Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-xbgml Total loading time: 0.593 Render date: 2022-08-09T21:21:45.073Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

Islamic Reform and Historical Change in the Care of the Dead: Conflicts Over Funerary Practice Among Tanzanian Muslims

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2011

Abstract

Muslim radicalism in Tanzania has tended to be perceived as a political problem, and as part of a trans-regional wave of Islamist movements. The present article instead seeks to demonstrate the connections between current debates among Tanzanian Muslims and long-standing ritual and social concerns, by highlighting debates on funerary practice. While these debates focus on the correct ritual process of burial (with reformists decrying elements of traditional practice as inappropriate innovation), their underlying concern is with the ability of the living to safeguard the well-being of the deceased. This concern, in turn, can be connected both to long-term social change and to the interaction between Muslim and indigenous religious notions. As propitiation of God supplants that of ancestors, the fate of the dead is increasingly construed as depending on the supplication of the living. Ultimately this religious debate is as concerned with society as with doctrine or ritual, and the opposing sides share some common ground. They do not, however, construe this as ‘Africanizing’ Islam, but as part of a necessary intellectual debate.

Le radicalisme musulman en Tanzanie a eu tendance à être perçu comme un problème politique s'inscrivant dans une vague transrégionale de mouvements islamistes. Cet article cherche au contraire à démontrer les liens entre les débats actuels entre musulmans tanzaniens d'une part, et les anciennes préoccupations rituelles et sociales d'autre part, en mettant en lumière les débats sur la pratique funéraire. Alors que ces débats se concentrent sur le processus d'enterrement rituel correct (les réformistes décriant des éléments de pratique traditionnelle comme innovation inappropriée), leur préoccupation sous-jacente concerne l'aptitude des vivants à sauvegarder le bien-être des défunts. On peut lier cette préoccupation, à son tour, au changement social à long terme et à l'interaction entre les notions religieuses musulmanes et indigènes. La conciliation de Dieu supplantant celle des ancêtres, on interprète de plus en plus le sort des défunts comme étant tributaire de la supplication des vivants. Fondamentalement, ce débat religieux traite autant de la société que de la doctrine ou du rituel, et les parties en opposition ont des éléments en commun. En revanche, elles ne l'interprètent pas comme une africanisation de l'islam, mais comme faisant partie d'un débat intellectuel nécessaire.

