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Shaping Global Islamic DiscoursesThe Role of al-Azhar, al-Medina and al-Mustafa$
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Masooda Bano and Keiko Sakurai

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696857

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696857.001.0001

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Ahlussunnah: A Preaching Network from Kano to Medina and Back

Ahlussunnah: A Preaching Network from Kano to Medina and Back

(p.93) Chapter 4 Ahlussunnah: A Preaching Network from Kano to Medina and Back
Shaping Global Islamic Discourses

Alex Thurston

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter describes a network of prominent preachers, the “Ahlussunnah” (People of the tradition of the Prophet) of contemporary Kano, northern Nigeria. Of these preachers, roughly half are graduates of the Islamic University of Medina (IUM). By looking at leading figures within the network, the chapter shows how exposure to new thinkers and texts at the university, as well as physical distance from the bitter struggles in northern Nigeria, launched a process of reflection that culminated in the Medina graduates' decision to break with the anti-Sufi movement, Izala. The students felt that Izala had become too rigid in its approach and was excluding non members. Moreover, study in Medina, the chapter argues, increased these preachers' intellectual self confidence and led them to seek models of leadership based more on individual reputation than on the backing of hierarchical organisations.

Keywords:   Ahlussunnah, Kano, Medina, northern Nigeria, Izala, anti-Sufi movement, intellectual self confidence

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