From West Africa to Arabia. West African ulama in Mekka and Medina (19th and 20th centuries)
Dr. Chanfi Ahmed
In my research project I want to trace the travel routes and biographies of West African ulama. In the 19th and 20th centuries, these ulama left their home countries as pilgrims to escape the colonial conquest and subsequently settled down in Mecca and Medina. Of particular interest will be their contribution to the wahhabi daþwa in Arabia and the Islamic world, especially West Africa.
The research project will focus on the religious practices of hijra, jihad and hajj in the historical context of colonialism, Pan Islam and nationalism.
The project promises to shed light on a long neglected chapter of African colonial history. At the same time, it will contribute to a history of Islamic Diasporas.
Geographically, the project will centre on Saudi Arabia, Sudan and a number of West African countries, particularly Northern Nigeria, Mali and Mauritania.