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Traditions Of Reform, Reforms Of Tradition

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the 'actors' in Zanzibar's intellectual and religious history. It presents the development of Islamic education in Zanzibar from pre-colonial to colonial and post-colonial times in more institutional terms. The chapter outlines the major features of 'Islamic reform' in East Africa, before each tradition of reform is presented individually, first the Qādiriyya, then ‘Alawī scholarly networks, then the emergence of a Salafīyya -oriented tradition of reform, and finally Zanzibar's contemporary reformers and Muslim activists. With regard to the development of the Qādiriyya in 20th century Zanzibar, it is possible to identify three major branches as led and established by a number of leading scholars. Since the 1970s and 1980s, a new generation of activist Muslims and intellectuals has thus developed in Zanzibar. This younger generation of activist Muslims has often been abroad and acquired an 'authorization' (ijāza) empowered by 'distance' and secular criteria such as a 'diploma'.

Keywords: ‘Alawī; Muslim activists; Qādiriyya; Salafīyya; Zanzibar



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