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Islamic Reform in Twentieth-Century Africa$
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Roman Loimeier

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748695430

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748695430.001.0001

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Reform in Context II: Northern Nigeria (and Niger)

Reform in Context II: Northern Nigeria (and Niger)

(p.145) 4 Reform in Context II: Northern Nigeria (and Niger)
Islamic Reform in Twentieth-Century Africa

Roman Loimeier

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter introduces northern Nigeria as the regional context for the emergence of both Sufi- and Salafi-oriented movements of reform. It shows again that neither movement of reform was monolithic but characterized by multiple splits. The chapter presents Abubakar Gumi as the first major representative of Salafi-minded reform in northern Nigeria and discusses the emergence of the ‘Yan Izala as the first Salafi-oriented movement of reform that also became a popular mass movement. Due to its conservative political positions, the ‘Yan Izala movement was challenged by more radical movements such as the “Islamic Movement” led by Ibrahim al-Zakzaki. Some radical movements eventually advocated jihad as in the case of the Boko Haram movement. Some ‘Yan Izala fractions, representing a second generation of Salafi-minded reformers, came to form the ahl al-sunna movement of reform which played a major role in the implementation of “political shariÝa” in the 2000s. The chapter finally compares the development of Salafi-oriented reform in northern Nigeria with developments in neighbouring Niger and shows that the failure of Salafi-minded reform in Niger was again linked with the different historical and social context.

Keywords:   Northern Nigeria, Niger, ‘Yan Izala, Abubakar Gumi, Boko Haram, ahl al-sunna

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