SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Janson, Marloes (2018) 'Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa.' In: Shanguhyia, Martin S. and Falola, Toyin, (eds.), Palgrave Handbook of African Colonial and Postcolonial History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 951-977.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (719kB) | Preview


Sub-Saharan Africa is frequently seen as the periphery of the Muslim world, in terms of both geography and religious influence. This chapter shows that Islam has had a presence in Sub-Saharan Africa since the earliest days of its history. Scholars studying Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa have long written about an ‘African Islam’, reflecting the Sufi bias typical of scholarship on Islam in the region. Janson demonstrates that this approach hampers a better understanding of the emergence of reformist-oriented movements. She concludes by pointing out new approaches to the study of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa, which capture the fluidity of the different ways of ‘being Muslim’ in everyday living, thereby challenging ingrained analytical concepts such as an ‘African Islam’ versus ‘Arab Islam’, and an accommodating Sufi Islam versus an orthodox reformist Islam.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
ISBN: 9781137594259
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2018. This is the author accepted manuscript of a chapter published in Palgrave Handbook of African Colonial and Postcolonial History edited by Martin Shanguhyia and Toyin Falola
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 11:44

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item