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Literary Culture And Arabic Manuscripts In 19th-Century Ilọrin

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Chapter Summary

Arabic and Islamic learning and education are among the key elements of the foundation narrative of the Ilọrin emirate, as was the case in other parts of the former Sokoto Caliphate in Nigeria. The introduction of Islamic preaching in several languages was realised by Qurʾānic scholars of different origins. Ilọrin shares the Arabic literary tradition of northern Nigeria to a large extent. This chapter describes the Arabic manuscripts photographed in the years 1987 and 1989, in the course of the author field research on the history of Islamic learning and education in Ilọrin. The following samples serve to illustrate some important aspects of the literary culture of the town, namely: its early connection with the calligraphic tradition of Borno, its occasional contacts with the Middle East, its higher level of legal and philological literature and a peculiar expression of Prophetic piety.

Keywords: Arabic manuscripts; Ilọrin emirate; Islamic learning; literary culture; Nigeria; Prophetic piety; Qurʾānic scholars; Sokoto Caliphate



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