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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Intellectual discourse in the Sokoto Caliphate: the triumvirate's opinions on the issue of ransoming, ca. 1810
Author:Lofkrantz, JenniferISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies (ISSN 0361-7882)
Geographic terms:West Africa
Subjects:Sokoto polity
Islamic studies
Abstract:The Sokoto reform movement and the State that was created out of it was founded in 1804 until the early years of the 20th century by a group of Muslim scholars (triumvirate) concerned about the role of Islam in society and the politics and economy of the central Sudan. At its height the State was composed of thirty emirates and was the largest State in sub-Saharan Africa. It could not be ruled directly; the central government had to delegate power to local authorities. The relationship between the decentralized State and the emirs and local power holders was a delicate balance held together by a mutual respect for the intellectual foundations. Studies on the political history of the Sokoto Caliphate have demonstrated the challenges that the reformers faced in communicating their vision of an Islamic state and of overcoming resistance to their interpretation of Islam. This article analyses the intellectual discourse highlighting the triumvirate's political and intellectual concerns, in particular their discussion of ransoming which was an essential strategy to combat illegal slavery. This matter opens a window to examine the flexibility and responsiveness of Sokoto Caliphate policy and intellectual debate as well as being a further demonstration of the importance of contextualizing intellectual debates and writings. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]