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © International African Institute 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abashin, S. (2006)‘The logic of Islamic practice: a religious conflict in Central Asia’, Central Asian Survey 25: 267–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Al-Habsy, S. A. (1999) Safari ya roho akhera: pa jifunze kuhusu mauti, kuosha maiti, sanda, jeneza, kaburi, na sala ya maiti. Oman: no publisher. [The journey of the soul to the afterlife: also, teach yourself about death, the washing of the dead, the shroud, bier, grave and the prayers for the dead.]Google Scholar
Alpers, E. A. (1971) ‘Towards a history of the expansion of Islam in East Africa: the matrilineal peoples of the southern interior’ in Ranger, T. and Kimambo, I. (eds), The Historical Study of African Religion. Nairobi and London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
Alpers, E. A. (1975) Ivory and Slaves in East Central Africa: changing patterns of trade to the later nineteenth century. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
Bang, A. (2003) Sufis and Scholars of the Sea: family networks in East Africa, 1860–1925. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Becker, F. (2004) ‘Traders, “big men” and prophets: political continuity and crisis in the Maji Maji rebellion’, Journal of African History 45: 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Becker, F. (2006) ‘Rural Islamism during the “war on terror”: a Tanzanian case study’, African Affairs 105 (421): 583–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Becker, F. (2008) Becoming Muslim in Mainland Tanzania. Oxford and London: Oxford University Press and the British Academy.Google Scholar
Berg, B. (1901) ‘Erklärungen von Ortsnamen im Mikindanibezirk’, Mitteilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen 4 (1901): 42–5.Google Scholar
de Waal, A. (ed.) (2004) Islamism and its Enemies in the Horn of Africa. London: Hurst and Co.Google Scholar
Eickelman, D. and Piscatori, J. (1996) Muslim Politics. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Elton, J. F. (1879). Travels and Researches among the Lakes and Mountains of Eastern and Central Africa. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
Fath, Father T. (1942) ‘Begräbnisgebräuche bei den heidnischen Wamakua in Ostafrika’. Missionsblätter von Uznach 42 (April).Google Scholar
Federspiel, H. (1970) Persatuan Islam: Islamic reform in twentieth-century Indonesia. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Halevi, L. (2007) Muhammad's Grave: death rites and the making of Islamic society. New York NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Haykel, B. (2003) Revival and Reform in Islam: the legacy of Muhammad al-Shawkani. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Hirschkind, C. (2006) The Ethical Soundscape: cassette sermons and Islamic counterpublics. Berkeley CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Huntington, S. (1996) The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York NY: Touchstone.Google Scholar
King, N. Q., Fiedler, K. and White, G. (eds) (1991) Robin Lamburn – from a Missionary's Notebook: the Yao of Tunduru and other essays. Fort Lauderdale FL: Verlag Breitenbach.Google Scholar
Kirk, Sir J. (1865) ‘Notes on two expeditions up the river Rovuma’, Journal of the Royal Geographic Society 35: 154–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Knappert, J. (2001) Law Glossary of Islamic Terms in Swahili. Ndanda: Ndanda Mission Press.Google Scholar
Kresse, K. (2007) Philosophizing in Mombasa. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
Lacunza Balda, J. (1997) ‘Translations of the Quran into Swahili,and contemporary Islamic revival in East Africa’ in Rosander, E. E. and Westerlund, D. (eds), African Islam and Islam in Africa: encounters between Sufis and Islamists. London: Hurst and Co.Google Scholar
Lewis, B. (2004) The Crisis of Islam. New York NY: Random House.Google Scholar
Ludwig, F. (1996) ‘After Ujamaa: is religious revivalism a threat to Tanzania's stability’ in Westerlund, D. (ed.), Questioning the Secular State: the worldwide resurgence of religion in politics. New York NY: St Martin Press.Google Scholar
Mbogoni, L. (2004) The Cross versus the Crescent: religion and politics in Tanzania from the 1880s to the 1990s. Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers.Google Scholar
Metcalf, P. and Huntington, R. (1991) Celebrations of Death: the anthropology of mortuary ritual (second revised edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Njozi, H. (2000) Mwembechai Riots and the Political Future of Tanzania. Ottawa: Globalink Communications.Google Scholar
Parkin, D. (1972) Palms, Wine and Witnesses: public spirit and private gain in an African farming community. London: Intertext Books.Google Scholar
Pouwels, R. (1981) ‘Sheikh Al-Amin Mazrui and Islamic modernism in East Africa’, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 13: 329–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Qadiria, J. Z. (2002 or 2004). Mjadala baina ya jamaat Answaru Sunna na Ahal-Sunna wal-Jamaa, wakiwakilishwa na vijana wa Qadiriya. Ilifanyika tarehe 11/10/1997 hadi 27/19/1997 [sawa na mwaka 1418 wa Hijiriya], Tandika – Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam: JZQT Printing Unit.Google Scholar
Qasim Zaman, M. (2007) The Ulama in Contemporary Islam: custodians of change. Princeton NJ, Berkeley CA and New York NY: Princeton University Press, University of California Press and Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Robinson, D. (2004) Muslim Societies in African History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rosander, E. E. and Westerlund, D. (1997) African Islam and Islam in Africa: encounters between Sufis and Islamists. London: Hurst and Co.Google Scholar
Roy, O. (2004) Globalized Islam: the search for a new ummah. New York NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Seppaelae, P. and Koda, B. (1998) The Making of a Periphery: economic development and cultural encounters in Tanzania. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute.Google Scholar
Smith, J. I. and Haddad, Y. Y. (1981) The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection. Albany NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Weule, K. (1909) Negro Life in East Africa. London: Isaac Pitman and Sons.Google Scholar
Wright, M. (1993) Strategies of Slaves and Women: life stories from East Central Africa. New York NY: Lilian Barber Press.Google Scholar
8
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Islamic Reform and Historical Change in the Care of the Dead: Conflicts Over Funerary Practice Among Tanzanian Muslims
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Islamic Reform and Historical Change in the Care of the Dead: Conflicts Over Funerary Practice Among Tanzanian Muslims
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Islamic Reform and Historical Change in the Care of the Dead: Conflicts Over Funerary Practice Among Tanzanian Muslims
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *