Jihad of the Pen

The Sufi Literature of West Africa

Rudolph Ware
Zachary Wright
Amir Syed

Outsiders have long observed the contours of the flourishing scholarly traditions of African Muslim societies, but the most renowned voices of West Af

English edition
30 October 2018
320 pp.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774168635
For sale worldwide

$59.95

Outsiders have long observed the contours of the flourishing scholarly traditions of African Muslim societies, but the most renowned voices of West African Sufism have rarely been heard outside of their respective constituencies. This volume brings together writings by Uthman b. Fudi (d. 1817, Nigeria), Umar Tal (d. 1864, Mali), Ahmad Bamba (d. 1927, Senegal), and Ibrahim Niasse (d. 1975, Senegal), who, between them, founded the largest Muslim communities in African history. Jihad of the Pen offers translations of Arabic source material that proved formative to the constitution of a veritable Islamic revival sweeping West Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Recurring themes shared by these scholars—etiquette on the spiritual path, love for the Prophet Muhammad, and divine knowledge—demonstrate a shared, vibrant scholarly heritage in West Africa that drew on the classics of global Islamic learning, but also made its own contributions to Islamic intellectual history. The authors have selected enduringly relevant primary sources and richly contextualized them within broader currents of Islamic scholarship on the African continent. Students of Islam or Africa, especially those interesting in learning more of the profound contributions of African Muslim scholars, will find this work an essential reference for the university classroom or personal library.

Rudolph Ware

Rudolph  Ware is associate professor in the department of history at the University of Michigan, and the founder and director of the IKHLAS research initiative for the study of Islamic Knowledge, Histories and Languages, Arts and Sciences. He is the author of The Walking Qur’an: Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa (2014) and several articles on slavery in Islamic Africa and the Atlantic World.

Zachary Wright

Zachary  Wright is associate professor of history and religious studies at Northwestern University in Qatar. His research concerns Islamic revivalism and the religious sciences, especially Sufism, in North and West Africa from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. He is the author of Living Knowledge in West African Islam: The Sufi Community of Ibrahim Niasse (2015).

Amir Syed

Amir  Syed is a visiting assistant professor of the history of the Islamic world at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include issues related to the construction of religious authority, scholarly culture, and Islamic knowledge practices.
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