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The Walking Qur'anIslamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa$
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Rudolph T. Ware

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469614311

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469614311.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use (for details see www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 December 2018

The Book in Chains Slavery and Revolution in Senegambia, 1770–1890

The Book in Chains Slavery and Revolution in Senegambia, 1770–1890

Chapter:
(p.110) 3 The Book in Chains Slavery and Revolution in Senegambia, 1770–1890
Source:
The Walking Qur'an
Author(s):

Rudolph T. Ware III

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469614311.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the problem of the enslavement of huffāẓ (keepers) of the Qurʾan in Senegambia from the 1770s to the onset of French colonial rule in the 1880s. With clerics understood as embodied exemplars of the Book, such episodes of enslavement were not understood as merely violating Islamic law but rather more deeply felt as desecrations of the Book of God. The chapter documents a century of revolts, rebellions, and even revolutions in Senegambia that were sparked by the enslavement of “the walking Qurʾan.” It details a dramatic revolutionary movement led by African Muslim clerics and their peasant disciples, who overthrew hereditary slaving kings in 1776, abolished the Atlantic slave trade in the Senegal River Valley, and may even have abolished the institution of slavery in the newly established clerical republic.

Keywords:   enslavement, huffāẓ, Qurʾan, Senegambia, French colonial rule, clerics, African Muslims

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