africa

Course Outline

Islamic Trends in African History covers the arrival of Islam in Africa by focusing on selected periods in early Islamic history and key areas where a Shī‘ī presence has made itself known. Beginning with Egypt and the Maghrib, it discusses the movements of various groups that established a resistance against those who sought to turn Islam into an imperial power.  The course then moves on to discuss the migration of Muslims to Ethiopia and Somalia, and the establishment of kingdoms by leaders who claimed descent from members of Prophet Muhammad’s Household.

Turning to West Africa, an overview is given of the trade routes that brought Muslim traders in search of gold, and the impact that Islam had upon the great empires of Ghana and Mali. The origins of the Shirazis of Kilwa and Zanzibar are then analysed, with historical evidence being considered for a Shī‘ī presence on the Swahili coast. Following that, the beginnings of the Fatimid Empire in Tunis are examined, as well as Fatimid relations with the Berber clans.

The latter two weeks of the course move more closely up-to-date, firstly with a critical comparison of Twelver Shī‘ī tenets and those of the now widespread Tijānī tarīqa, and finally with an assessment of contemporary Shi‘ism in Nigeria, Guinea and the East African coast, where it has been seen as a force of resistance against corruption in prevailing forms of Sufism and the spread of Salafism.

Syllabus

Week One:    The Arrival of Islam in North Africa

Week Two:    The Arrival of Islam in East Africa

Week Three:  The Arrival of Islam in West Africa

Week Four:   The Empire of Mali

Week Five:    The Shirazis of Kilwa, Zanzibar, Pemba and Lamu

Week Six:      The Rise of the Fatimid Empire

Week Seven: Shī‘ī doctrines in the Tijānī Tarīqa

Week Eight:   Shi‘ism in contemporary Africa

 

Bibliography

Abun-Nasr, Jamil M., Muslim Communities of Grace, The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. (London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, Ltd., 2007).

Ahmed, Hussein. ‘Coexistence and/or Confrontation?: Towards a Reappraisal of Christian-Muslim Encounter in Contemporary Ethiopia’, Journal of Religion in Africa. (Brill: 2006, Vol. 36, Fasc. 1), pps 4-22.

ar-Rāzī, Ash-Shaykh Abū Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb ibn Ishāq al-Kulaynī. Al-Kāfī. (Tehran: World Organization for Islamic Services, 1987, second ed.).

Aymer, Elise. ‘Nigeria: Clash of Religions’. The Yale International Forum Online. http://www.yale.edu/iforum/Winter1996/nigeriaWin96.htm Winter 1996.

Daftary, Farhad. A History of Shi‘i Islam. (London; New York: IB Tauris & Co. Ltd, in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2013)

Davidson, Basil, in collaboration with F. K.  Buah and the advice of J.F. Ade Ajayi. West Africa 1000-1800. (London: Longmans, Green, 1965).

Fage, J. D. A history of West Africa: An introductory survey. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1969, 4th edition).

Hiskett, Mervyn. The Course of Islam in Africa. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994).

Horton, Mark and John Middleton. The Swahili: the social landscape of a mercantile society. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000).

Hrbeck, I. (ed.) Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century. (London: James Currey Ltd., 1992).

Hunwick, John. ‘Sub-Saharan Africa and the Wider World of Islam: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’, in Eva Evers Rosander and David Westerlund (eds), African Islam and Islam in Africa. (London: C. Hurst & Company, in co-operation with the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, 1997).

Ingrams, W. H. Zanzibar: its history and its people. (London: Stacey International, 2007).

Lacunza-Balda, Justo. ‘Translations of the Quran into Swahili, and Contemporary Islamic Revival in East Africa’, in Eva Evers Rosander and David Westerlund (eds), African Islam and Islam in Africa. (London: C. Hurst & Company, in co-operation with the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, 1997)

Levtzion, Nehemia and Randall L. Pouwels (eds). The History of Islam in Africa. (Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 2000).

Levtzion, Nehemia.  Ancient Ghana and Mali. (London: Methuen & Co., 1973).

Madelung, Wilferd. The succession to Muhammad: A study of the early Caliphate. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

Pearson, M. N. ‘The Indian Ocean and the Red Sea’, in Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels (eds). The History of Islam in Africa. (Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 2000).

Pouwels, Randall L. ‘The East African Coast, c. 780 to 1900 C.E.’, in Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels (eds). The History of Islam in Africa. (Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 2000).

Pouwels, Randall L. Horn and crescent: cultural change and traditional Islam on the east African coast, 800-1900. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

Rosander, Eva Evers, and David WesterLund (eds), African Islam and Islam in Africa. (London: C. Hurst & Company, in co-operation with the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, 1997).

Samb, Amadou Makhtar.  Introduction a la Tariqah Tidjaniyya : ou, Voie Spirituelle de Cheikh Ahmad Tidjani. (Dakar: Imprimerie Saint-Paul, 1994).

Sivers, Peter von. ‘Egypt and North Africa’, in Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels (eds). The History of Islam in Africa.  (Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 2000).

Suso, Bamba and Banna Kanute. Sunjata. Lucy Durán and Graham Furniss (eds.). Trans. Gordon Innes and Bakari Sidibe. (London: Penguin, 1999).

Trimingham, J. Spencer. Islam in the Sudan. (London: Frank Cass, 1965).

Vikør, Knut S. ‘Sufi Brotherhoods in Africa’, in Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels (eds). The History of Islam in Africa.  (Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 2000).

Westerlund, David, ‘Reaction and Action: Accounting for the Rise of Islamism’, in Eva Evers Rosander and David Westerlund (eds), African Islam and Islam in Africa. (London: C. Hurst & Company, in co-operation with the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, 1997).

Wilkinson, J. C. ‘Oman and East Africa: New Light on Early Kilwan History from the Omani Sources’. The International Journal of African Historical Studies. (Boston: Boston University African Studies Centre, 1981), Vol. 14, No. 2, pps 272-305.

Level

This course is at the level equivalent to a Batchelor’s degree. The rate is standard for a non-accredited short course in the Humanities.

Course date and time

Shī‘ī Trends in African History consists of eight intensive 90-minute on-line classes, with the opportunity to discuss and ask questions.

The course is £150/$190. To book please click on the Paypal button. Once you have booked, you will be sent eight pdf Reading Packs, and a Syllabus for the course. You will need to provide a Skype ID to meet the tutor on-line. For further information, please click on the FAQs menu.

You can now take either just the first four weeks of the course for £75/$125, or book in two installments by making a Paypal transfer to info@light-reading.co.uk

You can also book the course and study in your own time by following the Reading Packs and listening to the MP3 recordings that will guide you through. Write to the tutor with questions.

Contact: info@onlineshiastudies.com

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