Felicitas Becker

in Becoming Muslim in Mainland Tanzania, 1890-2000

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780197264270
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734182 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs


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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Muslims and Muslim polities have been present for hundreds of years on the coast of East Africa. Some 80 percent of the population in Southeast Tanzania is estimated to be Muslim. How and why this came to be the case, and how this process has shaped both the ritual practice of these Muslims and the way they understand their place within their country, is the subject of this book. It concentrates on the role of proselytizers rather than the motives of converts, emphasizing the former's personal commitment and piety. The conversion to Islam among non-Muslims in the countryside, and the spread of Sufi orders in the towns where many people already were Muslim, are addressed. The religious practice and everyday life, and the role of the state, travel, and local society in the production of oral records are described. Moreover, the chapter discusses the historicity of local views of history and religion, kin networks, villages and religious affiliations, and the polyvalence of religious change, struggle, and negotiation.

Keywords: Muslims; Southeast Tanzania; kin networks; religious affiliations; Sufi orders; religious practice

Chapter.  10465 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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