Educating Muslim Women : The West African Legacy of Nana Asma'u, 1793-1864
by Jean Boyd and Beverly Mack
256 pages PB 2013 UK
The story of Nana Asma’u challenges stereotypes about Africans and Muslims, particularly African Muslim women: in Asma’u’s perspective, women take responsibility for determining what gives their lives value and dignity, they organize, they define their priorities, and they act.
Nana Asma’u was a devout Sufi scholar and poet who set up an enduring educational and welfare network called the ‘Yan Taru (The Associates). Asma’u’s authority flowed from that of her illustrious Fodio family and the Sufi Qadiriyya order with its extensive linkages through West Africa to the wider Islamic world. Her works in Fulfulde, Hausa, and Arabic recollect first-hand experience of the formative years of the Sokoto Caliphate, in which she was a leading player. Her words and life example provided materials and inspiration that enriched the lives of the needy, especially rural women.
In the 1900s, the British eliminated the Caliphate and transformed education in a Western mode, focusing on boys. Nevertheless, the ‘Yan Taru survived and, through an unbroken lineage of women scholars, remain active to this day. Moreover, the Fodios’ Qadiriyya tradition has been transmitted to the United States, where women consciously follow the ‘Yan Taru model. They use twenty-first century technologies in a post 9/11 culture to pass on knowledge with the same dedication to community well-being that motivated Asma’u.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 10 July, 2013.