In Praise of the Intercessor: Mawāhib al-Nāfiʿ fī Madāʾiḥ al-Shāfiʿ by Amadu Bamba Mbacké (1853–1927)

In: Islamic Africa
Author: Rudolph Ware1
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  • 1 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

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In Praise of the Intercessor is an effort to capture in English verse an echo of the original meaning, rhythm, and tenor of a panegyric written by one of West Africa’s most famous Sufi shaykhs, Amadu Bamba. The founder of the Muridiyya wrote literally hundreds of distinct works in Arabic verse, but the piece translated here is one of his most widely recited poems, and the translation notes here expound upon the significance of some his poetic allusions for Murids. The introduction offers reflections on the role of praise poetry in Islamic scholarly culture, as well as the challenges and immense rewards in translating such works in fresh ways.

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