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|Concepts of tariqa in West Africa: the case of the Qadiriyya
|Charisma and brotherhood in African Islam
|This chapter compares the conceptions of 'tariqa' (Islamic order or brotherhood) held by Sidi al-Mukhtar al-Kunti (1729-1811) and Shaikh 'Uthman b. Fudi (1754-1817). The influence of these men has been extensive in West Africa; they both directed movements of considerable social, political, and religious significance. Both were also affiliated to the Qadiriyya?ariqa and were thought by many of their contemporaries to have attained the status of 'wali' (often translated as 'saint'; the wali represents the ultimate attainment of spiritual quest in the?ariqa). However, the?ariqa organizations which formed around each of them differed considerably from one another. These differences can be attributed to two principal factors: variations in their individual ideas about?ariqa as a corporate organization, and differences in the socioeconomic milieux in which they operated. Sidi al-Mukhtar, much more than Shaikh 'Uthman, sought to centralize the?ariqa upon his person and to employ its organizational structure and ideological power in the reformation of the Saharan political economy. Notes, ref.