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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Permanent pilgrims: the role of pilgrimage in the lives of West African Muslims in Sudan
Author:Bawa Yamba, C.ISNI
Series:International African library (ISSN 0951-1377)
City of publisher:Edinburgh
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press for the International African Institute
Geographic terms:West Africa
Abstract:Dotted across Sudan are innumerable villages made of temporary structures in which Hausa rather than Arabic provides the language for daily intercourse. The inhabitants of these villages are at once a legacy and evidence of an ongoing phenomenon: the traditional movement of Muslims from West Africa on their way to fulfil the pilgrimage to Mecca. Originating from countries all over West Africa but with a predominance of Northern Nigerians, these pilgrims tend to be fundamentalists by conviction who regard trudging eastward along desert routes as the only proper way of performing the pilgrimage. Most of the inhabitants of the pilgrim villages in Sudan are third, fourth, and fifth-generation immigrants who have lived all their lives in Sudan, yet still regard themselves as being in transit. This study examines the role the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca plays in the lives of these immigrants and how they maintain and transmit beliefs in the utmost importance of the pilgrimage, arguing that pilgrimage is here a symbolic journey analogous to life itself. The field research on which the book is based was carried out in Sudan between 1982 and 1994.