Islam in Africa, Week 11 Notes
Islam in Africa, Week 11 Notes RELA 3900/ RELI3900
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Raleigh Zook on Thursday April 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to RELA 3900/ RELI3900 at University of Virginia taught by Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Islam in Africa in Religious Studies at University of Virginia.
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Date Created: 04/14/16
Sufism Muslim mystical path I. Principles • Highly personal (also collective, though) devotional form-‐-‐proceeds at his/her own pace; Individualized, but not in isolation o To focus on own relationship with divinity o Seeks presence of God in own being o Subjective inner awareness of a maturing spirituality • Tasawwuf o Comes from suf (a course-‐woven garment) o Art with circular motif (Eternity/Infinity)-‐-‐Returning o Historical roots in asceticism: Reject worldly pleasures and focus on spiritual growth/pursuits o At first, Sufism was not institutionalized § Repetition to grow closer to God (e.g. dhikr) • A reaction to a growing formalism of Islam o They believed there was too much emphasis on the Sharia and that it was too legalistic and rigid o Rituals were becoming empty (Performance became more important than spirituality) o So people began to move away from the externals of religion (Sufism) o Reaction to a growing materialism of the caliphs § Ummayad and Abbasid § Corruption à Need for internalization • Believe that there can be a “direct experience of God” • Believe there is an ineffable nature of the experience of God o Unexplainable o Poetry and verbage are used to encapsulate this experience o Metaphors (E.g. Like trying to explain music to someone who was born deaf) § Themes: • Union-‐-‐Fusing of identities between godhead and the individual th • Love o Rabia (8 Century) § Lived in Basra § Persian slave girl and after lots of hardship, she was freed from her master § Water and fire (running through the streets with these) • To impress upon people to not worship God out of fear of hell or want of paradise, but because you truly love God o Al-‐Hallaj (9 Century) § Baghdad § Fusion/union with the godhead § Martyr for mystical love à Put an end to heretical teaching § “I am the truth” o Rumi (13 Century) § Afghanistan § Jurist and scholar-‐-‐Persian, Arabic, Greek § Nothingness is everything • Morality o Sufi path is long and arduous; Moral reform o Move beyond mystical to sincerity and action to teach/lead others to join the Sufi path o Purification à Higher consciousness à Return to society with heightened desire to teach the truth and use what was learned to help others II. Discipline • Find a shaykh o Adapt path to the needs of the individual • Stages o Accompanied by transitory states of consciousness/realization/mystical experience o Stages = Maqam o States = Hal 1. Abstinence a. Abstain from worldly indulgences 2. Repentance 3. Patience 4. Satisfaction 5. Trusting God 6. Annihilation 7. Eternity • Afdd o Stages 6 and 7-‐-‐Many do not reach this far-‐-‐Difficult to obtain-‐-‐Hard to distinguish o Described through poetry • Dhikr/Zikri/Zikr o Designed to help facilitate the enlightenment/altered state to open up to a divine experience o Repetitious recitation III. Brotherhoods (In Africa) • History: o Slow in makes its way to Africa o By the 11 Century (Almoravid period), it is evident in the Maghreb and continues to flourish under the Almohads o At first it was informal o Teachers and masters stayed in ribats (fortresses), which became associated with specific Sufi groups and became zawiyahs (Retreat centers) o 13 Century: Shift to institutionalization of Sufism • Silsila o Chain of transmission of teachings, authority, Baraka o Evident in 13 Century with the institutionalization (In North Africa and Arab world-‐-‐higher hierarchy)-‐-‐Textual and literate § West Africa: More popular form of Sufism emerged particularly in Senegal/Senegambia region • Maraboutism (Senegambia region/West Africa) o Marabout = Sufi shaykh; wali o Emphasized Baraka (spiritual blessing/power) and karamat (miracles) o Veneration of a master (Divine power Week 11 Notes--African Sufi Brotherhoods I. Colonial Period • Political component to Sufi orders o Allegiance was associated with “regional or ethnic patriotism” o Rallying point--Movement of solidarity o Links between Sufism orders (tariqas), Islamic reform, and resistance to the colonization of Africa • Writers used colonial and post-colonial periods as sources for inspiration o Renewed/new attention to religious side of Sufi orders o Examples: § Kane’s Ambiguous Adventure; Salih’s The Wedding of Zein o West African literature suggests a basic familiarity with Sufi truths § Social critique (political) interlinked with Sufism § Ambiguous Adventure--themes of end times and talking about prayer showed aspects of Sufism II. Qadiriyya • One of the major Sufi orders (Tariqas); Oldest and largest o First in North Africa, but then was transmitted into West Africa • Founded by al-Jilani in the 12 Century (Jurist; Persian mystic) o Not very different from non-Sufis, but changed the further south it went (influenced by ideas from the East) • Prophet veneration o Prophet as the perfect man--Central focus • Intercession o Seen in Nana Asma’u’s writings o Wali can intervene on one’s behalf • Widened their appeal during colonialism period o Yoruba, Hausa, and East Africans converted o Wird: Sequences of prayers particular to Sufi orders developed--recited collectively o Sufi devotion à Influenced by local style III. Tijaniyya • Spread as a result of al-Hajj Umar th • Founded in the 18 Century by al-Tijani (North African--Algeria) o Iconic ways of depicting him (e.g. deer emblems) § Hagiography: Stories proclaiming/celebrating the lives of holy people • Broke with Sufi trend o Claimed direct link with God and the Prophet instead of silsilsa; Direct contact/shortcut • “Seal of the Saints” (closes something) o Dan Fodio as “Seal of the Prophets” o Exclusiveness to his teachings--All you need is to listen to my teachings in order to know the truth • Spread extensively by al-Hajj Umar and his followers o Led jihad in 1850s against the French • Visualize local shaykh and al-Jilani to experience immediate fanah/annihilation (Not have to go through the other stages) • Flourished in Ghana, Nigeria, and areas of al-Hajj Umar’s influence o Still dominates in Sufi groups today • Al-Tijani’s tomb is in Fez, Morocco in the zawiyah (a Sufi lodge/retreat center) o Pilgrimage spot for Tijanis IV. Muridiyya • One of the true, widely-established sub-Saharan orders • Born in Senegal in the 1880s by Bamba (Around 1886) o Wolof: Major ethnic group in Senegal that Bamba was o Elaborate hagiographic tradition was seen in murals, legends, etc. § Iconic images • Baba incorporated a lot of Tijani ideals and teachings, but finally broke from the Qadiriyya to pursue his own Sufi form o Maraboutà Encourage new convert to submit to masters; Complete obedience § “The seeker should submit himself “To the necessary guidance of a shaykh, like a corpse in the hands of the mortician”” (Amadu Bamba, founder of the Muridiyya). o Emphasis on manual labor as a source of spiritual growth and to support the Sufi center § Especially farming (and peanut farming) § “Work as if you will never die, pray as if you’ll die tomorrow” (Bamba). • This is new! Spiritual awakening happens during and as a result of work o Strong economic and political base due to successful and large peanut farms • During the colonial period, colonial authorities watched Bambe carefully and eventually exiled him. They allowed him to return, but not to Touba (the center of his teachings; A ritual center) o The French were threatened by him even though he was not seeking to create his own caliphate or to conduct a jihad
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