Journal for Islamic Studies - Volume 32, Issue 1, 2012
Volume 32, Issue 1, 2012
Author Abdulkader TayobSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 2 –6 (2012)More Less
The articles in this special volume of the Journal for Islamic Studies emerged from a conference organized at the University of Cape Town in 2011 on "Islamic Reform and Public Life in Africa." Three central themes were discussed at this meeting: reform (tajdīd), religious leaders and education. With a particular focus on reform, these essays show the significance and impact of these themes in African contexts.
Author Roman LoimeierSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 7 –23 (2012)More Less
The term 'reform' has come to describe a large array of different and rather variegated processes of change in historical as well as contemporary academic debates. This contribution looks at the emergence of new concepts of 'reform' in Muslim countries in the early 20th century and will address the question of how we can develop a sound terminology of reform that considers the inherent dynamics of movements of reform and the constant change in the meaning of 'reform'. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary, however, to tackle some methodological problems and to define the term 'reform' in conclusive ways. By studying movements of reform in their respective historical context, by identifying the specific dynamics of those movements as well as their social and religious relevance, we will eventually be able to determine the very nature of religious movements of reform. This contribution argues that while reform movements have to be understood in terms of how they are situated in a matrix of international networks and media-based representations, these movements must also be interpreted in terms of how they are situated in their local contexts.
Author Rachida ChihSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 24 –46 (2012)More Less
This paper analyses the role of Sufism in education and politics in contemporary Morocco through a case-study of the Q?diriyya Būdshīshiyya. This Sufi order (ṭarīqa), which was founded in the post-colonial period in the remote eastern region of the north of Morocco, has spread to the main cities of the Kingdom and has attracted a strong following among the educated middle classes. In 2002, the order penetrated the highest political echelons with the appointment by King Muhammad VI of one of its prominent affiliates, Aḥmad Tawfīq, as Minister for Habus (religious endowments) and Islamic Affairs. In return for the state's support, the order has on many occasions showed its allegiance to the king, for example through its organisation in June 2011 of a march in favour of the constitution. The aim of the Būdshīshiyya, as expressed by its shaykh, Sīdī Hamza, and analysed in this paper, is to reclaim for Sufism the role in public life that it lost after Morocco gained independence, and to reform society according to its religious agenda.
Islamic reform in colonial space : the jihad of Shaykh Boubacar Sawadogo and French Islamic policies in Burkina Faso, 1920-1946Author Ousman Murzik KoboSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 47 –69 (2012)More Less
This paper examines the spread of Islam in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) during French colonialism. Focusing on the Tijaniyya Shaykh, Boubacar Sawadogo, and the strategies he pursued to avoid confrontations with the French, the paper interrogates the ways French colonialism inadvertently created a new public religious space that facilitated the unprecedented spread of Islam. Pursuing peaceful strategies of conversion and religious reform, Sawadogo converted an unprecedented number of Mossi, the colony's largest ethnic group, to Islam and laid the foundation for the subsequent growth of Islam in that territory. The Mossi had resisted Islam for several centuries prior to French conquests and the French had reinforced this resistance as part of a broader policy of preventing the spread of Islam in the French federation. An examination of the strategies pursued by Sawadogo to implement his religious visions in spite of the restrictions on Islamic proselytism allows us to re-interrogate the nature of colonial hegemony.
Author Chanfi AhmedSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 70 –90 (2012)More Less
In this article, I illustrate how 'ulam?' from south Asia, west Africa and Egypt had come together in the D?r al-Ḥadīth College in Medina and its branch in Mecca in order to support Ibn Sa'ūd's regime in teaching the Salafī doctrine. The article argues that the support of these 'ulam?' for Ibn Sa'ūd's regime was not politically but religiously motivated. The fact that the D?r al-Ḥadīth, originally created in South Asia, came to be directed in Medina by 'ulam?' from West Africa illustrates the role played by the West African 'ulam?' in Islamic Reform. The article challenges the tradition of distinguishing an Islam of the Middle East, an Islam of Africa south of Sahara, an Islam of South Asian and an Islam of South-West Asia. This way of compartmentalizing Islam and Muslims, dominant in the studies of Islam, produces an understanding of Islam that is also compartmentalized and incomplete.
Traditional Islam and pedagogical change in West Africa : the Majlis and the Madrasa in Medina-Baye, SenegalAuthor Zachary WrightSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 91 –110 (2012)More Less
Epistemological differences between traditional and reformist trends in West African Islam are often accounted for in the uneven implementation of pedagogical changes since colonial times. Reformist versions of Islam have formed madrasas, characterized by rationalized curricula similar to the modern Western classroom. Here, knowledge is taken from texts, and teachers emphasize Arabic literacy. Traditionalists, mostly adherents to Sufi orders (ṭuruq) and the classical schools of jurisprudence (madhāhib), assert the continued importance of person-to-person knowledge transmission that takes place in the learning circle (majlis al-'ilm). Here, the student's disposition or character is primarily emphasized, and the teacher embodies Islamic religiosity.
The Routledge Companion to Religion and Science, James W. Haag, Gregory R. Petersen and Michael L. Spezio (Eds.) : book reviewAuthor Anwar Suleman MallSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 111 –114 (2012)More Less
This volume, a highly recommended reference handbook, is a collection of fifty five essays by theologians, naturalists, scientists and philosophers. These essays are presented in three broad sections. The volume gives an insightful journey into the true relationship between matters 'scientific' (this term was first used in 1834) and religious. Hardly a view has been left out in this encyclopaedic reference work, which is accessible to scholars, students and laypersons, making this work enormously difficult to cover in a review, in its entirety. Thus I have chosen to focus on the relationship between the monotheistic faiths and science. Rather than discussing each individual contribution, I provide a synopsis of what the book has to offer on the varying relationships between science and Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Author Nadeem MahomedSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 115 –117 (2012)More Less
A pre-modern thinker and polymath of great stature, Ibn 'Arab? (A.H. 560-638/A.D. 1165-1240) or, as his full title and name has come down to us, Shaykh al-Akbar Muḥy? al-D?n Muḥammadibn 'Aliibn al-'Arab? was born in Murcia in Andalusia. In search of knowledge and spiritual benefits, he made his way through the Iberian peninsula, North Africa and the Middle East, including the holy city of Mecca, finally settling in Damascus where he died. The legacy of Ibn 'Arab? is profound and according to William C. Chittick, the leading interpreter of Ibn 'Arab? in the West, "no one has exercised deeper and more pervasive influence over the intellectual life of the [Islamic world] during the past seven hundred years".
Radio in Africa: Publics, Cultures, Communities, Liz Gunner, Ligaga Dina and Moyo Dumisani (Eds.) : book reviewAuthor Musa IbrahimSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 32, pp 117 –120 (2012)More Less
'Radio in Africa' means radio for everything. In this 319-page book, the co-editors Liz Gunner, Dina Ligaga and Dumisani Moyo provided a thorough description and analysis of the dynamics and hegemonic nature of radio in Africa. Radio stands for oppression, for democracy and enhanced participation of citizens; for incitement and peace; for division and for unity and creation of communities with 'social cohesion'. This book is a valuable collection of essays that highlight the ever-increasing hegemony of radio as 'Africa's medium'. Contributors locate the dynamics of radio culture and its relevance to African societies in different dispensations.