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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Islamic reform and historical change in the care of the dead: conflicts over funerary practice among Tanzanian Muslims
Author:Becker, FelicitasISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Volume:79
Issue:3
Pages:416-434
Language:English
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:funerals
Islamic movements
Links:https://doi.org/10.3366/E0001972009000898
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_the_journal_of_the_international_african_institute/v079/79.3.becker.pdf
Abstract:Muslim radicalism in Tanzania has tended to be perceived as a political problem, and as part of a transregional wave of Islamist movements. The present article instead seeks to demonstrate the connections between current debates among Tanzanian Muslims and long-standing ritual and social concerns, by highlighting debates on funerary practice. While these debates focus on the correct ritual process of burial (with reformists decrying elements of traditional practice as inappropriate innovation), their underlying concern is with the ability of the living to safeguard the well-being of the deceased. This concern, in turn, can be connected both to long-term social change and to the interaction between Muslim and indigenous religious notions. As propitiation of God supplants that of ancestors, the fate of the dead is increasingly construed as depending on the supplication of the living. Ultimately this religious debate is as concerned with society as with doctrine or ritual, and the opposing sides share some common ground. They do not, however, construe this as 'Africanizing' Islam, but as part of a necessary intellectual debate. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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