“Massive and marvelous synthesis…The editors and contributors deserve high praise for this achievement.”
J. A. Works Jr., Choice
“An elegantly produced and up-to-date reference work of high scholarly quality.”
“A great resource…The book covers a wide range of topics within the history of Islam in Africa: everything you always wanted to know about the subject but were afraid to ask.”
Janice M. Saunders, Sixteenth Century Journal
“The text is a welcome and much-needed addition to any library and the editors and contributing authors should be commended for their work.”
John Glover, The International Journal of African Historical Studies
The history of the Islamic faith on the continent of Africa spans fourteen centuries. For the first time in a single volume, The History of Islam in Africa presents a detailed historic mapping of the cultural, political, geographic, and religious past of this significant presence on a continent-wide scale. Bringing together two dozen leading scholars, this comprehensive work treats the historical development of the religion in each major region and examines its effects.
Without assuming prior knowledge of the subject on the part of its readers, The History of Islam in Africa is broken down into discrete areas, each devoted to a particular place or theme and each written by experts in that particular arena. The introductory chapters examine the principal “gateways” from abroad through which Islam traditionally has influenced Africans. The following two parts present overviews of Islamic history in West Africa and the Sudanic zone, and in subequatorial Africa. In the final section, the authors discuss important themes that have had an impact on Muslim communities in Africa.
Designed as both a reference and a text, The History of Islam in Africa will be an essential tool for libraries, scholars, and students of this growing field.
Contributors: Edward A. Alpers, René A. Bravmann, Abdin Chande, Eric Charry, Allan Christelow, Roberta Ann Dunbar, Kenneth W. Harrow, Lansiné Kaba, Lidwien Kapteijns, Nehemia Levtzion, William F. S. Miles, David Owusu-Ansah, M. N. Pearson, Randall L. Pouwels, Stefan Reichmuth, David Robinson, Peter von Sivers, Robert C.-H. Shell, Jay Spaulding, David C. Sperling with Jose H. Kagabo, Jean-Louis Triaud, Knut S. Vikør, John O. Voll, and Ivor Wilks
Nehemia Levtzion was a director with the Council for Higher Education in Israel and was a professor of history at the Hebrew University. More info →
Randall L. Pouwels is a professor of African history at the University of Central Arkansas. More info →
Introduction: “Patterns of Islamization and Varieties of Religious Experience among Muslims of Africa” (N. Levtzion and R. L. Pouwels)Download
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In Senegal, the Muridiyya, a large Islamic Sufi order, is the single most influential religious organization, including among its numbers the nation’s president. Yet little is known of this sect in the West. Drawn from a wide variety of archival, oral, and iconographic sources in Arabic, French, and Wolof, Fighting the Greater Jihad offers an astute analysis of the founding and development of the order and a biographical study of its founder, Cheikh Ahmadu Bamba Mbakke.Cheikh
In Jihād in West Africa during the Age of Revolutions, a preeminent historian of Africa argues that scholars of the Americas and the Atlantic world have not given Africa its due consideration as part of either the Atlantic world or the age of revolutions.
Who Shall Enter Paradise? recounts in detail the history of Christian-Muslim engagement in a core area of sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous nation, home to roughly equal numbers of Christians and Muslims. It is a region today beset by religious violence, in the course of which history has often been told in overly simplified or highly partisan terms.
Sierra Leone’s unique history, especially in the development and consolidation of British colonialism in West Africa, has made it an important site of historical investigation since the 1950s. Much of the scholarship produced in subsequent decades has focused on the “Krio,” descendants of freed slaves from the West Indies, North America, England, and other areas of West Africa, who settled Freetown, beginning in the late eighteenth century.
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