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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Charisma and the crisis of power in East Africa
Author:Constantin, F.ISNI
Book title:Charisma and brotherhood in African Islam
Editors:Coulon, C.
Cruise O'Brien, D.B.
Year:1988
Pages:67-90
Language:English
City:Oxford
Publisher:Clarendon Press
Geographic term:East Africa
Subjects:Muslim brotherhoods
Islamization
Abstract:Islam arrived in East Africa earlier than elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, but it long remained strictly confined to the small social Úlite of Arab origins who were the dominant class on the east coast of Africa. By the end of the 19th century, the brotherhoods led by indigenous shaikhs became a popular religious force and a haven for the disinherited, who, reduced to social subordination by official State dogma, rediscovered the dignity they needed for social redemption. Islamic charisma became the motor for a kind of reaction against what was perceived as oppression even when exercised by a Muslim authority. Thus the Qadiriyya, the Shadhiliyya, and others such as the Husseiniyya, contributed to an Islamization of the indigenous peoples and slaves never contemplated by the ruling Arabs. Accosted and seduced by the brotherhoods, the Africans could acquire certain crucial attributes of the ruling class. In this context, the article examines the 'seed' of charisma, the individual abilities of the saints, as well as the ecology of charisma, the context in which the seed of charisma took root. Notes, ref.
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