Based on twelve case studies (Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and the Comoros), this book looks at patterns and peculiarities of different traditions of Islamic reform. Considering both Sufi- and Salafi-oriented movements in their respective historical contexts, it stresses the importance of the local context to explain the different trajectories of development. The book studies the social, religious and political impact of these reform movements in both historical and contemporary times and asks why some have become successful as popular mass movements, while others failed to attract substantial audiences. It also considers jihad-minded movements in contemporary Mali, northern Nigeria and Somalia and looks at modes of transnational entanglement of movements of reform. Against the background of a general inquiry into what constitutes ‘reform’, the text responds to the question of what ‘reform’ actually means for Muslims in contemporary Africa. ; Based on twelve case studies (Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and the Comoros), this book looks at patterns and peculiarities of different traditions of Islamic reform. ; Glossary of Arabic terms; Foreword; A Note on Islamic Transnational Organisations; 1. Introduction: The Context of Reform; 2. What is Reform?; 3. Reform in Context I: Senegal (and Mali); 4. Reform in Context II: Northern Nigeria (and Niger); 5. Reform in Context III: Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia; 6. Reform in Context IV: Tanzania (and Kenya); 7. Reform in Context V: Zanzibar (and the Comoros); 8. Conclusion: The meaning of Islamic Reform; Bibliography; Index.
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The book is a comprehensive comparative depiction of Islamic reform movements in Africa in historical perspective. Loimeier compellingly demonstrates the complexity and diversity of these movements, subtly analysing the dialectical interaction of international currents and local contexts. This is a tour de force, remarkable for both its breadth and depth.
- Robert Launay, Northwestern University
Roman Loimeier is Professor at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Göttingen. He specializes on Muslim societies in Africa and has done extensive fieldwork in Senegal, northern Nigeria and Tanzania as well as shorter research trips to South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt and Morocco since the early 1980s. He is particularly interested in the history of Islamic reform and the social, religious and political implications of reform.