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A Contribution to the History of the Wahhabi Daʿwa in West Africa: The Career and the Murder of Shaykh Jaʿfar Mahmoud Adam (Daura, ca. 1961/1962–Kano 2007)1

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image of Islamic Africa

Shaykh Jaʿfar Mahmoud was one of the most popular voices of the Salafi/Wahhabi mission (daʿwa) in contemporary West Africa. This article reconstructs his career, from his studies in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia through the time of his teaching and preaching in Kano and Maiduguri, until his dramatic assassination in April 2007. After detailing the many conflicts and debates that accompanied his career as a public preacher and surveying the several hypotheses that have been advanced so far to explain his murder, the article considers the career of Jaʿfar Mahmoud in light of the rise of Wahhabism in the densely populated West African nation through the last three decades (1980s–2000s).2



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