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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Mallams Do Not Fight with the Heathen': A Note on Suwarian Attitudes to Jihad
Author:Wilks, Ivor
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
Dagomba polity
traditional polities
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
About person:al-Hajj Salim Suwari
Abstract:From the 11th to the 18th century, Muslim communities, in West Africa, had become accustomed to operating under and alongside non-Muslim authority. Their scholars made much of the corrupting effect of power, and suggested that less injustice was probably committed in the existing order of things than in a specifically 'Islamic' regime. They fully articulated their position in the course of the 18th and 19th centuries as a response to the jihadists. Among the opponents of the jihadists were scholars belonging to the tradition shaped by the teachings of al-Hajj Salim Suwari of Ja in Massina and Jahaba in Bambuhu. Several studies of the Suwarian tradition in various local contexts have appeared. The first part of the present note draws attention to a later 18th-century account of Dagomba that indicates the presence in that kingdom of savants belonging to the Suwarian tendency. The second part presents the text of a little known work that narrates the story of an abortive mid-19th century jihad launched in Wagadugu, the sister kingdom of Dagomba. The third part is by way of commentary. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]