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Shifting Trajectories of Salafi/Ahl-Sunna Reformism in Ghana

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This article explores the shifting trajectories of Salafi-inclined reforms in Ghana since the 1950s. I illustrate that Ghanaian expressions of Salafism emerged in the 1950s from local doctrinal debates between members of the Tījāniyya Sufi brotherhood and those who opposed Sufism. The opposition against the Tījāniyya evolved to become part of the worldwide Salafi reform movement. Tracing the movement’s development, I illustrate further that the Ghanaian expressions of Salafism was neither homogenous nor static in its strategies of proselytization or its doctrinal emphases. Rather, many local Salafi scholars continuously defined and sharpened their ideas and strategies to accommodate changing local and global realities. Moreover, while seeking intellectual and financial support of Salafi sponsors in the Arab world, Ghanaian Salafis remained focused on local needs. The history of Ghanaian Salafiyya will thus sharpen our knowledge of the dynamism of global Salafiyya, and the processes by which local doctrinal concerns find affinities with debates in other parts of the Muslim world.

Affiliations: 1: Ohio State University,


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