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4 The Shādhiliyya in Northern Madagascar c. 1890–1940: The Planting of a Garden and the Growing of Malagasy Roots

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Chapter Summary

The diffusion of the ṭarīqa Shādhiliyya in northern Madagascar is closely connected to the general Islamization of the Antankarana people ("the people of the [coral] stones", meaning the Ankarana mountains with its remarkable tsingy rock formations) and with Comorian migration to the region. The spread of the Shādhiliyya to Madagascar is also closely connected to religious change taking place in Zanzibar and the Comoros, propagated by existing and long-standing networks of scholars. This chapter shows how the spread of the Shādhiliyya ties in with the emerging daʿwa orientation of the Sufi orders. Members of the same network also figure largely in the history of the Shādhiliyya in northern Madagascar. The Islamization of northern Madagascar has been described in earlier research as a result of consecutive "waves" of immigrants, including Arab immigration that led to the development of the sorabe ("big writing") script.

Keywords: Islamization; Mozambique; northern Madagascar; Shādhiliyya; Zanzibar



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