufi Networks in the Western Indian Ocean (c.1880-1940)
A Source Publication of Chimiini Texts and English Translations
This book presents fifty-one didactic and devotional Sufi poems (with English translations) composed by the ulama of Brava, on Somalia’s Benadir coast, in Chimiini, a Bantu language related to Swahili and unique to the town. Because the six ulama-poets, among whom two women, guided local believers towards correct beliefs and behaviours in reference to specific authoritative religious texts, the poems allow insight into their authors’ religious education, affiliations, in which the Qādiriyyah and Aḥmadiyyah took pride of place, and regional connections. Because the poems refer to local people, places, events, and livelihoods, they also bring into view the uniquely local dimension of Islam in this small East African port city in this time-period.

, Vikør constructs a typology of responses, each elaborated through historical examples that offer a vivid sense of the densely interconnected Sufi networks that existed in nineteenth-century West, North, and East Africa. Vikør concludes that these divergent responses were not the product of differing

In: Journal of Sufi Studies

simplistic, generalized, and in a way not historically bound. For an elaborate discussion concerning this see Anne K. Bang, Sufis and Scholars of the Sea: Family Networks in East Africa, 1860–1925 (London: Routledge, 2003), 73–6; Jon Armajani, Dynamic Islam: Liberal Muslim Perspectives in a Transitional

In: Journal of Sufi Studies