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Title:A regional centre of Islamic learning in Nigeria: Ilorin and its influence on Yoruba Islam
Author:Reichmuth, StefanISNI
Book title:Madrasa: la transmission du savoir dans le monde musulman
Editors:Grandin, N.
Gaborieau, M.
City of publisher:Paris
Publisher:Éditions Arguments
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Islamic studies
Abstract:Ilorin, for a long period the second largest city within the Sokoto Caliphate (Nigeria), provides an important example of the new type of city which was brought about by the jihad movements which emerged in the western and central Sudan in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It presents the characteristics of a centre of Muslim military power as well as of a holy city of scholars. Il.orin also belonged to the region of the Yoruba States and was related to them by origin as well as by constant interaction. This interaction included frequent wars but also a continuous commercial and cultural exchange. This article outlines a three-stages process of religious and cultural interaction which seems to be representative of similar developments in other parts of West Africa. These three stages may be summarized as 1. attraction, 2. diffusion and 3. feedback. Right from its early growth the town became a centre of attraction to both Muslims and non-Muslims. This attraction led quite early on to the second stage, the diffusion of Islamic learning. Many Yoruba from the south who lived and studied in Il.orin later went back and contributed to the spread and consolidation of Islam in their home towns. The third stage, the feedback of the migrant's experience on Il.orin itself, became significant from the colonial period and still seems to be going on. Notes, ref.