Chapter

Christmas in Cambérène, or How Muhammad Begets Jesus in Senegal

Eric Ross

in Muslims and Others in Sacred Space

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199925049
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980468 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199925049.003.0004

Series: AAR Religion, Culture, and History

Christmas in Cambérène, or How Muhammad Begets Jesus in Senegal

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Contemporary Senegal hosts a Muslim religious order, called the Layenne, which has integrated the figure of Jesus into its beliefs and observations. The founder of the order, Seydina Mouhammadou Limamou Laye (1844-1909), is believed to be both the mahdî and a reincarnation of the Prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, the founder's son and successor, Seydina Issa Rohou Laye (1876-1949), is believed to be a reincarnation of Jesus. Since 1994, Seydina Issa Rohou Laye's birthday has been celebrated every year, on the 25th of December, at his shrine in Cambérène, a suburb of Dakar. Based on bibliographic sources, direct observation and interviews, this chapter discusses the life and times of Seydina Issa Rohou Laye and analyzes the figure of Issa/Jesus within contemporary Layenne traditions and practices.

Keywords: Senegal; Layenne; Jesus; Muhammad; Seydina Issa Rohou Laye; Cambérène

Chapter.  12277 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Islam

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