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PATTERNS AND PECULIARITIES OF ISLAMIC REFORM IN AFRICA

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African Muslim societies were characterised, in the 20th century, by the emergence of reformist movements that have gained, since the 1970s, major social, religious and political influence in a number of countries, including Northern Nigeria, Senegal, Zanzibar and Sudan. These movements of reform are, however, not recent phenomena. Rather, they look back to a history of several generations of reformist endeavour and thought that may have been influenced, to a certain extent, by external sources of inspiration. This contribution shows how the biographies of major reformist personalities such as Cheikh Touré in Senegal, Abubakar Gumi in Northern Nigeria and 'Abdallâh Sâlih al-Farsy in East Africa reflect a number of common features of Islamic reform in Africa, while their programmes of reform were shaped, at the same time, by local frame conditions.

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