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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reflections on legitimation and pedagogy in the 'Islamic revolutions' of West Africa on the frontiers of the Islamic world
Author:Robinson, DavidISNI
Periodical:Journal of West African History (ISSN 2327-1876)
Geographic term:West Africa
Islamic movements
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/jwestafrihist.1.1.0119
Abstract:In an effort to create elements of comparability across reform movements at the frontiers of the Islamic world, this article examines issues of legitimation and pedagogy in the five widely reported movements of reform in the western and central Sudan in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Among the three most intentional efforts to legitimate reform and jihad, the 'Muhammadan' form followed carefully by Uthman dan Fodio in Hausaland was the most successful and easily generalized. The author then turns to the issue of pedagogy and the development of vernacular literatures ('ajami') for the spread of Islam. The most widely developed were those of Sokoto, on the one hand, and Futa Jalon and, especially, Labe, on the other. These literatures of recitation enabled reformers to expand practice beyond the merchant and urban elites to reach the non- or less-literate people (e.g., slaves, women, and those in the rural areas generally) through recitation of poetry and narrative about Islam. At the end, the author suggests a possible alternative path to the creation of vernacular literature, in the marriage of griot skills to the use of Arabic. Notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]