Sufism and Religious Brotherhoods in Senegal

By Babou, Cheikh Anta | The International Journal of African Historical Studies, January 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Sufism and Religious Brotherhoods in Senegal


Babou, Cheikh Anta, The International Journal of African Historical Studies


Sufism and Religious Brotherhoods in Senegal. By Khadim Mbacké, translated from the French by Eric Ross and edited by John Hunwick. Princeton, N.J.: Markus Wiener, 2005. Pp viii, 123. $68.95 cloth, $18.95 paper.

Sufism and Religious Brotherhoods in Senegal is the English translation, or, as the book's editor put it, the "Interpretive translation," of a work that first appeared in the form of a brochure, then an edited volume in French in 1995. The book's author, Dr Khadim Mbacké, is a researcher in Islamic studies at the Institut fondamental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN) at Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar. Mbacké has done extensive work on Islam in Senegal, especially the Muridiyya. His earlier work consisted largely of editing and translating books, poems, and correspondences authored by major Senegalese Muslim learned men.1 This work was critical in making important materials originally written in Arabic accessible to the wider scholarly community. Mbacké has also published research on the Islamic "reform" movement in Senegal, a movement in which he himself has played a role of some consequence as a public critic of some Sufi practices.

In Sufism and Religious Brotherhoods in Senegal, Mbacké offers what he termed "An objective study of the state of Islam in Senegal and the factors that influence it" (p. iii). The book presents a synopsis of the different Sufi orders in Senegal with an emphasis on their historical evolution and current social, political, and economic influence. Like the researchers who preceded him, Khadim Mbacké sees Sufism as a fundamental dimension of Islam in Senegal. He attributes the popularity of mystical Islam in Senegal (while its hold has considerably weakened in North Africa and the Middle East) to its ability to accommodate local beliefs and customs. He also insists on divides between the urban and the rural, the educated and the less-educated, as major structuring factors of Sufi tariqas in Senegal. Throughout the book, Mbacké looks critically at the religious practices of followers of Sufi orders in Senegal and the involvement of the Muslim leadership in national politics. At times, for example, in Chapters 1 and 2 where he discusses the doctrinal foundations of Sufism, his argument reads like a fatwa. He describes what he conceives as unlawful practices and invokes the relevant hadiths (prophetic traditions) and Qur'anic verses to validate what he sees as the orthodox way of doing things.

Mbacké is at his best in the first two chapters of the book where he deals with the emergence of Sufi thought and doctrine. Here his familiarity with original works by Sufi masters and his understanding of Islamic hermeneutics allows him to provide a fresh approach that is a welcome contrast to the works of Orientalists such as, for example, Spencer Trimingham. The following chapters on Sufi brotherhoods in Senegal cover more familiar ground and it is unfortunate that the author did not make full use of his vast knowledge of the internal literature of these brotherhoods and of the rich secondary literature in English and French. The use of such sources would have provided a more balanced view and a platform from which to critically review previous works. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sufism and Religious Brotherhoods in Senegal
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.