Third session of the lecture series
organised by the Institute for Asian and African Studies (IAAW), the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS) and Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO)
Muḥammad Amān al-Jāmī came to Mecca for the pilgrimage (ḥajj) at the end of 1949. After performing the pilgrimage, he remained in Mecca to study in the study circles of the al-Ḥaram Mosque and in the Madrasa Dār al-Ḥadīth of Mecca. When the Maʿhad Riyāḍ al-ʿilmī was created by the Saudi State, he went to Riyadh to continue his studies in this institute. After finishing his studies, al-Jāmī became a teacher in various religious institutes across Saudi Arabia. When the Islamic University of Medina was opened in 1961, he became a teacher and principal missionary of the University in the world particularly in Africa. The name of Shaykh Muḥammad Amān al-Jāmī and al-Jāmiyya, the Salafī current he represented (by reference to his name) became more present in the media and discussions in Saudi Arabia since the first Gulf War (2 August 1990 to 28 February 1991). Shaykh al-Jāmī and his followers attacked the Ṣaḥwa Islamist movement in public space and defended the Saudi government, the Council of Higher ʿulamā ͗ and the decisions they were taking, particularly the presence of US forces on the Saudi territory. One argument that had been put forwards by the followers of al-Jāmī was the ḥadīth of the Prophet according to which it is prohibited to “come out against the ruler” (al-khurūj ʿalā al-ḥākim), i.e. to rise up against the ruler, unless he has professed or practiced impiety openly and publicly (kufrun bawwāḥ). This loyalty to the political power and the attachment to the status quo of law and order advocated by Shaykh al-Jāmī was the same advocated long before him by Saudis Salafī ʿulamā ͗ originated from West Africa who were, by the way, teachers of al-Jāmī, such as ʿAbdurraḥmān al-Ifrīqī and Muḥammad al-Amīn al-Shinqīṭī. All were followers of the Ahl al-Ḥadīth Salafī movement, and all came from Africa first to perform the ḥajj. My paper will show further the filiation line which has bonded al-Jāmī to these West African salafī ʿulamā ͗. However, I will try to show the themes, arguments, and methods which are specific to Shaykh al-Jāmī through my critical reading of his book entitled: Aḍwā ͗ ʿalā ṭarīq al-daʿwa ilā al-islām (Lighting the road of the Islamic daʿwa (published 1984). To understand better these Africanʿulamā ͗, I will include an overview on the history of the African Diaspora in Mecca from the 19th century. This means that in addition to the themes of ḥajj and scholarship, my presentation will also address the topic of African Diaspora in Mecca as legacy of the ḥajj.
Bio note: Trained in Islamic Studies and in History, Chanfi Ahmed received his PhD in History at the EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) in Paris. He has written on a variety of topics related to Islam in Africa, including Sufi revival, Muslim preachers, Islamic education and Islamic faith-based NGOs. His books includes - West African ʿulamā ͗ and Salafism in Mecca and Medina. Jawāb al- Ifrīqī- The Response of the African, Leiden, Brill, 2015; - Les Conversions à l’Islam fondamentaliste en Afrique au sud du Sahara. Le cas de la Tanzanie et du Kenya, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2008 ; - Ngoma et Mission Islamique (daʿwa) aux Comores et en Afrique Orientale. Une Approche anthropologique, L’Harmattan, Paris 2002; - Islam et Politique aux Comores, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2000. Lecturer on the History of Islam in Africa, Institute for Asian and African Studies Humboldt University of Berlin-Germany. Research areas: History and anthropology of Islam in Africa and the history of Muslim world in general.
Pilgrimage routes from West Africa to Mecca provided channels for cultural and spiritual exchange between West African and Middle Eastern Muslims and facilitated religious exchange in both the sending and the receiving societies. The lecture will examine the ways that Sufi leaders and disciples spread their beliefs and practices and established new communities through "tāriqa networks" along the hajj routes during the colonial period. Amongst the Sufi tūrūq, the lecture will focus on the Tijainiyya, mainly because this tāriqa was relatively new (established around the beginning of the nineteenth century) and as such can serve as a good case-study for the spreading of tāriqa affiliations through the hajj routes from West Africa to Arabia and back during the colonial period.
Bio note: Irit Back is Head of the Inter-University program of African studies at Tel Aviv University, a lecturer in the Department of Middle East and African Studies and a researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. Her research interests are contemporary Islam, conflicts resolution and regional organizations, mostly at the Horn of Africa and West Africa. She published extensively at various academic journals and other forums on these themes. Her recent book Sovereignty and Intervention in Africa: Conflict Resolution and International Organizations in Darfur was published in I B Tauris in 2015.
Manja Stephan-Emmrich (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Feb 23, 2017 | 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften (IAAW)