Cover image for African Islam and Islam in Africa : encounters between Sufis and Islamists
African Islam and Islam in Africa : encounters between Sufis and Islamists
Rosander, Eva Evers.
Publication Information:
Athens : Ohio University Press, [1997]

Physical Description:
x, 347 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"In co-operation with the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden."
Introduction : the Islamization of "tradition" and "modernity" / Sub-Saharan Africa and the wider world of Islam : historical and contemporary perspectives / Maghribi Islam and Islam in the Maghrib : the eternal dichotomy / Islam and human rights in Sahelian Africa / Translations of the Quran into Swahili, and contemporary Islamic revival in East Africa / Islamization of contemporary Egypt / Sufism and Islamism in the Sudan / Role of Sufi women in an Algerian pilgrimage ritual / Making of a Mouride Mahdi : Serigne Abdoulaye Yakhine Diop of Thies / Power of knowledge : the life of Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, Islamic judge in Ngaoundéré, Northern Cameroon / Islamic reform and political change : the example of Abubakar Gumi and the Yan Izala movement in Northern Nigeria / Reaction and action : accounting for the rise of Islamism

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BP191 .A35 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This interdisciplinary book focuses primarily on Sufism ("African Islam"), Islamism ("Islam in Africa") and, in particular, on the interaction between these different forms of Islam. Previously, much interest has been concentrated on the critical Islamist views of Western or Western-influenced ideas and patterns of life, while the intra-Muslim relationship between Sufis and Islamists has attracted less attention.

Some of the contributions concentrate mainly on Sufism, to which the majority of African Muslims belong, others focus essentially on the increasingly important impact of Islamism; yet others deal more intensively with the encounter between sufis and Islamists. The regional focus is on areas where Muslims form the majority of the population, mainly in North and West Africa. In some of the essays special attention is paid to gender issues. The book will be a valuable addition to earlier studies of Muslims in Africa.

Conflicts between adherents of locally contextualized forms of Sufi Islam and more universally-oriented reformist Muslims are not new. However intra-Muslim tensions in North and West Africa have increased in recent decades, largely because of the rise of radical Islamist movements in countries such as Egypt, Algeria and the Sudan. Modernizing Islamists are critical of 'African Islam' and aim to 'purify' if of pre-Islamic African beliefs and practices. However, there is a revival within Sufism too, and a concomitant tendency among Sufi Muslims to adhere more closely to Islamic law. This intriguing example of intra-Islamic debate is the principal theme addressed in the book.


Examines the various forms of Islam found in contemporary Africa, the clashes between them, and themes such as education, gender issues, human rights, the impact of the wider Muslim world on Africa, and the influence of Islam on the secular power structure. Contributors analyze the education system as an indicator of religious orientations and the Islamization of tradition and modernity. They show the amount of independence between Sufi leaders and the representatives of the secular power, and how this balance of power is affected by the insistent and moralizing presence of the Islamists. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR